For me, it’s a common one, I think—finding the time to do it. I sit at a computer for my day job, so wanting to spend more hours of the day fixed at a keyboard isn’t always appealing. But the stories keep coming, and I have to write them down somewhere! Marketing is also whole new adventure. It’s true that the real work begins after the story is written—both in the editing and the selling.
Can you give us a short synopsis of the book?
In an alternate version of 1880’s Scotland, a new fuel source is discovered that will replace the dominance of coal. But as the lords of the empire race to control its production, an ancient foe returns to terrorize the countryside.
Effie is an orphaned Sithling—someone with both fey and human blood, and her kind are hunted by a government who has used propaganda to ostracize them from society. So she has instant adversity and enemies, but as an orphan, she doesn’t really know much about her own people, nor whom to trust. She’s curious to a fault, and it’s that conflict between her need for understanding and her need to remain safely hidden that drives her actions.
The book follows Effie’s adventures as she is embroiled in the intrigue of coal barons, fey hunters, and rampaging eldritch horrors. There are selkies, giants, and flying machines along the way, but at its heart, the book shows that families don’t have to be defined by blood.
What inspired you to write this book?
Like all my great ideas, it started with my wife. I’d written several fantasy short stories in imagined worlds, and she suggested I try writing in a place I knew well. I’d studied history in Scotland and lived there for a year, and fleshing out that setting came at a time when I’d thought of the Effie character. The two blended, and the tale started there. It was fun plopping her into the same pubs and castles I frequented while as a student, only set a hundred years earlier.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I try to write every day, in one format or another. When working on the novel, it became oddly easier—I just needed to push the story further each day. Now, I need to balance writing book II in the series along with all the marketing for book I. And, of course, there are other projects I have cooking.
Name your top five favorite books.
This is definitely a rotating list, depending on when I’m asked, but for now I’ll go with:
- Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scot
- Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
- Rules of Attraction by Brett Easton Ellis
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (I’m counting all of them!)
What are you working on now?
I’ve finished the rough draft of book II of the Fey Matter series and am about to start editing and revising it. I hope to have it out by the start of next year, and then a third book shortly after that. I’ve also started plotting out a contemporary mystery series set in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. I want it to have the feel of The Dresden Files meets Midsomer Murders.
Thank you for hosting me! Our chat was fun!
Title: The Laird of Duncairn
Author: Craig Comer
Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy
The year is 1882 Scotland, and the auld alliance betwixt king and fey has long been forgotten. Men of science, backed by barons of industry, push the boundaries of technology. When Sir Walter Conrad discovers a new energy source, one that could topple nations and revolutionize society, the race to dominate its ownership begins. But the excavation and use of this energy source will have dire consequences for both humans and fey. For an ancient enemy stirs, awakened by Sir Walter’s discovery.
Outcast half-fey Effie of Glen Coe is the Empire’s only hope at averting the oncoming disaster. Effie finds herself embroiled in the conflict, investigating the eldritch evil spreading throughout the Highlands. As she struggles against the greed of mighty lords and to escape the clutches of the queen’s minions, her comfortable world is shattered. Racing to thwart the growing menace, she realizes the only thing that can save them all is a truce no one wants.
Craig Comer is the author of the gaslamp fantasy novel THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN and co-author of the mosaic fantasy novel THE ROADS TO BALDAIRN MOTTE. His shorter works have appeared in several anthologies, including BARDIC TALES AND SAGE ADVICE and PULP EMPIRE VOLUME IV. Craig earned a Master’s Degree in Writing from the University of Southern California. He enjoys tramping across countries in his spare time, preferably those strewn with pubs and castles.