I talk about my own Viola character here often, but today I want to introduce you to another character named Viola. You can check out the character spotlight for my Viola on Karen J Carlisle’s website. Now, let’s turn things over to her…
I’m starting to wonder if Phoebe and I might be cosmic twins… Not only were we doing book blog tours for our latest novel at the same time, but it turns out we both have characters named Viola! So, when we agreed to host part of each other’s book blog tour, she asked me to introduce you to my Viola as well as my new heroine, Tillie Meriwether.
For me, characters are the driving force in any story, whether they be human, alien, mechanical or supernatural. Without them, there is no one to lead us through the plot/storyline, no one to chase, or be chased, no one to outwit the villain or solve the mystery, and no one to fall in love.
Viola Stewart: The Adventures of Viola Stewart series
Viola Stewart studied medicine in Edinburgh where she met her husband, Dougal, his friend, James, and Arthur Conan Doyle. Viola graduated with full honours. Though the first women to do so graduated in 1876, they weren’t yet permitted to register to practice as doctors in Britain.
After her husband died, Viola remained friends with Dr Doyle, who inspired her to become an optician (he studied ophthalmology). Fortunately, widows had more options than married women of the time; Viola was trusted and accepted by various members of the upper class and eventually became a successful optician (and dabbled in early ophthalmology). Dr Doyle also supplied her with detective novels and encouraged her mystery-solving adventures.
Viola is independent. She is curious, loves a challenge and, like Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher, seems to stumble over mysteries and murders wherever she goes. Viola often rails against the Victorian Society’s conventions of what women should be and should do. She is fortunate to have friends who support or encourage her independence, even when it endangers her (or their) life. But she is stubborn, and refuses any help – especially that of obliging gentlemen – and gets herself into dangerous situations with potentially deadly consequences. The real question isn’t whether she is capable of doing anything she sets her mind to, but if she can accept help when it is needed.
Viola Stewart is a favourite character of mine. She got me through a major upheaval in my life. At the time I needed her strength, her stubbornness and her will to rail against the system. I will forever be grateful for that.
Miss Matilda (Tillie) Meriwether: The Department of Curiosities.
Miss Matilda Meriwether has a secret.
Actually, she has several.
One of them has shaped her adult life. Another now controls it.
Her Majesty Queen Victoria has control of the Empire. She is the Empire, and creator of its secrets.
Sir Avery works for The Department of Curiosities – the keepers of secrets – especially if they are useful to the Empire.
When Tillie finds herself in the employment of The Department of Curiosities, she realises this is the perfect opportunity to uncover the truth she has been searching for.
But the Queen has other plans for her.
A new series – and a new heroine! Meet Tillie: about to turn twenty-one, successfully avoided the trappings of being presented to Society so far (she is vexed by Society’s insistence she needs a man), and a young woman on a personal quest to clear her father’s name.
Tillie has lived with her Aunt Prudence and Uncle since her father died and was subsequently accused of treason. During her crusade, she found a curious object, which aids her in her quest, joined a clandestine department, and defied a secret society bent on taking over the Empire.
What Tillie lacks in experience, she makes up for in intelligence, enthusiasm and perseverance. She’s been schooled by the best, is a trained Cryptologist, and is determined to use every possible opportunity to find information to assist her in her quest. Her biggest dilemma is knowing who (or what) to trust.
The Department of Curiosities is the second series set in my alternate steampunk world. It’s a steampunk tale of adventure, a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets.
All for the good of the Empire.
This is a steampunk adventure series, with a lighter tone than The Adventures of Viola Stewart, and is set five years earlier.
The Department of Curiosities will be officially released on 22nd May (Tillie’s birthday). You can find out more information on where to buy it at: www.karenjcarlisle.com/shop
Check out the book trailers at: https://karenjcarlisle.com/books/the-department-of-curiosities/book-trailers-the-department-of-curiosities/
If you want to follow the rest of The Department of Curiosities book launch blog tour, check out the links on this blog post: www.karenjcarlisle.com/DOC1bookblogtour
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