Magical expert determined to outsmart mysterious mask

Journey across the U.S. in fast-paced and witty steampunk fantasy

Nashville, TN – Brace for a very wild adventure across the U.S. in Honor Raconteur’s Rise of the Catalyst (Raconteur House LLC, May 31, 2022). Follow Arwen Arnoult, a no-nonsense visually-impaired magical retrieval expert who uses her magical senses to uncover the truth behind magical artifacts. When she’s approached by the director of the Boston Museum with a mysterious mask, she and her companion, Flo McGrath, are baffled by its energy and origins. But they’re not ready to give up sending them off on a journey towards the U.S. Southwest to return it to where it belongs…maybe.

One ancient mask with earth-bending powers searching for a bearer. One magical retrieval expert who is determined to seal it back in its tomb.

At the moment, both are failing at their goals, but Arwen is not about to be bested. So what if she doesn’t know what culture it’s from or where to put it back. She’s smarter than a semi-sentient mask. Hopefully. But if the thrice-cursed mask breaks out of her seal one more time, she’s melting it with prejudice, magical backlash be damned.

“Rise of the Catalyst”
Honor Raconteur | May 31, 2022 | Raconteur House LLC
Steampunk Fantasy
ebook | ASIN: B09VCX18JV | $4.99

HONOR RACONTEUR: Ever since Honor Raconteur was a toddler, she has been making up stories. She would entertain anyone willing to listen to her wild fantasies about unicorns and gargoyles and amazing people. At 13, she started writing the stories down. At 23, she finished the first book that was good enough to publish.

She put Jaunten out as an ebook, created a website and forum so that fans could communicate with her, and spread the word as best she could. Within three months, Jaunten was selling internationally. Within five months, Honor was making enough to quit the day job and sit at home, writing full time.

Honor has continued to write and publish the rest of her books through Raconteur House. When she’s not writing or editing, Honor likes to go out into the community and give presentations of how to be an author. Even if Honor abruptly stopped selling books tomorrow, she would still continue to write. Creating characters and worlds is that much fun. You can find Honor on her website:

In an interview, Honor Raconteur can discuss:

  • The Case Files of Henri Davenforth series
  • Writing a visually impaired main character
  • Creating a strong female duo in Arwen and Flo and how they help each other through adversity
  • Creating an alternate history from actual events
  • Writing humor without removing the seriousness of the story
  • The importance of found family for Arwen

An Interview with Honor Raconteur

This isn’t your first fantasy novel, but it’s the first one including a lot of historical research to back up your story. What was that process like?

Every story takes a lot of research, really. This one was more arduous than most. I teamed up with a historian and spent six months learning about the Anasazi, what 1907 America was like, etc.

What was your approach with writing a visually impaired character?

I asked a lot of questions of people who are visually impaired. I took what they told me, refined it down to parameters for my character, and hopefully have created someone that is both unique but relatable.

How does creating Rise of the Catalyst differ from the other novels you’ve written?

It’s far more alternate history based than anything else I’ve written. Most of my career, I wrote high fantasy. Steampunk is something I’m relatively new to but I’m enjoying this blend of science and magic very much.

What were some of the challenges of recreating actual historical events?

Not being able to just write my own rules, honestly. That was the real challenge. I had a lot of notes, timelines, maps of that area, all over my desk just to help me keep things straight.

There’s also a lot of humor in this story while still being a serious fantasy. How do you balance the two?

Isn’t that how life really is, though? Nothing is always serious, or always funny, it’s a blend of the two throughout the day. I try to keep that vibe in my writing. I’m really just following my character around and writing up the incident report, so of course she’d do funny things too, or so I’d think.

While Arwen and Flo are work partners, they also seem very close. What was it like to write these two characters and their relationship?

I knew going into the story that Arwen would need a full team, and she’d have to have a female companion according to the rules of society of that time. She wouldn’t have been allowed out of the house otherwise. I created Flo for her as not only a helper, but a friend, as she needed one.

What can we expect from Arwen in the future?

All of the magical shenanigans. Not to mention her sassing ancient artifacts that keep trying to escape her seals.

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