Cindy asked Kristin Bailey:

I've read The Clockwork Key and Rise of the Arcane Fire. I can't wait to read book 3. In Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices books the automatons were clockwork made but powered by demon energy or demons themselves. In your books, how were the clockworks powered? They were working through water with the ships, mermaid, monster and all. So they were also waterproofed too. Was it a magic?

Kristin Bailey When I set out to write this trilogy I was thinking a lot about Harry Potter and how a lot of the fun of the books came from wishing we were all somehow magical and just missed our owl.

That got me thinking and eventually I realized we are magical. There is very little we can't do as a species through the power of science and engineering. We can extend life, end pain, go to the moon, and speak with people thousands of miles away as if they were right next to us.

I may not have gotten my owl, but I could have been an engineer if I had wanted to, and therefore the power of magic is in me too. So, since I set myself on a writerly instead of a more inventorly path, I decided to make this book my ode to the magic of engineering.

I did my best to give each invention a real-world physicality to it. All the clockwork inventions are run by clockwork. They have to be wound through various mechanisms. I wanted them to feel like you could find old abandoned amusements hidden away, and bring them back to life in our world.

That said, it's a challenge to make old technology feel surprising and magical, so my rule of thumb was, "The Amusementists could invent anything. I am not one, so I don't know how they did it, but anything was within their power of invention." And from there I played. It does take a little stretch of the imagination to believe these inventions were all real, but that is what makes them magical for me.

As for how were all of these things maintained? There are three actually equal branches to the Amusementist Order, though the inventors make a big deal of themselves. The Foundry makes up the second branch, responsible for taking the ideas of the Amusementists and bringing them into physical reality. They are the makers. The final branch is The Guild, a sworn group of men and women devoted to the logistics of the Order. They are the doers. They facilitate communication, upkeep, transportation, and most importantly, keeping the secret. The Guild members are just as important as either of the other two branches, and I enjoyed writing two such members in detail in book three. John Frank is now one of my favorite characters, and Gabrielle amuses me, because at every turn she is so regal and thoroughly unamused.

I hope you enjoy reading about them too.

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