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Nyissa Glass and the House of Mirrors: a Steampunk Novel with a Giveaway!

What Inspired Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors?

H. L. Burke is the author of several works of fantasy ... many of which involve dragons. Her latest is a YA Steampunk Novella, which she describes as Jules Verne meets Mary Shelley meets H. G. Wells ... Here she discusses the inspiration for Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors, a seed that planted itself and wouldn't let go until it sprouted out of her brain and onto the page. 
One of my favorite pastimes is adventure games. I love flexing my totally-useless-in-real-life puzzle solving muscles. Sure, I can't fix a computer, change a car's oil, or drive a stick shift, but dang it! I can mess with gadgets and find clues inside a simulated world until I have solved the mystery, found the treasure, escaped from Alcatraz ... whatever.
The common theme for these games is playing as someone dropped into an environment, often a strange or creepy one, who has to explore to find their way out again. My favorites include the Myst series (especially the visually stunning Riven) and Drawn: The Painted Tower (which my eight-year-old also enjoys) ... oh, and the Nancy Drew series. 
So with Nyssa Glass I started from a similar concept and just asked myself questions about how it would work within my story ... is my character trying to escape this maze of puzzles and traps? Or is she trying to get in? If she's trying to get in, why? Is she a thief? Is she a bad person or does she have a reason for jimmying locks and cracking safes? What would drive her? Would she be alone the entire book? Who would she have to talk to? What sort of challenges would she have to face? Ooh, and what if there were robots ... killer robots?
Once that was decided, I approached each scene as if it were either a puzzle to solve or a clue to find. In the story Nyssa has to navigate a series of challenges, ranging from brain teasing riddles to knock-down-drag-out fights with mechanized maids swinging brooms at her head. I hope to take the reader on a ride. 
So if you think you might want to come along on an adventure of killer robotic proportions, check out Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors, releasing on Amazon March 20th, 2016. It is available for pre-order for the special price of $0.99 until March 14th, so grab your copy early!
Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors
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