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Friday 30 October 2015

ℚ From Prussia with Love: Victoria's Secret Agents [1] - Tina Christopher

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about From Prussia with Love (, Loose Id LLC, 206pages) an Erotic Alternative History Steampunk novel, book one of Victoria's Secret Agents.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A big welcome to Tina Christopher, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

"Hello there!  Thank you so much for hosting me, Flora, and thank you all so much for stopping by.  Let’s pour a nice cup of tea and enjoy these delightful nibbles while we have a chat.  You comfortable?  Then let’s get started!"
What was the inspiration for From Prussia with Love?
"It was a bit of a mixture of things.  After I finished my Christmas story Dirigibles Are Forever I had a few loose ends I wanted to tie up.  I remembered watching the first episode of Agent Carter and being surprised by the way she was treated at work.  After Captain America I hadn't imagined her being so disrespected by her male colleagues, but then those were the times.  So I went on to ask my favourite question: what if?  What if a young woman (who is also an excellent agent) ended up working for a man who still lived in the Stone Age and did not believe women had rights or were capable of anything important?  What if all her colleagues behaved in the same manner and she was desperate to prove herself once and for all?  Throw in a sexy first mate who may or may not belong to the opposite side and who’s definitely hiding a whole lot, a quest to save London and scorching sex and you have From Prussia With Love."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for From Prussia with Love - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist is April Martinez!  She did a wonderful job pulling the steampunk elements together into a striking cover.  What made me shout with glee was the little clockwork mouse in the top right corner.  Clockwork mice play an important part in the book and I just love how she wove the symbol into the picture.  Chances are you miss it at first glance, but once you see it and then read the book it all comes together."
Yep, I had definitely missed it!  Nice touch :-)

Why should we read From Prussia with Love and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"I love combining all sorts of different elements, which is how I came up with a world where women have rights, but still have to fight male prejudice, a world that is powered by steam and filled with technology that was a blast to imagine and develop.  When you add in the men and women working for Special Branch, the Victorian equivalent of MI6, quests to eliminate threats against London and the Empire, and combine it with super-hot sex, I think you have a fun smorgasbord of elements that will hopefully pull you into the series and leave you hungry for more."
Can you tell us something quirky about From Prussia with Love, its story and characters?
"I went through three names until I settled on Clara.  This has never happened before.  Names are very important to me.  I go through pages and pages of names until I have a list and then narrow it down from there.

I started with Vanessa and then moved on to Elizabeth.  I wrote chunks of the book with both names, but they just didn’t quite fit.  And my heroine was not a happy camper.  She hated my inability to give her the right name.

When I finally found Clara I was going back and forth for a bit.  I’m a big Dr Who fan and worried that his companion Clara would be in my mind if I called my character by the same name.  I shouldn’t have worried.  Once I settled on Clara and changed the passages I’d already written things fell into place.  Names make all the difference for me and if something doesn’t work I have to keep searching until character and name match."
Who would you recommend From Prussia with Love to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I think From Prussia With Love would appeal to anyone who enjoys alternative history (in my world Queen Victoria has given women rights like voting, owning property and making their own decisions), a touch of mystery and two characters who have instant chemistry and exchange the most amazing banter.  I had so much fun writing their dialogue.  Talk about double entendre ;).  The sex is pretty hot—not sure if I can say that about my own book ;)—and includes BDSM elements."
If you could / wished to turn From Prussia with Love and the Victoria's Secret Agents series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Ohh, I always find it hard to imagine real people as my characters because I have a very particular image in my mind, but I could definitely see Gerard Butler as Garrett.  His hair is a little darker than Garrett’s, but he has the muscle and the edge I envision Garrett having.

I could see Alexandra Daddario as Clara.  I really liked her in Percy Jackson and White Collar.  She has the look.  Clara is a woman wanting to prove herself and I imagine Alexandra would pull it off very well."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I have published Steampunk and Sci-Fi romances because of the freedom it gives me.  A friend of mine says I like to make s*** up and by doing alternative history and science fiction I can build the world the way I want it to be.  While working on my contemporary romantic suspense I noticed how much harder it is to be in the real world, but it was a fun challenge making sure I get my facts right.

I read pretty widely across all genres including fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, contemporary romance as well as YA and middle grade.  As long as the story grabs me I’m game to follow the characters down the rabbit hole ;)."
What is your writing process?
"The one thing I do for every book is establish internal and external Goal, Motivation and Conflict for my heroine, hero and villain.  Then I brainstorm with my girls what the story could be, just the broad strokes, so I have the stepping stones and key events.  I call myself a plantser because I plan the outline of the book, but I pants the individual scenes.  This allows my characters to take the lead and maybe change the course of the story.  And no matter where I write—I can do so pretty much anywhere—I need a cup of tea beside me."
What is in store next?
"From Prussia With Love is book 1 in the Victoria’s Secret Agents series, so I’m mentally brainstorming and outlining book 2.  I know it will be a ménage and I’ve introduced the heroes in From Prussia.  One of them just walked onto the page and demanded his own story.  I was a little reluctant and then he shared something with me that made me go: okay, I hear you.  I have a couple of ideas for the heroine and know there will be something about her that is very different from any of my other heroines, but she hasn’t spoken up yet about who she is or shared any details.

While I’m mulling VSA 2 I’m also polishing a romantic suspense I’m very excited about.  I don’t have a final title yet, but it will have to be a series since Jace and his two brothers walked onto the scene together.  As did a couple of other characters, all of them intriguing and with great stories.  Now I just need to manage them into some semblance of a series ;). "
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Hahahaha, I’d love to share a picture of myself and my cat, but Miss Emma Peel is not one for cuddles.  Attempting to hold her and the phone to take a picture of the two of us would result in disaster.  Emma is my baby girl and I love her to pieces.  She’s a shelter cat and started out as a blood donor, meaning every two or three months I’d take her to the clinic and she’d donate blood for other cats.  A month ago she retired and is now mine for good (and spoiled to pieces).  I could not imagine my life without her.  As the crazy cat lady that I am it was impossible for me to choose just one picture."

From one crazy cat lady to another... you can never have too many kitty pictures ;-)

Thank you for sharing Miss Emma Peel with us (what a brave and beautiful girl!), and thank you again for chatting  with us today.

From Prussia with Love - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Kobo UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo


Anonymous said...

I love meeting other crazy cat ladies;). I'd love to see a picture of your fur baby.
Thank you for having me!

BooksChatter said...

Hi Tina, same here! And it is so good to see that there are so many of us! :-)
I actually have 8 fur babies... I'll see what I can do ;-)

BooksChatter said...

Hello! Follow the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page :-) (I just took pics of all of them!)

Anonymous said...

OMG, they are gorgeous! I'd love a second cat, but Emma and myself don't have a lot of room and I'm not sure how much Her Majesty would enjoy the company;).