Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Exhibition of Wonders

So for my Steampunk series I have absolutely LOVED doing research for these books. There is something so fun about world building when you're doing Alternative History because you get to delve into a sea of 'what ifs' and that is my FAVORITE.
Photo by Myrabella

This week I have been learning all about diving bells and anthropomorphic diving suits of the Victorian era for my third book, The Chasm Walkers, which has submersible vessels.

I am so shocked by what was already possible that long ago. This guy is from 1882. Does that not inspire! I mean...it could also be a space suit. Those face windows though!

Building upon the fevered dreams of those intrepid inventors was both an honor and a challenge.  How far can you push the boundaries, even in fiction, and still remain believable? The suspension of disbelief is an essential and truly delicate thing.

One of my favorite inspirational pieces was the Strandbeest by Theo Jansen. This innovative apparatus was just a wellspring for ideas for mobility out in the Wastelands in my second book, the Wind Reapers.

These strange contraptions propel themselves...so cool!

And although #steampunk can be filled with mystic and magic. I chose to ground my series in science. So when researching chemical cascades to create my Tremblers, I had to have monsters I could believe existed.

It seems like in the age of industry, nothing seemed impossible for a piece of properly designed machinery. Calculating engines, harvesting machines, scientific apparatus...all of it conceived in wonder.

LOVE IT. Its what gets me up in the morning.

After this series, I am debating on working on a Gothic Thriller. I love the spooky and the strange. Its sort of who I am. I remember once finding the prettiest music box ringtone for my phone. When it went off, my daughter said it was from a horror movie about ghosts.  I had no idea. It just appealed to me and sounded cool.

I wrote some Gothic Romances before...they were set in haunted carnivals and decrepit mansions. I LOVED writing them. So I may give it another go.  As I have been told before, "You do you, Boo."

I believe I will, thank you very much. I shall let my inner eccentricities out to play. Mwahaha!

What do you love most about what you do? Is it the people. The places? What draws you in, keeps you interested, and motivates you even when things get hard?

To learn more about my upcoming YA Steampunk Thrillers, check out The Tremblers or visit my Author Site.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Tremblers Playlist

Music that inspired the YA Steampunk Thriller, TheTremblers
From what I listened to while writing the aero ship battles to songs that capture the desperate romance in a crumbling world...I hope you enjoy the songs and lyrics that moved me to create this world.


Friday, July 22, 2016

As Cmdr. Taggart Says...

I'm in the home stretch now. I can see the final chapters so clearly that I can almost taste them. Okay, I may need to work on my imagery here, but you get the point. The last book in my YA Steampunk series is coming to a close...EVER SO SLOWLY!

Its taken a lot to get here. Many tangents that had to be back-tracked. Too many wrong turns to retrace. Closing out a series is difficult. This I knew, but...this last book is such a struggle for some reason.

Perhaps it is because I pre-wrote the synopses for all three books via the publisher's request and so had a hard time just following the characters as they fleshed out.

Maybe my vision changed the deeper I delved into the story so the pre-imagined story line didn't fit anymore?

I am not sure.  I do know that I will not flesh out an entire series so tightly again. I loved knowing where I was going and maybe wrote some scenes ahead of time. That was helpful. I am a die-hard plotter after all. I live for charts and outlines and note cards.

But I also like the freedom of free writing and creative journeys so I need to find a balance there.  It is funny, this realization, that I might do well with some looser parameters and room to play because my critique partner, who is a dyed-in-the-wool pantser, just went to a conference workshop on plotting and is finally starting to embrace that in her process. The timing is cosmic sarcasm...I'm sure of it.

So as I head towards the climax of the story and the series, I will have to find the will to continue to grapple with this story that I have both loved and hated in turns over the past two years.  It is my favorite creation and the most painful to date to produce.

But as my Galaxy Quest Captain would exhort..."Never Give Up! Never Surrender!"

Look for The Tremblers, Book 1 in The Blackburn Chronicles out this fall.

+Raquel Byrnes