Today’s guest Lolita is Emilie P. Bush, author of Chenda and the Airship Broffman. Let’s give her a warm Steampunkapalooza welcome. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky poster.
Emilie P. Bush’s novel Chenda and the Airship Brofman is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel, Powell’s Books, and at several upcoming personal appearances at Sci-Fi conventions, including AnachroCon (Atlanta), Steampunk World’s Fair (Piscataway, New Jersey), Marcon (Columbus, Ohio), ConCarolinas/ Deep South Con (Charlotte, NC) and DragonCon (Atlanta).
Hi! I’m Emilie P. Bush. Long time reader, first time guest blogger.
Thanks to STEAMED! for giving me this opportunity. Now that you’ve given me the soap box, I’m just going to scramble up onto it and put in my plug for independent writers of Steampunk.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Steampunk began as a literary movement – long before many of us were born. I’ve often said that Steampunk is the love child of Mary Shelley, Nicola Tesla, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells (and that’s some weird love geometry, to be sure). The genes are sure there. (All of the works of Shelley, Vern and Wells are available for free in digital formats – and are soworth the reading!) Then there are the true Steampunk classics — the roots of the modern movement: Gibson and Sterling’s The Difference Engine, Jeter’s Infernal Devices, and Blaylock’s Homunculus, among many others.
In the last several years, the genre has exploded. Short Stories, periodicals, novella’s and novels. Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker is nominated for a Hugo this year! The work is good and plentiful.
Which brings me to the point. I’m a self published author, releasing late last year Chenda and the Airship Brofman. Several years ago, self publishing was the literary equivalent of dressing a hooker up and taking her to the prom. It’s what people who couldn’t get published by “real” publishing houses did. In recent years, the taboo about self publishing has changed, and for a very Steampunk reason. Nothing can stop the cream from rising to the top. The tastes of readers can change faster than the process of traditional publishers. Fueled by the can-do attitude that runs through the Steampunk society, I went for it.
And then, when my little masterpiece, my precious baby snowflake was finished, I let it go out into the world. There were good reviews and great reviews, and copies stared to sell to people who weren’t friends of my mom. E-mails from strangers came in telling me how much they liked the book! There’s nothing like a little positive feedback to let a writer know they are not just self deluding ego maniacs.
To be sure, self publishing is a hard row to hoe. Traditional publishing houses are very good at two things – marketing and distribution. In the digital age, distribution has become a snap for the independent author – thanks in no small part to Amazon.com and similar sites. Marketing is left in the author’s hands. The Internet can help there too, but one has to be willing to go out, each and every day, to put that precious snowflake into the light. No mistake, this is a JOB.
Looking to get a little more exposure earlier this year, I entered Chenda and the Airship Brofman into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. Just me and 9,999 others. After several rounds of cuts, my little Steampunk adventure tale is a Quarterfinalist. The next round of cuts is TODAY. I’m thrilled and nauseated at the same time. Somewhere along the line, this ABNA competition became important to me. Personal.
I started to write Chenda out of a strange compulsion – feeling like I would die a horrible death or something if I didn’t write. The adventure flew out of me, and I was taking this shell of a woman out of her element, breaking down her world, roughing her up and sending her aloft on an airship. She traveled to places she never thought she would see and accepted a gift from the gods themselves. In the end, she became stronger, and finally became commander of her own life.
Like Chenda, I am looking for my place in the literary world, and I am choosing my own path to get there. I’m working hard, and pushing with my can – do attitude. I ask you now to take a look at some of the good independent Steampunk literature available on line and in periodicals like Steampunk Tales and Steampunk Magazine. They are bargains in e-formats (from FREE to a buck or two each – $3 for the Kindle version of my book) and well worth your time.
I also challenge you to recommend what you like. Twitter, Facebook and tap out your new finds in Morse code to anyone who’s listening. There’s more good independent Steampunk stuff out there to shout about. So, have your own adventure, find some hidden treasures and spread the word!
Thank you so much, Emilie, for visiting us today. Good luck!
Emilie is giving away a copy of her book. To win, simply post a comment or question for Emilie. Contest closes on Friday, April 30th at 11:59 pm. Winner will be announced Monday, May 3rd.