Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guest Blog: Gail Dayton

In just 3 weeks, during the full swing of the holiday season, we'll be celebrating the release of Heart's Blood (see the sumptuous cover here), by Gail Dayton. Gail has generously offered to give away two copies of New Blood, the number 1 to Heart's Blood's number 2. So, the first two commenters for the blog post will receive a copy of the book (mash-up suggestions, anyone?). Without further ado, here to get you into the spirit of things is Gail herself.

Hi. My name is Gail, and I write Victorian steampunk romance.

You probably know what “Victorian” is: pertaining to the era from 1837 through 1900 when Queen Victoria ruled in England. You probably know, or at least have an idea of what romance is, in terms of writing. A romance novel has a love story as the central plot, and an emotionally satisfying, uplifting ending, according to the Romance Writers of America. Which leaves that other qualifier: Steampunk.

Steampunk as a term comes from the science fiction subgenre “cyberpunk,” which deals with computers, cybernetics, artificial intelligence and other things of that ilk. William Gibson’s Neuromancer is considered to be a classic in the genre. The word “Steampunk” was adapted when stories set in the era of steam, with science fiction and fantasy elements became popular. The movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or The Golden Compass are examples of steampunk stories. In the science-fiction/fantasy world, fans of cyberpunk are often fans of steampunk.

And at the end of December, (just in time for you to use your Christmas gift cards, wink, wink) my book, Heart’s Blood, will reach bookstore shelves.

The story is set in mid-Victorian London, but it’s a London in which anyone can work a little magic, if they have a talent for it. Most people can only work simple spells of one sort or another. A mother’s spell to warn her when her children are wandering out of bounds. A blacksmith’s spell to make the fire burn just a little hotter. Then, there are the virtuosos. Those who can heal terrible injuries, or speak across thousands of miles.

The hero of Heart’s Blood is the black sheep son of a duke who has defied his father’s dictates to learn magic, and has risen to become the magister of the English conjurer’s guild—the best conjurer in the country. When he awakes in the gutter of an alley near the docks, under the protection of a street urchin who insists on becoming his apprentice, not far from the battered corpse of a man murdered by magic—well, you can see how his world might get turned a little topsy-turvy.

Greyson Carteret, and his apprentice, Pearl Parkin, must lay ghosts and talk to spirits. They must harness the power of innocent blood calling out for justice and use every drop of magic at their command to discover the one who is murdering people to call demons. They must stop not only the murders, but the demon’s rampage. And while they’re busy with all of this, they learn that falling in love doesn’t mean giving up independence so much as finding someone to fill in your blind spots.

If you like urban fantasy, or historical romance, or paranormal romance, I hope you’ll give steampunk a try, and I hope you’ll give Heart’s Blood a try. There’s an excerpt on my website at http://www.gaildayton.com/HeartsBloodex.html for a little sample taste of the story. And if you absolutely can’t wait, the first book in this universe, New Blood, is available right now. (The excerpt for New Blood is at http://www.gaildayton.com/NBexcerpt.htm.)

Steampunk is a mash-up between science fiction/fantasy and history. Steampunk romance adds romance to the mix. What kinds of mash-ups do y’all think would be fun to read? And if they’re out there already, what are some of the titles? I’m always looking for new good books to read. Share!


Christina Farley said...

Great interview. I've never read any steampunk. I'm going to have to give it a try.

Tammy said...

I've wondered what steampunk is. Your explanation is great and I think it's a genre I would like to know better. By your definition would the movie, Back to the Future 3, qualify as steampunk? It's when Doc Brown goes back to the wild west and invents a time machine out of a steam engine. That may be too literal an interpretation, but I think it works. I can't wait to check out your novels.

Naomi said...

@Christina Farley & @Tammy--please e-mail me your mailing addresses to naomi@elaineenglish.com to receive a copy of book 1 in this series--NEW BLOOD. Thanks!

Naomi said...
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