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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

JL Mulvihill's Steel Roots series - YA, steampunk, alternative history adventure

More and more readers are discovering the wonderfully imaginative Steel Roots Series from JL Mulvihill! A young adult, steampunk, alternative history adventure, the Steel Roots series features three books, The Boxcar Baby, Crossings, and Rails West.
Writing this series is like an adventure for me because anything can happen. The characters take me along with them across the country and I just go with the flow. This has been a natural organic story. When I get to an obstacle or a “where to now?” part in the story then I turn to my research. I think actually having a map with markers to follow helps. Of course, I knew where AB’Gale (Abby), would end up or at least the general area. 

The fun part is following the rails of the trains to see where they would take us. I researched the railway maps and train stations to be accurate and know what to expect. I think using the railway system is beneficial in helping to carry the story along. If you look up almost everything in the books you will find it is a real place. Incorporating real places is an exciting game I like to play. I imagine my readers discovering a mining town in the book is a real place. To me, this is like a treasure or finding a secret garden. In fact, you will find there are several places I mention in Hot Springs that are very real.
From the start of Rails West, I knew Abby needed to connect back with her friends. Of course the “Easter Egg,” had been planted in the prior book for this meeting. I felt it important for Abby to spend some time on her own for a while for both her and me to find out what kind of a person she is. However, after being on her own for so long she, and I, realized she needed her friends. Being alone and doing everything by yourself is difficult and even sometimes dangerous. I wanted to show the value of true friendship and how it’s beneficial during times of hardship.

Of course sometimes when you reach your goal you’re not sure what the outcome will be. I found that as the story progressed so did the challenges the characters faced. I suddenly found myself at the top of a volcano that is about to explode and only I can stop it or see it through. Of course, this leads to the final book I am working on now, The End of the Line. I realized the story is so immense I couldn’t finish it in three books.

One of the goals I had, when I started this story, was to imagine what the world would be like without slavery. That is at least how I started this idea in the beginning. I thought what if America had a wall around it with no outside influences and there had never been any slavery. What I discovered is shocking and I think indicative of society in general. I found there are still some forms of slavery. I also learned that where there is subjugation there is going be rebellion. Where there is subjugation eventually there is a revolution. The reason is that the human spirit cannot be suppressed. We all long to be free of our chains no matter what they are.

I hope my readers enjoy the adventure and that they find themselves along the way.

J L Mulvihill
Changing the world on story at a time.

by J.L. Mulvihill
July 23, 2013
274 pages
Publisher: Seventh Star Press
Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB’Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it’s up to AB’Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB’Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa’s spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB’Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries … and that monsters come in all shapes and forms. The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.

by J.L. Mulvihill 
November 30, 2014
314 pages
Seventh Star Press
Bishop Steel is still missing, so AB’Gale must follow the map continuing the search for her papa. Her quest leads Abby down dangerous paths that threaten to get her captured by the System. Danger lurks at every turn of the road, on every doorstep and every train.

Finding it difficult to know who to trust when she discovers she is now wanted for crimes against the System, Abby travels under the guise of a young boy. Conflicted with the desire to rid her world of the unjust or find her papa, Abby finds few friends amid hobos, air pirates, and entrepreneurs.

Abby finds that real friends will never abandon you, nor will they allow you to give up on your convictions. A true awakening to internal conflict and the desire to put right what is wrong, this is the great American adventure ringing with the sound of freedom along the steel routes.

by J.L. 
July 26, 2016
286 pages
Publisher: Seventh Star Press
The System Regulatory Unit has determined that the responsible parties of last week’s explosion in Downtown St. Louis are none other than the notorious Abigail Steel and her band of pirates. She is wanted for questioning regarding numerous acts of rule breaking against the System. She is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached but informed upon at once.” Not only is her name misspelled, but the System has her description all wrong because AB’Gale Steel is not a criminal. She just wants to find her papa and now she feels she is so close, but will the System catch her before she finds him? And what about the marks on the map the old hobo gave her? What was Papa doing in all those places? Why is the System so concerned about Bishop Steel and his daughter? Are the people of America seething with frustration? And is there an insurgency boiling beneath the surface? All the answers lie within Rails West.

About the Author:
A California native born in Hollywood, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past seventeen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaging fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of Steampunk, published through Dark Oak Press in 2011. The sequel to this novel is presently in the works.

Her Most recent novel, The Boxcar Baby of the Steel Roots series, was released in July 2013 through Seventh Star Press. Steel Roots is a young adult series based in the Steampunk genre and engages the reader into a train hopping heart stopping adventure across America. Book 2, Crossings released December of 2014.

She is also the co-editor of Southern Haunts; The Spirits That Walk Among Us which includes a short story of her own called Bath 10, and a fictional thriller involving a real haunted place. Her poem, The Demon of the Old Natchez Trace, debuts in Southern Haunts part 2, Devils in the Darkness.

J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.
J.L. continues to write fantasy, steampunk, and poetry and essays inspired by her life in the South. You can find some of her short stories at Dark Oak Press as well as & Seventh Star Press.

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