Not only have I been accepted by a fantastic indie publisher and my first novel unleashed upon the world but, since discovering Steampunk, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of lovely people.
It all started for me with a mistake. That mistake was thinking that I was being original and awesome by encorporating what I then called “victoriany pseudo-tech” to my debut novel, Greaveburn. From professor Loosestrife’s prosthetic arm to General Leager’s life support cubicle which hisses and puffs its way through Greaveburn’s Gothic backdrop, I thought it was a great new idea. And then someone put me properly in my palce by pointing out that what I had written was a Gothic Fantasy (as intended) with hints of this cool genre known as Steampunk (of which I was totally oblivious).
With a brain like mine, I wasn’t disheartened by the idea but spurred on and I began to ingest Steampunk at an exponential rate. And I was absolutely hooked.
This was solidified by my attendance to the Asylum convention in Lincoln (which also happened to be my first book signing, too) where I saw what was inside my head come to life for the very first time. I was surrounded by an unbelievable amount of creativity and enthusiasm from costumes to gadgets and other writers and artists. I could have died happy at that very moment.
But luckily, I didn’t.
Instead I came away even more certain that Steampunk, while birthed in the past, would be a large part of my future. But other than the brilliantly brassy, clockworky, steamy aesthetic and creativity that the genre inspires, the genre’s philosophy really sold it to me. The politeness, the sharing and lack of elitism, the friendly attitudes of everyone you meet. Meeting a new Steampunk in the street is a lot like meeting an old friend that you don’t even realise that you miss until that very moment. It’s a beautiful thing.
And so, when Steampunk Doncaster organisers Candice and Tony asked me to get involved with organising a festival in my home town of Doncaster, I must have seemed quite manic as I screamed “Of course, by Jove!” and shook their hands off. Thus began another great experience. I’ve had the utmost pleasure and honour of organising Steampunk Doncaster’s “Litarium” in which authors, poets and wordsmiths come together to share their work, teach what they know to others, and generally have a great time. And it’s almost upon us!
On the 15th and 16th of June, in Doncaster’s Deaf Trust building, Steampunk Doncaster’s first convention will kick off for two days of Steampunk awesomeness. I’ll be there with eminent author Jonathan Green as well as a stack of up-and-coming new talent such as Meg Kingston, Rod Gilles and of course L.M. Cooke. There will be art instillations with images and sculptures, a market to get even more cool stuff for your next outfit, as well as table top games, the expertise of Ruud De Kort (a photographer and his models coming all the way from the Netherlands just for the event), movies, and enough tea to drown yourselves in.
I’m excited about it, and I hope I’ve rubbed off a little of that on you too. I certainly hope to see you there to make the first Steampunk Doncaster convention go off with a neutron explosion.
Thanks for reading!
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