Tag Archive | steampunk

Guest Post: Jeffrey Cook on Building a Story

Welcome another Pirate, Mateys! I love hearing how other writers get their ideas, don’t you? You can catch him at his website, www.authorjeffreycook.com or his Facebook Page  or on twitter at @jeffreycook74.

When approaching new projects, in whatever genre, I tend to start with the characters, and then build the world around them. When writing the Dawn of Steam series, my first venture into Steampunk, I hadn’t specifically intended to write a Steampunk series. Instead, I woke up one morning from a waking dream with two of the characters almost fully fleshed out. I wrote down the ideas before I lost them, and then started to research a world where both of them would fit. 


    A few friends introduced me to the Steampunk genre. The Victorian Age wasn’t quite right for my characters, but had a lot of the right elements. I researched further back in time as my story took shape, its timeline mostly following history, but including a few points where specific events happened that allowed for an Earth that was moving towards a Steampunk reality. Because of the two characters who showed up first, the story became “Emergent Steampunk” — at least one potential story explaining where reality may have shifted to make a lot of common Steampunk tropes “true.” From that focus came the title of the overall series.


   Katherine Perkins and I followed a similar process for some short stories. When we were presented with an anthology looking for stories, looking to reach a wider Steampunk audience in general, we worked together on two characters, Luca and Emily. They fit into a more standard Victorian Steampunk reality. Most of their stories involve a real world event and occasionally real historical figures of the 1880’s and 1890’s. Our Avast submission, “Maiden Voyage,” ended up a little different for lack of real-world airships — but it’s still first and foremost about the characters and how they ended up shaped by and shaping the technology and social mores of their time.

Get your pens ready: Submission call

I promised to get this to you this weekend and am scraping in by the skin of my teeth! I love Mocha Memoirs Press, and they currently have a Steampunk Anthology call out. Go check it out here   You’ll notice that they are also looking for a couple of types of romances… I don’t write those, so all I can tell you is this: I love my publisher and they are great to work with!

I actually finally got a beginning that I like for my story for the anthology. Sweet! The Golden Apple‘s book birthday on Friday was wonderful. Thank you all! The best compliment I’ve gotten on it has to do with one of the interludes, and I think I’ll discuss that in it’s own post. The subject matter kind of dictates that. So. I have one just published. One in with the publisher. One being written, and then next perking around on a back burner.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I love my life!

Seriously, if you write romance or Steampunk, go check out the guidelines. That is what they are currently looking for, but check back lots. We also do Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy… Lots of stuff!

Love you all!

Steampunk-a-pallooza

In honor of my very good friend, Rie Rose’s release of The Marvelous Mechanical Man, we’re gonna look at steampunk. It’s surprisingly appropriate, since she is the one who first turned my attention to the sub-genre.

 The Marvelous Mechanical Man By Rie Rose.

Ohhh… I am so happy to finally be able to talk about this title. I had the privilege of being a Beta Reader for this story. (A Beta Reader, for those who don’t know, is among the first people to read the story after the author thinks it’s ready. It may go through a couple of rounds, but it gives invaluable insight into the reader’s experience to the author.)

I love the heroine, Jo Mann. Jo is resourceful, bright and has sass to spare. Professor Conn is the classic absent minded variety, except… Except when he isn’t. Like when he agrees to hire Jo as his assistant J This book hooked me from page one and kept me there until the very end. Can’t wait for the next book! Hey Rie Sheridan Rose! We want more Conn-Mann!

A note about this book. The book is set in New York City. It’s one of the very few steampunk novels set in America that I like. Mostly, I like the Victorian England ones, although I can’t put my finger on why. It could be that since I already live in the US, I enjoy living vicariously through my heroines. However, this one was done so well, that I really didn’t miss tea time much at all LOL.

And just so you know, Rie Reccomended to me:

Gail Carriger, the Parasol Protectorate series (incl. Soulless, Timeless, Heartless, etc.). Alpha werewolves? A No-nonsense heroine? Check and check. Great series, I devoured them all.

And then I found on my own:

Cindy Spencer Pape,  Moonlight and Mechanicals and also Kilts & Kraken (what is it with Kraken’s lately?)

If you like steampunk, with a shot of feisty heroines and sometimes, a romance… Give any of these authors a try. It’s well worth it.

 

And if you want to go catch my short, short mood vampire piece, you can grab it over at the MMP blog today. Pop back in and let me know what you think.

Have you read any of the above titles or authors? Do you like steampunk? What authors/titles do you recommend? What do you like about the genre, and what drives you batty?