Frontlist | Westport author’s fantasy weaves a tale of assassins and aliens in ‘The Brass Queen’
Westport author Elizabeth Chatsworth will be celebrating the release of her debut novel “The Brass Queen” during the Westport Library’s virtual event on Jan. 12.
Chatsworth will be joined by writer Gabi Coatsworth and Neo Victorian Hip Hop Emcee and YouTuber Professor Elemental and Tom Caruana who created a song based on Chatsworth’s character.
Chatsworth’s book tells the tale of a Miss Constance Haltwhistle who sells firearms under the alias of the “Brass Queen” during the late 1800’s in a steampunk inspired world.
In celebration of her launch, we caught up with Chatsworth to talk about her novel which Publishers Weekly described it as “a fun, frothy blend of fantasy and romance.”
TinaMarie Craven: How would you describe “The Brass Queen?”
Elizabeth Chatsworth: The Brass Queen is a funny, fantastical adventure in a steam-powered world. Join flawed characters as they face invisible assassins, villainous royalty and inter-dimensional telepathic aliens. Escape from the everyday into a richly drawn world of wonder and laughter, then close the book with a smile on your face and spring in your step. This is an escapist fantasy that is just the antidote to the winter blues!
TC: What inspired you to write this particular story?
EC: A minor character in H. G. Wells’ “The Invisible Man” inspired my plot. In Wells’s 1897 novel, a mysterious American tourist in an English pub whips out a revolver and shoots the invisible man in the knee. Upon reading this, I wondered – who is this curious interloper with the less-than-deadly aim? Thus began the adventures of J. F. Trusdale, an inept spy in a world where nothing is as it seems, starting with Trusdale himself. Such a man requires an exceptionally talented partner – enter Miss Constance Haltwhistle – weapons designer and amateur scientist.
TC: How long did it take you to write this book?
EC: The short answer is six years, if you include editing and the journey toward publication. The long answer is that, as my 50th birthday loomed, I took stock of my life. I’d always been an avid reader, but somehow, I’d never made the time to create my own stories. So, I decided to sign up for an online creative writing class. The instructor, best-selling author David Farland, encouraged my fledgling efforts, and my first assignment turned into chapter one of The Brass Queen. It took a year to write the first draft, and five years to travel through the editing and publication maze. Now, on Tuesday, this novel will finally be shared with the world!
TC: What do you like to do when you’re not writing, I understand you also work as a voice actor?
EC: I enjoy martial arts, horseback riding, cosplay, video games and baking (but never at the same time). I work part-time at the Westport Library, helping folks to find their next good read. I’m also a freelance voice actor who specializes in corporate narration. If you’d like to hear my British accent, please check out my demo reel at elizabethchatsworth.com.
TC: What’s it like knowing that your character has inspired a song?
EC: It’s an amazing feeling! As a writer, you want your characters to truly connect with your readers. Miss Constance Haltwhistle is a rogue, a rebel and eventually a renegade with a fiery temper and a sharp-tongued wit. She’s also accident-prone, over-confident and has a heart of gold beneath her chainmail corset. A complex character touches readers’ hearts in the strongest way, and Constance is definitely complex!
TC: What would you like readers to take away from this story?
EC: Constance demonstrates that you don’t have to be perfect to be a hero. One person, however flawed, can change the world for the better. My heroine starts the novel hosting her own coming-out ball. By the end, she’s commanding an airship and standing up for women’s rights. She learns to speak for those who are voiceless, which is something I hope we can all do in our daily lives. We are all far bolder and braver we give ourselves credit for!