Guest Post: Writing Steampunk By Vanessa Barger
Since this is my first blog tour, I felt like I had to do something to introduce myself. And since Steaming was my first book out, I’ll combine the two of them and talk about the book and Steampunk at the same time. (Always a good thing!)
First, my name is Vanessa Barger. I’m an author. I live in Virginia, along the Chesapeake Bay and I have one cat, who rules my life. (Anyone who tells you they run a house with a cat is lying, btw.) I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve been reading even longer. There are pictures of me reading to my jack-o-lantern as a child. So sharing stories goes way back, as does my love of Halloween.
This is where I stumbled across Steampunk. I was hunting for a good Halloween costume one day, and I saw my first airship captain outfit. From then on, I was hooked. If you’ve never heard of it before, steampunk is basically an alternate reality where Victoriana never left, and the combustion engine was never found. Everything runs on steam, and everything is outfitted in brass and lace. If you want a better idea of what that would look like just do a Google image search for steampunk. There are thousands of awesome examples. I’ve even gone so far as to make a steampunk keyboard. It’s pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.
I think the draw to Steampunk is the sense of nostalgia, and the way it looks. I mean, it’s just so shiny! Who can resist goggles and corsets and an airship that looks like something from Jules Verne?
In Steaming, I’ve tried to take that sense of discovery and wonder and combine it with mythology, because steampunk, in my mind, also has a magical edge to it. It lends itself well to that sort of thing. Cornelius is an inventor, which is the ideal version of science to me – someone who has the smarts to figure it out, but who has the imagination to believe in things they can’t see or touch.
I hope that you enjoy Steaming, and that if you get the chance, you check out steampunk as a whole. There are some awesome things going on, from costumes to music! (Abney Park is one of my favorites!) Remember, if you follow the tour there are some great prizes, and I hope I see you all at the end!
Synopsis for Steaming:
At a time when most girls are worried about prom dresses, Lorelei Stamper is worried about losing her skin — literally. Receiving a sealskin from her Aunt, her world is changed. Not only is she a selkie, but she holds the key to breaking a curse affecting all selkie.
Now monsters are stalking her, forcing her to decide if she will end the curse before she even really understands what’s happening. When Declan, one of two bodyguards sent to protect her, wakes her sleeping heart, she must try to balance love, surviving her senior year, and deciding whether she wants to be human or not. No matter what she chooses, the fact remains that breaking the curse demands blood. Hers.
Synopsis for Slack Tide:
My name is Cornelius Latimer, and I have fallen in love.
The object of my affection isn’t tall and blonde with all the right curves. It isn’t even human. My love belches steam and breathes fire. My world runs on steam and hard metal, and I am a master of both. My Uncle, Rufus Harrison, has funded my expeditions. He’s gifted me with a lab containing all the parts and space I could possibly need. For weeks I have been toiling over my journals, crafting my biggest and best creation yet. It’s heady, this feeling of power. But I made a fatal error. I told a friend about my machine. And now someone who should not know, does. I should tear everything apart, but I can’t.
Love does strange things to people.
About The Author:
I am a Young Adult author who teaches high schoolers all about technology education (and yearbook!) in rural Virginia along the Chesapeake Bay. I am the owner slave to one cat, Molly, who looks a little like a cow when she gets a haircut, and write in my free time. I am actively involved in the YA Fiction Fanatics critique group, which is dedicated to helping its members produce the best MG and YA novels they can write. I’m also a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).
I’ve currently finished six manuscripts, and I’m working on several more. I love writing, and my goal is to be able to do this full time someday – or at least as a published author enjoy it as a second job. I’m always open to talking with readers (because I’m one of those too!) about not just my books, but books in general. I also love long walks on the beach discussing Shakespeare while sipping large fruity drinks with little umbrellas.