Got chatting to a guy called Jeff Richards at Alt-Fiction and ended up giving him a copy of The Demi-Monde: Winter to review. As good as his word Jeff reviewed the book, posting it on SSF Chronicles. You can find it on:
Jeff made some interesting points. He wasn't a great fan of my cliff-hanger endings (which is a shame because there's at least two more to go). I thought long and hard about this when I was writing Winter, whether to make the books self contained or not. The problem is that if you put a resolve at the end then you've got to unresolve it at the start of the next book which always seems a bit artificial to me. The other thought I had was that as the action in each of the books is set in a different Sector with different supporting characters then the reader is going to have quite enough exposition to cope with without a long explanation as to why the protagonists are in danger again. But in the end, the real reason I use them is that I was brought up on Saturday morning pictures when I was a kid where every episode ended with a cliff-hanger ('Can Batman escape from the concrete block the fiendish Joker has encased him in. Tune in next week ...'). I'm addicted to the bloody things.
He would also have liked to have had more explanation as to how Norma got to be in the DM. Now, Jeff, this is all written, but I ain't had room! Fifty thousand words is a lot to drop into a book. I had hoped to do it in Fall but that would tip the book way over 200K which is too LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. I'm thinking of doing it as a stand-alone story and maybe wrapping it up with the origin story of another key character appearing in Spring. I've got 50K written about her too. We'll see.
Finally, you're right Jeff, the Demi-Monde ain't steampunk. It's a thriller with an SF/Fantasy tip!
Anyway, thanks for the review, Jeff, much appreciated.