In my third of four interviews with Phoenix Comicon Authors I had the chance to break with some supernatural literature and move into steampunk, while talking with Viola Carr about her new book The Diabolical Miss Hyde.
I guess it [feminism] kind of fell out of that…putting any kind of female character at the front is feminist… the more I learned about [the Victorian era]… there were very defined gender roles, and the more I looked into it the more it became important
When asked if there were there concerns about people, specifically men, not being into this, because of a female protagonist, she stated that:
I don’t know, people say that… and I come from a romance background… but you get male readers too, and paranormal fantasy you get a lot of male readers, more than we’re led to believe. Fantasy readers just want to read great characters and great stories.
Her response, when I asked how much she felt like you had to stick to the rules, or previously established cannon, or how much she thought she could just throw out the rule book was quite telling. Because in case people wondered if they’d just be getting a rehash of classic, she said:
To hell with it, yeah, the story of a person who drinks a potion and turns into another person.. whether it’s major science, you need the prim and proper side and kind of the nasty side, and steam punk fans love that, they want you to bring a lot into that. There was a lot more tech to avoid, and it was challenging but fun because in the real 1850’s they couldn’t lift a fingerprint, or photograph criminals, and there was a criminal class and it was born into, and a criminal race and the rest were more prim and proper. So there’s a bit of Sherlock Holmes, and a bit of alchemy, that really can’t be done as the fantasy element, but she’s a Sherlock Holmes of a cerebral detective where she catches things that others don’t, which was fun to get the alt history that we don’t get into with real life.
Why Jekyll Hyde, not Dracula, or Dorian Gray?
I just love, everything I’ve ever done…is the devil within, and doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, and this is the person forced to be good… Jekyll wants to have his cake and eat it too, the rep by day and this person by night. .. and a lot is in the readers mind… if I was Eliza I and turned into Lizzie, why kind of things would I want to do.
Finally I asked her, What do you want people to know about the book?
Well I guess it’s got this gorgeous cover of paranormal history on there, and this is totally what this is….it’s a science at heart with limited tech, and it’s a serial killer mystery, everything you never knew you wanted, and steampunk!
So, will you be reading The Diabolical Miss Hyde? Let us know in the comments, and for more author recommendations see the other interviews with Phoenix Comicon Authors here.