Why Steampunk is the Little Black Dress of Speculative Fiction

Steampunk is a weird, niche little genre, when you think about it. Merriam-Webster defines it as “science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology.”

That’s pretty darn specific. It’s not like the post-apocalyptic subgenre restricts its stories to the 23rd century, or space opera specifies the power source that spaceships have to use.

The boundaries of steampunk seem pretty restrictive at first glance, so it’s not surprising many authors bend and break the rules. Steampunk has branched out and evolved as creators and fans innovate, which brings me to the strength of the genre:

Steampunk goes well with anything. Continue reading Why Steampunk is the Little Black Dress of Speculative Fiction

Summer Getaway: A White Knight & Black Valentine Series Short Story

Dave set their suitcases on the dresser and stretched, still stiff from the flight. He surveyed the cozy bedroom, taking a moment to appreciate the view of the mountains out the window.

“This is nice,” he said to Val.

“I need to have it redecorated,” she called back from the bathroom, where she was touching up her make-up before their dinner reservation. “Everything’s horribly out of date—which I guess I should’ve expected. I haven’t used this place in years.”

Dave was just happy to visit one of her properties on a vacation and not as a safehouse to hide in while someone was trying to kill them. He pulled off his watch, wanting to wear a nicer one for dinner, and opened the top draw of the nightstand to put it in.

He stopped, watch still in hand, and stared down for several moments. Continue reading Summer Getaway: A White Knight & Black Valentine Series Short Story

8 Steampunk Heroines with Fabulous Fashion on their Book Covers

Fashion is part of the appeal of steampunk for me. I love seeing cosplayers at conventions and am fascinated by the styles of the Victorian Era. Not gonna lie–the main reason I set The Ghost Machine in the 1880s is because I like the style of the dresses in that era with the bustle in the back.

There are lots of different types of steampunk fashion, but this article isn’t a costuming guide. I want to spotlight some steampunk book covers that have their heroines looking particularly fierce and fabulous. So let’s take a look at the leading ladies of steampunk and what they wear on their adventures. Continue reading 8 Steampunk Heroines with Fabulous Fashion on their Book Covers

Older Characters in Superhero Media

Readers of The White Knight & Black Valentine Series sometimes ask me why I chose to make my heroes “older.” The superhero genre doesn’t have an age limit: it includes heroes from children to seniors. Just look at the Power Pack or the Justice Society of America. Like most media, though, I’d say it skews young, and the genre has its roots in teen heroes and superpowers as a metaphor for puberty.

With the explosion of live-action superhero films and television starring actors who are human rather than ink on page and therefore age, we’re seeing a few more characters on the older half of the spectrum. Except when CGI makes them look younger. Oh, and those aging actors are rarely women.

But we’re all growing older (unless you’re reading this from a Lazarus Pit), so let’s take a look at those awesome elders of superhero media who don’t let age stop them from saving (or destroying) the world. Continue reading Older Characters in Superhero Media

Shocked by The Ghost Machine Kickstarter

So my publisher set up a Kickstarter to fund the relaunch of The Ghost Machine and Clockmaker earlier this week. I was originally intending to write this post to ask everyone to consider helping it reach its goal of five hundred dollars, which I was worried it would never manage, but… well…

It met its goal 24 hours after launching.

mind blown gif

It’s currently marching towards the $750 dollar stretch goal, which gives all backers a copy of my short story, The Strange Stairs at the Aldebourne Estate. Head over to Kickstarter to see the full range of rewards, which include ebook copies if you don’t already have them, along with signed paperbacks and hardcovers. (Have I mentioned how excited I am to have print editions of my books? I’m pretty excited.)

A big thank you to all the backers, and to everyone who supported these books the first time around. You guys are the best!

Upcoming Read-Along of The White Knight & Black Valentine Series

Heads up, everybody! Book review blog One Book Two is hosting a read-along of The White Knight and Black Valentine Series next month!

What’s a read-along? You can find a detailed explanation on One Book Two‘s website here, but basically, you read the books at the same time as the other people who’ve joined the read-along and then participate in discussions and polls in the Goodread group.

If you’ve fallen behind in the series and want to catch up, this is the perfect chance. It’s also a good opportunity to reread the whole series now that the last book is out, or just a good chance to connect with other fans.

You can find the full schedule on One Book Two here. Hero Status‘s reading period starts on April 1st–and no, that’s not an April Fool’s joke. 😉 Get your Kindles, Nooks, and Kobo ereaders ready and join the Goodreads group now!

Favorite Book Quote Art

I’ve posted before about how I love making book aesthetics, but if you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve also got a thing for throwing together images with quotes from my novels. #BookQW (Book Quote Wednesday) is my favorite hashtag. Authors posts quotes from their books based on a weekly prompt, and it’s cool to see snippets from novels and novellas of all different genres.

I’ve been doing it for a while now and have made dozens of images, some of them better than others. Here’s a roundup of my personal favorites. Continue reading Favorite Book Quote Art