Personal Philosophy: Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
Fave Scripture (& why): Psalm 139:9-10 because it makes me feel safe and happy.
Fave Quote: Don't let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Believe in yourself. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind to others, even if you don't like them. --Stacy London
In high school I was a… Brain
Book One in the Magnificent Devices steampunk series – Lady of Devices
London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.
At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.
When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .
Interview with Shelley
Hi, Shelley! Thanks for answering questions for us today.
Whom did you have in mind when you wrote Lady of Devices, the first book in the Magnificent Devices series?
I originally had teen girls in mind, since we meet Lady Claire Trevelyan, my heroine, when she’s 17. But as it turned out, the books appeal to their mothers, too, and their grandfathers, and American software engineers, and English innkeepers … I have a hard time nailing down my reader demographic.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
In a word: gumption. And it seems to be happening. Readers write to me and tell me that their favorite thing about my characters is that first, they’re brave and resourceful, and second, that they care about each other. Which are pretty neat things to take away.
Which character is most like you and why?
I’d have to say Lizzie, who is one of the Mopsies. Lizzie and Maggie are twin 10-year-old girls in the gang of street children when Lady Claire first meets them, but they become “sisters of the spirit” to her. At this point in the series—7 books in—they are sixteen and beginning to make their own life choices. I’m similar to Lizzie in that I have a very practical, down-to-earth mind and tend to take people too literally. She is also a bit cynical about human nature. But when she loves, she is all in, and loyal to the death.
If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which one would it be and what would you do together?
I’d love to meet Lady Claire. She is fascinating to me—super smart, resourceful, and able to think on her feet. I’d like to stroll around Victorian London with her. Though I’d have to be careful. She carries walnut-sized bombs in her pockets.
Want to know more about Shelley? Head over to my blog where she tells us about her chickens, her writing life, and shares an excerpt from Lady of Devices.
Lady of Devices is FREE at your favorite online bookstore.
READERS: If you could meet a book character in real life, who would it be and what would the two of you do?