Carina Press Week continues during our last week of Steampunkapalooza. Don’t forget to comment every day for a chance to win a prize pack of Carina Press Steampunk e-books.
First we have the winner of one of Leanna Renee Hieber’s Percy Parker books:
Speaking of Steampunk goodies, there’s an epic contest going on right now at the ARe Cafe sponsored by our friends at the ARe Steam Society. They’re giving away twelve different Steampunk e-books and steampunk hair stuff (and who doesn’t want steampunk hair stuff.) Check it out.
Today we welcome Christine Bell.
Christine Bell is one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun and adventure-filled romance stories, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page.
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale
by Christine Bell
First, let me say that I am SO excited about Steampunk Week at Carina Press! There is a great line up of books and authors, and I’m honored to be a part of it. The covers have all been gorgeous, and Carina made this cool video trailer so this has been a really fun month so far.
What I love the most, though, is the spread we’ve got. While all of this week’s books have steampunk elements, they also run the gamut of sub-genres. From erotic to paranormal, from western to time travel romance, the bases are covered.
Now, I know some purists who like their steampunk EXTRA steampunk-y, with nuttin’ else mucking it up. I’m not one of those people. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy straight steampunk. I truly do. But, as a reader, I also love seeing it mixed with other sub-genres to come up with something new and fresh. And, as an author, I like the freedom of taking the things I enjoy most when I’m reading and mashing them together.
When I was writing The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale, I knew I wanted it to be a time travel romance with a steampunk feel. I also had a loose outline of the plot. What I didn’t know was that my main character, Stormy, was going to be sarcastic and really funny. Since the tale is told from her point of view, I let her dictate the tone of the book. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with my character and, even though I knew I was veering a bit from the traditional, dark-ish, dystopian vibe that is so often present in steampunk, I couldn’t bring myself to change it. So, while there is a bit of grit (think medieval torture chambers and sanitariums) and it’s chock full of characters living on the fringe of society (think street urchins, fortune tellers and time pirates) my world is actually pretty much like real-world London and real world New England during the Victorian Era.
Instead, I chose to “get my steampunk on” through the invention of time travel complete with gears and goggles and wormholes, which only my characters are aware of. At the end of the day, I tried to deliver a really fun adventure story that both satisfies the steampunk craving, while still capturing a feeling of hope and happy-ever-after. I hope I succeeded!
So, how about you? Are you a purist, or do you like to see a mix of genres? Are there facets of steampunk you feel are integral to the genre that you just can’t live without?
One commenter will win an awesome mug featuring my book cover, plus a set of my Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale romance trading cards (which, I must say, are drool-worthy)!
Oh, there’s still room in my May steampunk online writing workshop. This one will be really hands on to help you develop and finish your ms. We may even get into pitching… Info here.
So how do you like your steampunk? Straight up or mixed up?
One lucky commenter on today’s post will win a “Stormy Gale” mug and romance trading cards. Contest open until May 4th, 11:59 PM PST. Grand prize contest is open internationally. One entry, per person, per blog post during Carina Press week (so, if you comment all four days, you get four entries). Enter by leaving a comment in the comment box. Contest ends May 8, 11:59 PM PST.