Monday, 21 September 2015

Afternoon Tea Anyone? And a quick catch up on news.

As you know I've been doing the Steampunk thing in a big way of late and this weekend I participated in my first on line tea party!  The Scribblers' Den in the Steampunk Empire celebrated it's 1st Anniversary on September 19th. The event was hosted on line with lots of witty banter, tea & cakes, tea duelling and of course, a short story competition! All of the entries are available to read here at the moment, but the Denizen's are toying with thee idea of an ebook to be made available at some time in the near future. My story 'Walk In The Park' got lashings of praise so I was very pleased especially as it was something I rushed off in a couple of hours!

Rambunctious Ramblings Collective Ramblings: Volume One, which includes my winning Steampunk story 'Synchronysi', is available for pre-order through an indiegogo campaign. Please sign up to get your copy!
This weekend 'Hides the Dark Tower', which include my story 'Core Craving', has gone up for pre-order on, and i-Tunes. The full list of contributors is as follows:

Laura Shovan, A.P. Sessle, Larry C. Kay, Jeremy M. Gottwig, Richard Chizmar, Steven R. Southard, Rie Sheridan Rose, Kelda Crich, M. J. Ritchie, Edward McDermott, Brad Hafford, Jeff Stehman, Andrew Gudgel, N.O.A. Rawle, Meg Belviso, Daniel Beazley, Jonathan Shipley, Briana McGuckin, Robert E. Waters, Kane Gordon, Kelly A. Harmon, Evan Dicken, Anatoly Belilovsky, Vonnie Winslow Crist, G. Scott Huggins, Ray Kolb, Alex Shvartsman, Jeremy Zimmerman, Peter Schranz



Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Island Hopping from Steampunk to Synchronysi

Don your goggles, I have some Rambunctious news!

But first things first, if you do not know what Steampunk is let me take you on the adventurous voyage I took to Steampunk and hopefully you will learn a little more!

I was a Goth. I say this in all seriousness but with the sly smile of one forced to join AA but with no will to do so. Meaning I still have a Bauhaus moment or two and although I no longer practise Bela Lugosi's Dead on my double bass, you will hear me screaming along to the Cult Revolution or prancing about to Sisters of Mercy Temple of Love.

Goth, as I know it, has nothing to do with Emo. I do not, and never did, mope around in cemeteries, although I do have a strange admiration of Victorian funerary art. Neither does it have anything in common with Black Metal or devil worship. That said, I love dark fiction and movies related to these things and I am not at all creeped out talking about death and what it might mean (if anything)!

So how does this get to Steampunk? The answer is simple; I get German Goth magazines Zillo and Orkus because they have free Cd's! (That's as modern as my car music system gets!) My knowledge of German is nil, which you'll know if you've visited here before, but the magazines include fantastic photography of all those Goth festivals such as Wave Gotik Treffen where you can see the most amazing costumes! As one of the many jobs I've had was as a theatrical costume designer I was captivated, especially by the Victorian inspired ones.

Then, a lot later, through the group Write 1 Sub1 that I joined to encourage myself not to procrastinate too much in my writing aims, I met (as one does in cyberspace) Beth Cato who, besides making delicious cakes and biscuits, better yet also writes fabulous stories to read while you are stuffing your face! She shot to fame in 2014 with  The Clockwork Dagger which was quickly followed up by the ebook The Deepest Poison and in the summer of 2015 The Clockwork Crown all of which are Steampunk stories. So, having read those, I started to gen up on Steampunk and all that it encompasses.

During my Research I discovered that many of the commercial movies I love are considered Steampunk by some. Wild Wild West being one of the first. (Who cannot love Kenneth Brannagh as the evil Dr. Arliss Loveless or Will Smith as the steaming hero, Jim West?) Van Helsing and The Prestige both staring Hugh Jackman, Sherlock Holmes and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

Then I came across many sites on the subject. I will mention a couple that have given me not only more idea about the genre, but also help and support in my writing endeavors. First and foremost, The Steampunk Empire whose Scribbler's Den denizens, amongst others, are the friendliest bunch I've met steaming through the Aether. I would also like to put in a good word for Beyond Victoriana who are forging the way for racial equality in the world of Steampunk.

Still feeling in the dark? If you have read H.G. Wells' 'The Time Machine' etc. or anything by Jules Verne then you will have some idea how the Victorians saw the future. Now imagine an Empire melded with that future but as reality, add to it a measure of the tech we have now (steam powered of course) plus a good dash of racial and gender equality not found in the British Empire, a few fantastic weapons and a splash of villain, a dash of magic and some airships/spaceships/submarines. Don goggles and/or a corset and voila! You have Steampunk!

In terms of writing, Steampunk is a genre that I have been travelling oblivious for, well, quite a while! I started a story years ago (I won't divulge just how many but where I come from we say donkey's years!) that was Steampunk all along but I never knew it. Andromeda Stowe is a feisty female character who knew where she was going and what she was doing even though I didn't. She's been trapped in the Aether until now. Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing Inc. host a quarterly short story contest and the last one was on a Deserted Island theme. Thanks to an encounter with an overly large spider and being stranded up a mountain by a fallen tree (for all of half an hour!) Andromeda Stowe has started and awesome new adventure to 'Synchronysi' which you will be available for your enjoyment in Collective Ramblings Volume I in 2016 and perhaps there will be more Island Hopping adventures to come...