Interview: Rie Sheridan Rose, Author of The Marvelous Mechanical Man @riesheridanrose #Interview

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly Vols. 1 and 2. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. These were mostly written in conjunction with Marc Gunn, and can be found on “Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits” and “Pirates vs. Dragons” for the most part–with a few scattered exceptions.

Her favorite work to date is The Conn-Mann Chronicles Steampunk series with five books released so far: The Marvelous Mechanical Man, The Nearly Notorious Nun, The Incredibly Irritating Irishman, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, and The Elderly Earl’s Estate.
Rie lives in Texas with her wonderful husband and several spoiled cat-children.


Website:  and

Something looked odd about the assembly. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what, so I put my finger on the machine instead. There was a tiny lever half-hidden by the new gear assembly. It shifted under my fingertip, and suddenly, the heart began to beat.

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you for this opportunity. The book I am doing this virtual tour for, The Marvelous Mechanical Man, was originally published in 2013 by Zumaya Publications Otherworlds Imprint in Austin, Texas. It was revised and self-published in 2016. I first was challenged to write a Steampunk novel for NaNoWriMo in 2011. It was a genre that intrigued me, but I hadn’t really dabbled in, so I eagerly took up the challenge. Additionally, I challenged myself to write it in the first person PoV. It was my first attempt at a full-length novel from this perspective, and it proved to be the perfect choice, as my heroine—Josephine Mann—is much better equipped to tell her story than if I had used the more removed third person PoV.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I had been acquainted with Zumaya for some time before the original publication, as we moved in the same convention circuit as well as being in the same town. When I decided to take the series into self-publication, it was because I could devote more time and resources to it as a single-focused author than the publisher could with a full stable of authors. There are now five books in the series as well as a projected spin-off novel.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

My first book was actually published in 2000, so by now, I was fairly used to the drill. As my first self-published novel, it surprised me how easy it was to publish through the Amazon platform. Admittedly, I haven’t explored the other platforms yet—one of them might prove even easier, but I have been satisfied with the results for the most part so far.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Absolutely. One of the things that draws people to The Marvelous Mechanical Man right off the bat is the stunning cover. I am extremely fortunate to have a framing device that ties the entire series together as well. Both of these elements were the work of the talented Brad Fraunfelter—I would have him do every one of my covers if I had the budget for it.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I would say that The Conn-Mann Chronicles (the over-arching series) are probably my favorite books I’ve ever written. They have been a great deal of fun. Compared to many of the other novels I’ve done, they’ve also been easy to write, and I think that comes from having strong characters to work with. They have also required a great deal of research, because even if my New York City is one that never actually existed, the science and details need to be plausible. For example, my airship is not based on an actual zeppelin, but it does feature parts that I feel fairly confident could have existed in 1874.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

My most recent project is a spin-off of the Chronicles featuring two minor characters from the series that I wanted to give their own story to. It is titled Bond and Reilly Investigations: The Case of the Counterfeit Confederate at the moment, and is currently in revision, and I hope to get it to an editor before the summer.  It would be nice to have it in print if we get to resume conventions in the fall. I am penciling it in for September release. After that, I have several other irons in the fire—a fairy tale retelling called The Beauty and the Bard; a space opera called Full House: Ace’s Low (though that is definitely subject to change at some point); and a contemporary romance novel called Game of Chance. Those are the three next highest in the queue at the moment.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

It is Steampunk without being British.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

I think the main message of the book is that it takes all sorts of smart to make things work. My hero, Alistair Conn, is brilliant, but not always practical. My heroine, Josephine Mann, feels like she has nothing to contribute to all the intellectual people surrounding her—but it is her common sense and practicality that often gets them over a hurdle.
Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Just that I hope you enjoy Jo and her friends as much as I do. They’ve become a second family.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the opportunity. :) If anyone has any other questions, I would be happy to answer them.


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