Tomorrow I’ll be over at Coffee Time Romance for the California Authors RT Kickoff Party. You have to register with the forum to participate, but it’s free. You can put “suzannelazear” in the refferal box so they know you’re from Steamed! It runs from Midnight to Midnight March 25th and there will be tons of authors there.
Steampunkapalooza 2011 is starting soon. Have you seen our lineup and entered our giveaway yet?
Today we welcome author Seleste deLaney.
An avid reader of all things speculative, Seleste deLaney broke into the ebook world in the summer of 2010 with her erotic paranormal short story, Of Course I Try, the firs in her Blood Kissed Series. Badlands is her first, but definitely not last, foray into the world of steampunk. When not escaping to made up worlds, Seleste makes her home in southwest Michigan with her husband, two children, and two dogs who remind her at every turn that the real world needs her attention upon occasion too.
Why the West?
I read once that in the US, people who write steampunk fall into two camps based on geography. Those who live in east coast states write Victorian steampunk, those in the west coast states write Old West steampunk. I’m not really sure what that says about those of us who live in the middle. People have asked me more than once why I set my story in the Old West when Victorian steampunk has legions of fans already, especially among romance readers who don’t see it as too far a jump from historicals. Old West steampunk might pull some western fans, but without the promise of cowboys, it’s a much more difficult crossover.
So, yeah, a smart fledgling author probably would have gone Victorian.
But even knowing that, I prefer not to think I’m stupid. For me, the setting was all about the story I wanted to tell.
Once I started thinking about it, there was no question where Badlands would be set. Ever, my rather unconventional heroine, wouldn’t have been accepted in Victorian England…at all. While it seems feisty heroines are okay in that world, Ever goes far beyond spunk in a corset. She’s a near-man-hater with a penchant for violence and zero tolerance for propriety for the sake of propriety. In short, she’s far too rough around the edges to find even an uncomfortable place in Victorian society.
But in an untamed Old West? She might have a home there.
Then again, the west was still ruled by testosterone in those days (as most places are even now). That was the point when I considered the possibility of the west being something other than uncharted territory. Right around that time, someone brought up a western either set in Australia or starring an Australian actor (I don’t really recall) and all the pieces fell into place. If the west was treated as untamable and unwanted, turned into essentially a prison-nation, what type of life would develop there?
Suddenly, Ever had a place—one where a woman like her was not only accepted but appreciated and even revered. And even more, it became a landscape where the trappings of steampunk would be displayed in a different light than they would against the backdrop of a Victorian world. There the crisp clean curves of a dirigible stand in stark contrast to the harsh jagged mountain peaks. And the shining clockworks glisten against the rough grit and dirt. It would be a world where such things are coveted and feared in equal amounts.
In short, it became an evil scientist’s play land.
But to Ever and the women she commands, it is simply home.
Badlands (Now available from Carina Press):
After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation’s border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.
Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen’s assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever’s reluctant ally.
As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands— if death doesn’t find them first…