- Book Title: The Empty Hourglass
- Book Series: A Deal with a Devil Story
- Author: Cornelia Grey
- Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 9, 2016)
- Book Length: 201 pages
- Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical Victorian
Hello! I’m Cornelia Grey—welcome to the Empty Hourglass blog tour! At various tour stops, I’ll be sharing some secrets about my writing process, sources of inspiration and future projects!
Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card and the two previous titles in the Deal with a Devil series—Devil at the Crossroads and The Circus of the Damned—in an e-book format of your choice. Thank you for joining me on the tour!
I have always been interested in exploring different genres in my work. As some of you may already know, I have written Western, historical fantasy, contemporary, and am especially fond of a surreal mix of historical, fantasy and steampunk, albeit the main thread was always the romance genre.
A few months ago, however, Riptide Publishing launched a new imprint called Anglerfish and, they explain:
Riptide has published queer literary genre fiction alongside queer romance and erotica since the day we opened our doors, and now our literary genre fiction has its very own home under the Anglerfish imprint. Here you’ll find sci-fi, fantasy, horror, psychological thrillers, dark erotica, and other upmarket mainstream fiction that will tickle—or terrorize—your brain. And of course, just like Riptide, every Anglerfish title stars LGBTQ protagonists and/or themes.
I was very intrigued by the challenge of shifting the focus of the story away from the romance, and the possibility to try writing a more genre-focused book, albeit always with a side of romance. The love story between The Empty Hourglass’s protagonists—loner inventor Jethro Hastings and toymaker Thomas Escott—develops in the background and, although it is instrumental to their personal development and to the choices they make along the way, it is not the main focus of the story.
The two previous titles in the Deal with a Devil series already belong to two different genres; Devil at the Crossroads is a paranormal romance novella, while The Circus of the Damned is a steampunk romance novel with hints of a Victorian historical setting. Deal with a Devil is a series made up by stand-alone novels, with different settings and main characters, linked by the character of Farfarello—a chaotic devil who flutters between different worlds and planes of existence making his deals.
Farfarello obviously features in The Empty Hourglass too, which I would define as a Victorian steampunk novel which also features a love story. After writing romance for several years, it was an exciting challenge to try and shift the main focus from it and, while I do have a few romance plots in the pipeline, I am eager to continue exploring this new genre, too. Maybe with a Farfarello-focused story—we learned bits and pieces of his history as he interacted with the unwise men involved in his deals, but I think it’s about time to delve a bit more into his life—his previous one on Earth, and his current one in hell, and his interactions with fellow devils.
I am grateful to my readers for following me so far while I explored the different genres that intrigued me, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride with The Empty Hourglass—and with future projects! What is your favorite genre? In which setting would it be interesting to drop our resident devil, watching him weave his plans and machinations?
Thomas Escott has always wanted to be a toymaker, yet just as he achieves his dream, an accident claims his right hand. He’s certain his life is over—until he hears about groundbreaking prosthetics being made by a reclusive inventor.
Jethro Hastings is perfectly content to live alone up in the mountains working on a secret masterpiece: a humanoid automaton that will change the scientific community forever. He’s behind schedule, and the date of the unveiling is fast approaching, so when Thomas shows up on his doorstep offering help in exchange for a mechanical hand, Jethro agrees. Time, after all, is running out on another deal he’s made: one with the devil.
The devil gives Jethro’s inventions life, but he can just as quickly take life away—Jethro’s, to be exact. As the sand in the devil’s hourglass falls, marking the time until the end of the deal, inventions go haywire, people get hurt, and Thomas realizes he needs Jethro just as much as his prosthetic. Now he must find a way to save Jethro’s soul, but negotiating with a devil is just as difficult as it sounds.
Cornelia Grey is a creative writing student fresh out of university, with a penchant for fine arts and the blues. Born and raised in the hills of Northern Italy, where she collected her share of poetry and narrative prizes, Cornelia moved to London to pursue her studies.
After graduating with top grades, she is now busy with internships: literary agencies, publishing houses, and creative departments handling book series, among others. She also works as a freelance translator.
She likes cats, knitting, performing in theatre, going to museums, collecting mugs, and hanging out with her grandma. When writing, she favors curious, surreal stories, steampunk, and mixed-genre fiction. Her heroes are always underdogs, and she loves them for it.
To celebrate the release of The Empty Hourglass, Cornelia is giving away the two previous titles in the Deal with a Devil series—Devil at the Crossroads and The Circus of the Damned—in an e-book format of your choice, plus $15 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!