Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your new book! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Jonathan Fesmire: Thank you! The premise is simple: steampunk technology in the Wild West. This is the second book in the series. In the first book, Bodacious Creed: A Steampunk Zombie Western, the protagonist, U.S. Marshal James Creed, dies from a gunshot wound to the heart. A mysterious young woman then resurrects him using advanced steam-era technology in her basement laboratory.
That first book sees him finding out who she is and what she wants and protecting the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, from a serial killer.
The new novel, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, sees Creed traveling to San Francisco to uncover a conspiracy to turn former Chinese slaves into, well, something else, against their will.
The world includes robots and other advanced technology, outlaws, heroes, secret societies, gunfighters, and lots of action and adventure.
BD: As this is book two of the larger The Adventures of Bodacious Creed series, what can you share with us about your creative process in weaving these narratives together? Do you find that there is a creative shorthand to returning to this world and characters?
JF: It can be tough getting back into the world from book to book, but this milieu is full of possibilities. For Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, I knew I wanted Creed to go to San Francisco, so I did extensive research on the city during that time. It was crazier than I imagined! When I read about the plight of Chinese women during that era, I knew I had to write about it.
I’m working on the third book, Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, now which will conclude a three-book arc. I have it fully outlined, but it’s taking me time to find my way back into it all the same. I will, though. After some persistence, I’ll get back into the groove.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Creed’s ongoing story will connect with and impact readers?
JF: While the story takes place in an alternate timeline, it draws heavily on history and I like to highlight problems that existed during the Wild West era. The latest book takes place mostly in San Francisco. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery and human trafficking in the United States were still a problem. I learned about a particular form of it in San Francisco and had to focus on it for this story. I hope that Creed’s compassion and willingness to help inspires people in the modern world.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JF: Yeah, a few things. While sheltering in place last year, I started a 3D printing and miniature painting hobby which has turned into a side business related to my writing. I have a merchant’s license for Fate’s End Dice Towers which I print, paint, and sell on Etsy. My store there is DiceHarbor. I find it a nice balance to my writing. I also started a TikTok account, where I show off dice towers (minitok), talk about my books and others (booktok), and plan to make some DND and other TTRPG videos (dndtiktok), too. That’s been fun. I’ve found some cool people in all those communities there.
Those links are:
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake?
JF: Head over to my website at www.jonathanfesmire.com. You’ll find links to all versions on the homepage.