Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | November 5, 2010

Interview with Jack Hessey, author of Steam Queen

I’m pleased to introduce Jack Hessey, who is one of LazyDay Publishing’s Founding authors. He is the author of a steampunk novel, Steam Queen, which will be published Dec 1st.

T. Hello Jack, please give us a bit of biography to start.

J. Not much to tell really, I’m just a normal guy from Mansfield in England. I’m 23 years old, had a few office and call centre jobs that I absolutely hated and I’m now studying Zoo Biology at Nottingham Trent University. It’s a fun course, I hope to work in a Zoo, Sea Life Centre or maybe even on some sort of Wildlife research project abroad once I’ve finished.

I’ve got an interest in paleontology and collect fossilized dinosaur teeth which may seem a bit weird. It was a choice between going to study paleontology somewhere or Zoo Biology. I went with the latter because I figured there would be better job opportunities afterwards.

In my spare time I just have normal hobbies, going to the cinema, video games and reading. Nothing all that unique or interesting really.

T. When did you start writing?

J. Before writing stories, I’ve been a member of various text-based role-playing sites since I was around 14 or 15. Usually sites based on Marvel Comics or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You basically pick a character and play the role of them in threads and story lines and such. I found it was really helpful in building my skills as a writer since you take different characters with different abilities, goals, aims etc and write as them. Plus I found it to be quite fun. I still post on Ultimate X-Men Evolution (An X-Men one) but nowhere near as often as I did.

I moved on to actually writing stories about 4 years ago. I never really finished anything though; I always either got a new idea of something to write and dropped my current project or lost interest. At around summer last year I decided to take my writing a bit more seriously and made it a goal to actually finish a story.

That Story was Steam Queen and I finished it around March or April this year.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

J. None really, my school wasn’t very good. I didn’t really learn too much about writing whilst at school and the little bits they did teach us turned out to be wrong. Like, at school I was taught to avoid said like the plague and instead use words like exclaimed, yelled, called, shouted, etc., which turns out to be wrong.

I guess though, I was inspired to write by Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines series of books. I thought they were brilliant, such a fun, unique world. I read his books and just decided to start writing.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

J. Steam Queen is a Steampunk book. It’s set in a fictional version of Europe torn by war where steam has evolved as the worlds major source of power and steam-locomotives are used as weapons of war by the various factions, cities, mercenaries and bandits there.

It follows Erica, an emotionally disturbed girl who joins one of the mercenary teams traveling across Europe. She soon finds herself caught up in a conflict between two opposing factions, each representing a different culture and different way of life.

The story focuses on the difficult decisions which Erica has to make throughout the book and how she learns to care about people instead of caring just about herself.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

J. I do, I’m currently working on it. It’s called Steam Princess and it will work as either a direct sequel or as a stand-alone book.

It’s set in the same world as Steam Queen but in Norway and Denmark instead of Belgium and Germany. Erica from Steam Queen appears in the book but isn’t the main character this time around. That honour goes to a new character, Karli who is a princess of a floating city off the coast of Norway.

I’m just over halfway through it and expect to be finished early next year. I’ve also got a third book planned as well.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

J. I don’t think digital publishing will ever replace print, there’s just something about having an actual, hard copy of a book that seems better. Can’t really explain why . . .

Saying that, it is pretty cool to be able to download thousands of books onto a little device and carry them about with you. Especially handy if the book you’re reading isn’t much good, you can just press a few buttons and get a new one to read. Plus all the books for the Kindle are much cheaper, the other day I bought the whole ‘Oz’ series of books for 99 cents, you can’t really go wrong can you?

T. Anything else to share?

J. Just that LazyDay have been great to work with and I can’t wait until December 1st!

T. Thank you I’ll be looking forward to reading Steam Queen.

J. Thanks for having me as a guest blogger! I’ve enjoyed it 🙂


  1. Hiya,

    Just wanna say thanks for having me as a guest blogger, was a lot of fun!


  2. Read Thomas’ interview over on your site, Jack and am now reading the official vice versa. I’m now tempted to visit a site and become Buffy, the Vampire Slayer for an hour! Great interview, and looking forward to giving Steam Queen a read!

  3. Great to read of Jack Hessey who just lives 30 miles away from me! Look forward to taking a look at your work Jack. Well done.

  4. Amended website.

  5. Thanks JM and Frances 🙂

    Really appreciate your kind words!

  6. What a great interview! I can’t wait to read jack’s book.

    i really cannot believe you have actually written a book….. pretty impressed tbh
    p.s i want a signed copy seeing as were family…and coz you love me

  8. Hey jack congrats on writing the book hope it does well for you have to be honest im a little surprised u have wrote a full book. Lauren you should put ur hand in ur pocket and buy it urself.

    also its your cousin here if u didnt already guess.

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