Tell us about your upcoming release!
Nearly all at the same time, I have recently published a companion book, Farm Hall, a prequel, The Violins Played before Junstan, and book 1 of my series, Music Shall Untune the Sky. They are a blend of magical realism, mystery, and adventure. The settings are in multiple locations from San Francisco, to Singapore, then to Prague, and London. There is a steampunk flavor to the series as it begins in 1866 with the immortal magician and prankster, Celwyn, an automat, Professor Xiau Kang, and Bartholomew a widower from Juba in the Sudan. Upcoming release at Thanksgiving: book 2, The Raven and the Pig. This continues the story as the protagonists travel to the catacombs near Palermo and are rescued by Captain Nemo. They are working with Nemo to build something never seen before; a flying machine, and everyone seems to want it, including the Mafioso and a nasty warlock named Duncan.
Please tell us a little about yourself!
My writing began with short stories in what was known as small presses at the time, CrosssRoads, Heliolcentric Net, Black October, Pirate Writing. In 1994, I won the Fantasy, Sci Fi, and Horror award at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. Fast forward to my appearances in Seattle Noir, and the MWA anthologies. Most of my writing has been cross-genre, and usually historical.
What was your journey to publication like with this title?
In the MWA Anthology Crimes by Moonlight, Celwyn made his first appearance. Again in 2018’s MWA Odd Partners, he appeared in a story that became the basis of this series. Pelaez, his more evil immortal brother, was the main protagonist of Farm Hall and Celwyn sprung from him, taking his essence and making it playful, yet deadly. The journey to publication has not been bad, but marketing it afterwards is time consuming, and I’ve hired a social media manager to help.
Have you gone on any literary pilgrimages?
No, but I’d like to. It would be nice to see the Capuchin Catacombs by Palermo. Most of what is said about them in the Raven and the Pig is my imagination, including the magic that occurs.
Did you do any unusual research while writing this book?
No, but in book 4, which is unnamed, there is a ton of it, mostly of ancient artwork and lost art from that period to the Middle Ages.
Do you have any must-do writing habits?
Tea, Tea, Tea, and more Tea.
What’s your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?
Laurie R. King’s The Moor.
If you could go back in time and give your younger author self advice, what you tell her? What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Let go of your shyness about your writing and join writers groups sooner.
You can find Lou on Facebook as Lou Kemp Author of Horror and Suspense, on Twitter as @LouKemp14, and on Instagram as @ccloukemp.