Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Keeping it Fresh

I'm thrilled to share a post by the amazing Philippa Ballantine. She and her husband Tee Morris are working hard to bring us the next two (YES TWO!) books in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series.

They have a Kickstarter going to bring us these books, and BOTH! have been funded and WILL happen. You can back the project and get the books too! AND!! A nice bonus is if the funding goes high enough, we could purchase the scandalous Countless Hues of Crimson. (If you read Diamond Conspiracy, you'll know what Countless Hues of Crimson is.)

I'm thrilled to have Philippa Ballantine by today about Keeping It Fresh with a series. Please welcome Pip!

Keeping it Fresh….After All This Time.
By Pip Ballantine

Back in 2008 I pitched the idea of writing a podcast for pay to my (then friend, now husband) Tee Morris. It was just supposed to be a little steampunk side project. Just a bit of fun to seeing if getting people to pay for podcasts was possible.

We ending up not actually finding that out. An agent, and a bidding process with multiple publishers ended up making it into a book…then a series…then a roleplaying game…and round again to a podcast.

So the first book of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences came out in 2011, and here we are, again in a place I never expected. Within those four years later give or take a month or two with Books Five The Ghost Rebellion and Six Operation: Endgame funded.

Along the way we’ve learning how to co-write together, and we’ve developed a world we really enjoy writing in. It started out with Wellington and Eliza, and is now populated with a whole plethora of villains and heroes.

So how do we keep it fresh as we approach book five? Well luckily we still have plenty of world to explore. Welly and Eliza have been to America, Germany and France (briefly), so they haven’t really explored a great deal of the globe at all.

We don’t want to give too much away, however we can say The Ghost Rebellion is partly set in India, which is a culture and setting with tremendous possibilities. We’re lucky that we have over the years made friends far and wide in the steampunk community. So we’re extremely grateful to have Suna Dasi of Steampunk India as our consultant, to keep us on point with our Indian history and culture.

As well as the world as a whole, there is a lot more depth to examine in our main characters. Eliza might have had her mind taken off New Zealand, by her attraction to Wellington, but the desire to go home is still strong in her. In The Ghost Rebellion there will be many reminders of her past, and that the strings are still firmly attached.
Also Wellington is still dealing with the repercussions of his father’s experiments. The House of Usher put a lot into creating him, and they will want a return on investment. Our quiet archivist can travel as far as he likes, but the tentacles of the House are everywhere.

We are also looking at what happened to Sophia del Morte after the events of The Diamond Conspiracy. Having been labeled a turn-coat, and without the protection of the Maestro, what has the assassin been up to? How can she make a living now? Hopefully the answers in The Ghost Rebellion will surprise some people. Sophia has become something of a fan favorite, and the evolution of her character has been interesting.

So this whole adventure, both the Kickstarter and the novels has been quite a ride. And now, thanks to funding two more books, we will be riding around in the Ministry world for awhile longer. Not just that, but we have some earlier periods to explore too. I have about half a YA book done, which is all the about the Ministry Seven before they met Eliza D Braun. So yes…there is plenty more in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences world to play with.

There is still time to pre-order The Ghost Rebellion and Operation: Endgame but the Kickstarter ends 9.30pm EST November 15th.

About the Author:
Philippa Ballantine
New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for steampunk, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.

Find the Authors:


I hope you visit and back the kickstarter as well. :)


  1. 2 books?! fabulous!!!! even if i'm behind in teh series already i did enjoy teh first ones so much i want more.. and it wasn't even supposed to be a book at first? what a story in itself!

    1. Thank you Miki! It's really wild that the kickstarter went so far. Exciting! :D

  2. Woot! Glad to hear it got funded. Hope you enjoy :)

  3. Curious. Was the other 2 books not picked up by the publisher? I can see why, they were so good! Glad this is funded and I can read more! :D

    1. Melissa (B&T) Yes! The last two books were not picked up by the publishers. I can't see why either. The series is loved. But now we get two new books and the secret novella. ;D

  4. One day I'll have to try this series. It looks really good!


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