Rapid interview with author Emily Owen, greetings Ma’am, hope you are doing great.

Know The Book:

1) Please introduce your book quickly.

The Mechanical Maestro is set in 1850’s London. It follows three genius siblings, George, Douglas and Molly, whose lives are turned upside down after George makes a bet with a nobleman that he can build an automaton composer.

2) What is the main theme of your book.

There are several main themes in the book, including bonds between siblings, attitudes towards AIs (even if they’re analogue AIs, in this case), social class, and – of course – music.

3) What challenges you faced while writing it?

As this was my first serious attempt at a novel, I experienced a persistent feeling of doubt as I was writing it about whether I could A) finish it and B) whether anyone would want to read it. Thankfully, the answer was yes in both cases!

4) What is the thought process behind writing it?

I usually start with a particular character and build the story around them. In this case I not only wanted to introduce my sibling trio, but the android Maestro as a character too.

5) What category the book falls in?

The book is steampunk historical fiction, but also falls under the YA and fantasy genres.

6) What is the target audience for book?

The novel will appeal to fans of historical fiction, steampunk, music lovers and engineers alike.

7) Who was the inspiration behind your writing journey?

I showed the first version of the novel to a colleague, and it was her encouragement that made me decide to try and publish it.

8) How is your books beneficial to the readers?

I’d like to hope that the book inspires readers to believe in pursuing that special thing that makes them tick – whether that’s inventing, breeding plants, writing stories or anything really!

Know The Author:

1) When did you start writing?

I’ve been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember, although I only seriously started trying to write full-length novels whilst studying at university.

2) When was the moment you decided to write a book?

It was during my final year of studying for my English degree. I was writing the novel alongside my dissertation about representations of androids in nineteenth-century literature!

3) Are you a reader yourself?

I am! My book collection takes up an entire wall of shelves.

4) What is the book you read recently?

I’m currently working my way through the Flashman series. The series is quite a raunchy romp through the military conflicts of the Victorian era, but the books are a tour de force of historical fiction writing.

5) Who is your favorite author?

It’s hard to choose a favourite, although I’m very fond of Terry Pratchett, Agatha Christie and Jane Austen.

6) What are your preferable genres for writing and reading?

I like to both read and write historical fiction – often with a steampunk or fantasy element. I also enjoy Victorian novels, sci-fi and fantasy, and murder mysteries.

7) Share a happy moment during a book launch!

When the first box of my newly-printed books arrived on my doorstep, and I got to hold my book in my hands for the first time.

8) What are your hobbies and interests?

Alongside writing, I’ve always loved drawing – including sketching my characters. I enjoy photography, nature walking and baking. I also have an interest in history, and love watching documentarise on a range of periods and cultures.

Thanks for joining, hope you had fun!

I certainly did!


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