New to steampunk, but not to romance!

by Christine Bell, author of The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale (Carina Press)

First, let me say that I am so thrilled to be a part of the Carina Press Steampunk Week! I think I’m as excited to read the other featured books as I am about my own book’s release. And while The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale is my first foray into the genre, it won’t be my last. I’m positively enthralled by the sub-genre right now and can’t seem to get my fill.

My earliest experiences with steampunk were actually in movies, and long before I would have even known what to call it. Some of the quintessential aspects of steampunk have appeared regularly in great, fantastical films for years. In Stardust, where sky pirates capture lightning in jars to be sold as a commodity. Or in the newer Sherlock Holmes movie, where gadgets like something from a Rube Goldberg sketch abound. The Brothers Grimm, The Prestige, even Sweeney Todd all have a decidedly steampunk quality…an atmosphere that can’t be described, except to say you know it when you see it.

Once I knew what that “something” was called, I actively started seeking it out. I read classics like George Orwell’s Time Machine, and newer offerings like Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook, and loved everything I was reading.

Between these glimpses and peeks of this quickly growing, fascinating sub-genre, I found myself reading the Carina Press blog. I noted that several of the editors were on the hunt for steampunk material. While I am a romance author through and through, I was immediately taken with the idea of melding the two and writing a romance that featured my favorite steampunk elements. I embraced the brass goggles, gears, dirigibles and time machines, all made a tad gritty by the backdrop of Victorian Era London, but I chose not to set my story in the dystopian world found in many steampunk novels. I wanted strife, I wanted conflict and I wanted to incorporate my favorite parts of steampunk, but I also wanted to write a feel-good book. Something that made people want to cheer at the end, which can be hard to do in a dystopian setting. What I ended up with was a romantic -steampunk-time travel-historical that I called The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale.

As steampunk continues to grow and spread (like wildfire), I really look forward to seeing all of the different ways authors use it and meld it with different genres. It works great with romance, magic and fantasy, but I would love to see it with horror and suspense and countless other genres as well.

What about you all? Have you seen any movies you think might have had some neat, steampunk elements? Have you tried a steampunk novel or short story? I’d love to hear what you think of this exciting sub-genre!

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Comments ( 9 )
  1. Cari Quinn
    April 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    Reply

    Congrats on your release! The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale will be my first time trying steampunk. Can’t wait! 🙂

  2. Julia Broadbooks
    April 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm
    Reply

    I’ll definitely be on the look out for other steampunk titles after reading The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale!

  3. Christine Bell
    April 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for choosing Stormy to break you in, Cari! I hope you love it.

    Julia- That’s so sweet, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Make sure you get Photographs and Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape (it’s a FREE steampunk novella at Carina right now!) It’s a connected book to her recent release Steam & Sorcery (which I LOVED).

  4. Christine Bell
    April 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for choosing Stormy to break you into steampunk, Cari! I hope you love it.

    Julia- That’s so sweet, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Make sure you get Photographs and Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape (it’s a FREE steampunk novella at Carina right now!) It’s a connected book to her recent release Steam & Sorcery (which I LOVED).

  5. Calisa Lewis
    April 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm
    Reply

    First I have to congratulate my wonderful cp on your release! I’m so happy and snoopy dancing doesn’t seem to cut the rug…please, don’t ask what does. It’s NOT pretty. lol

    So I’d heard the term steampunk over the last few years. Didn’t get it, still don’t in most important ways. I keep imagining Dr. Who- a show I don’t care for. But then I realized some of my favorite shows also had elements of the sub-genre. My most favored is Philadelphia Experiment. Who knew?

    Great job Christine. I love The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale!

  6. Christine Bell
    April 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm
    Reply

    Thanks Cari! I hope you like it.

    Julia- I’m so glad!

    Lisa- I would appreciate it if you would videotape that dance and send it to me posthaste. Or at the very least, youtube it!

  7. Ju Dimello
    April 26, 2011 at 11:41 pm
    Reply

    Hi there Chris! Actually I never knew The Brothers Grimm was a steampunk :-/ So you can see how dumbo I’m about that genre as a whole 🙂

    But I must say, I loved, loved, and loved my first steampunk novel – which is yours !

    I’m glad you didn’t set it in a dystopian world (whatever that means 😉 ) because I wouldn’t want even a word different than what I read thro’ Stormy!

  8. Scarlet Wilson
    April 27, 2011 at 5:03 am
    Reply

    Congratulations Christine, just bought your book and very much looking forward to reading it.
    I think I must be slightly older than you – my idea of the steampunk era was Captain Nemo and Journey to the bottom of the sea etc.
    I liked all the crazy stuff – particularly the inventions!

  9. Annnie Seaton
    May 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm
    Reply

    Christine
    I came across your blog entry whilst researching my own first foray into steampunk.
    I am so looking forward to reading your new novel. Just bought it and have set it aside until I have compelted 2000 words for the day!

    Like you I am excited by the freedom of plot and setting in the genre.
    Annie

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