I know Lolita Seleste has regaled you all with her version of the shore leave at the World Steampunk Expo in Dearborn, Michigan, but I wanted to add a little info of my own. Mostly in the form of photos. I do particularly like the one she posted of the two of us with Gail Carriger–major fangirl squeal. I also wanted to mention some of the guests that made my weekend a load of fun as well as educational. First, the phenomenally brilliant Scott and his cohorts at Realtime Portrait Studio. Anyone who can make photos of me look good is a bloody genius!
I’m lucky enough that my husband is willing to tag along with my on my jaunts into alternate history. So here’s the formal photo of the two of us being geeks together, again, thanks to Realtime.
Shopping, was, of course, one of the primary activities. There were fabulous corsets, hats, jewels and all sorts of other accoutrements, both handmade modern and vintage. I was particularly thrilled with corsetiere Ms. Martha, of Ms. Martha’s Corset Shoppe, shown here lacing me into my new favorite black and silver silk. Not only does she sew these marvels, she designed the silk patterns herself and she can lace you up like nobody’s business! I stopped by her booth almost every day for after-car-trip adjustments.
Another vendor I chanced to meet was my unknown “cousin.” The proprietor of Spencer’s Mercantile and I did actually manage to link our families to the same corner of our small, small world. She had wonderful vintage goodies as well as some lovely modern reproduction textiles. I bought cool argyle socks and a pair of vintage shoes!
Author Johnny White, of the Tales of the Airship Neverland, (seated) is showing a cd of his new book to steampunk enthusiast (and panelist) Zebulon Vitruvius Pike (standing). Below, one of the cheerful convention staff happily sells music from Abney Park, Steam Powered Giraffe, The Bawdy Boys, and The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing among other artists. Love her leather-covered cashbox and the old Victrola.
Shopping wasn’t the only passtime, of course!
There were wonderful workshops, especially by Ms. Carriger and Jay Lake. I spent most of a day learning combat maneuvers with weapons like a walking stick, a tophat, a fan , umbrella, hammer or crowbar from the talented ladies and gentlemen of The Theatrical Combat Network. They were remarkably patient of the silliness of me, the world’s biggest klutz, trying to battle my husband, the former military police specialist, who’s also a foot and a quarter taller than me. Finally, Lolita Seleste, myself, and three other authors ended the convention with a panel called “Local Authors Speak.” We talked to an eager group about the variety available in steampunk and some tips on writing and getting published. I also met the talented artist Michael Orlando who showed off his steampunk paintbrush and will actually be tomorrow’s guest on STEAMED!
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Finally, I can’t dash off today without a personal happy squeal, because Kilts & Kraken is now available from Carina Press, my own little story from the seaside. The reviews so far are positive, which is always a huge relief. Thanks for reading and TTFN!
Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.
Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.
As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises – from within the village itself…