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Posts Tagged ‘Marie-Claude Bourque’

by Lolita Marie-Claude

One of my favorite steampunk image here for you  this week-end.

What kind of story could you write to this? My story maybe because I have to say that the setting of my steampunk urban fantasy could easily look like this, except for the dude on the left.

Who and what is he? Is he human? It doesn’t look like it to me. Is this a total fantasy world or some sort of dystopian earth?

You tell me ūüôā

Love to see everyone’s imagination working full speed!

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by Marie-Claude Bourque

STEAMPUNK WORD OF THE WEEK:  Abbess РBrothel Madam (from Steampunk Lexican for iPhone)

Doing those workshops with Lolita Theresa gave me lots to think about, especially when we started to talk about steampunk archetypes.

Since I’m writing an adventure, I was pretty much focus on plot, looking at my 3 acts and the main conflicts both internal (my mystic witch heroine confronted with characters that are not quite human) and external (fighting the bad guys).

But then, as I always do, I dug out my good old Donald Maass workbook to fill up the questionnaires, mostly those about characters, and especially the secondary ones.

And a funny thing happened, I fell in love with them. I already love my hero and heroine but now, I feel for my “fallen” Victorian lady and her love of beauty, my witch/widow/emporium owner who believes in love and also for my silent chief engineer who sacrifices his life to give a good future to his orphan niece.

I realize that all stories are mostly about characters (and you do want to see them sort stuff out, i.e. plot). Loving our characters is the true solution to writers block because you can’t wait to spend time with them!

So tell me, writers out there! Plot or characters or both?

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by Marie-Claude Bourque

The Steampunk novel is progressing quite nicely, thank you very much! I am solidly 2/3 in with a good grip on the story.

Plus the first chapter is totally done and revised. This is a good time to get this proposal done with most of NYC literary world either shut or slow down for August.

I am very please to have now filled 2 entire notebooks. Yep, it feels good to see this body of work before me. I know it takes more time, but having a physical reminder of the work I did already is really encouraging.

A fun/strange thing happened in my writing session today. I usually have a pretty good handle on my plot and characters. This book is planned way ahead and I have this scene where my heroine, a pretty aloof mystic witch decide to leave the hero behind.

They are stuck in a cave with all kinds of ghosts and the hero, your typical airship captain, has run away to save a crew member and he is not coming back. Meanwhile, the heroine, still on the right path with the Chief engineer, decides that they must plow ahead and leave the deadwood behind.

I wanted to have her convince the Chief that he had to leave his Captain behind to fulfill his own mission. The witch herself is on her life mission to save the world. I want this heroine to be flawed. I wanted to show that she is willing to leave a few people behind to save the whole world. I wanted her complex and I guess somewhat unlikeable.

But no, she surprised me this morning. This is the first time that I have a character behaving differently. She turned out to be heroic and runs to save the Captain.

I’m shaking my head here because it does complicates things. It would have been easier to have the Captain mad at her. Oh well… another¬†situation to deal with!

Don’t you love fiction?!

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It’s true, while some of us Lolitas are going to the big gathering of Romance Writers of American in Orlando to celebrate the 30 year anniversary, some of us are staying home. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be busy. Far From it.

In fact, if you aren’t going to Orlando, I’d encourage you to get your steam on with Lolita Marie-Claude and me at some of the Summer Symposiums, Not Going To Conference Conferences and such online.¬† First up, Lolita Marie-Claude and I will be giving a two day workshop over at Romance Divas on steampunk. We’ll not only have a reading list, but give you some insights into writing for the genre and have an intensive question and answer session, so be sure to stop by!¬† You can get there by going to¬†www.romancedivas.com and checking out their forums section. Class starts on July 29th. And the classes are free!

At the same time (because online means you can be two places at once, hazzah) I’ll be teaching a class on Backstory – The Mirror of Character¬†starting July 28 for four days¬†over at www.SavvyAuthors.com for their Summer Symposium. Click here to take you right to the symposium page http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/content.php?355-SAVVY-AUTHORS-SUMMER-SYMPOSIUM¬† There’ll be all sorts of classes for five days straight during the symposium including chats with editors and agents. Well worth it for the $30 year-long access you get to the site and all the classes they give. Marie-Claude and I will also be giving a live chat on steampunkery at 5pm EST on Saturday, July 31 at Savvy Authors, so stop by!

And while I’m not doing either of those, I’ll be a) writing on The Hunter (the first in my new steampunk romance trilogy coming out in 2011), b) sewing on a new steampunk costume to match the fabulous top hat that finally arrived in the mail this week, c) twittering @Theresa_Meyers and finding out what’s going on at the conference in Orlando even if I’m not there, or d) having iced tea spiced up with a bit of Firefly sweet tea peach vodka (because as much as I love tea, it’s too hot for hot tea past about ten am and because I know already the other Lolitas will be frequently the bar in Orlando, and one must simply keep up).

I’m also considering going online and trying a recipie or two for Key Lime Tart, just because I’ve heard that it is simply the thing one must have at the Swan and Dolphin in Orlando. And when life gives you lemons, ah, in this case limes, why not make a tart and have an iced tea with it!

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By Marie-Claude Bourque

So with all the good news of publication around, I remain the one blogging Lolita unpublished in Steampunk (but so so thrilled for Liz, Theresa and Suzi- can’t contain my anticipation for these releases!)

Yes I got my first gothic paranormal book out with hopes to continue the series but for this steampunk novel, I’m back to square one, in completely uncharted territories.

And if you think being published elsewhere helps you sell, I’ll tell you this. It may help get you read faster but in the end it comes down to the same think as everybody else who is unpublished. Does the editor like your book? Does she love it enough that she wants to read it many times and think about it a lot and want to read more books by you. Does she think she can sell this to the public?

So here I am, back to square one and guess what? I love it!

Somehow not having this pressure of performing, not thinking of reviews and sales, is totally liberating!

I’m having a ball!!! Because I’m trying to build a carreer, my steampunk contains elements from my gothic paranormal series: mysticism, sex, action and strong characters. But they are having an adventure and I’m currently in this mode where I’m throwing in everything but the kitchen sink! Airship, mad scientist, Victorian lady, oriental courtesan, inventors and cryptozologist, desert travel, steam train, a grand society ball and a sinking island, home to a coven of witches.

Just plain old fun. Once I decided that this was my “hobby” book, I started to free myself and the writing flowed. (see the plotted scene list pictured here)

I have a plan though, I am an organized hobbyist! I write a minimum of 500 words every morning. As a mom with kids at home, I need to wake up an hour before everyone to do so.

My goal is to finish it this summer and pitch it at the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle early Oct. (we all need a goal right!) so far so good, I’m more than one third in and the book is entirely plotted. I could write the proposal in a couple of day!

Wish me luck!

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Today I have another Steampunk book review for you. But first we have a few book releases this week.

The Young Adult Steampunk adventure The Boneshaker by Kate Milford (who visited during Steampunkapalooza) is released tomorrow. I can’t wait to pick it up.

Breath of Heaven, Cindy Holby’s (aka Lolita Cindy) new historical romantic fantasy also comes out tomorrow. The cover is beautiful, isn’t it?

Ancient Whispers by our very own Lolita Marie-Claude, aka Marie-Claude Bourque, also comes out tomorrow. It’s paranormal romance and looks to be an amazing read.

Also, this isn’t precisely Steampunk, but who doesn’t love Ghostbusters?

Now on to today’s book review.

Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti

Imagine a world quite unlike our own–a great, industrial city where there are sky trolleys, winged messengers, and the city itself is run by a supercomputer and council of untouchables. In this city the caste system is alive and well. Those of the highest caste hide behind masks and robes. Even entering from one part of the city to another could be problematic depending on caste. Only the Icarii are free to move about from section to section and mingle among the castes.

Taya is a young Icarus, couriering messages across the city with the help of giant metal wings. A daring mid-air rescue causes her paths to cross with the Forlore brothers–charming Alister is a member of the highest caste and part of the council, but the brooding, surly Christof has forsaken his birthright and lives among the cities poorest as a clockmaker. Taya is plunged into a web of murder, mystery, intrigue, civil-unrest, and top-secret computer program. She’ll have to decide who to trust and who’s side she’s on, her life–and the fate of the city–depends on it.

Pagliassotti’s world is rich and alive, full of detail and nuance but not in an overwhelming way. You can almost feel the grit of the mines and hear the rustle of the fine robes and the hum of the Great Engine that is the heart of the city. This world is truly a fine example of genre blending–and genre bending–combining elements of fantasy, scifi, romance, steampunk, and clockpunk and not quite like anything else out there. Gadgets abound, from sky trolleys and metal wings to the Great Engine itself.

Clockwork Heart is a fun and exciting read, hooking me from the very first page. It felt a little heavy on the romantic elements in the beginning, but not enough for me to put the book down. The pace quickly picks up and we’re launched into a wild, intriguing story with plenty of twists, turns, and gadgets. Taya, Alister, and Christof are all compelling characters and the ending felt satisfying. The world building is unique and vibrant. The only thing I’d like to see is a sketch of the “Icarus Dress” that Taya wears to the party thrown in her honor. This would be a great escapist read to take on vacation or any time you want something a bit different.

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by Marie-Claude Bourque 

Steampunk Santa by ~CyborgNecromancer on deviantART

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Thank you so much to everyone who entered the photo contest. I let the tot (the kid in the goggles in the last contest post) pick her personal favorite…

…and the winner is…

(drumroll please)

The “SteamCon Hussies” from SteamCon in Seattle, (Lolitas Deborah, Elizabeth, and Marie-Claude) as entered by Deborah Schneider.

Congratulations!

Deborah, as the one who entered the photo, you’re the one who gets the prize! Please email me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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Steampunk Lolitas: Deborah Schneider, Elizabeth Darvill and myself at Steamcon!

by Marie-Claude Bourque

With my new brand new goggles!

What is Steampunk style? I am probably the last one to know. That’s why when I headed for Steamcon¬†in Seattle, I didn’t really know what to expect, expect for a bunch of brass goggles and a few corsets.

Steamcon 09: The Airship Pirate look?

So it’s with my own corset (laced tight and rescued from the Romantic Times Convention) that I sat down in the lobby of the Seatt;le Marriot ¬†and sipped my venti nonfat latte¬†doing what I like best (after writing) and… people watched.

I was glad I had read about all the various Steampunk spin-off  in Suzanne Lazear blog post at Steamed! Dieselpunk, Monsterpunk, Oilpunk, Clockpunk, coompleted with Steampunk fairies, I think I saw it all.

Steamcon 09: A Victorian Gentleman (courtesy of Chadwick Ayers) 
Steamcon 09: Steampunk Fairy (courtesy of ChadWick Ayers  

What striked me the most was that really all goes. As you long as you have your goggles on, you are good to go. I did expect the clockwork and victorian look but I have to say that I was surprised by the intrincacy of it all and by how well dressed everyone was.

I saw plenty of victorian ladies and gentlemen in full regalia, top hats and elaborate googles and ornate canes, beautiful skirts and expensive corsets (mine is a cheap one, be warned) but also feather in upswept hair, parasol and yes, fans! So many things I want (need?) to buy!!!

Steamcon 09: Dieselpunk? 

Beside the victorian look, was also the western look. Think of the movie Wild Wild West, with variation on steampunk¬† guns, cowboy hats. Some were on the goths or dark side with black and spooky outfit closer to MadMax that is probably what they would call Dieselpunk. And some ladies had on simpler dresses that wouldn’t have been out of place in Anne of Green Gables.

Steamcon 09: More Airship Pirates! 

All in all, I think the rule is to let your imagination run, and yes get those goggles and that corset! Can’t down too many lattes with it on but your waistline may thank you!

Steamcon 09: A Steampunk Gun! (courtesy of Chadwick Ayers)

¬†Steamcon 2010 is¬†on! Get your tickets¬†as soon as they come on sale! I bet they will fly really fast! (yep, stood in line for four hours¬† to get mine!). I’ll be there ūüôā

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by Marie-Claude Bourque Steam cover_shot

I’ve been pretty obsessed with my  iPhone since I got it about 2 months ago and I’ve been trying to find applications for just about everything under the sun. So of course, I had to search for the word Steampunk in the application store but found very little, except for this very neat little reader call Steampunk Tales. The first installment called Steampunk 1, at 1.99 for the download of an anthology of 10 short stories, is a very nifty little application indeed.

The reader is superb, imitating a pulp fiction magazine from the 20s, but using the latest cell phone fiction reader technology. Steampunk Tales are also available in PDF and in a Mobile ebook version, see the website at http://steampunktales.com/.

The graphics has a beautiful Steampunk retro-futuristic Victorian feel to it, opening to a beautiful illustration by ¬†artist Melita “missmonster” Curphy and with a reading ¬†background made to look like parchment paper.

Steam indexscreenA touch at the center of the screen brings you to the main menu. In ‚ÄúSettings‚ÄĚ, you can choose your reading orientation, add a fun turning page sound, decide on the font style and size and also chose another paper-like background.¬† In ‚ÄúIndex‚ÄĚ, you can decide on the story of your choice and ‚ÄúAbout‚ÄĚ gives you the background of the authors.

While reading, press the left or right of the screen to go the next or preceding page. Press the bottom of the page and appears a meter to tell you how far along you are in page numbers. steamreader

I didn’t have a chance to read all the stories yet but so far for 1.99$, I think I got a good deal. The writing quality kept my interest up and was quite varied in theme.  It’s the perfect format and story length to carry around with you for a quick read when you have a few minutes to spare.

The Tales should be released every month, so look for Steampunk 2 coming soon.

I will sure be downloading it.

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sediaby Marie-Claude Bourque 

I find it pretty daring of me to be blogging about Steampunk when I know nothing about it, nothing at all. But I am fascinated by it, those cool gadget and even cooler fashion.  A time where everything, even the most far-fetched ideas are possible.

I do have my own work-in-progress Steampunk novel, but it is still too early in the making to be discussing any of it. And I do feel I have so much research to do still.

So what better project for me than to read what’s out there in the world of Steampunk fiction and report here. I don’t plan to assign ratings to these books or anything, but maybe just discuss them, tell you what I’ve learned and what I found inspiring.

larklightSo here it is, a list of Steampunk books I’d like to check, starting with a novel I have already started and should be discussing next month. Feel free to add your suggestions. I am sure I will miss some really important ones.

The Alchemy of Stone ‚Äď Ekaterina Sedia

Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology – Nick Gevers

Steampunk by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (anthology)

The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeoddiamond age

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson

Girl Genius Vol. 1: Agatha Heterodyne & the Beetleburg Clank by Phil Foglio, Brian Snoddy, Kaja Foglio (graphic novel)

Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti

Larklight by Philip Reeve

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters

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¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† marie-claude-winner2_11695343_largeOur very own Marie-Claude is the winner of Dorchester’s American Title V Competition with¬†her ANCIENT WHISPERS!¬†
 
¬† Marie-Claude Bourque — Seattle, WA¬†¬†¬† ANCIENT WHISPERS (Paranormal)Bio: A former oceanographer and fitness professional, I am now a stay-at-home mom to my two beautiful boys. Originally from Montr√©al, I immigrated to the United States in my 30s, first living in Rhode Island, then recently settling in the Pacific Northwest with my husband of 10 years, a Scottish Highlander.I was raised with French legends, told and sung by my late father, traditional stories that I now sing to my sons at bedtime. The sadness I feel over the fate of tragic lovers from these ancient legends and my interest in Celtic mythology have inspired me to use paranormal elements in my writing to reunite these doomed couples in happy-ever-after endings. (www.mcbourque.com)

ANCIENT WHISPERS

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