Saturday, July 19, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Steampunk

Sabrina Zbasnik, author of scifi/fantasy/humor novels Terrafae and Dwarves in Space, has niftily invited me to participate in a bloghop about my fiction. (Yes. Niftily. All this woman does is fucking nifty!) I’ve chosen to focus on my steampunk work-in-progress. If anything you read below intrigues you, please do hop over to my storyblog to read more! Constructive criticism always welcomed. 

1. What is the name of your main character? Is she a fictional or historical person?
Holly Autumnson, last member of a formerly well-off merchant family. Though she is clearly fictional, I’ve read a fair amount of Victorian social history (American in particular) to get a feel for the society which has shaped her existence before the story began. She’s been raised as a proper young lady, although her father allowed considerably more scholarly education than is typical for a Victorian girl, delving into the natural sciences, languages, and philosophy where her peers would stop at arithmetic, grammar, and crochet. At a bit over twenty years of age, she is well on her way to spinsterhood, according to those peers...

2. When and where is the story set?
In the fictional city of Concordia, State of Columbia Pacifica, 1899. Concordia stands where the prior city of Portland, Oregon, was wiped out in a firestorm similar to the Great Quake and Fire in San Francisco. After a deadly rain of meteorites over the earth, progress in steam engineering and electricity has been superseded by technology based on “Dust” deposited in the Cataclysm. So picture mutations, bizarre new engines of destruction, people trying to impose Victorian social mores on a world gone freakish...oh, and flying kraken. With pilots who bond with them.

No kraken, and the hats are wrong, but yeah, pretty much.

 3. What should we know about her?
Holly refuses to  conform to the placid, submissive role which polite society insists she ought to assume. She doesn’t believe she’s inferior of mind to the men around her. And she resents every attempt by allegedly well-meaning men to shield her from the awful things happening. Horrible things are going on below the civilized surface of Concordia, and although Holly was dragged into it unwittingly, she’s now determined to expose the truth.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Her grief for the recent loss of her explorer-scientist brother is interrupted by the brusque, enigmatic Dr Vonken, who barges into her home and insists Holly is in danger from the founder and patron of Concordia, Henry Villard. This sets off a series of frightening new experiences for her, with powerful intrigues exposed, freakish abilities uncovered, and strange friendships forged. Suddenly Holly sees that people she formerly regarded as pillars of the community are more akin to monsters in the cellar, and no one is what she thought they were...including Holly herself.

5. What is her personal goal?
To learn everything she can about the power of the Dust: how it’s used, how dangerous is truly is, why a benevolent politician would kill for it...and what it’s done to her!

No no no. DUST, not Spice.

 6. Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?
This will likely change, but at present the title is Autumnheart Stories, available for free and in progress on my storyblog. Please do read AND comment! I welcome feedback to improve successive drafts.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?
Frog only knows. Summer heat trying to fry my laptop at home (and repeatedly broiling my brain) has led to an hiatus in my writing and posting chapters, but as soon as the whole tale is complete online (and yes, it is all in my head), I’ll be revising, editing, rewriting, and epublishing. My goal is to have it available in toto within a year.

Hmmm...whom to afflict next? *waves rubber voodoo snake around threateningly*

I'm picking three, not five. Because it's fucking hot, goddammit. I tag Andy Click (of American Werechaun  fame), from whom I’ve heard mutterings of sequeldom; Sophie Coulombeau, avid 18th century traveler and award-winning YA scribe; Marty Ketola, screenwriter, podcaster, and fellow MSTie! Check back here for updates and links to their responses.

Now...slogging into the heat...  *takes two steps, melts into gooey wax*