Welcome to Steampunkapalooza! For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, every April we here at Steamed host Steampunkapalooza–a whole month of guests, prizes, and mayhem.
Today we welcome the fabulous Zoë Archer who’s Ether Chronicles series will be available April 3! (Great series title, right?)
Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles. Nico’s story in the world of The Ether Chronicles will be available in July 2012. Please visit Zoë on the Web at http://www.zoearcherbooks.com/
Why steampunk? by Zoë Arche
Good question! While there were some steampunk-like elements in my Blades of the Rose series, I never thought of it as particularly steampunk. In the Blades series, I wanted to incorporate James Bond-like gadgets that utilized Victorian technology, but I’d classify those books as paranormal historical adventure romance, not so much as steampunk.
I love writing historical romance, but there are aspects that can be very constraining for my female characters. A woman who steps outside of societal expectations has an uphill battle, continually fighting for equality and recognition from a culture that privileges men. In steampunk, however, because we can create alternate timelines, we can also create alternate societies that don’t have the same restrictions for women.
By tweaking aspects of Victorian society, I can write women who can be airship pilots, scientists and scholars*, mechanics, or, in the case of the heroine of SKIES OF FIRE, spies trained in explosives. I love having a historical society where I don’t have to create complex rationales or circumstances that enable my heroines to be active, physically and intellectually respected, and capable of kicking serious butt.
Likewise, by having airships, my characters can travel the globe in a much shorter amount of time—which means greater diversity, both in terms of characters as well as setting. The world was always a diverse place, and continues to be so, and I really like being able to reflect that variety in a historical setting.
Plus, writing steampunk romance means I can go as wild as I like with the technology. Granted, I try not to make the tech too outrageous, and work to have a thread of scientific possibility in everything. It’s important to know the why of a piece of technology, since that makes for a more rich reading experience. However, now I can have airships powered by man/machine hybrids called Man O’Wars, ether guns, and complex automata. What writer wouldn’t love that kind of freedom?
So, I’m incredible excited to immerse myself in the steampunk world of the Ether Chronicles, starting with SKIES OF FIRE.
And now, a discussion question: If you’re a writer and write steampunk, what is it about the genre that attracted you to it? If you’re a reader of steampunk, what is it that steampunk gives you that you can’t get in any other genre? Leave a comment, and I’ll pick a winner to receive a print copy of SKIES OF FIRE!
*There were women in the actual 19th century who were scientists and scholars, but many had a difficult time getting recognition and acceptance for their work.
SKIES OF FIRE: The Ether Chronicles Book 1
Man made of metal and flesh
Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years beforewhen he was still just a man. Now he’s superhuman—a Man O’ War, made as part of the British Navy’s weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw.
A most inconvenient desire
Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe . . . and still get out alive.
~ Zoë Archer