Meet My Main Character – Santo Innis

9781909624399_FCI’m delighted to be taking part in a continuing series called, “Meet My Main Character,”  the brain child of Debra Brown] who is the Administrator of English Historical Fiction Authors, a really worthwhile website for anyone interested in obscure bits of British history.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person?
Santo Innis is a fictional creation, a Cornish engineer who served his apprenticeship at the world-renowned Perran Foundry and was later seconded to two respected companies in London building marine steam engines.

2) When and where is the story set?
In Cornwall in 1830. The first trials of the Cornish multi-tube boiler using high-pressure steam actually took place here in Falmouth. But while some in the Admiralty were keen to move from sail to steam in the interests of shorter voyage times and increased productivity, many were dead set against it. Contradictory demands for speed and economy were impossible to meet and created intolerable pressures for engineers whose companies were bidding for Admiralty contracts.

3) What should we know about him?
After his parents were killed when he was a child, Santo was brought up in his Uncle George’s house. George Curnock is the head brewer and joint owner of Curnock’s Brewery run by his brother Arthur. George’s son, Treeve, a maltster, is two years older than Santo and has always bitterly resented him. Santo’s engineering skill has impressed shrewd businessman Richard Vaughan, heir to country estate owner, Frederick Tregarron, and despite the class difference their shared interest in hot air technology has drawn them into friendship.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
A ship taking part in boiler trials explodes killing all on board, among them the chief engineer who was Santo’s friend and mentor. Santo’s row with Tregarron costs him his job. With his newly-developed marine engine fitted into a bare hull supplied by Richard, Santo – in debt and in love – agrees to take part in a risky venture that will solve all his financial problems. Instead he loses everything.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Appalled by the number of deaths caused by high-pressure steam boilers exploding, Santo has developed a revolutionary new engine driven by heated air. In love with Bronnen Jewell he feels he cannot propose to her until he has proved himself and cleared his debts.

6) Is there a title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
It’s called ‘Crosscurrents’. You’ll find more about it at

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
The ebook, published by Accent Press, is available at:
The paperback edition will be published on 10th July 2014.

Thank you for visiting.       The next ‘Meet My Main Character’ post will be by Christina Courtenay on July 2nd.
Her website is
Her latest book is The Secret Kiss of Darkness


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