Steampunk romance, on the other hand, was born at a very different time. Steampunk, a subgenre of both science fiction and fantasy, involves stories that take place in a setting whose technology is steam-driven. Most tales occur in Victorian-era England. May 2, 2012
When her captain is murdered and her airship suffers a series of sabotages, airship engineer and rogue pyromancer, Amelia Everley, must put aside her dislike of her new employer, Josiah, and help him save her airship and crew.
But is the destruction aimed at their mysterious government passenger, or is the captain’s killer now after Josiah?
All Amelia knows is, if Josiah can’t learn to respect her skills, she may have to resign herself to working for his rival, Edmund Fairlane.
If, that is, she can bring herself, her crew, and her ship home in one piece.
Spotlight Interview With Author Maureen L. Mills
When she’s not playing with her imaginary friends, she enjoys knitting, reading, and sewing cosplay outfits for her kids, who look a lot better in them than she does.
Along with her husband, she is in the process of creating a steampunk truck camper from scratch. She also enjoys teaching beginning fiction writing for the local school district’s continuing education program.
Maureen L. Mills, author of the romantic steampunk adventure Alchemystic series. Book one, Fires of Hell has just been published and Airs of Heaven: The Alchemystic (Book Two) is coming soon.
Here are a few stories I’ve written for fun. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!
What makes you proud to be a writer from Utah? Utah has a vibrant and growing population of writers, who support and encourage each other. I love the camaraderie, diversity and imagination of the Utah writers’ community. Plus, Utah has some of the most beautiful mountains, deserts, and canyons you’ll ever see!
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always been a voracious reader, and loved rewriting endings to suit myself, especially when the hero or heroine began acting too stupid to live, which frequently happened in kid’s books in the old days (I’m dating myself, here.) I went on to write plays for my younger brothers and sister and their friends to put on, complete with home-made costumes. My poor parents had to sit through many truly horrible, overly-dramatic retellings of fairy tales over the years. But my real inspiration came from a seventh-grade literary publication, where I had the second most entries accepted. One of my best friends, Thea Hansen, had the very most, and even then, I could totally understand why. Her writing flowed, and she talked about real issues, and her dialog sounded as if actual people had said those things. I wasn’t jealous–much–but I did come to understand I needed to up my game.
I played with writing in college and ended up with a professor who hated everything about the way I wrote. I quit college and writing, both, to do the wife and mother thing. Far too many years later, I took a community school class taught by Brenda Bensch (love you, Brenda!) which rekindled my love of writing and gave me the skills to pursue that love. It seems to have worked out pretty well.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? We were poor growing up. Not quite “not enough to eat” poor, but always hovering on the cusp. And there were nine of us kids. I was the second, and often overlooked as I was both quiet and not as responsible as my older sister. If I wanted entertainment, I had to make my own. Thus, the books and the rampant imagination. Plus, with eight brothers and sisters, you can find lots of grist for interesting characters.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? About ten years ago, after I’d taken a couple of Brenda’s classes, she invited me to join her writer’s group, Wasatch Mountain Fiction Writers, a multiply-published group of fantastic women who helped me understand I could succeed in writing. I wrote two or three stories which will probably never see the light of day (and the world should be grateful for that!), and then I began Fires, and the rest is history.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The people I have met along the way. I’ve made more and better friends and discovered such fascinating people!
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Still waiting for the rewards. Publishing my work–having my words and thoughts and stories exposed to public scrutiny–is harrowing for someone with my hermit-like tendencies.
How many published books do you have? One for now. Book two in the Alchemystic series is about half-way complete. I hope to release it next year.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I begin writing with a working title, which is usually kind of lame, and hope a better one comes along during the process.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I’m currently writing steampunk, which stems from Jules Verne stories and the like. Victorian or other historical settings with retro-science fiction trappings. I love reading historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mysteries. With steampunk, I can jam all of that into one book. Score!
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Fires of Hell: The Alchemystic
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I adore the idea of steampunk and have tried many times to read steampunk novels. Most seem to spend too much time being aggressively either steam-driven or punk-ish, and not enough time on character and story development. I love character-driven stories, so I decided to write my own. Back to my roots of making the story do what I want it to do, I guess.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Published authors? I wouldn’t presume. Unpublished authors? Keep learning, keep trying, and keep writing. You can fix whatever you write, but there’s no helping stories that never make it onto the page.
Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite, go-to author is Patricia Briggs. I love spending time with her characters. They make sense to me. I reread her books every year, right before her next book comes out!
Airs of Heaven: The Alchemystic (Book Two) Coming Soon
Amazon Author’s Page