Behind the Book: The Girl in the Steel Corset

Behind the Book is an exclusive feature at Muggle-Born that gives readers an inside look into the editorial process of some of our favorite books. Plot changes, lost characters, and many more interesting topics are tackled in an interview with the author.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Did You Know?

  • Jasper’s last name was changed from Rale because of the similarity with Jasper Hale from Twilight
  • The Girl in the Steel Corset had been tentatively titled Heavy Metal
  • Read on to find out more Behind the Book info about THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET!

How many months did it take for you to write the original draft of THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET?
Hmm. About 4-6, I think. Once I got going the story poured out of me pretty quickly.

How long did the overall production of your book take from the moment you finished writing your book to the final publication date?
I think it was 10-12 months. That’s pretty standard unless the publisher really wants to fast track something. Usually a book comes out a year after it’s written.

Throughout the editorial process were there any significant changes to your story in terms of plot?
No, not really. Although Jasper was originally introduced much earlier in the book. My editor thought it would be better to have him come in later, and I think she was totally right. It gave his character a little more mystery as well.

Did you lose any characters along the way or go through any name changes?
Only one. Jasper’s last name was Rale. Then we realized that was too close to Jasper Hale from Twilight! lol. Needless to say, that got changed very quickly.

What was the most challenging part of writing and the editorial process? Is it any different from the editorial process of your adult novels?
I think the most challenging aspect of any book is balancing plot and character. In my adult books I definitely lean more toward character, but with this book there had to be as much — or more — attention given to the adventure. It is an adventure plot, so the story is more about what’s going on. Also, keeping subplots going is something I have to watch. I can get very myopic in my work and concentrate so much on one aspect that other things get neglected. Thankfully I have always worked with fabulous editors!

Did THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET go through any title changes?
It was tentatively titled ‘Heavy Metal’ when I started working on it. We tossed a lot of ideas back and forth. Finally, Harlequin Teen came up with The Girl in the Steel Corset. I loved it. Even though the corset isn’t a huge part of the book, I think the title really fits the character of Finley. There’s a lot of subtext there. They used to say someone had ‘steel’ in their spine if they were emotionally strong, and that’s true of her. The corset is a symbol of her strength, but also her fragility, and the constraints she lives under — be they real or imagined.

Is there anything else that you could tell us about THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET that we wouldn’t know unless we were part of the editorial team at Harlequin Teen?
Jack Dandy almost stole the entire book! I had to dial back on Jack, because he was simply too fun too write. It was too easy to let him take control and overshadow Griffin, and even Finley! Once I promised him he could have his own book I was able to take back control. It was also a wake up call in that I had made Griffin *too* good. So, I gave Griffin a bit more of an edge (which you’ll see more of in books 2 and 3), and the dynamic worked much better.

For more on The Girl in the Steel Corset, make sure to check out my review!

Previous Behind the Book Features
The Goddess Test & Aimée Carter
Warped & Maurissa Guibord


  1. Neat feature! Interesting to learn about the behind the scenes. I can’t decide if I like Heavy Metal or The Girl in the Steel Corset better.

  2. Wonderful feature! Thank you for having this! I might wanna read this now and find out about Jasper Rale for myself. :D

  3. First of all: Whoa, your site changed! I likey! :)

    That’s interesting about changing Jasper’s name; I had never thought about similar sounding characters names being a problem before, but I can see why.

    Anyway, I like this feature, too. It’s cool to be able to get the interesting tidbits behind that stories.

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