Take a day-dream - you know one of those when you sit with wild thoughts of what the future might look like and get yourself lost in what might come to be technologically - now imagine that you were back in say the 17th century and you were having that same day-dream based on the technology of that time - got it? Okay, now add in a sprinkle of comedy, a whiff of potential romance and seven cauldrons of adventure! Stir it all together and spread it out on a time-line - and voila - you have yourself some steaming Steam-Punk.
That's one way of explaining it - or one could explain it like a dictionary:
Definition 1: a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced tech.
Steam-punk is that day-dream and the gods of those day-dreams are the authors. That leads us to the inevitable conclusion that this week's featured #indieauthor Anna Bowman is in fact a god. She adding to the fire first started by the likes of Jules Vernes and H.G Wells and has added her own personal flare to the genre - check her out!
5 QQ&A's - Quick Question & Answers with Anna Bowman.
What does being an indie-author entail for you?
Being an indie-author entails a lot of fun and a lot of work. The writing and creating an entirely different world with characters, who I hope appear real to the reader, is the fun part. Obtaining an editor, proofreading, cover-design, feedback--all of that is a lot of work, but it is necessary to have something I'm proud of when it's all said and done. And I wouldn't change the indie part of author because I want full creative control over my work.
For those who aren't familiar with the genre - could you tell us what steam-punk is and why is it your genre?
A typical steampunk novel is set in Victorian London with steam as the main power source. Mine does not necessarily fit into one genre. It is set in the future on an entirely different planet with a mix of technologies, one of which is steam. It may not be the best representation of a solid steampunk genre, but it was the closest thing it would fit into.
Did you choose it or did it choose you?
A little bit of both. I like the genre, but it is extremely hard to find steampunk novels that are appealing to me. They usually promise excitement or other element and fall flat. I hope mine doesn't do that.
You have gotten your book "Black Recluse" out there and circulating - but let's hop back to when you decided to be a writer, what set it in motion?
I don't believe I ever had a choice. I think I was around ten when I first started writing… badly. Ever since then it was just something I did. There were years where I didn't write anything, but it always came back around. It's not something I could really stop doing.
What is one piece of advice you would give an author starting out on his/her first novel?
I would say don't try to do it alone. Find some good mentors who are willing to give you advice and encouragement and acknowledge that writing, like everything else, requires honing. It makes it so much easier to improve when you have people that are willing to tell you what you need to improve on and what you do really well.
And finally - what's the dream?
And the dream? Best seller! Make "steampunk" the next "thing." Haha, not really. I will write regardless, but it would be nice to be able to make a meager living off of doing it.
Dive right into an excerpt from her novel (the one with the awesome cover) 'Black Recluse':
He pulled a cigarette case from his pocket. It slipped from his fingers and clanged on the floor. Solomand scrambled to pick up the scattered bits of black tobacco before hurriedly rolling a cigarette.
“Fine by me, Captain Black.” Rayn stepped behind the bench and pushed open the door to her room.
The chirping of crickets drifted in from an open window. Rayn stood by the unmade bed and paused. The room was bare of any personal items, except for the black rifle leaning in the corner.
Rayn looked around. A little voice inside her head tried explaining the insanity of her actions. There was nothing for her here, except the gun of that asinine adolescent. It would probably be doing the town a service if she didn’t finish that job.
Am I really going to leave? She didn’t know the man who waited outside her room, yet she was not worried about jumping aboard his ship and leaving town.
He’s like all the other idiot pilots.
Solomand Black was nothing she couldn’t handle.
Still, she had more or less made up her mind this was a permanent move. If anyone else had done the same, Rayn would have been the first one to point out how idiotic the plan was. But something inside her told the voice of caution to be silent.
She pulled out the medallion and traced her fingers along the missing triangular piece at the bottom of the oval. Around a small compass in the gold-tinged metal was the inscription I will come for you- S.L. The S and the L were on either side of the missing triangle’s point. Aside from the rifle, this was the only clue to her past. The words on it made her more determined than ever.
Rayn squeezed her fingers around the medallion before shoving it back in her pocket.
“No more waiting,” she muttered and snatched a pair of fingerless, leather gloves of the bureau. She pulled them on to her elbows and slung the leather satchel from her bed over her shoulder. She grabbed the rifle and ran her hands over the smooth, black stock before hooking it over her shoulder with a belt of ammunition.
Time to leave this place behind.
She glanced around the room one more time, her heart beating with excitement as she pushed the door to the shop open. A low, ringing sound rose above the noise of insects outside the window, and the airship captain’s transmitter emitted a frantic beeping.
“Get down!” Solomand jetted across the room and slammed into her before she had time to react. They both crashed to the floor as bullets splintered the walls over their heads. Her rifle slid from her shoulder, the bolt digging into her side as she hit the ground.
It took Rayn a moment to catch her breath.
“Get off,” she gasped, coughing as she wriggled from beneath Solomand.
“Keep down! He pressed her closer to the floor as another round of bullets broke out, hitting lower this time.
“What the hell is going on?” Rayn yelled, her nose against the floorboards.
The demoralizing ring gave her the panicky feeling of being underwater.
“Shit!” Solomand rolled onto his back, sliding closer to her. “That’s the 201st Airborne Division out there.”
“The what?” Rayn’s heart pounded against the floor. “What’s a damned Coalition unit doing all the way out here?” She turned to glare at him. “Just who the hell are you?”
Avoiding a legal matter of travel papers was one thing. But dealing with the 201st Airborne was another.
What the hell was I thinking?
She realized too late she should have kicked him out the moment she set eyes on him. Or shot him.
A deafening boom silenced Solomand’s reply. The shell tore a massive hole through the roof, and they were showered with a layer of wood fragments and plaster.
“Those bastards are fast,” Solomand remarked, spitting out a mouthful of white dust
Shouts rang out in unison with pounding feet on the roof. The 201st’s airship, Pandora, whirred overhead. Rayn coughed as she breathed in the debris-filled air.
I’m going to die here.
Hope you enjoyed this week's #indieauthor feature!
If you would like to know more about the featured author you can find her on twitter as @AEBowman3 and make sure to show some love and check out her book Black Recluse on Amazon.
If you know someone who should be featured, be sure to leave a comment.
This blog is brought to you by Amadreas Media.
Photo cred to Zoltan Tasi @zoltantasi
Join us next Wednesday for another #indie-author!