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Misfit Squadron Q & A

Simon Brading

Full time sleepwalker
Published by SLP
If anyone has a question about the Misfit Squadron series then please post here. It doesn't matter whether it's related to the story, technology, characters or the world itself, I will do my best to satisfy your curiosity. As long as it doesn't spoil anything from existing or future books!
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How far in advance do you plan things for the series?
Most books I write I have an initial idea and I run with it and see where the characters take me. That way the story that comes out is often as much a surprise to me as the reader. It was like that with the Misfits initially - I knew that I wanted to start with the Battle of Britain but had nothing else planned, beyond hitting some of the most famous battles of the air war, like Malta.
However, because the direction the Misfit world moves isn't dictated by the characters, but rather by the war, after Muscovy (Russia) and Malta that changed and it soon became clear in which direction things had to go. So, while the characters still have to tell me their own stories, the war itself is planned out and all I, or Freddy Featherstonehaugh, have to do, is put it down in black and white.
Where did you get the idea for the spring-based technology setting? That was certainly an original "-punk" idea and one that put me in mind of how Tony Jones can build scenarios around lesser-known technology paths.
Well, I knew that a fighter aircraft with half decent performance could not be steam-powered, so I really just considered alternatives. Springs seemed obvious as a technology with immense potential that could easily have been developed for centuries and which (hint hint) might have been a contributing factor for internal combustion engines not being adopted to the extent they have been in our world.
What's the reason behind replacing the Nazis with kaisereich-focused Prussia?
Well, there's a long and complicated answer involving social change driven by steam- and spring-powered agriculture and industry making society richer and less work-focussed, which in turn enables culture and education and makes people more satisfied with their rulers... but the short answer is that Prussia and the Kaiser is more "steampunk-ish"!