Steampunk character interview: Lorel Clayton

Title: Tangle of Thornes
Author: Lorel Clayton
Genre: fantasy/mystery/steampunk

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Author website:
Synopsis: When Eva’s brother is murdered in a city of rude elves and matriarchal dwarves where humans have no rights, she is forced to investigate the crime herself. What she discovers brings her up against a powerful slave-trading cartel, dark gods, and—worst of all—her twin sister. Both her family and the elven authorities want her hushed. She has no money and no magic of her own with which to combat them, but she does have an illegally-freed slave, a senile nanny, and an ex-almost-boyfriend on her side. Even when she nearly loses her job and almost loses her head in a sword fight on the same night, she isn’t deterred. It’s when the nanny goes missing that she really starts to worry. Femme fatale turns hard-boiled investigator in this first Eva Thorne novel. Set in a fantasy world where magic and machines can’t stand against the God of Death, humans are on the run from the god’s invasion. Highcrowne is the only refuge, but that means living in the Outskirts of an ancient city ruled by Avian mages, indifferent dwarves, and elves who’d prefer to see humans as their slaves. It’s worst for Eva’s people, Solhans, because they were the ones who summoned the Dead God into the world. No one wants her kind in Highcrowne and there are plenty who would be happy to see her brother dead. There are too many motives and not enough time to unravel them, because other people are dying … and Eva is fast running out of vacation time.

Character Name: Eva Thorne
Age: 21
Nickname: I wouldn’t try to give me one if I were you
Occupation: femme fatale/turned worst waitress in the world/turned detective
Location: Highcrowne, capital of the Three Kingdoms, ruled by elves, dwarves and Avians, and where humans are either refugees or slaves
Ethnic background: human, actually Solhan, but most people can’t tell the difference, and if they do know I’m Solhan they hate me more, so I don’t brag about it much
Goal in life: to not turn into an evil necromancer and save my soul
Family: Thorne dynasty of Solheim, former leaders of the Council of Nine turned refugees, and the ones who ended the world by summoning the Dead God
Current conflict: the one and only good thing in my life, my big brother, Viktor, has been murdered
Motto: evil is a choice, so is wearing pants

Addictions: men
Best friend: Gypsum, a dwarf I went to school with whose sister got the royal title
Pet Peeve: I hate just about everything except for handsome guys standing around who I haven’t learned to hate yet
What do you do for fun? Reading, people watching and drinking kaffe (this would be the answer for an author interview as well, but swap reading for writing and kaffe for coffee)
Guilty Pleasure: actually sitting for a moment by the fountain and liking my home, my neighbors and the whole wretched world
Most embarrassing moment: getting caught indulging in my guilty pleasure
Taken or single? Any love interests? I don’t believe in being ‘taken’, as I don’t like to feel owned by anybody. Currently, I’m between men. You might call them ‘love’ interests, but what is love really? Lust with conversation?

Favorite Food: cheese wheels
Favorite Hobby: reading mysteries
Favorite childhood memory: playing with Duane and Viktor on the snowy streets of Highcrowne
Dream job: something where I get to hit people when I’m angry but not be a bad person doing it
Pessimist, Optimist, or Realist: Pessimistically, I’d have to say, realistically, I’m an optimist
Most annoying person in your life: Duane. Or maybe Nanny. Uncle Ulric? Ilsa, hands down.
Pets: Not a good idea. Nanny would put them in the stew. It’s a Solhan thing.
Biggest Fear: Becoming like Uncle Ulric, or my sister, Ilsa
Greatest Strength: stubbornness
Greatest Weakness: stubbornness
Who do you most admire? My brother, Viktor
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Alive? Maybe?
How do you feel about secrets? Everyone has them, but some of them you’ve got to unravel else the bad guys win
Advice for the reader as they follow you through your journey? Expect surprises. I surprise myself all the time.


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