What are you currently working on? Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Gaslight Mystery/Romance, NeoVictorian, Paranormal, alternative history?

Are you creating a world only flavored with Victorian mores and manners, or working closely with Victorian history, but subverting it?

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Yes, just finish it and worry about labels later! Sounds like you're having fun with it, and that's really the most important thing. I adore the humor and wit of Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Blackadder, so if you pull that off you won't have to worry about labels. People will want to read it whatever you call it. :)

I'm having trmendous fun with it, Lia. Thanks for your encouragement. It's a great catharsis after spending 5 years writing the dark, macabre occult thrillers of my 'Trinity Chronicles' series - I felt the need to lighten up a tad, and this project has been around for so long, and has meant so much to me, it deserved my serious attention again. Trouble is, I'm maybe enjoying it too much!


Yep, 'Blackadder Goes Forth' was a big influence on the development of this series, with Lord Flasheart one of my favourite TV comic characters of all time. Suffice it to say, his presence is felt within my own humble pages...

I'm writing a piece about Steampunk vikings. It's set after the ice-caps have melted and the men and women of the North revert back to a life on the frigid seas...but backed by steam-power. Part steampunk part Norse-Mythology.
Steampunk Vikings? Hell, yeah! Apart from being a cool concept, how does steampunk technology create conflict in a world that believes in Norse gods?

I'm building an alternate history that starts in historical England 1855.  But pretty soon events take a turn that transforms the world rather dramatically.  In that context, I plan to take on the Civil War, the Indian Mutiny and slay any sacred cows I find along the way.


My hero is Louis Edward Nolan, a fascinating character, who, had he turned his horse slightly would not have been the first casualty at the Charge of the Light Brigade.

You sacred-cow-slaying punk, you! And alternative history, too... you make me wonder what Nolan would have become if he hadn't died that day.

A lot of people blamed him for the Charge.  But it's easy to blame the dead guy.

Then if you study the man himself and the imbecility of the English general staff in Crimea, quite a different picture emerges.


I'm currently re-writing a steampunk-come-fantasy novel set in Georgian London. Napoleonic Europe has always fascinated me. It's a period that I think could only be improved by giant robots. So I put 'em in it.

I finished the first draft in December and had to put it aside for family life for a while and also to concentrate on some short stories, one of which was picked up for the Penny Dread Tales steam anthology. But now I'm back on the day job and am glad of the 5 months distance between me and draft #1. I can see how to improve the story and inject more life into some of the stand by characters.
Great era! You obviously don't believe that Steampunk should be exclusively neo-Victorian. I know a lot of people believe it should but where would be the fun in that? We'd have to create a label for every single sub-genre of a sub-genre! Have fun with the edits. I think the first draft is the hardest part.
Thanks, Lia. I'm actually finding the edits a lot harder. The first draft was me letting my mind go and do what it wants. Now I actually have to think and bring the story under control. But I have a set date and I will not be swayed from meeting it!
Do you have a critique group or mentor to help you? I work through stories with an editor, as I often get bogged down and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Every other week I send him pages and we have a chat by phone to focus on the most important things to fix for each pass. It'll take many passes before I'll feel ready to send it out.

Not at the moment.  I was in a writing group, but I have two little boys to look after now so all my spare time is spent writing.  I was planning on looking for another group when this story was finished, or perhaps even more professional opinions if I think it's good enough.  


Until then my critique group is my wife and my mum, he he.


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