Please welcome Paul Crilley to the virtual offices! He’s here to tell us about his latest release The Oriris Curse.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Paul Crilley] A Scotsman living in South Africa. Generally quiet, loves his kids. Passionate reader. Superhero in training. Teller of tall tales.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Osiris Curse?
[Paul Crilley] It’s the sequel to The Lazarus Machine, a steampunk mystery-adventure in the vein of Dr Who, Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, and James Bond. This time round Tweed and Nighitngale are looking into the mystery of Nightingale’s missing mother, (which was touched upon in the first book). Their investigation brings them into contact with a sinister cult called the Brotherhood of Osiris, and they are forced to go undercover on the maiden voyage of the Albion, the very first luxury airship. (Tweed has to pose as a waiter, something he’s not at all happy with.) The trail takes them all the way to Egypt, where they discover that a certain mythical ‘hollow-earth’ theory might not be so mythical after all.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for your Tweed and Nightingale series?
[Paul Crilley] The whole thing started off as a single image I came up with about ten years ago. It was of a shivering, skinny Sherlock Holmes sitting on a rocking chair staring into the fire while Dr Watson looks on in horror. Only problem is, Holmes had been dead for ten years. It was originally going to be an straight adult book, (is that a term? Not Young Adult, is what I mean), told by Dr Watson, just like the original Holmes tales, but then I started adding more and more steampunk elements and then Nightingale appeared (originally as an antagonist), and that image morphed into what we have now.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Tweed?
[Paul Crilley] Analytical. Arrogant. Loyal.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nightingale is never without.
[Paul Crilley] Her Tesla gun.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Tweed’s pocket?
[Paul Crilley] Never? Let’s see… Any kind of rule book. (Whether it’s the actual law, or rules of polite society). His Tesla Gun. (He forgets it quite often.) And chocolate. He hates it with a passion.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you enjoy most about having this series set in an alternate timeline?
[Paul Crilley] Playing with expectations. I can put all kinds of research in there, all sorts of historical figures, but because we’ve sort of branched off the normal timeline I can subvert what people might expect. Plus, all the research is great fun. All of Tesla’s inventions were real (at least in the blueprint stage). I just acted as if they had been perfected and built.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Paul Crilley] The books I read growing up. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams for starters. (I can re-read them every year and they never feels old.) I love using humor in books, and they are the masters. Other huge influences are Tolkien, Tad Williams, the Dragonlance books, Raymond E Feist, David Eddings, and William Gibson.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Paul Crilley] My own space, coffee, and earphones if the kids are running amok. Um, that’s about it. I can write longhand or on computers, so either is fine with me.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Paul Crilley] The Sword of Shadows series by JV Jones. It’s a 5 book fantasy epic, and it’s incredibly well written. And the series is already complete, so no waiting around for the next volume.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Paul Crilley] Dealing with my two kids every day takes up most of my spare time. I’m getting on a bit now (40 is approaching on the not-too distant horizon), so I exercise five days a week. (It’s not just about the exercise though. Going to gym gets me out the house every day so I feel like I’m an actual part of the world. If I didn’t do that I fear I’d morph very quickly into a curmudegeonly hermit.) And at night I like to catch up on my reading. It’s my wind-down period.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Steampunk Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files with a dash of romantic tension and a large dose of adventure.
When Nikola Tesla is murdered and blueprints for his super weapons are stolen, Tweed and Nightingale are drawn into a global cat and mouse chase with his killers. What’s more, it seems that the people who shot Nikola Tesla are the same people responsible for Octavia’s mother’s disappearance. As the two cases intertwine, Tweed and Nightingale’s investigations lead them to a murdered archeologist and a secret society called The Hermetic Order of Set. Fleeing the cult’s wrath, they go undercover on the luxury airship, The Albion, setting out on her maiden voyage to Tutankhamen’s View, a five star hotel built in the hollowed-out and refurbished Great Pyramid of Giza.
In Egypt, the duo begin to unravel the terrible truth behind Tesla’s death, a secret so earth-shattering that if revealed it would mean rewriting the entire history of the world. But if the cult’s plans aren’t stopped, Britain may lose the future.
About the author:
Born in Scotland in 1975, Paul Crilley moved to South Africa when he was eight years old. He was rather disappointed to find out that Africa was not at all like the Tarzan movies he watched on Sunday afternoons and that he would not, in fact, have elephants and lions strolling through his backyard. He now now lives in a small village on the east coast of South Africa with his family.
He also wrote the Invisible Order books, and penned the upcoming humorous Middle Grade zombie series, Deadbeat Diaries. When not writing novels he works in South African television. He also freelanced on the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic and occasionally writes comics for IDW Publishing.
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