Published on Amazon.com by Trestle Press Publishing on the 19th of December, it had shot to #33 in a mere five days, in time for Christmas Eve. Since then, it has remained in the top 100 "Hot New Releases in Epic Fantasy" category for Kindle. Now starting its fourth week in the top 100, "The Sauder Diaries - By Any Other Name" has netted 7 five-star reviews from its readers.
It is set in an alternate-history Victorian-era Europe, in which the Crimean War ended with a stalemate and not a victory. Airships and clockwork mechanisms are the technology of the future, mad scientists and engine-driven dragons run rampant, and Russia stands tall as the supermenace overshadowing the world.
Living amidst this vivid, turbulent clockwork world is Hans Sauder, a gentleman's son and German expat. While en route to University in the spring of 1888 to study engineering, his airship is waylaid by the nefarious pirate ship the Bloody Rose. Confronted with a choice to either join the crew or be tossed overboard into the most volatile wilds of Europe, Hans reluctantly steps into the role of a pirate.
As he is given the kind of education no university could have prepared him for, Hans finds himself at the center of a paradoxical world, where the Captain conducts piracy with a gentleman's keen business sense, the most lethal crew members are the women, and the dark underbelly of a "peaceful" Europe is exposed at every turn. The escapades of the pirates of the Bloody Rose take them from France to Germany, Belgium, England and even Egypt.
The life of the reluctant pirate Hans Sauder gets complicated when the woman in charge of the gunner-marines decides she's attracted to him. Things get even more complicated when the ship he is on undertakes a dangerous mission into the territory of the Russian Empire.
Michel R. Vaillancourt is a self-described member of the Steampunk literature and aesthetic movements as well as fan of the music genre. He wrote "The Sauder Diaries - By Any Other Name" on commutes to his job as an IT Staffer for a Montreal-area company over four months. After two attempts to find a publisher, he struck upon small press shop "Trestle Press Publishing". After an initial proposal discussion and review of the manuscript, things progressed swiftly and the book was released the week before Christmas Day, 2011.
Reviews for the novel from readers so far include praise for how the story elements of romance, warfare, intrigue, humor, and espionage are all interwoven with meticulous attention. As well, praise for how historical and mechanical detail nail down every scene with credibility, yet are never off-putting for those who might not be either history buffs, or mechanically minded. Character development and complexity has earned comparision to much more established authors and series.
The novel is currently available as an eBook on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with the author and publisher jointly looking to expand to other resellers and digital formats within the next quarter. A trade paperback version is anticipated by late summer of this year.
The second book in the series, titled "The Sauder Diaries - A Bloodier Rose" is already in the works. Picking up where "By Any Other Name" left off, it is expected out in eBook format in early summer 2012.
Michel R. Vaillancourt is forty-two years old, currently living in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. He is married, and has a teenage son. He works in the IT field and he has been reading and writing for most of his life. He has been involved in Steampunk for two years and a fan of adventure stories since he was twelve.
Media Contact Information
Michel R. Vaillancourt can be reached at his website http://michelrvaillancourt.com/
Trestle Press can be reached at thier website http://www.trestlepresspublishing.com/