When we Frank and I started collaborating on Duck Blood Soup, the first discussions were around basic plot and genre.  I have always been a fan of Fantasy novels by Weis and Hickmann, R. A. Salvatore, and of course J. R. R. Tolkien.  Frank taste were a bit wider, covering Science Fiction and Historical Fiction, as well as more of the military and spy novels.  Oddly enough, Frank had little taste for Fantasy novels.

Frank suggested that we stick in the Fantasy realm, but switch from Swords and Sorcery to Muskets and Magic.  We had no idea of the growing genre of Steam Punk that covers these types of books.