Today we welcome author Candance “Candy” Havens.
Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley and now writes for the Blaze line of Harlequin. She is the also the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, and George Clooney. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. Find out more at http://www.candacehavens.com
A funny thing happened on the way to writing a Steampunk novel
by Candace Havens
A funny thing happened on the way to writing a Steampunk novel. I love reading them, but didn’t think I’d ever write one. That is, until one day, out of the blue, one of the coordinators for Dallas’ Fen Con asked if I would contribute a short story to their program for the fall con.
When I asked what the theme would be, he told me Southern Steampunk.
I didn’t know what that was.
Luckily, I was at another con in Oklahoma City, and there were several panels/classes about Steampunk. That’s when an idea for a female Sherlock Holmes flashed through my mind. She was on the run, and on the hunt. Boom! Dr. Maisy Clark was born. Her story begins in a cemetery just outside of Fort Worth, Texas, where’s she’s hunting down a paranormal killer. It’s kind of Sherlock Holmes meets the Wild Wild West, with a little Buffy thrown in. She’s tough, kick butt and she always gets her – um, creature.
The story was published in the con program and then a few months later I happened to see a tweet about someone looking for Steampunk stories. I answered back to see if the editor might like to see my short story. She said yes. About an hour later I had a deal to make the story into a novella. Then the next morning she wanted to know if I could do a four-book series with the character.
I’m Candy Havens, so of course I said, “yes.”
Never in my life have I done so much research. Luckily, I’m a big fan of science and gadgets. Some of the items in the book come from real sources – others are ones I made up that I thought might be appropriate for the time. And I’m learning to be a fan of that time period of history. So much happened in the 1890s and it’s fun to weave those facts into the fiction.
Maisy is a scientist, and has her lab on a steam powered train called The Iron Witch. I love trains, and she needed a fast way to get from one state to another. (The first full-length novel takes place in New Orleans.) I loved the fact that she’s searching for these paranormal creatures, and at the same time is a respected scientist. I may have thrown in a handsome U.S. Marshal for her to save. Oh, and there is Barnes, a Scotsman who is her trusty sidekick and former manny. The train is also her home, so each car has a purpose. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you like a paranormal mystery with some steampunk, you might want to check it out.
Iron Demon, the novella will be out in January. I hope you’ll give it a look.
I’d like to know some of your favorite steampunk gadgets, jewelry and stories.
And for the record, I’m now a steampunk addict. Don’t get me started on the steampunk clothing and jewelry on Etsy. (Smile)