It’s here at last, my new Gaslamp Fantasy novel with a twist of Steampunk, The Clockwork Magician!
The novel has been ten years in the writing and during that time it’s had almost as many incarnations as Doctor Who. This seems appropriate because I describe the adventure as Doctor Who meets Sherlock Holmes in an imaginary, magical London.
Originally, the book was a much shorter children’s story based on the silhouette art I made for my wife’s Steampunk Jewelry and art store, London Particulars.
The images traced the journey of the plucky Professor Thistlequick and his cat companion Happiness. Happiness’s silhouette in the artwork is our cat Bing (named long before the search engine).
The pictures sold well on Etsy and I had many people contacting me asking if I’d write a book, so because it wasn’t quite ready, I released two short stories; The Ghosts of the Tattered Crow and The Curious Incident at Gloamingspark Yard. The first is a short story about Jake Shillingsworth and a haunted London Inn, the second concerns Professor Thistlequick and a dark encounter with the fiend Spring Heeled Jack.
Professor Thistlequick and his cat really captured people’s imaginations, and one author asked if she could write fan fiction about the strange duo (I said yes of course and was very flattered), and another lady got a tattoo of Professor Thistlequick and Happiness soaring over the House of Lords on her shoulder 😀
I finished the first draft of the book in 2009 but didn’t quite know where it rested, so I rewrote it as a longer novel, and its second carnation had the working title ‘Shadows Over London’ (a nod to Shadows over Innsmouth).
I’ve since reworked the story and now it’s in its final carnation as ‘The Clockwork Magician’, a Gaslamp Fantasy Adventure.
The strings have been cut, and the story is ready to fly out into the world!
Here’s the blurb so you can learn more and there’s a preview below. The audiobook is finished and working its way through Audible’s publishing process and the narrator, Hannibal Hills, has done stunning work in bringing the characters to life in a whole new way. I can’t wait for you to hear the Professor, Jake and the grotesque Silas Grumble.
The Clockwork Magician
A street urchin with a mysterious gift. A nightmarish enemy hunting over the gaslit streets of London. Dark Magic Rising.
It’s a cold winter’s night when Jake Shillingsworth, serving boy at The Tattered Crow, finds himself running a task for his monstrous master Silas Grumble. Jake’s errands are never fun, but this one is worse than most. This one’s for a witch…
When Jake’s best friend is snatched by a terrifying creature he’s forced to seek help from Professor Thistlequick; an eccentric man known as the clockwork magician.
Soon Jake finds himself in strange shadowed streets and soaring over clouds in a race to stop the gravest of threats.
London Bridge is falling down, and so will the entire city if Jake and his unlikely companions fail.
The Clockwork Magician is what would happen if Sherlock Holmes met Doctor Who with a Dickensian cast of grotesques, nail biting adventures, and shadowy heroines who aren’t what they seem.