Back safely from Norwescon 38. The writing panels were great as always, and I have a renewed sense of purpose. If you have any literary interests in the SF&F genre, I highly recommend Norwescon. The veteran writers are very approachable and eager to share both their experiences and their options! Anyway, I have come away with some great ideas on how to approach a couple of projects, so I am excited. No, I did not get to see the Great Character Killer, George RR Martin. The lines were simply too long. I did however get a photo taken sitting on the infamous throne and logged more than 3 miles a day in walking, go me!
There are lots of people calling themselves ‘Steampunk’ these days, including your truly. I certainly am not going to wade into the definition wars about what is and isn’t Steampunk. Abney Park, in my opinion, is one of the best, and certainly one of the longest running steampunk bands ever. As several of my readers are interested in the steampunk area, I thought that I would let you know that their new album is out today. I’ve already ordered mine! Listening to their mix of rock and world beat music is what I often use for music to write by. You can get it here:
And no, the band hasn’t given me anything to tell you this, I just really like them and thought that you might too.
What music do you listen to for Writing inspiration? Is there other steampunk music do you like? What would you recommend?
I very excited to announce that my fiction will appear in the Incredible Expeditions Quest for Atlantis Art Book!
Incredible Expeditions is a fabulous and beautifully illustrated board game full of Steampunk adventure. The copyrighted image above is just a sample. If you like really intelligent board games or you want to support my fiction go here to order both the game and the Art Book:
I’d like to be indulgent for a moment, and write about something other than writing or my novels. A year ago I had what they call a ‘serious myocardial event,’ that is a major heart attack. During my time in hospital I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and told that unless I had major, and very risky, surgery that I would die very shortly, or maybe I wouldn’t. They couldn’t say for sure, but I should have the surgery anyway just in case. For certain if I didn’t, I would experience limitations in my physical abilities, as my heart simply couldn’t pump what it needed for physical activities, if not just keel over and die.
After much discussion with my beloved and much soul-searching, I decided against the surgery. The odds did not look good, and we decided that it would be better for me to spend my last days with my beloved in the home we had made together than in a hospital.
As I said, that was a year ago, and well it looks like I’m still here. I’m very glad for that. Very glad. Every day has been a gift. I have grown stronger, and even though I still cannot do many things I used to do, the aid of many, many, friends and my beloved one has made it possible for me to enjoy this beautiful world. I’ve seen my first novel come to print, and am busy writing more. If I have learned anything it is that the power of love can work miracles if you let it.
So, if anyone tells you cannot do something, listen to your dreams. No one really knows how much time any of us have here,so make the most of it and dream big! Me, I intend to keep climbing the tree of life like the curious monkey I am.
Research for writing is my idea of fun. You get to spend hours exploring different places and times. For example in the Owen Strong series, doing research lead me to understand that the higher up you travel from the sea-level harbor in Hong Kong, the cooler the climate, leading to the wealthy and the ruling classes making their homes on what became know as Government Hill. Placing the Dragon’s cave on top of Government Hill then became interesting.
In the same way, when I needed a real place to have the dragon hold clandestine meetings away from the top of the Hill, I learned about Hong Kong Park, and had him be responsible for it’s creation, showing to the reader the depth of the dragons political power, as well as his own vanity, that he would have this enormous park created solely for his pleasure.
We’re lucky now in that the internet is our friend, giving every writer the resources of a well stocked University library. Grounding the work in research makes the storytelling much more enjoyable for the writer, and I hope it makes the world more interesting for the reader as well.
One of my favorite authors once observed that writers have peculiar egos. They spend much of their time working very hard in solitude, sure that some total stranger will surrender their hard-won free time to read their work. Yet, the most the writer can hope for is that when the stranger closes the book, they may say “Well I guess he wasn’t a total boffin after all.”
Yet, we still write on. Why? Some people like to go on about how you’re liberating the soul from the pain of existence, or some such. Personally, I believe that it is because we as writers are blessed, or cursed, depending on who you talk to, with having experienced something unbelievably pure and cool in existence. We can’t help but try to share that with others and go “Look! See how cool that is? It’s a perfect rose!”