I love steampunk and can’t wait to dig into A.W. Exley’s new release, NEFERTITI’S HEART. Please welcome A.W. to the blog as she discusses gadgets and steampunk!
Steampunk – The Victorian Science Fiction
I’m going to talk to you today about steampunk. 🙂 Let’s start with the basics, what the heck is it? Think of steampunk as Victorian science fiction. There are no laser weapons, Terminator type cyborgs or spaceships. The science fiction components can be mechanical, steam powered or even clockwork. Flying in the skies are airships, like hot air balloons on crack. Feisty heroines in steampunk novels are most definitely NOT well behaved Victorian ladies. They have a tendency to hide weapons about their corsets and can deliver either a verbal lashing or land a well-aimed punch, depending on the situation.
One of the most common questions I get asked, is why steampunk? What do I find so appealing about the genre? For me, I love the alternate history aspect of steampunk. I get to ask myself “what if?” questions and play with history. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good epic sword wielding fantasy, but there’s something about having the freedom to mess with the past, create gadgets and set mayhem loose on uptight Victorians.
For me, one of the hardest things about writing a steampunk novel is the gadgets. I find them really difficult, because they have to have a purpose, a reason for being there and they must be feasible. My brain needs to know how they work. I spent ages figuring out how to wire Cara’s family home with electric lights in 1861 (did you know the incandescent light bulb was invented in 1835?). Now I’m not saying I sat down and drew schematics, but I researched what inventions were around at the time, and figured out a possible way to make it happen.
If you were going to create a gadget, what would it be?
Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father – sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.
Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.