I’m deep in Claytons Conf prep. Maybe (definitely!) a better organised person would have pre-prepared posts for today and Saturday (when the conference actually runs). I’m not that person. Soooo till next week when my brain is no longer whirling like a dust storm, no posts.
Believe me, you don’t want to hear my level of incoherence at the moment.
Oops. Almost forgot to tease: I just saw the cover concept for “Courting Trouble”. Stunning. Can’t wait to share the final cover. You will love it.
I was reading my TI sheet for Courting Trouble which releases 1 October from Carina Press and I noticed that the graphic designer responsible for its cover is Croco Designs. This is wonderful news because they do some of the best graphics in the romance world. Wanted: One Scoundrel is one of their covers. You can see it in the sidebar. Fantastic work.
But as I wait (more or less patiently) to see the cover for Courting Trouble, it got me thinking about that old phrase, “choosing a book by its cover”, and you know what? I just don’t.
That’s the plain truth. For all my excitement when I see the covers for my own books, when I buy a book to read, the cover is irrelevant. Unless my subconscious is extremely sneaky, covers don’t affect my buying habits at all.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the sheer artistry involved. My favourite cover artist is Paul Kidby for the way he’s brought to life Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. And if you click on Paul Kidby’s link, I am NOT responsible for your new addiction to all things Discworld.
An hour after this post goes live (so 9pm New York time, Friday 20 July), Cindy S Pape and I will be hosting the hour-long weekly #steampunkchat on Twitter. As always you can have your #steampunkchat hashtag automatically included in your tweets by following the chat in the Steampunk Chat Tweetchat room.
The theme of this week’s chat is Steampunk tropes, stereotypes and cliches. Lots of good stuff in there.
In the world of romance reading, writing and reviewing, we often talk about tropes; the old secretary falls in love with the boss, or the baby surprise, or Cinderella gets her prince. But what are the tropes in steampunk?
I’m thinking there’ll be an unwilling hero. There’ll definitely be grand adventure — thanks to Neither Here Nor There for reminding me of this obvious, and therefore, overlookable, point.
Science saves the day is another trope. Or is it? Is science sometimes the villain?
There’ll be dirigibles and high tea (well, in my steampunk world there is always food!). There’ll be corsets and weird guns. Magic might sneak in — and purists might object to it
Steampunk is so free at the moment, it may be and become anything. But has anything become overdone and cliched? *whisper* could it be goggles?
Anyway, come and join the chat!
In the spirit of Christmas in July — which is all about good company and good food — I thought I’d ask what your favourite cold weather treats are — your “Christmas pleasures” as the Victorian Christmas card says.
Hot chocolate is probably my favourite winter warmer, made with full-fat milk, cocoa, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Yum. But apple crumble comes a close second.
I make the world’s laziest crumble. In fact, it doesn’t crumble at all! Rather than rub the butter into the flour, I melt it and pour through the dry mix. No one complains. I use a pie dish for about four good sized apples chopped small and sprinkled with cinnamon. For the crumble I have a small mug each of rolled oats, shredded coconut and flour, a pinch of salt and a quarter mug of sugar. Then I bake at 180 Celsius for thirty to thirty five minutes.
If someone would bring a roasted chestnuts vendor to Perth, then hot chestnuts would go to the absolute top of my winter treats list. I hate (and fear) putting that cross in the top of them and roasting at home.
And of course, chocolate is good any time of year
***Don’t forget to visit my Antipodean Steampunk Christmas post and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of A Clockwork Christmas in which my dauntless suffragette heroine and rascally Steampunk inventor celebrate their own Christmas in July.
Here in Australia we celebrate Christmas in July — an excuse for good company and good food in the middle of winter. In the spirit of cheering up these cold months, I’m offering a giveaway of the anthology, “A Clockwork Christmas“. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, I’ll send you a paper copy. These are rare; only a handful were printed as author copies. If you live in the US, PG Forte, one of my wonderful antho sister’s will send you a paper copy. Everywhere else, I’m sorry. Your copy will be digital. International postage is ridiculously expensive. Leave a comment on this post to go in the draw to win. Contest closes 8 July. Good luck!
We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas
Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband’s love. A man learns that love isn’t always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.
Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail
This Winter Heart by PG Forte
Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz
Far From Broken by JK Coi
Stories also available for purchase separately.
So, the voting’s nearly over in the Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice Awards. No matter what the result I am beyond thrilled that my novella, “Wanted: One Scoundrel”, is up for Best Short Story. Oh my corsets and clockworks! It is rubbing shoulders with an awesome collection of talent. There is still time to squeeze in a vote or two … but even if you don’t want to vote (which is completely fair enough) you’ll brighten your life by checking out some of the nominees … favourite steampunk personas, clothes (these are amazing! hold onto your credit cards), music and more.
And how’s this for a quote from Anna (Bite Club)?
Wanted: One Scoundrel was another excellent story from Jenny Schwartz, and I can always count on her writing to bring something new and creative to the page.
You can read the full review here, http://vampchix.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/review-clockwork-christmas-anthology.html
I am one happy author