Nightmare City: A Post-Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure

Nightmare City: A Post-Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure

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“Nightmare City: Part Two” — Zombies, mad scientists, zeppelin, oh my!

Take a ride through a terrifying city. Free Sat. April. 4-6, 2014:

My interview with fellow Texan and steampunk writer, Ava Morgan!

My interview with fellow Texan and steampunk writer, Ava Morgan!

1) Take a moment to introduce yourself.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Jack. A big Texas howdy to you and your readers. I’m Ava Morgan and I’m an indie author. My chosen genres are steampunk and fantasy. In another life, I conducted myself as a jill-of-all trades. I’ve worked as a tax preparer, government employee, and I even held a stint as a daycare worker. Now, I write full-time. I love the freedom and creativity that comes with it. I live with my husband in Texas, where we can usually be found sprinting off to Renaissance festivals, scifi/fantasy conventions, and posing as figments of our imaginations (i.e., cosplay, vintage reenactments, etc.)

2) Tell me about your latest novel The Industrial Spy.
The Industrial Spy is the third story in my Curiosity Chronicles series. It follows the journey of engineer Colton Smythe, who works as an industrial spy for New Britannia’s premier scientific agency the Cabinet of Intellectual Curiosities. Colton is on the hunt for a criminal industrialist who’s responsible for a series of thefts, factory working violations, and all manner of unpleasant robber-baron tactics that have affected people across Europe. But those aren’t the only reasons why Colton wants to bring this man to justice. There’s a personal vendetta in the mix. However, Colton’s plans get thrown for a loop when he is ordered to work with another industrial agent from rival country France, the beguiling and clever Dominique Fontaine.

3) What attracted you to the genre of steampunk?
I love the wide parameters of it. Steampunk can take all the best from the other genres and feature it in the glow of a romantic gaslight. As long as some of the general aesthetic modes of steampunk are applied (setting evocative of 19th century industry/technology, for one), anything goes from there. You can have pirates, automatons, spies, fanciful machinery, funky weapons and whatnot (Yeah, I included some of these in my stories, lol). Unlike historical fiction, where you have to be careful portraying significant events, people, and all, your imagination can run wild in steampunk.
I also like how receptive the steampunk community is. There is such a high degree of diversity and tolerance here that I haven’t seen in other genres or fandoms. Where strong female characters and minorities are underrepresented in other genres, they can be featured here.

4) What makes your work unique? How does it stand out from other works in the genre?
I write romantic steampunk tales about unconventional characters. I think that happy endings are not just for the beautiful woman, the big alpha male, the guy that has it all together, or the lord and lady with the most wealth. The real world is filled with people of all different creeds and backgrounds. We all have goals that drive us to succeed and adversities that make us want to crumble. Why shouldn’t fiction be a reflection of that diversity, even if that fiction is steampunk?

So far in my Curiosity Chronicles series, I’ve written about a female machinist who invents voice-responsive automatons to help defend her country against pirates, a doctor who bears as many wounds as the patients he treats, and a working class engineer whose life has been significantly fashioned, both good and bad, by 19th century industry. These characters are put in situations that not only affect their way of life, but also allow us to consider how we view the past. But, of course, the books don’t dwell completely on the serious. There are pirates and automatons, for goodness’ sake.

5) You’re going to be appearing in The Indie Steampunk Lit Extravaganza in the end of April. Could you tell us about that?
I’m very excited and honored to be a part of the Indie Steampunk Lit Extravaganza. Thirteen of us indie steampunk authors will be on social media chatting with fellow readers and writers. We are also proud to present our books to readers at %50 off. So if you’re looking to find some new steampunk reads or simply want an introduction to this fun genre, the Extravaganza is a great opportunity. I’m offering the first book in the Curiosity Chronicles series, The Lady Machinist, for $0.99. But hurry. The Extravaganza ends after April 27th.
Lady Machinist book blurb:
Lydia Dimosthenis detests pirates, especially those of British ilk. The lady machinist will do anything to protect her island home of Aspasia from the scurvy knaves, even if it means crafting seven-foot clockwork soldiers to drive intruders away. When her automatons catch the eye of a charming yet stubborn ambassador from New Britannia, she is given an offer that she truly cannot refuse. But that doesn’t stop her from trying.

Rhys Cartret, ambassador and agent for the Cabinet of Intellectual Curiosities, didn’t count on having a strong-willed, attractive inventor thwarting his every diplomatic move. It’s hard enough keeping his pirate past a secret from Lydia. Matching wits with her is the last thing he needs, especially since New Britannia’s rival France is racing to get the automatons before he does. Intrigue, romance, and striking bargains abound in this curious tale of clockwork soldiers, ruthless pirates, and steam-powered ships.

6) What are you working on now?
I’m researching and preparing to write the fourth book in the series called The Aether Alchemist. I’m proud to say that it will feature a multicultural hero and heroine from Spain and Ethiopia, respectively. It’s scheduled for release later this year. I’m also working on a fantasy novel collaboration with another indie author. This project is very innovative and fun. I can’t wait to share it with everyone soon!
7) You have the last word. What would you like to share with my readers?
Thank you for making the steampunk community what it is today, welcoming and ever-increasing in popularity. It’s because of you that writers like Jack and me can do what we do.
You can find me at my website at http://www.avamorgan.com or follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Love to hear from you!
Again, thanks for hosting me, Jack. Great interview!

Author Bio:
Ava Morgan loves history, retro style, and reading everything she can get her hands on, especially steampunk, fantasy, and old pulp fiction. The Curiosity Chronicles series came from her affinity for the romance of history as well as its quirky anachronisms. When Ava isn’t planted in her writing chair, she can be found sampling mead and turkey legs at a Renaissance Festival alongside her husband or running up a tab at the local coffeehouse.

Riddles, Rhymes and Lilies: The Mystery of Tom Bombadil (Part IV)

jackconner:

A very nice exploration of Tom Bombadil.

Originally posted on A Tolkienist's Perspective:

Here’s Part IV of the Tom Bombadil article. Please bear with me – it’ll soon be concluded ;)

(Here are Part I, Part II and Part III for those who haven’t been through them yet)

***

1.6 Tolkien’s Letters

Up till now I have tackled Tom Bombadil mainly from the stories he is described in. But what did the author have to say about him?Letters

During his life, Tolkien wrote a substantial amount of letters to relatives, publishers and admirers alike. Many of these contained thoughts about his mythology, tackling clarifications and requests that people often sent him – pertaining to his stories.

From The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, we are able to discover those letters that somehow relate to the character of Tom Bombadil.

First of all, for Tolkien, Bombadil represented the vanishing country-side of Oxford and Berkshire.

Let us start by analyzing one of the letters, more specifically Letter 144…

View original 1,056 more words

The War of the Black Tower: An Epic Fantasy

The War of the Black Tower: An Epic Fantasy

When a dark power rises, only a doomed prince can stand against it. A dark, swashbuckling fantasy adventure — now on sale for $0.99!