Author Override: Lynn Viehl

Posted August 5, 2013 by Under the Covers Book Blog in Author Override, Featured Authors / 107 Comments

Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.

English Both Ways

Launching a new series is always fun, but this time I’m writing novels in a new genre (steampunk urban fantasy) that take place during a historical period (Victorian-era America) in a parallel universe (very much like our own, only with some timeline changes.)  The biggest difference between this reality and my fictional world is that in my story America didn’t win the War of Independence.  Over there our country is known as the Provincial Union of Victoriana — Toriana for short — and remains part of the British Empire.  Think Victorian England meets the Wild West, or Masterpiece Theatre, on crack.

Building the world of Toriana meant rethinking the nineteenth century and imagining how life would be under British rule.  Instead of a President they have a Prime Minister and a Parliament instead of a Congress.  Their country is divided into six provinces, not fifty states, plus a disputed territory (Florida, of course).  If you put England in a taffy-pulling machine for a hundred years, you’d probably end up with something like Toriana.

While Torians share many traits with Victorian-era Britons, the pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean) between them and the motherland (England) has been a bit of a buffer and allowed the development of a distinct culture.  This includes their own version of English, which I had to make just as distinctive.  Fortunately I have some friends in the UK who over the years have taught me enough Brit slang to give me insight into how differently we talk on either side of the pond.

I’ve also had some personal family experience with the two sides of the English language, dating back to the seventies when my cousin married a Brit and brought him over for a visit.  He seemed like a great guy, although my mom’s jaw dropped on the floor when he asked permission to have a fag in the house (that’s not an ugly slur over there; it’s a cigarette.)  She returned the favor when she told him that her fashionable new hairdo was called a shag (and that’s not what shag means in the UK.)

It can still get confusing for a Yank trying to speak British.  Take food, for example: in the UK cookies are called biscuits, biscuits are called crackers, and crackers are called biscuits — except soda crackers, those are called cream crackers.  Eggplant is known as aubergine, molassess is black treacle, and a slice of bacon is a rasher of bacon.  French fries are chips and potato chips are crisps.  If you want candy, you must ask for sweets, sultanas if you’re craving raisins, or pudding if you want dessert (but not all puddings are dessert.  Yorkshire pudding is what we call popovers doused with drippings from a roast beef — which is called a joint, btw, not a roast.)

It works both ways, too.  While in America you Brits who want to clip back your hair will need barrettes, not hair slides, or bobby pins, not kirby grips.  If you’re cold you’ll need a comforter for your bed, not an eiderdown, or you’ll want to put on a windbreaker, not a windcheater. Over here suspenders are garters and braces are suspenders and scaffolding are braces.  Your wellies are known as boots, which you put in the closet, not the wardrobe.  Don’t ask for the public convenience, as it’s called a restroom out in public, but at home your w.c. or loo is a bathroom.  Shops are stores, trolleys are shopping carts, pushchairs are strollers, and the chemist’s shop is a drug store.  For help during an emergency, you must call 911, not 999.  In the morning you don’t knock up, you wake up (and please note, to knock up is what sometimes happens after unprotected shagging.)

I didn’t invent an entirely new version of English for my new series, but borrowed bits of slang from both cultures to give the world of Toriana its own flavor.  I’ve had readers on both sides of the pond say they really enjoyed the results, and I hope you’ll do the same by checking out Disenchanted & Co. Part I:  Her Ladyship’s Curse when it comes out on August 12th, and Part II: His Lordship Possessed when it’s released on October 14th.


In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

Ms. Viehl has an awesome prize pack!
As detailed below and shown in the picture.
Open internationally.

  • A handmade quilted and beaded vintage tote made by Yours Truly

  • Signed bound galley print copies of Her Ladyship’s Curse and His Lordship Possessed

  • A black and crystal pendant from Victorian Trading Co.

  • A steampunk journal handmade by Studio Rose Boutique on Etsy

  • A pretty pen and note card set


Under the Covers Book Blog

Under the Covers Book Blog

Books have the power to unite people and that is exactly what happened with us! Our love for books have brought us together and we’ve become good friends in a short amount of time. We “met” online through Goodreads and decided to share our passion of books with fellow book lovers. And that is how Under the Covers came to be…
Under the Covers Book Blog

Latest posts by Under the Covers Book Blog (see all)

Tags: , ,

107 responses to “Author Override: Lynn Viehl

  1. Mirlou

    Lynn Viehl I discovered recently and I love it. There is not much to my library, so I’ll buy. Thank you for this giveaway.

    • I was so pleased with the cover art Pocket Star created for the novel, Elizabeth — it’s exactly what I wanted, and you know how infrequently that happens for authors. 🙂

    • I wish I could invite everyone over to my house next week on release day, Hanna — but I’m doing the next best thing by having a virtual party at my writing and my series blog. Since this is my 50th published novel I have some fun things planned, too.

    • Thanks, Nicola — only one week to go until the first one releases (and if I act a little giddy today, it’s because I’ve been waiting four years for that to happen!)

  2. Betty Hamilton

    What a gorgeous tote! (I collect totes!) I would LOVE to win these books. They sound like such good reads! …and I love the f/c’s.

    • I love quilting and beading, Betty, and the Victorian era is one of my favorite periods in history, so I decided for this new series I’d hand-make all the totes myself. I figure, if you’re going to promote something, why not do what you love at the same time? 🙂

  3. Darlene

    I’ve followed Lynn happily through several series and thanks to a sneak peek I can promise this one is a winner!

    • Thank you, ma’am (Darlene volunteered to read the books before the launch, mainly to soothe my new-series anxieties — which is why she’s one of the best writer pals in the world.)

    • Thanks, Amber. I think the lace on this one is my favorite of all the totes I’ve made, and the fabric colors are tea, coffee and winter-sky blue, so they have a great vintage look, too.

  4. Jennifer

    Love your books. I can hardly wait to read this series!! Thanks so much for your wonderful giveaways!

    • The giveaways are always fun for me, Jennifer — they give me the chance to travel around the reader community and chat, something I wish I could do more of (but then I’d never get any book writing done, lol.)

  5. Jane

    Congrats on the upcoming release, Lynn. My cousin’s neighbors are from Australia and they says crisps, too. When they offered me crisps, I didn’t know that they were chips.

    • Thank you, Jane — and how neat that you met up with some folks from Oz. I have two friends in New Zealand, and they’re always teaching me new words in our mutual language. My latest discovery is jab — here in the U.S., that’s a kind of boxer’s punch. Over there, it’s the term for an injection of medicine. 🙂

  6. Becki Wyer

    I’ve only read a couple of steampunk novels, but this one sounds really interesting. I’ll add it to my TBR.
    rmwyer at shaw dot ca

  7. Gi

    Absolutely love this author. Her Darkyn and Kyndred series are my top fav books! Can’t wait what else she has up her sleeve!

  8. Fran K

    Hi Lynn, loved the article. As a Brit AND a lucky winner in a previous competition, I can attest to the accuracy of the Brit-isms in this series so far. It’s always a bugbear when people get them wrong, but you’ve really nailed them. Love your tote bag, but as I said I’ve already won the manuscript copies, so don’t put me in the draw.

  9. Glittergirl

    I love steampunk romance. I’m a fan from way back of the TV show The Wild Wild West. I’ve been following Meljean Brooks, Mary Wine and Devon Monk’s steampunk and have Bec McMasters but haven’t started them yet. You’ve been writing a while and I’ve wanted to read you too. This one WILL get me started 🙂 Best success with this series. I adore “paranormal” that allows the author’s imagination to fly “outside the box” into the “what if……” Thanks for the giveaway!

    • I appreciate it, Janet — and if you want a free read, be sure and check out the free e-book on the Disenchanted & Co. blog.

      I also want to mention that a huge storm is rolling in here, so I have to shut down the computer for a bit. I’ll return later tonight to chat with you all a little more (or as soon as the lightning stops).

    • There’s an excerpt from Her Ladyship’s Curse in the back of the free e-book, too, Karen, so it will give you a preview of the new release. 🙂

  10. Linda

    Love this, =) can´t wait for my chance to read! Gorgeous tote, as well *grabby hands*
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!

  11. Filia Oktarina

    Love the cover books!! And i like to read steampunk genre. This series maka me curious because storyline and cover book. Looking forward to read this series 🙂
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!

    • I couldn’t resist the crack about Masterpiece Theatre, ha. I’m really fortunate that so many readers are taking the time to talk about the new series, too. Word of mouth is the best advertising in the world.

    • Aw, thanks, Nikki. 🙂 I’ve waited so long to see this series launch that sometimes it still seems surreal, and then suddenly now it’s here, and everyone has been so great about spreading the word. I really do have the best job in the world, thanks to readers like you.

  12. Lisa Mann

    I’ve always loved the British slang and trying to figure out what it means! “I was sitting on my bum in my lorry in the carpark eating biscuits”. LOL

    Thanks for the article; I loved it.

    • Creating the hybrid Yank-Brit slang for the series was a delight, Lisa — plus finally finding a way to merge both branches of my family in one universe. Now hopefully they like it on both sides of the pond, lol.

  13. Kirsten Lenius

    Always interesting trying to use proper ‘lingo’ for the times. I read a lot of historical fiction and am a bit fussy about it!

    • I did take some liberties with the slang I used for this universe, Kirsten, but I think it works well with the story. There’s a glossary in the back of each book, too, which will help with anything that might seem a bit wonky. 🙂

  14. Ann S.

    I love the idea of an alternate universe that is a bit familiar. Her Ladyship’s Curse sounds like a spectacular start to a new series.

  15. Barbara Elness

    I love steampunk and this sounds like such a wonderful steampunk world that I’m dying to read Her Ladyship’s Curse. I’ve had it on my wish list since I first saw the covers a while back. 😀

    • Thank you, Barbara, and if you get a chance do check out the free e-book — I think it will give you a good look at the new universe and all the fun I’m having with the story lines in it.

  16. It’s time for me to walk my dogs and call it a night here, but before I let the pups drag me out of the house I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to stop in and leave such lovely comments. I also appreciate Francesca and her friends having me here at Under the Covers as a guest; I always have a wonderful time visiting. Everyone take care, have a good night, and best of luck with the giveaway!

  17. Linda Thum

    Congrats on your new series! Can’t wait to read it.
    I had a similar experience of confusion of different terms used by people from different countries all purported speaking English (LOL). I thought tea was a light snack in the afternoon but when I was in NZ, their tea is dinner. I was confused!

  18. Anne V.

    I am so excited to see attention paid to the linguistics! It was one of the most fascinating courses I’ve even taken in college and I’ve loved listening to things like vowel shifts as I’ve moved across the country. I can’t wait to experience how you’ve worked language into this new world!

    Another great looking giveaway here too!

  19. June M.

    I always love learning what words mean in other countries, what something is called in them. I knew a lot of these but did not know that molassess was was black treacle is. I have read it in different historicals and never thought to google it, LOL. (That is usually what I do when I come across a word I am unfamiliar with).
    Love the tote bag and this series sounds great!

  20. nightsmusic

    Wow! Look at all the comments. Loved My Lord Mayhem and am so looking forward to the series. It’s all on pre-order because I didn’t want to miss it.

    ps: I think I’m finally crawling out of my hole…

  21. Stephanie

    I really enjoyed the story you had on your website, “Lord Mayhem”. Look forward to the rest of the series, can’t wait for Aug 12th!

  22. Sandy Lion

    Lynn is one of my top 10 favorite author. If she wrote it, then the writing is bound to be good. I am excited about any new book she puts out. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge