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Archive for February, 2014

Everyday Steampunk

Most of us don’t live in a world where hoops and corsets or top hats & goggles are part of our daily wardrobe. Weekends maybe, but only a few of us live a total steampunk lifestyle every day.

When I look back at my life, I realize I was a little bit steampunk before the word was coined. I’ve got a collection of vintage and vintage-style jewelry that I’ve been wearing since junior high or so. I’ve always loved long, full skirts and lacy blouses, even when my daily uniform consisted of jeans and T-shirts. (I worked in zoos and nature centers. Those really WERE uniforms.) Still, when I had my choice, I dressed up my zoo style by adding cool boots and long khaki skirts instead of just hikers and cargos. So, even then I was living a little bit steampunk whenever I could. My home has always reflected this as well, with an odd collection of ornaments from all over the world and all different eras. I love pretty china dishes and funky industrial appliances with equal fervor. What used to be considered just plain weird is steampunk now.

So how about the rest of you? Any hints in your past, anything that could have pointed to steampunk in your future?

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SHATW2014

Continuing on from the February 7, 2014 post “Place Based” Inspiration, some of our returning contributors and a couple of new volunteers have widened our net of Worldly Inspiration…

hungary

201frontuse

haiku sugar amalia

228frontuse

shuttle

ladysmokeuse

60walnutuse

japan

Adding to our places from my last post, we know have a few more stars to add to our sky…

Kevin Steil is the creator and editor for the Steampunk news and resource website and blog, Airship Ambassador, and the Executive Director and Curator of The Steampunk Museum.  He has been a guest and speaker at several steampunk conventions, presenting interviews and panel discussions about the community, books, movies, and more.
Airship Ambassador
http://www.airshipambassador.com/
The Steampunk Museum
http://www.thesteampunkmuseum.com/
AATV, The Steampunk Channel on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/AirshipAmbassador/videos?flow=grid&view=1

Amalia: I came into contact with Steampunk about 3 years ago and started organizing meet ups in Hamburg in 2012. I participated in the first German Steampunk festival Aethercircus as a portrait artist and in my free time I like drawing or painting steampunkish and other art, which can be seen here:
http://amalias-dream.deviantart.com/
Some of my Steampunk objects can be seen here (German website):
http://www.silestin.de/Steampunk-Objekte.html

Krista Cagg: Age is irrelevant. It’s all subjective. Let’s just say that Krista Cagg is old enough to know better, but young enough to not care. She lives in northern central Pennsylvania with Pete the Wonder Wiener, her husband and her mother. Having spent most of two decades living in the deep south, she has come to appreciate a good snowfall and a decided lack of large spiders. She is typically neck deep in multiple writing projects which isn’t as impressive as it seems since she is rather short. Given the opportunity, she prefers a little horror in her steampunk.
Connect with Krista using these links
https://www.facebook.com/kristacagg
Twitter: @kristacagg
amazon.com/author/kristacagg

Patxi Larrabe:  From Berango in the Basque Country of Spain, Patxi contributes to the Steampunk magazine “El Investigador.” A member of the independent artistic collective “Mercenarios de DIOS,” he is also a founding member of the Basque Steampunk community, Basque Steampunk.

Lady Smoke (Andrea D. Boglioli): She’s a retronaut, seeker of lost memories in the coffers of a time that could have been. Spontaneous promoter of Retrofuturisms and Steampunk music in Latin America.   Founder of “Sociedad Steampunk Argentina”, “Sindicato Dieselpunk”, “Dieselpunk Argentina” and “Steamgoth Argentina”.   Organizer of Steampunk/Die-selpunk events for “Argentina”. She’s member of the artistic collective Mercenarios de DIOS; she’s also dedicated to the analysis of the scene from different contexts and cultures where it could be developed.  She’s from Buenos Aires, Argentina; her real name in Andrea R. Díaz Boglioli. Her interest in the scene led her to promote and revive the community of her country that was inactive with only 80 members back in 2011.   From then on, the growth was continuous and make them able to establish a stable community with regular meetings, participating in various conventions and organizing their own events.   Being their main goal to save the manners and lost elements of the history of their own culture, from the era in which the Steampunk is inspired, amalgam with the current era, considering herself as a “Retrofuturistic Maleva”, or a Steampunk with a twist of Tango
Blog: http://ladysmokenoir.blogspot.com.ar/

From Ray Dean: Howdy from Hawai’i, folks! I’ve been a guest blogger on Steamed! on several occasions, but thanks to Suzanne who gave me the opportunity to do this on a regular basis. So the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month you will be subjected… err… entertained(?) by my blog posts… YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED, I said… *cough*

Anywho… A hui hou (Until we meet again) – Ray Dean – www.raydean.net – My Ethereality

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February is a party month, a birthday party month that is for many great 19th century writers, scientist, and innovators, who had a huge impact on the Victorian era and beyond:

  • Charles Dickens, February 7, 1812
  • Jules Verne, February 8, 1828
  • Thomas Edison, February 11, 1847
  • Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1809
  • Charles Darwin, February 12, 1809
  • George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., inventor of the Ferris Wheel, February 14, 1859
  • Susan B. Anthony, February 15, 1820
  • 288Levi Strauss, inventor of blue jeans, February 26, 1829
  • Buffalo Bill Cody, February 26, 1846
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, February 27, 1807

And in Houston, Texas on February 8th we partied like it was 1849, celebrating the 165th birthday of the Father of Science Fiction, Jules Verne. Thanks to the Alternate Reality Group of Houston (ARGH), who put on the fun event at Katy Budget books with cakes and games and giveaways to honor Jules Verne. The  luscious cakes , one vanilla, one chocolate, were decorated with the image of a French postage stamp honoring Jules Verne and the cover of Around the World in 80 Days.  My favorite Jules’Verne quote is from Around the World in Eighty Days –  “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”

The Big Kahuna of ARGH gives away a Jules Verne book to the proud winner of the Jules Verne quiz.

Speaking of quotes and other Jules Verne’s trivia, the ARGH created a fun Jules Verne quiz and gave the winner a Jules Verne hardcover book.

We all had a blast celebrating and many of us came decked out in our finest Steampunk attire to celebrate this Science Ficiton pioneer. Jules Verne had fifty four books published in his lifetime.

  • 1863 – Five Weeks in a Balloon – Cinq semaines en ballon
  • 1866 – The Adventures of Captain Hatteras – Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras
  • 1864 – revised 1867 – Journey to the Center of the Earth -Voyage au centre de la Terre
  •  1865 – From the Earth to the Moon -De la terre à la lune
  • 1867 – In Search of the Castaways – Les Enfants du capitaine Grant
  • 1869 – Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea – Vingt mille lieues sous les mers
  • 1870 – Around The Moon – Autour de la lune
  • 1871 – A Floating City – Une ville flottante
  • 1872 – The Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa –  Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais
  • 1873 – The Fur Country – Le Pays des fourrures
  • 1873 – Around the World in Eighty Days – Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
  •  1874 – The Mysterious Island – L’Île mystérieuse
  • 1875 – The Survivors of the Chancellor – Le Chancellor
  • 1876 – Michel Strogoff
  • 1877 – Off on a Comet – Hector Servadac
  • 1877 – The Child of the Cavern – Les Indes noires
  • 2751878 – Dick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen – Un capitaine de quinze ans
  • 1879 – The Begum’s Millions, – Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum
  • 2811879 – Tribulations of a Chinaman in China – Les Tribulations d’un chinois en Chine
  • 1880 – The Steam House – La Maison à vapeur
  • 1881 – Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon – La Jangada
  • 1882 – Godfrey Morgan – L’École des Robinsons
  • 1882 – The Green Ray – Le Rayon vert
  • 1883 – Kéraban the Inflexible – Kéraban-le-têtu
  • 1884 – The Vanished Diamond – L’Étoile du sud
  • 1884 – The Archipelago on Fire – L’Archipel en feu
  • 1885 – Mathias Sandorf
  • 1886 – The Lottery Ticket – Un billet de loterie
  • 1886 – Robur the Conqueror – Robur-le-Conquérant
  • 1887 – North Against South – Nord contre Sud
  • 1887 – The Flight to France – Le Chemin de France
  • 1888- Two Years’ Vacation – Deux Ans de vacances
  • 1889- Family Without a Name -Famille-sans-nom
  • 1889 – The Purchase of the North Pole -Sans dessus dessous
  • 1890 – César Cascabel
  • 1891 – Mistress Branican
  • 1892 – Carpathian Castle – Le Château des Carpathes
  • 1892 – Claudius Bombarnac
  • 1893 – Foundling Mick – P’tit-Bonhomme
  • 1894 – Captain Antifer – Mirifiques Aventures de Maître Antifer
  • 1895 – Propeller Island – L’Île à hélice
  • 1896 – Facing the Flag – Face au drapeau
  • 1896 – Clovis Dardentor
  • 1897 – An Antarctic Mystery – Le Sphinx des glaces
  • 1898 – The Mighty Orinoco – Le Superbe Orénoque
  • 1899 – The Will of an Eccentric – Le Testament d’un excentrique
  • 1900 – The Castaways of the Flag – Seconde Patrie
  • 1901 – The Village in the Treetops – Le Village aérien
  • 1901 – The Sea Serpent – Les Histoires de Jean-Marie Cabidoulin\
  • 1902 – The Kip Brothers – Les Frères Kip
  • 903 – Traveling Scholarships – Bourses de voyage
  • 1904 – A Drama in Livonia – Un drame en Livonie
  • 1904 – Master of the World – Maître du monde
  • 1905 – Invasion of the Sea – L’Invasion de la mer

He was a busy writer. And he wrote all his books in careful longhand – he didn’t use a typewriter, though they were invented in the 1860s. What is your favorite Jules Verne book? Feel free to answer in the comments below.

~      ~      ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 19 books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, fantasy and happy endings. Her latest Steampunk/Romance is Conquistadors In Outer Space. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Or not.

Today is a happy day when you’re in love. Every shop has heart-shaped chocolate boxes and silly plush animals holding “I luv u” hearts. Jewelry stores have specials on diamonds and rings. Couples choose this day to get married or propose. My husband proposed on Valentine’s Day 14 years ago.

It’s all so very romantic…if you’re in love.

If you’re heartbroken or you’re alone or, worse, you’re recovering from intimate partner violence, nothing can seem more cruel than Valentine’s Day because cupid’s arrow has fractured your very soul.

ValentinesDayOMG

Start with a short story for under $2.00, some less than $1,00! That’s less than a good cup of coffee (or any cup of coffee, really).

  • Clockwork Heart,” only $1.49 on Kindle, tells a story about a man who went to horrific lengths to keep his love alive. Written in the Victorian style of H. G. Wells.
  • Heart of Stone, Flesh of Ice,” only $1.49 on Kindle, is based in Japanese Mythology about a supernatural creature who punishes those who exploit, disrespect, and deceive women.
  • The Handy Man,” only $1.99 on Kindle, is an erotic Steampunk story about a man who goes into the business of pleasing women.
  • A Kiss in the Rain,” only $0.99 on Kindle, is an erotic Gothic love story about a man who couldn’t let go of his wife, even after death.
  • Of Aether and Aeon,” only $0.99 on Kindle, is the first short story I wrote. It’s a tragic tale of a woman trapped in a time loop of falling in love and watching her lover die.
  • Zeppelin Dreams,” only $0.99 on Kindle, tells the tragic story of a woman waiting for her phantom lover.

If you want to take a bigger leap, or if you already know you love my writing, please support my work by buying one of my novels:

  • Avalon Revisited. My first novel, and the Amazon.com Gothic Romance bestseller, not to mention Steampunk Chronicles Best Novel for 2012. Available in paperback, Kindle, and other eBook versions. $9.62 paperback; $5.99 Kindle.
  • Avalon Revamped, its sequel, of sorts. This horror steampunk novel follows Constance, a succubus who punishes men that hurt women. Perhaps Arthur is next. $11.66 paperback; $5.99 Kindle (or borrow for FREE with Amazon Prime)
  • The Zombies of Mesmer, the first Nickie Nick Vampire Hunter novel. Teen Steampunk Romance. $11.66 paperback; $3.99 Kindle.
  • The Ghosts of Southwark, its sequel. $11.28 paperback; $5.99 Kindle.

Additionally, more of my work can be found in anthologies and magazines on my Amazon Author Page.

May you all find love, ecstasy, or sweet revenge this Valentine’s Day.

See you in Denver next month at AnomalyCon!

Come up, shake my hand, and tell me you read me on STEAMED!  x0

-_Q

OMG_2013Olivia M. Grey lives in the cobwebbed corners of her mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited and its sequel Avalon Revamped. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.

Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com

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SHATW2014

When a Steampunk friend clued me into a call by Kevin Steil of Airship Ambassador for participants in his February 2014 “Steampunk: Hands Around the World,” I was more than happy to think of a number of fun things to do…

Today, we’re talking about INSPIRATION!  Ideas you can get from a place… a window… a doorway… a dark path… a once-proud stone visage of a building.

I’ve asked a number of Steampunks from around the world to send me pictures of Victorian Era locations that they are familiar with. They’ll let us know what the buildings were used for in the Era of Steam and then give us a quick idea or two of what that building could be when used to inspire a fertile Steampunk imagination!

So, read… think… imagine!

FIRST up – Dover Whitecliff and I share a common past… our school! We were both graduates of Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States… here, she thinks about the oldest existing building on campus, Old School Hall.

DWbuildinguse

Next, Emma Jane Holloway brings us images of a Castle –

EJHbuildingpost

Amy DeClerck sends us an image of a Victorian Era Crematorium-

ADbuildinguse

Marcus R Gilman brings us a dangerous hideout idea near Munich –

MGbuildinguse

Krista Cagg has a  loverly-like Victorian home in her area…

KCbuildinguse

Patxi Larrabe tells us about a steam furnace in Basque Country –

Pbuildinguse

Our participants –

Dover Whitecliff : Dover Whitecliff was born in the shadow of Fujiyama, raised in the shadow of Olomana, and lives where she can see the shadow of Mt. Shasta if she squints and it’s a really clear day. She is a wild and woolly wordsmith, a blogger, an analyst, and a jack-of-all-trades, but mostly a writer. She has been writing since the ripe old age of nine and won her first ten-speed as a fifth grader with a first place entry into Honolulu Advertiser’s “Why Hawaii Isn’t Big Enough For Litter” contest. Dover currently spends her free time writing the stories inside her that are fighting to get out, and playing Rock Band with her husband, big brother, little brother, and consigliere, all of whom will graciously allow her to touch the instruments on occasion, but mostly just hand off the microphone so she can sing. She lives in Sacramento, California with her very patient and wonderful husband and several hundred bears.

Study Silks small version_1Emma Jane Holloway : the author of The Baskerville Affair trilogy, a Steampunk fantasy involving a prince, automatons, sorcerers, sundry pirates, talking mice, a large mechanical caterpillar, castles, ballrooms and murder. And, yes, Holmes and Watson take their turn upon the stage. *photo credit: Devin Card Photography*

Visit her web page: http://www.emmajaneholloway.com/Look here for free short stories and excerpts from the Baskerville Affair universe

Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmmaJaneHollowayAuthor

Like her on Twitter https://twitter.com/EmmaJHolloway

Amy DeClerck:  Born in the mountains of NC. She currently resides near the Mighty Mississippi with her husband, two daughters , two dogs and a cat. She is a dialysis technician by day and a romance author by night.

For more information about Amy, go to her Facebook Page

Marcus R Gilman: A lifelong zeppelin aficionado with a history of dabbling in the Cult of Cthulhu. He discovered the steampunk scene in 2008 and has been active there ever since. His primary steampunk activity is curating his blog (Daily Steampunk) but he has also  contributed to the Gatehouse Gazette, El Investigador and others  and has been involved in a few other projects along the way, most notably EuroSteamCon.

You can find out more about Marcus with these links

 www.daily-steampunk.comwww.eurosteamcon.com

Krista Cagg: Age is irrelevant. It’s all subjective. Let’s just say that Krista Cagg is old enough to know better, but young enough to not care. She lives in northern central Pennsylvania with Pete the Wonder Wiener, her husband and her mother. Having spent most of two decades living in the deep south, she has come to appreciate a good snowfall and a decided lack of large spiders. She is typically neck deep in multiple writing projects which isn’t as impressive as it seems since she is rather short. Given the opportunity, she prefers a little horror in her steampunk.

Connect with Krista using these links

https://www.facebook.com/kristacagg

Twitter: @kristacagg
amazon.com/author/kristacagg

Patxi Larrabe:  From Berango in the Basque Country of Spain, Patxi contributes to the Steampunk magazine “El Investigador.” A member of the independent artistic collective “Mercenarios de DIOS,” he is also a founding member of the Basque Steampunk community, Basque Steampunk. He would like to thank Ivan González from “Up! Eventos” and also member of BasqueSteampunk for the “AHV – Altos Hornos de Vizcaya” pictures and information.

From Ray Dean: Howdy from Hawai’i, folks! I’ve been a guest blogger on Steamed! on several occasions, but thanks to Suzanne who gave me the opportunity to do this on a regular basis. So the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month you will be subjected… err… entertained(?) by my blog posts… YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED, I said… *cough*

Anywho… A hui hou (Until we meet again) – Ray Dean – www.raydean.net – My Ethereality

PBIa

So now that you’ve taken a trip around the world with us… what locations can you think of that would inspire a Steampunk setting worthy of a story?  I’ll be posting MORE places in my next post February 21, 2014 – so email me raydean219@gmail.com if you’d like to participate!! Just look at all the empty spaces on the map!

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Steampunk FAQ

Steampunk with Heart: Steampunk FAQ
with Rie Sheridan Rose and Cindy Spencer Pape


**see bottom of post for steampunk giveaways**
**see Steampunk With Heart Page for Facebook Party schedule**
1) What the heck is steampunk, anyway?
Cindy: This is the big one—the one we hear ALL the time. My answers range from snarky (Jules Verne on crack) to oversimplified (science fiction set in Victorian times). For folks my age and over, I sometimes reference the old Wild, Wild West TV show. The long answer, which I never say, is that steampunk is a blend of historical feel and advanced technology. It’s not just a fiction genre, although it certainly is that, but it’s also a mood, a feel, and a thriving social phenomenon. It embodies futuristic technology, sometimes fantasy elements, and a rebellious attitude, along with a return to pride in manufacturing and craftsmanship. Most of all? It’s a whole hell of a lot of fun.

Rie: I usually say science fiction/fantasy set in a Victorian time frame. What might have happened if Steam technology had been developed along the times that Verne and Wells postulated? Emphasis is often on adventure and romance, as those are very Victorian tropes.

2) Why write steampunk? And why do you mix fantasy and/or romance elements into your steampunk stories? Or don’t you?

Cindy: Again, because it’s fun. I like writing books that I’d like to read. I love mixing history, SF, fantasy and romance. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s what I enjoy.

Rie: I started off writing Steampunk as a challenge from my writing partner, but I really enjoy it. I’ve always been an Anglophile, and the Victorian era is so rich in detail and history. Is there any period as romantic in retrospect? The clothing, the manners… Mixing in the concepts Cindy mentioned is very accurate to the period, and adds spice to the writing. It makes for a very fun, open, and exciting genre to explore.
3) What’s the coolest gadget you’ve invented for your books?

Cindy: Gee, I’ve had cybermen and networked computers in Victorian London. Typewriter, telephone, germ theory and dirigible are all there ahead of their real time. Rings that eject poison darts and clockwork powered artificial limbs. Beyond all of that, however, the coolest creation in the Gaslight Chronicles world is George, the mechanical dog. George is kind of like Mr. Data on Star Trek. He’s exceeded his components and programming to the point where he’s really more or less a living creature.

Rie: My biggest and best invention is Phaeton, the Marvelous Mechanical Man. He is a nine foot tall automaton with self-awareness and superior strength and reflexes. I also have an airship, a Steamcar, and a “Mechano-Velocipede” which are integral to the plot.

Since I am only on book one of the series, I haven’t been as creative as Cindy.

4) How much research do you do, or do you make it all up?

Cindy: Short answer: Quite a bit. Long answer: I do a surprisingly heavy amount of research for my steampunk stories. I very carefully take the key incidents that changed my world from the one we live in, then I follow those changes and decide how they would have effected everything else in the world where the characters live. In my case, the tipping point is twofold: 1) Magic has always existed and been acknowledged, and werewolves, vampyres, etc. DO exist. Therefore the Order of the Round Table was never disbanded in England and still exists, Knights with extraordinary powers who protect England from supernatural threats. 2) The computer was invented in the 1840s, by a man called Babbage, and is called an analytical engine. (There’s history behind this. Babbage in fact, did design this machine, but it was never built in our world.) Since a woman wrote the code for this machine, women in the sciences were catapulted ahead of where they were in our world. I also do a lot of research on clothing, settings, historical events and figures. In Cards and Caravans, I had to tweak the Scottish legal system, since they weren’t really burning witches in the 1850s. But that means I had to know it before I could tweak it. And maybe, in a world where magic was a known reality, those laws might have been a little different.

Rie: Yes, I do. I research the technology to the point where I can make sure it is logical and not impossible. I check dates and events to make sure that I don’t put something in that hasn’t happened yet for no good reason. I research clothing, architecture, foods, etc.

Since I am set in New York City instead of the UK, it is a bit easier to find out some things.

5) Have you read… (insert your list of other people’s books that are or may be close to my genre)

Cindy: Answer: yes, no, maybe. Much steampunk is YA, and I don’t read a lot of that. I also don’t read a lot of hard SF, where it’s all about the technology and the world. I like my character-driven stories and my romance, so that’s most of what I read. I have read William Gibson’s The Difference Engine, which  is one of the seminal works of SF. Also, since steampunk is so maker-driven, there is a lot of self-published and web-original work out there. I read some, but may not have had time to read all of it.

Rie: I have read most of Gail Carriger’s work (all of the Parasol Protectorate, but haven’t started Finishing School yet.) Gale Dayton’s Blood books were wonderful. I am way behind, but I will be reading a lot more!

6) Who are your favorite steampunk authors?

Cindy: LOL, besides myself? Snark. I love MelJean Brooks, Gail Carriger (except for the book where the main couple breaks up at the end—HATED that one) Kate Cross and Seleste Delaney. There are so many more I need to read, but haven’t yet.

Rie: Mostly the two mentioned above, Tee Morris and Phillipa Ballentine, but I haven’t read any of the Ministry novels, just the short story collection.

7) Where can I buy your books? Are they at WalMart?

Cindy: My steampunk series, so far, is only in e-book. That’s kind of awkward in a community that wants everything to look like it’s 1885. So yes, you can get them at Amazon, or B&N, or the Carina Press website. No, you can’t get them at the grocery store. Sorry. I wish that wasn’t the case, believe me.

Rie: My book is available in paperback, but you have to special order it to get it in a brick and mortar store. It is available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or through Zumaya Publications. It is also an ebook, and I believe can be gotten at Smashwords and Kobo as well.

8) How many more books will there be? When is the next one coming out? Which characters are in it?

Cindy: Truthfully? I don’t know. It depends on a lot. Mainly, sales. That’s the hard reality of the fiction business. The more they sell, the more there will be. A girl’s gotta eat, you know? There are two more on the table with my publisher. That’s all I know at the moment. The characters? Well, that’s up to the publisher, too. Let’s just say there’s one more MacKay sibling and a whole bunch of Hadrians who still need happy endings.

Rie: I hope I am just getting started. I am currently working on Book Two of the series, but it is proving a bigger challenge than I thought! It’s my first sequel. Theoretically, it will be out this year…but it has to be written first. All the main characters should be back. I love my characters, particularly my heroine, Josephine Mann.

9) Where do you get all your cool steampunk clothes?

Cindy: Thrift shops. (I’m short, so a lot of skirts are floor-length on me, so I cheat there.) Renaissance festivals. The vendors there tend to be awesome, but pricey, so build your wardrobe a few pieces at a time. Catalogs and online companies like Victorian Trading Co., Pyramid Company, Corset-Story and Holy Clothing. Finally, there’s the custom vendors. That’s where things get really pricey, but really, really, cool. I’m not very crafty, but honestly, if you can sew, you have it made.

Rie: Most of my wardrobe is thrift store as well, with certain key pieces being bought at conventions. My main vice is hats. I have way more hats than logical…

10) Last question:  How do you come up with the ideas for all this far-out stuff?

Cindy: Usual answer: No idea. I just have a wild imagination. Snarky answer #1: I’m just twisted like that. Snarkier answer: The idea fairy leaves them in my shower and under my pillow, so I find them when it’s least convenient.

Rie: Everywhere. A chance comment can lead to a bit of an idea. One thing follows on another. I might read something and file it away for later. Dreams sometimes. Ideas come from everywhere. You just have to collect them.


“To me, Steampunk is an alternate look at a period of history that fascinates almost everyone. What would have been different if technology had taken a slightly different direction? And it is fun to play with the gadgets.”

Rie Sheridan Rose’s short stories currently appear in numerous anthologies. She has authored five poetry chapbooks, and collaborated with Marc Gunn on lyrics for his “Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits” CD. Yard Dog Press is home to humorous horror chapbooks Tales from the Home for Wayward Spirits and Bar-B-Que Grill and Bruce and Roxanne Save the World…Again. Mocha Memoirs published the individual short stories “Drink My Soul…Please,” and “Bloody Rain” as e-downloads. Melange Books carries her romantic fantasy Sidhe Moved Through the Faire. Zumaya Books is home to The Luckless Prince as well as her newest novel, The Marvelous Mechanical Man. You can find her at her website.

The Marvelous Mechanical Man (A Conn-Mann Adventure)
Kindle | Nook | Print
Josephine Mann is down to her last two dollars when Professor Alistair Conn hires her to work on a wonder–a 9-foot-tall automaton Jo dubs Phaeton. When an evil villain steals the marvelous mechanical man, Jo’s longing for adventure suddenly becomes much too real…and deadly.

“Steampunk is being able to mix together all the things you love from the Victorian, modern and all eras in between, along with the addition of future tech and fantasy.”

Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Award-winning author of 18 novels and more than 30 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, two sons and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book. You can find her on her website.

Ashes and Alchemy (The Gaslight Chronicles)
London, 1860
Police inspector Sebastian Brown served Queen and country in India before returning to England to investigate supernatural crimes. Minerva Shaw is desperately seeking a doctor for her daughter Ivy who has fallen gravely ill with a mysterious illness when she mistakenly lands on Sebastian’s doorstep. Seb sniffs a case and musters every magickal and technological resource he can to uncover the source of the deadly plague, but it’s he who will need protecting—from emotions he’d thought buried long ago.

ENTER TO WIN

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Why Steampunk? I put that question to a variety of talented artist. Asking them why they took their art in a Steampunk direction, these were their answers:

Cherries Jubilee, is not only a talented dancer but she also embellishes fabulous Steampunk designs on shoes, transferring them into wearable art and some of the most gorgeous shoes you will ever see in your life.  I asked Cherries Jubilee, “How did you first get interested in Steampunk?”

“I have been attending science fiction/fantasy/horror conventions almost since the phenomenon started, but I was finding it difficult to do interesting costumes after a while. I could not really pull off the “green slave girl” any more and I had done every female companion to Dr.

Who, so I was looking for something else. I was looking for a more free form kind of costuming – not copying something that had already been done, but creating characters of my own in a style that I could wear into my 90’s if I wanted to. About six years ago, I saw some Steampunk at Norwest Con and fell in love with the idea. They were already talking about creating a local Steampunk convention and I was really excited because I could bring in neo-victorian style and, to some extent, manners into a con culture that had grown more than a little crass. I saw an opportunity to bring couples dancing into the sci-fi culture and I got to wear corsets and really cool granny boots. My only thought was, “Sign me up!”

airship-voyager-sqpenny_farthing_20121Camryn Forrest creates serious art with her stunning snow globes and water globes. She is a snow globe engineer. Her work is whimsical and technical, heavy and light, just the way I like my steampunk. So I asked her, “Why Steampunk?”

Camryn Forrest said, “I love the contradiction of steampunk and snow globes. One of the first times I told anyone what I was doing, he said ‘That doesn’t make any sense. Those two things do not go together.’ And that egged me on: I loved the challenge of proving it could work.”

Next, I asked illustrator, writer, costumer, graphic artist and founder and vice chiar of Steamcon, Diana Vick, “What drew you to get involved in and take your art in a Steampunk direction?”

 

8383773791_7f5d80f934_bShe replied, “Steampunk is a very creative genre and I like the imagery.”

 

dawn1Dawn Donati creates unique and gorgeous Steampunk Stained Glass art. So I inquired, “When did your first become interested in Steampunk?”

“Along my travels some of the vending I did was in Victorian reenactment I am well versed in the artclothing aspect.  steampunk was a natural progression for me. What intrigues me is the inventions and the people who create them, the stories they tell – the community. The ingenuity and historical knowledge of the artists is just delightful. I have noticed the steampunk movement is growing I see it all over in art, clothing, movies – it’s fun to see peoples interpretation of what steampunk is. Or maybe I’m just so immersed myself such a hopeless romantic for the opulence of this movement there is no saving me.   For my next endeavor I would like to bring stained glass in to steampunk as a noticed art form.  How Victorian is stained glass – take steamed powered concepts add a splash of industrial machinery a dash of filigree embellishment and there you have steampunk stained glass…. well that is what my mind’s eye would like to see.  I am working on my kaleidoscope and a signature piece.”

mlt_headshotThen I asked Steampunk artist – painter, sculptor and jewelry designer – Michael Treat,”What inspired you to take your art in a Steampunk direction?”

“For me, I think it all started when I began working with materials that are dominant in the 197102921162471135_cgqtnxyz_cSteampunk genre including leather, unbleached fabrics, lace, grommets, eyelets, tack and  wood. Oh–and of course all of those metals! I very much enjoy working with brass, copper, wrought iron and rusty steel with all of their tarnish and patinas. I enjoy working with each material individually, and combining them in new and different ways. As I learned more and more about the genre, and researched what it was about,  I realized that I had found a place to incorporate those elements and the styles into just about anything I had could imagine. I love the Steampunk genre because of the modification process that Steampunk allows, and often even demands! I also really feel a sort of kinship with the American Old West. I admire the optimism that came along with all the hardships and uncertainties of that time period. I also enjoy how that unique creativity, optimism and sense of possibilities and vision is reflected those who live the Steampunk lifestyle today.”

mesteampunksoulsMichele Lynch’s mix media art, art dolls, tree toppers, ornaments, jewelry, paintings and so nevermoremuch more are incredible. Not only the art itself, but I also love what she writes about them. ”The soul sucker mix media dolls or sculptures started after I took a full time job with the soul sucker corporation. I find myself still running from the soul sucker even though I no longer work for that corporation.”

I love Michele’s Soul Sucker world and her art, so I put the same question to her, “Why Steampunk?”

Michele said, “When I envisioned the steampunk soul rebellion, I saw them with mechanical parts to them. I’m not sure where that inspiration came from! But I have always loved movies that had that slight Steampunk feel to them.”

You’ve heard form a variety of Steampunk visual artist as to why they went Steampunk, now readers, it’s your turn. Please comment below…Why Steampunk?

Feel free to share why you write or read Steampunk?

~      ~      ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 19 books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, fantasy and happy endings. Her latest Steampunk/Romance is Conquistadors In Outer Space. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.

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