Happy Monday, RG2E Peeps!
I’m over the moon thrilled to bring the Steampunk Genre to The RG2E with RG2E First-Time Featured Author Lara Nance!
Take it away, Lara…
Tomorrow, Jan. 29th, the first book in my steampunk trilogy will be free on Amazon Kindle. So, what is it about steampunk that is alluring?
Perhaps you’ve thought about writing a steampunk novel? Now may be the best time ever. Or maybe you’d like to try reading a book in that genre but don’t know where to start.
First of all, What is steampunk, anyway? There are as many definitions as there are people giving them. Here’s mine:
It’s a Victorian themed world, where steam is the power of the day, running everything from furnaces to automatons. There are iconic images that pop up in this world, such as: corsets (worn on the outside, of course), goggles, top hats, pocket watches, airships, an occasional octopus, and lots of gadgets made from clockwork parts.
People are flocking to steampunk. The last convention I attended, Steamcon IV in Seattle this past October, had around 3,000 attendants. And that’s only one of hundreds of other conventions and events around the world. You can check out information about conventions and local groups at www.airshipambassador.com
What’s the allure? Speaking for myself, I think it’s the romance of the era. There’s adventure on every corner with airship pirates, mad scientists and clockwork monsters. Fashion is at the forefront with everything from bustled satin ball-gowns, to bustiers and fishnet hose, to leather, chains and studs.
Some people say steampunk is when Goths discovered the color brown…But the beauty of steampunk is that you make of it what you want. You can go for a genteel Victorian flavor or a leather bristling with weapons look. Or, a combination of the two. If you don’t want to create your own outfit, there are shops on the internet with everything you need. My favorites are steampunkthreads.com and clockworkcouture.com. Etsy has a huge variety of folks selling their original steampunk jewelry.
Inventions are key. You can invent a steam powered computer or a clockwork robot. Weapons are only as limited as your imagination, as long as you stick to the clockwork/steam scenario.
This year I saw major fashion designers incorporate steampunk into their fall lines, Movies add steampunk elements that never existed in the original story (think Three Musketeers with its airships and corsets), TV shows focusing a segment on the steampunk culture (remember the Castle episode?). Take a look at women’s boots for this fall and winter – you’ll see lots of buckles and retro styling.
Now there are steampunk themed restaurants like this one: http://steamhausgastropub.com
How about a steampunk card game: http://growingupgamers.blogspot.com/2012/11/ruse-steampunk-murder-mystery.html
Want to play an online steampunk game? Try Steampunk Odyssey here: http://www.begamer.com/flash-game/242519/steampunk-odyssey
You can even get your steampunk Santa cards for Christmas here: http://www.mylespinkney.com/gallery/painting.html?painting=christmas-time
Okay, you get the picture. Steampunk is everywhere.
In 2011, people said steampunk had peaked. But in my opinion, the culture is on the rise. On-line games and series are coming out everyday, new cons are popping up everywhere, and new books are coming out with interesting steampunk characters and environments.
So, if you’re interested in writing or reading steampunk, the time is now. You can choose between a variety of base genres in which to incorporate the steampunk theme. Sci-fi, fantasy, romance or mystery/thriller. Add some spunky, resourceful, characters and a splash of imaginative adventure and you’ve got a steampunk novel. Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of goggles, top hats, and corsets!
Don’t forget the father of steampunk (in my humble opinion), Jules Verne. His book, Around the World in Eighty Days inspired my own trilogy. Books like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, are great examples of an imaginative high-tech Victorian era.
If you’re looking for movies, check out The Golden Compass, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wild Wild West, or Hugo. They’ll give you some great images of different steampunk worlds.
Some people argue whether steampunk is alternate universe or alternate history. To me, it’s both…or either. It’s what you want it to be. And that’s the beauty of this genre– freedom to create an imaginary world, or simply say “what if” within the real Victorian world. You can add magic, or paranormal creatures, or stick with plain old humans.
This is a chance to unleash your imagination and take a new look at the world through a pair of goggles. Steampunk folks are some of the most imaginative people I’ve ever met. And they definitely know their history. So if you plan on using real historical events in your novel, do your research and get it right.
Oh, by the way, you’ll have to learn the proper way to drink absinthe, too.
If you’d like to give the romance of steampunk a try, go to Amazon tomorrow or Wednesday and you can download Revenge of the Mad Scientist for free.
Let me know if you like it. You can e-mail me from my website: www.laranance.com Plus, if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll get a free steampunk short story free.
Thanks for having me! Lara
Entertaining Women’s Fiction
Novels with Thrills, Chills or a Shiver of delight
Winner of 2012 Beanpot Award from NEC for Best Paranormal Romance:
Memories of Murder!
Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites throughout the South. She loves to write in a variety of genres, but the basis of all of her stories is a great tale of entertaining women’s fiction that will take you on an adventure of imagination. Smart stories that make you wonder, and live the romances you dream about.
If you want to escape and lose yourself in a novel, you’ve come to the right place. Choose your genre and settle in to be entertained. From thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales to paranormal romance and adventure, she’s willing to explore a variety of compelling stories full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance.
Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.
Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.
Connect with Lara here:
This is just sooo cool, Lara! Your book will be my first Steampunk experience! Thanks bunches for bringing this genre to The RG2E!
Btw, how superfab fun that you and your hubby and little Rio too live on your sailboat! Luv it!!!
The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder