Hello! I am delighted to be here. Please, make yourselves at home and let me pour you a nice cup of tea. Can I offer you a cucumber sandwich?
Not long ago, I began hearing the words “steam” and “punk” being bandied about. I saw pictures showing people in amazingly detailed Victorian costumes… with gears and cogs and other brass apparatus such as googles. I had to find out more about these compelling images. I began to read the steampunk books that were beginning to appear in the bookstore where I work.
Before long, I fell in love the possibilities and opportunities steampunk gives you to build worlds and marry historic events and mores with cool gadgets and fabulous science.
My first steampunk novella “Rescue by Ruin” is published by Ellora’s cave. Here is the blurb:
Forced to marry a violent man, Beatrice knows only one way out—ruin her reputation. She climbs aboard the Venia, a dirigible of ill repute, for a masquerade. Bea doesn’t expect to run into Vaughn Kemple, the third Duke of Missenden, who eight months ago left her without an explanation. Feeling secure behind her mask, she decides Vaughn will be the one to ruin her. She may not get to spend forever with this man she still loves, but at least she can have one night of pleasure.
But a mask is not enough to hide her identity. Vaughn recognizes Bea, shocked to find her aboard an airship where sexual freedom isn’t just a thought, it’s celebrated. But her actions are far from innocent. Captivated, he’s determined to make her his.
The heat between them flares, but Vaughn is torn between desire and honor. Bea is afraid to risk her love on a man she can’t trust. And when her future husband arrives on the scene, more than their hearts are in danger.
Dirigibles, AirPirates, flying velocycles and flaring passions, you know hijinks will ensue.
1. What does Steampunk mean to you?
To me steampunk means endless possibilities, fabulous historical facts and research, and the ability to let my mind take me where I want to go. Being able to play around with history, cool gadgets and alternative timelines is so much fun.
2. What is your favorite thing about steampunk or writing about steampunk?
I have lived in London for many years, so it great fun for me to research my favourite places and weave them into my stories. I also love asking, “what if” and finding a tiny tweak to history can lead all sorts of exciting and creative places.
3. What is your favorite steampunk accessory?
A beautiful set of cog earrings I bought at “Steam on Queen”, a local steampunk fair here in Toronto where I now live.
4. What turned you on to steampunk?
I fell in love with Stephen Hunt’s writing and the worlds he created in “Court of the Air” and “Kingdom Beyond the Waves” before I even knew what steampunk was. When I discovered Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, a series where the unique worlds of steampunk and romance collided, I was hooked. It gives me the opportunity to combine my love of sci-fi with my interest in history. And throwing in some toe-curling sexy men and sassy heroines makes it even more fun.
5. Do you have any upcoming Steampunk stories you can tell us about?
I am working on the sequel to “Rescue by Ruin”. Susan, the heroine, has to find the money to pay her taxes or the tax collector will “collect” from her in a very unpleasant way. To save her home, business and virtue, she goes to sexy, but unnerving, local businessman Archer Jamesson for a loan. Little did she know he would request she pose nude for his “house mate” Warren, who is an up-and-coming artist. The two men love each other deeply, but want a family and Susan is the one to fill the empty space in their lives. The reader will find seduction, passion, whirling emotions and cool gadgets within this steamy steampunk sequel.
6. Who is your favorite character of all from one of your Steampunk stories?
I love them all, especially Vaughn, my hero in “Rescue by Ruin”. He is so strong and sexy and he sure as hell knows how to seduce a woman.
Much to my surprise a very secondary character, Detective Johnson, has made himself at home in my head. I hope to make him a recurring character in my Ellora’s Cave steampunk series, tentatively titles Gaslight Temptations. But he’s demanding his own story. At the moment he is a man of mystery, but a mystery I look forward to exploring with every single story.
7. What’s the hardest thing about creating a Steampunk universe?
Getting the details right and making them accessible to a reader who may be unfamiliar with my world, especially if I twist history. And making sure my science, whatever shape it takes, is sound and has its own logic.
8. What’s the easiest thing about creating a Steampunk universe?
My characters. I love to mix the Victorian mores and rules and throw in characters who rebel against those rules or have found ways to make them their own.
9. What does steampunk allow you to do as a writer that no other genres can?
It gives me the chance to combine my love of sci-fi with other genres while at all times being grounded in a certain historic setting. No matter how outlandish my world, Victorian society has certain expectations and provides a wonderful backdrop to what I create. I can also add magic and paranormal aspects, include fantastical creature or keep everything realistic. The possibilities are endless.
11. How much research does it take and how much imagination?
I like my gadgets and some of my history to be based in fact. Not completely, but I don’t want someone to throw my book against the wall because my science has no base. I have to understand how something works before I can either modify it or describe it in an action scene. For example, in one story I had the heroine battle with a villain in the engine room of a dirigible. I needed to understand how a blimp actually stayed in the air before I could build the engine room in my head. Most of that research is just for me and my writing process. The rest is all imagination.
I am always looking for new books to read. Tell me you favourite steampunk romances in the comments for the opportunity to win an ecopy of “Rescue by Ruin”. The contest is open until June 7th.
Congratulations Regina! Random.org has chosen you as the winner of a copy of “Rescue by Ruin”. I will email you.