Posts Tagged ‘caitlin kittredge’


Caitlin Kittredge writes both YA and adult books including The Iron Codex series. She is the proud owner of an English degree, two cats, a morbid imagination, a taste for black clothing, punk rock, and comic books. Visit her website at www.caitlinkittredge.com to learn more.


The Finish Line

by Caitlin Kittredge

itcoversmallI read a lot about starting a steampunk story—how to worldbuild, how to create compelling characters, how to mix up timelines and history to make a unique, compelling universe—but I don’t see much about endings.

The last book in my Iron Codex trilogy was released in February  and while I’m sad to have the journey end—as any writer would be—I never intended the series to be more than three books. I always had an end in mind, a destination for the journey. I don’t think that’s necessary—some of the best writers I know start with no end in sight and figure it out as they go. But I knew these characters and their world had a single story to tell, and then I’d exit gracefully.

ngcoversmallYet, as I drew to the end of writing The Mirrored Shard, I found myself leaving little things open. Aoife, Dean and Cal get their endings—some happy, some not so happy—and the plot that carried me for three books wrapped up, but I left more ends open than I anticipated. Was I just being wistful? Maybe. But I think it’s a sign that maybe I didn’t say quite all I had to say about the world of the Iron Codex. Maybe there’s a short story, or a novella in my future. I can’t say!

I like little openings for future stories scattered here and there in the natural arc of the story I’m actually telling. I don’t like ambiguous endings. I blame a childhood of serial stories, mostly in comic book form, that led me to be the sort of writer who has to leave a few trails of breadcrumbs here and there for alternate storylines.

The Mirrored ShardI tried to strike a good balance in Mirrored Shard—all the major threads ending where I’d always intended them to. But there’s still one large element left without resolution at the end of Mirrored Shard, and that’s absolutely on purpose. In another time, with another set of characters, this could absolutely be its own series. I’ve only ended one series before the Iron Codex, and since those stories were serial, not really connected, it was very different. The heroine got her ending, the plot wrapped up, and everyone could pretty much go home happy (except the bad guys, of course.) This time, I like to think I was smarter, and left myself with another story to tell, a small door left open to sneak back into this world I’ve devoted close to half a decade to writing in, imagining, dreaming about.

Like I said, maybe I’m just wistful. I love steampunk and Victoriana, so I know I’m definitely nostalgic!  But maybe in the future I’ll get another chance to go back to the start with a new set of characters and revisit Aoife’s world, explore that last thread left loose. Loose threads, after all, beg to be pulled and they exist in all of my favorite books. Tantalizing possibilities that, once explored, can lead to brave new worlds of their own.




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Steampunkapalooza is here!!!

First off, I’d like to announce the winners of our Steampunkapalooza kickoff giveaway of five copies of Rise of the Iron Moon.

And the winners are…


Katherine Wagner


Carlie A.

*lizzie starr

Please contact me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail to collect your prize.

Today to officially kick off Steampunkapalooza 2011, I am very excited to introduce Caitlin Kittredge.  I also have a copy of her new YA Steampunk The Iron Thorn to giveaway   to one lucky commenter.

Caitlin Kittredge writes the Iron Codex novels, steampunk fantasy for young adults.  She also writes urban fantasy and horror for adult audiences.  She lives in Massachusetts with comic books, cats and far too many vintage dresses.




Why Steampunk Fantasy

by Caitlin Kittredge

I get the question a lot: Why steampunk fantasy?  Why choose to set a story about Lovecraftian monsters, evil faeries and blood-drinking nightstalkers in an alternate 1950s where steam power runs the world and the atomic age never came to be?  Couldn’t I just as easily have set my novel in modern-day Akron, Ohio?

No offense to the lovely city of Akron, but yes and no.  I love steampunk—I was a genre fan long before I decided to take a crack at writing it.  More than steampunk, though, I love genre remixes—two unexpected story elements juxtaposed so they prop each other up, rather than conflicting.  One thing that always surprised me, though, was the rigidity of some steampunk proponents.  It must be set in the Victorian era.  It must only have a science fiction basis, no magic, monsters or otherworldly creatures mucking it up.  Not to say that you can’t choose what steampunk is your steampunk—you absolutely can, and should.

My steampunk happens to have tentacle monsters.

Steampunk called out to the type of story I wanted to write—one not just about a girl trying to save her brother from the machinations of the faerie court, but one about a totilitarian government who keeps its citizens “safe” with its great machines, but also uses those same machines to grind dissidents under its heel.  Take away the vast winds of change swept in by the Manhattan Project, and you’ve got a government that won World War II with the help of steam, a government that demanded total obedience from its people, lest they lose faith in science and reason and allow the unthinkable to happen—to allow in the magic that, though science might try to stamp it out, is evident in every corner of the world I created.

Steampunk usually features at least some alternate history, and I love it.  I love asking what if, so when I decided to write my alternate history, big steam powered cities and fleets of dirigibles slotted themselves in pretty naturally.  I also think it’s a genre that suits itself wonderfully to combining with others.  The rigidity doesn’t need to be your steampunk. I don’t necessarily follow the “steampunk can be anything you want” school of thought—goggles and gears don’t make a story, movie, or whatever steampunk on their own—but I do think it cries out for fresh blood, for new elements, be they fantasy, mystery, horror, what have you.

So that’s why steampunk fantasy, on my end.  I’d love to keep combining, keep remixing.  I get so excited when I authors or creators doing things  like noir steampunk, 1920s grit and darkness fused with automatons and ray guns, or Imperial Japanese steampunk, set during the conflicts of Meiji Japan. (Steam-powered samurai, anyone?)

Those are my remixes.  I’d love to hear some of yours!

~Caitlin Kittredge



Contest ends Sunday, April 10th at 11:59 PST.  Open internationally.


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I totally forgot to put up the Feb edition of “In My Mailbox.”   I’m still very new to the whole Vlog thing.  I get so nervous and I just know I said something wrong.  And, oh, the faces I make!  I don’t think I’m doing this right.

The books I talk about in the Feb edition are

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis (YA, a C.H.A.O.S novel)

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge (YA)

Heartless by Gail Carriger (Adult, book 4 Parasol Protectorate, released July 2011)

Thanks to Orbit, Thomas Nelson, and Delacorte Press for sending me these books.

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren

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