Guest Blog Post: Revelry at Steampunk Coffeetime Romance and More

CTR-Revelry!Greetings and welcome to the Steampunk Revelry at my guest blog post at Steampunk Coffeetime Romance and More!

Sit down, have a cup of tea and join me in an overindulgence of dark chocolate. Today we celebrate the launch of my new book, The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #1: Doctor Jack and Other Tales (paperback compilation) and the Doctor Jack eBook.

Start: Thursday 28th May 12 am  - Finish: midnight (US Pacific time) For Australia: Thursday 28th May at 4.30pm to Friday 29th May at 4.20pm.

Pop over and read my guest blog. Read an excerpt from the novella, try the crossword and enter in the Rafflecopter competition for a chance to win an ebook copy of both The Adventures of Viola Stewart: Three Short Stories and The Adventures of Viola Stewart: Doctor Jack. 

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Thanks to Steampunk Coffeetime Romance and More for asking me to join in on the fun - and leading up to my book launch on Saturday 30th May at the Steampunk Festival.

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Writing in the Shadows

The Adventures of Viola Stewart: Three Shorts is now formatted and almost ready to publish. I am now in the middle of final rewrites (hopefully) of Doctor Jack, the next instalment of The Adventures of Viola Stewart. Doctor Jack is a novella length tale - an alternative historical retelling of a more malevolent subject.

When I am dealing with personal issues, my writing often leans toward darker themes. Doctor Jack was written at such a time and the result is a much darker adventure than Viola's previous exploits. It is a story with hints of steampunk and gaslamp.

What is gaslamp? Gaslamp, or gaslight fantasy, is a subgenre of science fiction/fantasy and historical fantasy. The term was first coined by Kaja Foglio (wife of Phil Foglio) to describe Phil Foglio's creation, Girl Genius, and to define it separately from steampunk.

 "We have no 'punk' of steampunk and more than just steam." - Kaja Foglio

Whereas steampunk often has elements of science, technology and the Industrial Revolution, gaslamp has more supernatural elements and gothic themes. It often contains magical or mythical creatures and is a spin off from the traditional Gothic story.

It borrows many tropes from superstition, spiritualism, psychics and mediums - all of which were popular in the 19th century, providing an escape from the Industrial Revolution. It embraces the Victorianesque-mad-scientist-Frankenstein's monster story, Holmesian fantasies and gothic-style tales as opposed to the clockwork and automatons of steampunk (though these can still be incorporated). Think biology versus mechanics.

Gaslamp stories are often set in Victorian or Edwardian (even Regency) settings but, as with steampunk, can be an alternate history of either the past or the future. It can blend with historical fantasy, dark fantasy, romance, horror and detective stories.

How would I describe Doctor Jack? It is steamunk(ish), with a gaslamp flavour.

It is 1888. Viola Stewart returns for a new adventure. Someone is stalking the women of London... Again.

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My Plans are Afoot: The Adventures of Viola Stewart

I blame high school. And sport. I was never really a sport person, though I wasn't bad at short distance running or swimming. I even played first base or catcher for primary school softball. I used to watch the Australian cricket team in the practice nets that abutted our school oval. I toyed with renaissance fencing as an adult. But it never really tugged at my heart, as much as art or writing.

I was given a choice in highschool; sport or photography for the high school magazine. I chose photography (and got out of sport). In those days we played with negatives, enlargers, chemicals baths and photographic paper - learning to take, develop and print black and white photographs. Then I was introduced to super 8 movie film. By the end of grade twelve, I was itching to become a cinematographer. But there were bugga all jobs for women in the industry back then. I went to university and got a profession; the sensible choice.

I never did lose the photographic bug.  I have always wanted to set up a room dedicated to the craft. Set up and developing costs were always the issue. (Portable video cameras made filming easier.) Now I have my digital SLR camera, it is a much cheaper (and less messy) option. No chemicals and cumbersome equipment.

DragonsbloodCreationsGown_ModelZena_copyrightKarenCarlisle_2015A few weekends ago I put my creative passion to use - my first photo shoot for the first instalments in my series, The Adventures of Viola Stewart and Doctor Jack. My models were fellow costumers - Zena (Viola), James (Man in Grey) and David (Jack and Henry). A thank you to Terry, from Dragonsblood Creations (you saw her workshop in a previous post) who supplied costumes for Viola.

I shot some portraits in studio and on location at Port Adelaide where there is a smorgasbord of 19th century buildings and pubs. Fortunately the weather behaved. The previous weekend had been a scorcher of almost 40 degrees Celsius - not conducive to layered clothing and standing around in the sun.

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Here are a few hints of my plans. HINTS for blog 3 1503

ViolaHint1_copyrightKarenCarlisle_2015                   Sign up for my newsletter - Tea & Tidings -  to be first to hear more of my plans. All characters and images (c)Karen Carlisle 2015.