Hello blog friends. Please join me in welcoming author Nick Lovelock to my blog today as he stops by while on virtual tour to discuss his inspiration behind writing his book, Discoucia.
First, bit about the book….
Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.
An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Alavonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Alavonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Alavonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princess Josephine Olandine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.
Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Alavonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.
Onto the guest post….
Inspiration for Discoucia
The World of Discoucia was always going to be an amalgamation of Britain and America, since at one point in time they were both ruled by the same monarch and its thirteen original colonies seem to have a still-English feel in comparison to later and more modern cities. The age seems to be early 1800s, with High King Olandine being inspired by William IV since he was the king that preceded Victoria. The land really is all about hundreds of different references to popular culture put in their respective places.
The first major city of Evermore is in a sense the London or Washington D.C. of Discoucia, the Azure Palace being a combination of Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle since they are both the monarchy’s Ruling Seat and their official residence. High King Olandine’s two daughter’s Josephine and Alexandra are raised very differently with Jo taking a more adventurous route into the Discoucian Secret Service while Alexandra prepares to be the future Queen with the Order of the Tangerine in Thorisea.
Sending Alexandra away is a lot like how girls were sent to Convents or Finishing Schools, and adds to the whole unaffectionate feel of Victorian Penny Dreadful’s. It ends up warping her sense of reason in future books as she has no sympathy for children since she was never allowed to be one.
The odd inventions that appear throughout are all of Steampunk origin, from the Hot-Fog device to the Black Robots. Their function comes from a necessity since Lilia hasn’t got an army that can take over the Discoucian mainland by force so she uses technology to overcome the problem. The Fog would disguise the army while the Black Robots would cause as much damage as they could.
I wanted to create a villain that wasn’t easy to get rid of, and always kept in mind that I wanted them to have a change of heart when presented with the truth. Lilia Pageon was born a technological and mathematical genius who despised her brother for his ability to make friends when the two were growing up. Lilia saw things differently and as such became lonely and angry, which was exacerbated by her father deciding to start the revolution she was destined to finish. He left the county of Fina with his daughter when a Gunship sent by High King Olandine demolished his palatial estate and accidentally killed his wife. He took Lilia while Arthur ran the other way to another island on the other side of the continent.
Lilia’s lonely island of Harrha that she makes herself Queen of is a mixture of Alcatraz and the fabled island of Hy-Brasil which is supposedly located off the coast of Ireland. She wanted every growing thing on the island to be removed much to the ire of Altatia, familiar of the Goddess of Nature. Lilia doesn’t really care about plants until later when she changes her outlook on life.
The God System arose from the idea that if all powerful gods from say Greek or Roman mythology were still very much alive but had lost their following, what would they be doing in the Victorian Era. The Gods in the Alavonia series are Archie, Elemental Goddess of Water, Phoebe, Elemental Goddess of Earth, Jonathan, Elemental God of Air and Cordelia, Elemental Goddess of Fire. The four don’t normally meddle with their respective elements since they have grown bored with their duties and leave them to pure chance. They have however begun to integrate with normal people, mostly Archie who only wishes to be a normal person and helps Arthur along with her ability to manipulate anything.
My favourite idea about these gods is how ambiguous their origins are and how they relish in the fact that people will not believe what they are despite overwhelming evidence. This is another thing that Discoucia shares with England, if it is very out of the ordinary the populace try to be polite and not notice or draw attention to it. Archie herself reveals that she is a ‘Transcendental Super-Being’ to Arthur’s driver Corky, being in the smug knowledge that she explained herself to someone who wouldn’t have a clue what she is talking about, but being entirely truthful at the same time.
All these ideas mostly came from my love of aliens, unexplained phenomena and cryptozoology, and to the people of Discoucia these four Gods would appear to be alien and that is something that causes problems for them later on, especially Archie who in trying to become normal first begins to lose her already limited power but becomes vulnerable to the spiteful and petty nature of the Discoucian Upper Class.
About the author: Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.
Thank you for stopping by Nick. Your book sounds great. I like the sound of Alavonia, the Steampunk vibe to the storyline and the world building sounds fantastic as well. I watched the Penny Dreadful series and enjoyed it very much. Good luck with your work!