Sunday, 8 May 2011
Alex Keller - Why I decided to write a steampunk series: Guest Post
I'd just like to thank Alex again for spending time writing another blog post. I hope this insight of his journey into writing a steampunk genre-esk novel may tempt people to read it. Especially for those people who may not have read either of the first two books in this exciting new series.
I had never intended to write a “steampunk” book when I started to plan what eventually would become Haywired. I think at the beginning I wasn't even aware of what steampunk even was! What I wanted to do was write a story that, at least for me, felt different to other children's books I had read.
When I began writing, my aim was to write a fantasy novel but not include some of the more common ideas you find in fantasy stories. I didn't want a boy with some kind of prophecy attached to him as the main character, or a system of magic that required simply the uttering of some words for miraculous things to occur. I don't have any problem with these ideas in general, but they have been used a lot and I didn't think I could do anything with these ideas that would make my stories different from what what already out there.
So instead I decided to have magical elements appear in my stories in the form of machines and technology. I had always liked the idea of the mad scientist and using machinery meant I could have some incredibly strange and wondrous things happening while the characters remained very much human. The inspiration for this came from authors like Philip Reeve, but at the time I had no idea what genre I was writing in. It was new and different for me and that was good enough.
As time went on I learned that the type of story I was writing sometimes came under a genre called “steampunk”. When I learned this, I did a bit of research into what steampunk was and I liked what I saw. I didn't change the book particularly to make sure it fitted the “steampunk” genre (there are no airships and it's not an alternative history), but I was more than happy to have Haywired placed in this genre if others were happy to label it as such. For me, Steampunk is elaborate, intricate, weird, and ridiculous all at the same time and I think Haywired reflects those themes well.
Please check out the author's new web site for more information on the Haywired books and signings http://alexkellerbooks.com/