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Behind the Book: The (mostly true) Story Behind the Writing of Steamrolled

...brain exploding?

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Welcome to Behind the Book Friday here on the blog! Featuring Steamrolled today! First, something about the novel:

He’s a time-traveling repo man. She’s an inventor’s descendant. Together they’ll make history.

Robert Clementyne is the only man standing between an evil doctor and an accidental time machine gone missing. When his trail of clues goes cold, he takes a long-shot gamble and visits the steampunk-themed bowling alley museum belonging to the inventor’s descendant. 

Emily Babcock has dedicated her life to keeping the memory of her trailblazing ancestor alive. But even she’s skeptical when a hunky stranger comes searching for an invention long lost in time… until the contraption materializes before her eyes. Hoping for a romantic detour, Emily climbs aboard with the sexy mystery man for a wild ride through space and time.

Their travels take a twisted turn when they plunge headfirst into a fever dream version of New York City. Trapped in an unstable time bubble, Robert and Emily must find a way to defeat the evil doctor and escape before reality comes crashing down. 

Steamrolled is the fourth book in the innovative Project Enterprise sci-fi romance series with steampunk sensibilities. If you like bizarre alternative reality worlds, fiery chemistry, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ page-turning triumph. 

Buy Steamrolled to expand your imagination with a weird and wonderful sci-fi romance today!

You can read an excerpt by clicking here. 

And now for the interview!

Me: Let’s start the interview by telling readers where this fits into your sort of series and actually how they all fit together and then we can do the “what were you thinking” part of the interview.

Myself: I was sort of hoping we were going to miss that part this time, but maybe I can draw the first question out long enough you’ll forget. Let’s see, my sort of series started with The Key, though I didn’t know I was writing a sort of series when I wrote it. I was just writing an action-adventure romance novel that sort of veered into space and became a science fiction romance novel. When The Key was published, readers (mostly) loved it (with a few grumpy exceptions from those expecting “real” science in their science fiction), and some asked if there would be more. Well, it so happened that Helfon, from The Key was grumpy he didn’t get the girl, so I was able to say, yes, there will be another novel and Girl Gone Nova released last year. And of course, if you read my Tangled in Time interview, then you know that it started as a short story, tie-in to my sort of series, then bloomed into a novella that some readers, used to my BABs, thought was too short.

I had a lot of fun writing Tangled in Time, and when I concluded the novella, I realized that I had a nice lead into my next BAB, using those plot lines that hadn’t ended, such as the mysterious Dr. Smith and the “Big Bug” and what had happened to the transmogrification machine and Professor Twitchet. Steamrolled also has a guest appearance from a character from a connected short story (but one not essential to the main plot/bridge line of the novels). You can find that short in A Death in Texas anthology. In fact, lots of characters from the books also make guest appearances, including Doc and Hel, and Sara even stops by, which was lots of fun. But even with the guest appearances, this is still very much Robert and Emily’s story.

Me: But it also has something none of your other SFR books have had: a strong subplot, though you did have something similar in Byte Me.

Myself: Yeah, I had to think back for a minute to remember if I’d done anything quite like this in another novel and Byte Me is the closest, though I think Steamrolled still wins on scope. Without the subplot, the story wouldn’t be quite as…

Me: …brain exploding?

Myself: Well, yeah. I’m always happy when my characters come alive and help me with the story, but I will confess, Ashe surprised me when she strode into the story. It was as if she’d been tapping her foot, waiting for me to notice her standing in the wings and then she insisted on going out first. Doc had good reason to call her the twit.

Me: And Ashe will get her own story, won’t she?

Myself: That is correct. I leave her sort of hanging at the end, which will be good for her character, but probably not her temper.

Me: There will also be another story spinning off this one, won’t there?

Myself: That is also correct. I was most surprised to get a few requests to redeem the sinister and mysterious Dr. Smith, so instead of a sticky end, I let him live. He will be starring in a short, steampunk story called Steam Time, that will be included in the Dreamspell Steampunk Volume I. I will make sure to hose him thoroughly before allowing him to get a girl. I don’t have a release date yet, which is good since I still need to write the story, but I’ve got it figured out. I think.

Me: Emily is a bit of a departure from your other books, well, from Sara and Doc.

Myself: Yeah, both Sara and Doc were a** kicking heroines. Emily is able to take care of herself, but she’s not a bad a**. She’s quirky and unexpected, but also a bit ordinary as far as ninja skills are concerned. But she has a skill set that proves useful to Robert and is able to take care of herself for the most part. And she annoys the heck out of Doc, who isn’t sure she is right for her brother. LOL!

Me: And Robert. (dreamy sigh)

Myself: Yeah, Robert was fun as well. He is many things, but mostly he is a geek, a sexy geek, but a geek. Part of his charm for me is that he doesn’t know how smoking cool he is. As the story progresses, he finds himself with Emily’s help and he helps her grow, too. I loved spending time with these two characters and watching them grow and fight their way through everything I threw at them (and I threw a LOT).

Me: Well, you almost made me forget the “what were you thinking” part of the interview.

Myself: Rats.

Me: What were you thinking? You almost made our head explode! This story is SO out there!

Myself: This is true, it is waaaay out there, but our editor said we make it seem reasonable, so there is hope that some of our readers will like the ride. I mean, some of them LIKE out there.

Me: True, but dang, it was a near thing with the head exploding thing. A very near thing.

Myself: We are both fine, so get over it.

Me: Yeah, until the next time.

Myself: Was that a question? Because it didn’t sound like a question.

Me: I think I’m out of questions.

Myself: So we’re done?

Me: I think so.

Myself: Okay, then. (pause) So how do we usually end these?

Me: You tell us when it will release and then we just…stop.

Myself: Oh. It will release the end of April. Possibly the last, very last day, because I was a bit slow getting it done.

Me: A bit?

Myself: Let’s not go there. You know what kind of year we had.

Me: Fine.

Myself: So we’re done? Because I need to, you know, go.

Me: So do I.

Myself: Then we’re officially done.

Me: Yeah. So leave already.

Myself: Gone.

So that’s another week of crazy behind us. LOL I am hoping these interviews and excerpts have been helpful to you in deciding whether Project Enterprise is a series that might interest you, because I’m editing Project Enterprise 7 right now. Stay tuned for the reveal of the cover and the blurb in May! Hopefully, by then I’ll have at least an estimated release date by then, too. 

Perilously yours,


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© 2011 Pauline Baird Jones All rights reserved.

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