Last year, as part of a kickstarter, I helped Phoebe Darqueling as a backer for her Steamfest Gazette, a kind of traveling news magazine that visits different Steampunk Conventions. She’s an awesome person, and I’m so glad I get to share this interview with you as part of our blog swap for my Steel Praetorian blog tour! The rest of the interview is beyond the break!
What project are you working on now?
I can never seem to do just one thing at a time, so I’ve got a few different balls in the air. My Steampunk labor of love, For Whom The Gear Turns, just embarked on its fourth year so I’m thinking a lot about the future of the website. During NaNoWriMo I am working on completing the first installments of Mistress of None, a serial about a con woman in 1870s America who is forced out of retirement when her past comes back to haunt her. Literally. 😉
I am also going to coordinate a collaborative Steampunk novel in 2017 so I am working now recruiting writers for the project. In a nutshell, 3-5 writers will make an attempt at a new chapter in the story every week December-August and I’ll get to choose my own adventure by selecting the chapter that moves the story along the best. Writers get access to chapter summaries, character bios, and prompts to help them along the way, and at the end there’s a unique piece of fiction written by at least 30 people.
(Daniel: I’m actually interested in this, so I’ll probably be signing up!)
What book(s) are you reading now?
I’ll admit, I’m a little embarrassed by the size of my current to-be-read pile… but I did start Iron Tribune earlier this fall and I hope to get back to it soon. The most recent book I finished was Jules Verne’s Master of the World, and before that was Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber.
What is the most important component of steampunk to you? Why?
Hands down, for me it’s about the freedom of imagination. The most powerful words in any creative person’s arsenal will always be “what if..?” I feel like Steampunk adds such an amazing amount of whimsy into the world; I just can’t get enough!
What part of the craft are you working on now (Like what part of writing do you need to spend more time working/learning about)
Mistress of None is my second major fiction project, and I’m working hard to use dialog effectively, especially as a means for exposition and to avoid the dreaded info-dump. My main character is surly but lovable, which also makes writing her witty banter with both her friends and her enemies really fun.
What three things are essential to your writing routine?
Music with a driving beat
Muting Facebook and Twitter notifications
Something to eat within arm’s reach or I will get into the zone and forget to even eat breakfast until late afternoon.
If you could cosplay any character from classic Sci-fi or Steampunk, what would you choose?
I love all the eye candy at Steampunk conventions but I tend to be a bit more low-key in what I personally wear. That being said, I think it would be really fun to gender-swap a hero like Flash Gordon or Batman.
Do you have a favorite Steampunk-related memory?
Just this weekend I made a lot of great new memories, but one of the sessions at TeslaCon will always stick with me. 35 years ago, a man recovered 150 films that had been sitting in a basement for decades. The newest of the films came out in 1908. Many of them had only just been converted to a digital format in the past few months and we got to be the first people outside of the museum world to see them. It was AMAZING.
If you could suddenly master any skill, what would you choose?
I’ve been very slowly teaching myself the Adobe creative suite, so if that whole thing could just get dumped into my brain that would be awesome. Otherwise, I’d want to gain a martial art ala The Matrix.
Special Thanks to Phoebe for hosting me. If you have any other questions about her work, you should check her out on Facebook, or on her blog, for Whom the Gear Turns.
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