Hi guys! Today I am very excited to welcome author J.K. Pendragon, here to talk to us about the new release The Gentleman and the Rogue. J.K. also has some infomration to share about a great giveaway, so please join me in giving a big welcome!
Hello! My name is J. K. Pendragon, and this guest post is to talk about my new novel, The Gentleman and the Rogue, which will be released April 10th at Less Than Three Press! Specifically I want to talk about genre bending, and my inspiration for this novel. I hope I can inspire you to check it out!
The Gentleman and the Rogue is a genre bender- a mishmash of ideas and genres that interest me. I love blending genres, and took the opportunity to do so with this book. When it first came to pitching the story to the publisher, the first description I came up with for it was “Steampunk Gay Batman in Mary Poppin’s London”. Does it work? I’ll leave that up to the reviewers, but for now I’ll discuss some of the elements of G&R, and what I love about them.
The Gentleman and the Rogue isn’t a steampunk novel. There are no airships or steam-powered locomotives, fingerless gloves or goggles for accessories. But just because a work isn’t categorized as steampunk, it doesn’t mean that steampunk can’t exist within it. The aesthetic of steampunk is more elusive than goggles and airships. All you need is the right colour scheme, modern or futuristic technology, and a good dose of Victorian sensibilities, and you have a recognisable (if not puritan) sense of steampunk.
And I love it. The appeal of steampunk is that it allows for technology, futurism and adventure without ever losing sight of humanity. Humans are gritty, irrational creatures who cling desperately to our impractical fashions and religions, and steampunk gets that. It revels in it. The Victorians were fascinating people because they were so uptight and proper, but still so nuanced, human and strange. Add futuristic technology or airships to the mix and you’ve got one fantastic premise.
Man, I love superheroes. And you know what I love most about superheroes? Secret identities.
Very rarely will I write a book without some sort of twist, usually to do with the identity of a main character. Sometimes I like to keep the twist a surprise until right when it happens, but in this case, I’m going with a good old fashioned masked man and secret identity.
My favourite moment of every superhero movie is when the hero’s mask is ripped off and his identity is revealed. For Gentleman and the Rogue, I wanted to keep that identity a secret from the reader as well. The main character of this novel is not the superhero, but his sidekick. Of course, the Gentleman doesn’t know that he’s the sidekick. He thinks (as we all do) that he’s the hero of this particular story. Of course, his heroic pretense is soon overturned by the arrival of a mysterious masked man who knows a lot more about what’s going on than the Gentleman does. The Gentleman doesn’t discover the identity of the Rogue for some time, but I can only hope that my readers will be a surprised as he was.
Although unorthodox, the Rogue is very much a traditional superhero. He has the troubled past, the gadgets, the martial arts prowess—of course he is Batman, and the Gentleman is his Commisioner Gordon. Except that the Rogue is more like Catwoman, in appearance and allure, and Batsy and Gordon never got quite so familiar as these two do.
3. Edwardian London
The Edwardian Era was a fascinating time period. Innovations were being made in science, women were fighting for their rights. The grand Victorian Era was behind, and the Great War loomed ahead. The class structure was firm and rigid—the lower class worked the industry, while the rich enjoyed the luxuries of a decadent society that would soon be shattered by the war and the stock crash.
The characters in Gentleman and the Rogue belong to that ill-fated society, and the threat they must face reflects that fate. Consequently, the imagery of the story is presented as a contrast between the decadent beauty of the past era, and the mechanized militarism of the future. But when it comes down to it, neither concepts are intrinsically bad. It all comes down to the characters—the struggle between chaos and order, good and evil, and love and hate.
Anyway, that’s all for today! Please consider adding my novel The Gentleman and the Rogue to your reading list!
J. K. Pendragon
I’ll be giving away a copy of The Gentleman and the Rogue at each stop on my blog tour! To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your email address. The winners will be chosen April 14th. If you’re chosen, you’ll be sent an email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!