10/20/14

How Immigrants Took Over the Steampunk Carnival

Good morning, steampunk fans!  It's day 8 of the tour.  Every day gathers more entries into my Steampunk Carnival ebook giveaway.

Today, my book is featured on Book Troll's Real Escape Book Blog and Creativity from Chaos.  Each stop shows a different graphic for my book, the last quote pics of the tour!  I already shared the one on Book Troll's here, so I'll post the other here:


I love this quote!  It's one of the most facetious lines in the whole book.  Mr. Warden is such a fun character to love-hate.  Of course, as the book goes on, Katya - and the reader - switch from one emotion to the other.  (Enter the giveaway for that free ebook and the chance to experience it for yourself.)

I'm also sharing a guest post I wrote for the tour that hasn't been put up.  It gives some more insight into why and how I wrote Steampunk Carnival beyond what I've already said.

The Inspiration Behind Steampunk Carnival

My husband, Josh, was the first person to mention steampunk to me. He thought it’d be a great fit.  I love anything that’s limitlessly creative, and the Victorian era has fascinated me for years.  The idea of mixing steam-powered gadgetry with the conventions and silhouettes of the 1800’s intrigued me, but it took me some time to delve into it since I was working on contemporary projects at the time.

Steampunk Carnival started with one simple idea: what if there was a carnival where the rides ran on steam instead of electricity and gas?  I knew I wanted to make it as realistic as possible even though a place like that holds a natural kind of magic in it.  (Magic along with plenty of grease, sweat, and dirt to keep it grounded.)

I based the coasters and rides on the ones I liked growing up.  My family spent numerous summer days at places like Six Flags, Indiana Beach, and the La Porte County Fair.  My brother and I loved anything that spun, so I made sure the Steampunk Carnival had one attraction specifically for that.

But my story needed more than a setting, and characters are my biggest passion.  Since I wanted to stay true to the Indianapolis of the 1880’s, I looked into what immigrant groups settled there at the time. This led to a wealth of inspiration for the book, which follows quite a few immigrants and first-generation Americans. The backgrounds, languages, and accents of my book were taken directly from that time and place: English, Russian, German, and Irish with a sprinkling of Italian and Danish. This research coincided with my digging into my own family history, which gave me a new appreciation for both.  My book characters came to life for me, and I gained a profound respect for my ancestors who traveled to the United States from Europe and the UK.  It was an honor and a pleasure to represent the city the way it might’ve been - not to mention a lot of fun.

I hope that Steampunk Carnival, with its many sources of heart-felt inspiration, will touch others.  Learn about your family.  Learn about the places you’ve called home or traveled to or only dreamed about.  Find the parts of history that make you dream, and share those dreams with other people.  Like the carnival, it’s physical, it’s intense, and it takes work.  But it also contains undeniable, inescapable magic.

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