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Announcing my new Steampunk/Romance, Conquistadors In Outer Space, coming this Friday, February 1st. The subtitle is Ana’s Interplanetary Conquest.

Henri de Montaut, from De la terre à la lune (From the earth to the moon), by Jules Verne, Paris (Hetzel), 18??

In an alternate history of 1610 AD, the King of Spain commissions the creation of giant cannons, fashioned from Leonardo Da Vinci’s design, for the purpose of blowing the island of England to the bottom of the ocean. Since that country separated from papal authority, Spain has the approval of the church to separate England from the rest of Europe. Then, after an interrogation by priests with the inquisition, Galileo sees a faraway dot in the night sky with his new telescope. He shows the pope planet X, an actual New World Spain can claim and all the inhabitants can be converted to Christianity. Also all the gold and riches discovered there will belong to Spain alone. So they find a way to use the cannons to that end instead.

Thrown off the Spanish estate she worked at all her life, Ana, a milkmaid, seeks a new life. Disguised as a rich widow, she boards a rocket, to be blasted out of a huge cannon, and targeted for the newly discovered planet, X.  Sparks fly when she finds Ramon, the only man she ever loved, heir of the estate she worked on, is flying to Planet X as well. As the Spanish governor of Plant X searches for gold, the treasure Ramon seeks is Ana. His conquest is challenging, though he swears to protect and love her, as a noble he cannot marry a peasant. Ana cannot deny her desire for Ramon, but she will not be his mistress. Will his conquest of her heart succeed or will Ana make a life for herself alone amid the wonders and dangers of Planet X.

Excerpt:

In an instant the loudest boom and ka-chung noises he ever heard rattled his ears as the metal projectile shook violently. He clenched his teeth as every muscle in his body quaked with the blast.

“It is the Estrella. It is hurdling through space to planet X.”

He recognized the voice of the priest who strapped him in. Ana’s ship, De Nunez had told him. “Is all well,” he yelled out. “Did they lift off safely?”

Now that he had found her again, he needed to protect her. Once they arrived on planet X, he would seize this second chance to win her heart for she’d stolen his long ago.

“Si.” The priest’s tone held a tinge of awe. “In a blaze of light they blasted through the heavens. They are in God’s hands now.”

Ramon let out a long breath of relief. Ana was safe, shooting through space. The Estrella had cast off and the Juanita would soon follow. When his rocket blasted off in an explosion of light and fire, he wouldn’t hear anything.

He felt his mind loose itself in drowsiness. He shut his eyes under the power of this death like sleep and prayed in twenty years he would wake. When he did, he’d be on Planet X with the woman he’d always loved. He knew for the next twenty years of the voyage, he would dream of Ana.

Contest: Comment below to enter my new release contest to win a PDF Ebook of Conquistadors In Outer Space.

Maeve Alpin, Steampunk Romance Author

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Today we welcome author Steve DeWinter.

Steve DeWinter is an American born adventure/thriller author whose evil twin writes science fiction under the pseudonym S.D. Stuart. His latest novel The Wizard of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure will be available January 8th, 2013 in Kindle and Trade Paperback.

Don’t Cross the Streams

by Steve DeWinter

crossing-the-streams

If you are as old as I am (or have an older friend who has shared this wonderful movie with you) then you know what I am talking about.

If not, I do not want to spoil the movie for you, but the general idea is that the device the Ghostbusters used to capture ghosts could destabilize the entire universe if they crossed streams with another of the devices. The idea behind this was that each device’s stream alone was powerful, but if mixed with another device’s stream, the results would be disastrous.

So, lesson learned.

Don’t cross the streams.

Writing teachers (and other established authors too) give this same advice to young writers just starting out. Write what you know. Use the genre you already read and write in that. Don’t cross the genres. Don’t write in a genre you know nothing about. The list goes on and on for what writers should and should not do when choosing what to write.

I, however, ignore this advice on a daily basis with my writing. I am a cross the genres author. I have two primary genres of books that I love to read. Science Fiction and Thrillers. When I write, I mix in the best of both genres. I “cross the streams” in my writing.

Have I destabilized the universe of storytelling? I do not think so.

1619780038As I entered into the steampunk fiction realm for the first time to write The Wizard of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure, I knew going in I was going to “cross the genres” once again and create a rip-roaring science fiction adventure with a thriller quality villain in a steam-powered turn of the century world. Oh, and there had to be robots (or automatons as they were affectionately called in the late 1800’s), lots and lots of robots.

While Amazon categorizes my books for a specific audience for the purposes of searchable lists, I pull on the resources and story methods from multiple genres to create stories that entertain and thrill readers.

And if you have never seen Ghostbusters, go do something about that today!

–Steve DeWinter

www.stevedw.com

The Wizard of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure

Kindle E-Book Edition
http://amzn.to/TGJBhO

Trade Paperback Edition
http://amzn.to/RCcwDP

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Today we welcome O.M. Grey as she drops by on her blog tour…

O. M. Grey Blog Tour: Steampunk ParaRomance and Tiara Giveaway

Photo by Greg Daniels

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Suzanne, and all the Lovely Lolitas at STEAMED! It’s so great to be back!

Today I’d like to give all STEAMED readers a chance to win my YA Steampunk Paranormal Romance novel, The Zombies of Mesmer, along with this lovely tiara/necklace made by EJP Creations. I’m wearing it in this picture from my Gearhearts Steampunk Glamour Revue photo shoot. This was my favorite picture without the red hair, but it didn’t make it into the final issue, although several other lovely pictures did. But before we get to the contest portion, please enjoy my short story “Hannah & Gabriel,” a Steampunk retelling of the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.”

Hannah & Gabriel

“Gabe! Gabe, wake up!” Hannah urged her brother in a desperate whisper, shaking him.

“What?” Balled fists rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.

“Listen. Come here and listen.” Before Gabriel could find his bearings, Hannah was yanking him across the room. “Listen,” she whispered again.

Through the wall, Gabriel could hear his parents talking in hushed tones. His own breathing drowned out their words, so he held his breath and listened.

“No.” It was his father’s voice. “I will not, woman. There must be another way.”

“You know there isn’t.” Gabriel’s step-mother did not speak as softly. “There is no work, Oscar. No work means no food. Do you want us all to die?”

“Of course not, but they are only children.”

“Exactly, they will probably be found by someone who will care for them. We’ll dress them in their best and send them on their way. They’ll be better off.”

“What are they talking about?” Gabriel asked his sister.

“Shhhh. They’ll hear you.” Hannah climbed back into her bed and pulled her knees in tight. All was suddenly silent. The voices in the adjacent room had quieted, and all Gabe heard was the sounds of the night. Then bare feet padding across the wooden floor. Gabriel dove back into bed and pulled the covers up to his chin just as the door opened. His last sight before clamping his eyes shut was his sister feigning sleep.

“See.” His step-mother’s voice. “Sound asleep. You worry too much.” Her fading footfalls told Gabriel she had returned to her room, but he never heard his door close. He chanced a peek through his eyelashes and saw a blurred version of his father standing in the doorway, just watching them. After what seemed like forever, his father brushed the back of his hand across his cheek and closed the door.

“Hannah,” Gabe whispered after all had been quiet for awhile, but there was no answer. “Hannah!” Nothing. His eyes started to burn and the fear filled his chest, suffocating him. Covering his face with the covers, he muted the sounds of weeping and tried to tell himself everything would be all right. His lips formed the words over and over again. “Everything will be all right. Everything will be all right.” The mantra mixed with his emotional exhaustion finally lulled him to sleep.

A loud clanging noise startled him from his dreams. Gabe sprung up, his hands covering his ears against the offensive racket. His step-mother stood in their doorway, banging a wooden spoon on an iron pot. “Wake up! Wake up! Important day today, my doves. Put on your finest, for we are going on a journey.”

After he and his sister dressed in silence, they made their way into their father’s workshop. They found him as he always was in his waking state: hunched over a clock or pocket watch, peering through his special work glasses, each side held three separate magnifying lenses affixed to tiny arms fanned above the frames like bizarre eyebrows. Some of the very tiny watch parts could only be properly seen with magnification.

“Father?” Hannah began in her small voice. “Where are we going today?”

Oscar looked up from his work, and Gabriel had to suppress a laugh. One of his father’s eyes looked four times as big as the other through his work glasses. It felt good to smile, but Gabe’s smile quickly turned into a sinking feeling. He wished he had laughed out loud instead of holding it in, for that might be his final feeling of joy for quite some time.

“Your mother is taking you for a special treat! A picnic in the forest, just the three of you. She’s even made a fresh pie to enjoy,” he said, removing the glasses. His eyes were rimmed red, as if he hadn’t slept all night. The bottom lid filled with tears, reflecting Gabriel’s own eyes. He turned to his sister and saw her tears streaming down her cheeks, so Gabe bit his lip and swallowed hard, determined to be strong for Hannah. Whatever was going to happen today, they would be together.

Their father gathered them up in his arms and squeezed them tight. Upon seeing his father’s small bin of extra and broken watch gears, Gabriel suddenly had an idea. While still grasped desperately by their father in his farewell embrace, Gabe reached out and grabbed a handful of small brass cogs and pocketed them.

“Children!” Their step-mother’s shrill voice entered the room just before she did. “Time to go. Come on. It will be a fine treat. I’ve packed some little morsels for a nice picnic. It’s a lovely day, but it will take us much time to get there, so we must leave now.”

“Why are we dressed up for a picnic in the woods? Won’t we get our fine clothes dirty?” Gabriel knew exactly why, but he just couldn’t resist saying something.

The hard woman clenched her jaw and her eyes glared at them for a moment before softening. “It is a game, my duck. We are going to enjoy the day like we are rich and have not a care in the world. It shall be like a holiday.” Although her voice was pleasant and her expression gentle for a change, when her bony hand clamped down on Gabriel’s and Hannah’s shoulders, her fingers dug in deep, urging them along without another word.

As they followed their step-mother into the woods, Gabriel held his sister’s hand, squeezing it affectionately every time he heard her sniffle. With his free hand, he held the watch gears, dropping one every ten steps. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten, drop. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten, drop. This helped keep his mind focused and the fear at bay, for he knew his horrid step-mother meant to leave them alone in the woods. But he’d show her. They would follow the path of cogs back home, and their father would be so glad to see them that he will hug them and kiss their heads. Then he would throw that horrid witch out on her oversized bustle. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten, drop.

But the time came that Gabe ran out of cogs and they kept walking. He watched his step-mother’s determined gait just ahead of them, and he tried to pay attention to his surroundings, but all the trees looked the same after awhile.

They came to a clearing in the woods, and their step-mother stopped short. She told them to spread out the blanket she had carried under her arm while she went to find some firewood, for the air was a tad nippy and stung the sweat gathering around Gabriel’s collar.

“I’ll go with you,” Gabriel said.

“No, you stay here with your sister. Here–” She pulled a small parcel wrapped up in a napkin out of her basket and handed it to Gabriel. “Share with your sister.”

Gabe unwrapped it, expecting to see the fresh pie Father had spoken of, but it was just two crusts of bread spread with some congealed honey. Same as usual. The crusts that no one else wanted, this was her treat for them.

“Please don’t go, mummy,” Hannah said through her tears. Gabe knew she was really scared if she was calling that witch ‘mummy.’ She was not their real mother, for no mother would abandon her children out in the forest. Father married this harpy a year after their real mother had died. Didn’t make it through the winter because she gave most of her share of the food to her children. Although Hannah is too young to remember much of her, she still knew this hard woman before them was no nurturing mother. Hannah was terrified, and for good reason. She hadn’t stopped crying the entire way there. For hours they had walked, and now her fear was also mixed with exhaustion.

“Why are you crying, Hannah? Here. Let us play a game before I gather wood. We’re still warm enough from the walk, but the air is chill. We will cool down soon enough, and you will wish for a fire. But no matter, we shall play a game first. How about Hide & Go Seek?”

“Yes!” Hannah exclaimed, smiling. “Let’s! You can be ‘IT,’ and me and Gabe will hide.”

“Gabe and I,” their step-mother corrected.

“Yes, Gabe and I will hide.”

“That would be no fun, for I am much more clever than you are. It would be harder for you to find me, besides, I wouldn’t want you two to get lost in the woods while hiding.”

“You’re really not going to leave us here?” Hannah said.

“Silly child! Where did you ever get such an idea? Now, be a good girl and close your eyes. You, too, Gabriel. Close them tight. That’s right, put your hands over your eyes. No peeking!” Gabriel felt her bony hand on his shoulder and she began turning him around and around until he thought he might fall down. “Now, count to thirty while I hide. No peeking!”

“But–” Hannah said between her wrists.

“Fret not, my duck. I shall keep you both in sight. Count to thirty.”

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven….” Gabriel listened closely to the sound of her footsteps as they got further and further away. He did not count all the way to thirty. When he could no longer hear her rustling in the fallen leaves, he uncovered his eyes and looked all around.

They were alone.

Please read the rest of the story on my blog, Caught in the Cogs.

You can also listen to “Hannah & Gabriel,” as well as other stories on my fiction podcast at Caught in the Cogs.

Book & Tiara Giveaway

But before you go read the rest of the story, please enter the contest to win an author-signed copy of The Zombies of Mesmer and this lovely clock-hand tiara (pictured above) by leaving a comment and asking me a question below. In addition to this giveaway, I’m running several more this week during my blog tour, so please visit my blog for the full schedule and links.


O. M. Grey
Author. Poet. Romantic.
http://omgrey.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/omgrey

About AVALON REVISITED~
Arthur Tudor has made his existence as a vampire bearable for over three hundred years by immersing himself in blood and debauchery. Aboard an airship gala, he meets Avalon, an aspiring vampire slayer who sparks fire into Arthur’s shriveled heart. Together they try to solve the mystery of several horrendous murders on the dark streets of London. Cultures clash and pressures rise in this sexy Steampunk Romance.

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Today we welcome Bec McMaster.

Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. For more information, please visit http://www.becmcmaster.com/ or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.

What’s in a name?

 by Bec McMaster

Thanks to Suzanne for inviting me here! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about how my novel, Kiss of Steel, came to be.

One of the things that makes me smile since release is how many readers see Kiss of Steel in a different light. It’s paranormal. No, it’s steampunk. Its listed in the horror section. Um, someone put romance in it… So I’m here to clear up precisely what Kiss of Steel is.

Here’s the thing. I write the story that comes to me and worry about the genre specifics later. The one constant in my stories that it will have romance in it and belong in some sort of spec-fic world, whether that be paranormal-based, dystopian or urban fantasy. I didn’t actually know what Kiss of Steel was until I’d nearly finished myself. There was never a definite, “I’m going to write a steampunk or a paranormal romance”, though I do appreciate that it can fit in both camps and hopefully draw readers in who might not otherwise read it.

When the story and the world hit me (does anyone else get these movies-in-their-head too?), it was almost fully formed. It had vampires and a vague precursor to werewolves. It also had a ruling elite who were infected with a virus that made them crave blood (No, they’re not the vampires. Yet.). In order to protect themselves from the masses after the French turned on their blood-driven aristocracy, they turned to technology to create an enormous automaton army and weapons.

The world was definitely Victorian. I needed a time period when technology was coming to the forefront and certain medical theories were already in place. That was probably my first indication that I was heading down the steampunk path.

The thing with paranormal worlds is that I see them as based on some sort of magic or curse-driven mechanic. There is no magic or paranormal platform in Kiss of Steel, though I appreciate that I’m taking a paranormal-trope and running with it. My vampires are scientific-based, with a virus causing all of their ‘supernatural’ abilities. I had more interest in the craving virus being of a biological nature, rather than a magical one. Perhaps it’s my interest in the whole Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type stories or Frankenstein. Mad doctors, experiments, monsters…

So as you can see, this is why I refer to Kiss as steampunk romance. There are no dirigibles (not in this part of the world or the first book) but technically there are no paranormal elements either by the definition I’ve provided. And the point is… that none of it matters. From what I can tell my readers come from diverse camps and enjoy different aspects of the story.  Some come just for the cover (seriously, you would not believe how many readers follow famous cover model Paul Marron!). As a writer the only time I truly needed to categorise was when it came to shopping to agents or editors.

One of the things that I love about the genre as a whole is that it can be so fluid and genre-bending. I’ve read steampunk with strong horror elements and enjoyed it. I’ve also read it with paranormal or fantasy highlights. The idea that the sky is the limit is incredibly appealing to me and that whole sense of adventure is what I love the most about steampunk.

So what about you? Any great steampunk stories out there with a dash of something else thrown in? Which genre mash-ups do you like best?

~Bec McMaster

http://www.becmcmaster.com/

KISS OF STEEL BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2012

A brilliantly creative debut where vampires, werewolves, and clockwork creatures roam the mist–shrouded streets of London…

When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.

 

 

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Today we welcome Ray Dean!

A reenactor and educator, Ray Dean has delved into many eras of the past, but Steampunk speaks to her in a retroactive futurism that opens so many possibilities. Her blog, My Ethereality http://www.raydean.net, explores history, culture, war and love in eras and countries that might influence a Steampunk world

Countries… Culture… the Wicking Effect

by Raye Dean

When someone brings up Steampunk, most people immediately call up an image of bowler hats, bustles, monocles, corsets, goggles. Then next concept is Victorian alternative history/speculative fiction… and by saying Victorian… the initial connection is England. No argument there for me. I’ve had a longtime love affair with English history, especially the Victorian Era mainly because I have a long history in theater and costume, nuff said.

Still, there’s more to the world of Steampunk than a single country or culture. One of the clearest memories of High School was arguing England’s POV on Colonialism in a debate. Part of the mindset of my argument that England was seeking to, in a way, make the world England. The underlying idea for me was that making the world over in its own image was to make it something they could understand. Foreign was fine for quaint pieces of furniture, luxurious fabrics, spices and wild creatures fit for menageries, but it wasn’t England.

Colonialism is impossible in its purest sense. There is no way to take control of another country and its people without having ‘the Wicking Effect.’ What do I mean by that? I used to hand paint silk and when you add a color onto the fabric it will spread and continue to spread until it hits the end of the fabric or the wall of resist that the artist adds. Add another color to the mix and they’ll spread and mix and change together. The same happens with culture.

Put an Englishman in China, even if he continues to observe all the societal norms and keeps himself as ‘separate’ as possible, there is no way to avoid some sort of exchange of culture. Perhaps a Jasmine tea will become a favorite of his or he’ll use a silk fabric for his waistcoat that has a design motif common for the area. The locals in the area will change as well. They will pick up on his inflection, learn what his habits are and try as they might to avoid absorbing some of it… it will happen.

In the Shanghai Steam anthology this mixing or clash of cultures is a main point of a number of stories.

Derwin Mak (the author of “Flying Devils”) explains:

Steampunk tends to romanticize European culture and its technology of the nineteenth century. I heard one steampunk costumer say it was “nobler period.” Well, it was for some people. It was a nobler period than today if you were a white European who left Europe’s slums and colonized another continent. If you were African, Asian, or Native American, it wasn’t as glorious. The Chinese do not romanticize the nineteenth century as a golden era. Instead, it was the time of national humiliation and the uneven treaties.

I merged the two opposing views of the nineteenth century by basing my story on the Self-Strengthening Movement in the Chinese military. My story is about one of the ideological conflicts of the time.

In my own story, “Fire in the Sky,” I had set up my own alternative history:

There are more walls than wick as the English are viewed as an economic occupying force. The people that occupy the town have had to accomodate not only the English trade ships but the technology that came with them. In my opinion, there are few absolutes. In the case of the technology brought in by the English, there are those that accept it and those that turn their back on it, but even those that are eager to advance themselves with technology… it doesn’t always work for them. For me part of the fun of this mix and clash of cultures is the accomodations that have to be made. And when accomodations don’t work? You salvage what you can… and make do.

Emily Mah (author of “Last Flight of the Lóng Qíshì”) has another take on merging cultures:

Since mine’s post apocalyptic, much of the Chinese culture is only left in the aesthetics of the old technologies. The culture that inhabits the ruins left behind is a mix of different ethnicities who live as hunter/gatherers.

This isn’t just limited to the English in their travels and expansions. The concept of foreign also applies to immigrants.

Laurel Anne Hill (author of “Moon-Flame Woman”) had a different perspective:

The tremendous contribution of Chinese workers in the building of the U.S. Transcontinental Railway never ceases to impress me.  Yet nineteenth-century Chinese laborers in the United States didn’t receive the respect they deserved.  Immigrants were–and still are–often viewed as stereotypes.  I wrote Moon-Flame Woman to depict immigrants as individuals.

Americans seemed to absorb other cultures faster, giving them footholds where a country like England wouldn’t see fit. A number of dishes that Americans ate during the same period were not from China. The Chinese cooks in America would throw together whatever odds and ends were around and earned itself a place in American stomachs and on many menus. The commonly accepted history of the ‘chop suey’ you see on modern menus comes from this very practice. Perhaps this hodge podge worked better in America because the country, as it was shaping up, was more of an immigrant nation.

When the Shanghai Steam anthology is released you’ll have the opportunity to delve into the nineteen short stories that add up to a unique Steampunk… and Wuxia… experience. As you read through the stories look for those moments when cultures crash and/or bleed into each other. Keep careful watch… one culture may just push back.

What cultures would you like to see come crashing into one another? What types of culture bleeds might happen when two foreign nations interact? Where can you add this idea into your own work?

Contributing Authors listed in alphabetical order:

Ray Dean “Fire in the Sky”   http://www.raydean.net

Lauren Anne Hill “Moon-Flame Woman”     http://www.laurelannehill.com/

Emily Mah “Last Flight of the Long Qishi”   http://www.emilymah.com

Derwin Mak “Flying Devils”  http://www.derwinmaksf.com

~Raye Dean

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Today we welcome the incredible Kiki Hamilton.

Kiki Hamilton is the author of the YA historical fantasy series THE FAERIE RING. Book 1, THE FAERIE RING and Book 2, THE TORN WING are both out now. Book 3, THE SEVEN YEAR KING releases in May of 2013.

 

Writing Historical Fantasy

by Kiki Hamilton

Thanks for inviting me over to STEAMED! Though I’m not a writer of steampunk fiction, I do write historical fantasy (THE FAERIE RING (2011) and THE TORN WING (2012) )which has some notable similarities with steampunk, such as life in the Victorian era.

One of the questions I’m frequently asked is how much research do I have to do for my books?  The short answer is A LOT! The longer answer is that I do spend quite a bit of time researching Victorian England, as well as British faerie lore, but luckily, I find it fascinating. The goal of any writer who sets their story in the Victorian era is to make the reader feel like they’ve stepped back through time (or taken a time machine…) and are walking the foggy, cobblestone streets of the past along with the characters.

How does one accomplish that?

In my case, it’s a combination of setting, character definition (which includes description, dialogue, backstory and behavior), weaving  fact with fiction, as well as using language that is suitable to the time period.   I’ll share some brief thoughts on each of those below:

Setting

Setting can be much more than the physical attributes of the scene. In some instances, setting can almost become a character within the story. Setting is an opportunity to set a mood. Here’s an excerpt from THE FAERIE RING that I like:

“The World’s End had a packed house tonight. The wooden plank floor of the pub was slick with spilled ale and the rich, yeasty smell of beer hung thick in the air. A row of sailors sat shoulder to shoulder along the wooden bar, hunched over their drinks as though fearful their glasses would be snatched away. Big mirrors lined the walls, etched with the names of ales or whiskeys, reflecting the bright lights in the room as well as the cloud of tobacco smoke. Barmaids and prostitutes, with their skirts partially tucked up in their waistbands, worked their way through the thick crowd milling between the full tables, smiling and joking with the customers. The tinkling notes of a piano were a backdrop to the cacophony of accents that clashed above it all, like an instrument with several strings out of tune.”

Hopefully, the reader can see the interior of the pub, along with the patrons, can smell the spilled ale, can hear the notes of the piano and feels immersed in this world.

Character Definition

This is a critical part of any story.  Characters need to be described in a way that is suitable to the era. Character definition is an opportunity to further immerse the reader into another era. Dress, language,  backstory and motivations each play a part in creating  a mental image for the reader.  Tying each of those to the time period reinforces the setting and mood you’ve established.

Weaving Fact with Fiction

For me, this is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing THE FAERIE RING series – finding ways to weave actual history with the fantasy story I’m telling.  I like to think of the books as ‘what if…’ stories which is similar to the alternate timelines that many steampunk novels employ.

Anachronistic Terms

Using language that is suitable to the timeframe is an important piece in creating the world of your novel.  Using language or terms that are too modern for a Victorian setting (anachronistic) is one of the fastest ways to pull your reader out of the ‘dream’ and remind them that they’re reading and not living your story.

So, that’s a quick look at some of the considerations I put into writing historical fantasy.  Hope you found it interesting and helpful! Any others we should add to the list?

~Kiki Hamilton

http://www.kikihamilton.com

http://www.thefaeriering.com

 

 

 

 

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First off, the winner of the book CUTTLEFISH is:

Widdershins

If you enjoy reading steampunk, you’ve probably read Mark Hodder (Burton and Swinburne series).

His new book A Red Sun Also Rises which releases in December 2012 from PYR is independent of the Burton and Swinburne books, but is just as fascinating and creative.

This is a tale exploring good and evil and how nothing (or anyone) is as it seems.  Aiden Fleischer is a bookish priest and Clarissa an outcast hunchback who are transported to an alien world. There they encounter the Yatsil, a supposedly peaceful race of mimics. Then the red sun rises, bringing with it the forces of destruction.

Hodder’s twisted take on an alien version of Victorian London is vivid and imaginative, while the psychological twists and turns push the genre with amazing results.

But don’t take my word for it. PYR will graciously give away three ARCS of A Red Sun Also Rises to give away (North American only) and I’ll give away my own ARC to an international winner. Contest closes October 7th at 11:59 PM PST.

If you lived on an alien world that could shape itself to any place  in any time, which would you chose and why?

 

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