So there’s this thing going on this week, a steampunk fest, where a bunch of steampunk authors are going to tempt you with their steampunk books. It’s an impressive collection by plenty of solid authors. I had the opportunity to interview one of these authors.
Pauline Creeden is the author of ARMORED HEARTS, a Victorian era steampunk novel. You can see it there on the graphic next to ALD.
1. First, who are you? Introduce yourself.
I’m Pauline Creeden ~ A horse trainer from Virginia who writes for therapy. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, because I have a degree in Creative Writing, and working with horses happens to be very stressful…but it gives me a unique level of expertise when dealing with the Victorian era of Steampunk.
2. As far back as you can remember, what were the first authors who inspired you to decide to become a writer?
The book that sparked my love for reading was Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett. When I finished that book, I was so enthralled, that I asked the librarian to recommend me another. She recommended The Secret Garden, which, I’m sad to say I found IMMENSELY boring. But this misfortune lead me to decide then, in the third or fourth grade that I wanted to be an author and write books that weren’t so boring. Through high school, I absorbed all things Poe and Stephen King, and in college, I loved Anne Rice and Oscar Wilde. Overall, I discovered that I enjoyed things dark and fanciful. And that is what I write.
3. Let’s talk process real fast. Would you say you’re more of a gardener or an architect when constructing a story?
Typically I’m a gardener. I nurture and pull weeds, but I hardly even plant what’s there. It just sprouts up and I keep the pretty bits.
4. Tell us a little about ARMORED HEARTS? What’s it about?
When Melissa Turner Lee and I got together to pen Armored Hearts, we wanted to create a Steampunk Fantasy that would introduce the genre to an audience who may not even know what it was. I have written short stories in the genre and have another completed novel that is undergoing edits, so Melissa came to me with her story ideas and we hashed things out together. In general, Armored Hearts is a romance – fae fantasy – set in a Victorian retrofuturistic parallel to our own history.
5. The hero of your story, Gareth, is disabled and faces certain physical and emotional challenges. What challenges as an author, did you find yourself running into, writing a main character in Gareth’s situation?
Gareth is a sourpuss. He’s surly and spoiled, and tends to hate life and nearly everyone in it. The hardest thing to do? Make him likeable. We did our best…and according to the reviews, some felt we succeeded, others, failed.
6. How do you feel a steampunk setting affected decisions made in the story? Did you set out to write a “steampunk novel” or did the story simply demand that it exist in a steamdriven universe?
For the story to fit properly, it had to be right at the turn of the century. Gareth is a nobleman and needed to be in a time when nobleman mattered. Jessamine is a forward thinking American woman whose intelligence is only supported by her intellectually set parents. The characters demanded the time period, and the freedom added to the period by the use of steampunk technofantasy? Makes the genre unparalleled.
7. Of all the characters in this book, who would you most like to meet/least like to meet and why?
I’d want to meet Thompton. Because in our collective imaginations, he looks like David Tennant. And why? Two words. David Tennant.
8. Tell us a little about the Steampunk Lit Extravaganza and what it means to readers?
Steampunk, like children’s literature, can be as wide and varying as Little Witch and The Secret Garden. Mind you, only one of these two books is considered a literary classic, and it wasn’t the one that I enjoyed reading. Tastes vary as much as there are tongues…or rather minds to do the tasting. So this Extravaganza, to me, was created to take the one genre we all enjoy and expose as many people to it as possible to create new fans of the period.
ARMORED HEARTS is available on Amazon.