S.M. Blooding is still learning to play the piano and guitar and is getting better every day. She currently lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Ms. Jack, who is a real bird.
She has dated all sorts of individuals, including vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers, and US Government assassins. But her one true love is her stories. Yes. She has stories.
Her latest book is the YA steampunk, The Hands of Tarot.
Thank you for this interview, SM. Could you please tell us a bit about your book?
The story is about Synn El’Asim and the Seven Tribal Families. The four queens of the Hands of Tarot have control of the latest technologies, and the most powerful queen, Nix, wants control of the world. The Families are content to allow the Hands to live however they wish in their parts of the world, but as the Hands encroach on parts of the world where only the Families had been able to travel before, they soon realize the time of hiding has passed.
It’s not until Synn’s father is killed while protecting a Family that isn’t his, and Synn is Marked while trying to save him that the fight becomes personal. Queen Nix sees a powerful tool in Synn and she decides to use him against the Families.
The Hands of Tarot is about him, his friends and the Seven Great Families finding the courage to fight back and protect what’s theirs.
How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?
I was playing with a new tarot deck and my brain was just exploding with ideas! I was playing around with different plot lines. I mean, this isn’t unique. This is a pretty common approach, but I said to myself, “Self, let’s not go the really traditional route and have a monotheistic society try and decimate the world. What’s the safest ‘religion’ we have here? Well, there’s Buddha, but can you really see Buddhists up in arms trying to take over the world? No. Who else?”
Then it just hit me, with the tarot cards in my hands. LOL! So the Hands of Tarot were created, with the same hierarchy as the tarot deck. I love tarot. It’s amazing and beautiful. There’s a lot of intricacies there that are just amazing, yet simple.
The cover design was fantastic. I had a lot of say in the cover. I knew that I had to have a cover that said “Steampunk” because my blurb doesn’t. The book isn’t over the top Steampunk. I don’t think that it’s cool just because it is Steampunk. I fell in love with the characters and the world long before I decided that this was the genre it fell under.
So I needed some decibels because that’s applicable and I needed that tarot element. I think it turned out really well! I’m very happy with it! The House of Wands with the fire element is prevalent in the design and the color. We have a tarot card, some Steampunk elements. I really couldn’t have asked for a better cover. Dawne Dominique did a really exceptional job with this.
What are some of your favorite ways to promote your work?
Promoting is so difficult! I enjoy talking to other people. I love interviews. I love it when people comment and enter into conversation with me.
However, I have to say that promoting myself is very uncomfortable. LOL! It’s supposed to be, I know. I don’t like just talking. I’m not here to hear myself talk. I get that enough as it is.