Tag Archives: steampunk world’s fair

The Steampunk World’s Fair

On Friday, I attended the Steampunk World’s Fair for the first time and gave my first reading outside of the university.  The SPWF was a blast. It was like stepping into an alternate reality. There were fantastic costumes everywhere, leather, brocade, rainbows, tulle. Women in corsets, men in waistcoats and gauntlets. The gamete ran from highly realistic to fantastical, and I don’t think there was a bad one in the bunch. Along with the fair-goers, there were also bands, panels (I attended a fantastic one about Edgar Allan Poe, which makes me really want to go to the Poe Museum), and shops.  My boyfriend and I stopped at the haberdashery, and I finally got a pith helmet.  What I find funny is that I always wanted a white pith helmet, and it turns out that the white ones are from the Anglo-Zulu War, which is mentioned in The Earl of Brass.

pithI ended up not getting too decked out this year. I went as a hybrid between modern and Victorian instead of all steampunk because, as the Awkward Authoress, I was afraid being in a full, rather uncomfortable costume would set my anxiety off. It’s amazing how clothing choice can aggravate anxiety. Instead I wore my corset, black pants, and a biker jacket. Probably a bit more cyberpunk than steampunk, but I was comfortable in my own skin and actually enjoyed myself.

My reading itself went a little less smoothly. I ended up being scheduled at midnight as one of the last events of the night, and by then, most of the fair-goers had cleared out apart from the night-owls and revelers. It made me wonder if I screwed up AM/PM on my sign-up papers. Either way, I wasn’t expecting a crowd since I’m a brand new author with a small following. I knew three people were coming for sure, but I was quite pleased to see a few more come.  The weirdest part was that my anxiety really wasn’t too bad. I made myself a little outline of what I wanted to cover before I gave my reading, and while I didn’t have a podium, my audience was very attentive and forgiving of the late hour. Then, it got weird.

What I can only describe as a New Orleans style band marched past my door followed by a parade of revelers from the courtyard. I could feel myself beginning to sputter. The band was so loud that I had to stop and wait for them to pass and ended up losing my place. Of course my stress level jumped, and I was embarrassed that I had to stop my entire program for a few minutes. Then, I said to myself, “Would it be better to pretend the band wasn’t there and shout over them?” No, it wouldn’t have worked anyway. As my aunt said when I told her, this would only happen to me. If something weird is going to happen, it’s probably to me, and a brass band marching through during my reading was not something I anticipated. Oh well.

The best part of the night was that a reader vacationing from Canada came to the fair and attended my reading. I knew she was coming since we message back and forth on Facebook, and she brought me a bag of goodies from Canada. All of the nights woes and anxieties melted away. It didn’t matter that the band played over me because someone actually: A) cared enough to come B) wanted to hear me read C) brought me a present when she obviously did not have to. I’m eternally grateful to her because she was able to squelch all of my fears and regrets and ended my night on a high note. Thank you so much, Lois!

spwf goodiesEither way, if you ever want to do a reading or present somewhere, take a chance. Even if the night went a bit awry, it was worth it to get the experience under my belt.


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Blurb Reveal: The Earl and the Artificer (IMD #3)

the earl and the artificer titleHi everyone,

I have been working on and off on The Earl of the Artificer. Since the end of the semester a week ago, it’s been hard to get back into the swing of my summer schedule. I’m still in the transitional period, so hopefully by next week, I’ll be completely into full-time writing mode. In the meantime, I have [finally] composed the back of the book blurb for The Earl and the Artificer. Typically, I like to write these fairly early on, especially if I know where the story is going. It may change between now and when the book is released, but without further ado, here is the blurb for book three:

After an uneventful wedding, Hadley and Eilian Sorrell should have foreseen the trouble waiting for them at Brasshurst Hall. Eilian wants nothing more than to leave England, but at the insistence of his mother, he and Hadley travel to his abandoned ancestral home to meet his tenants. They soon find the house and the quaint neighboring village are not what they seem.

Behind a mask of good manners and gentle breeding lurks a darker side of Folkesbury. As Eilian and Hadley struggle to fit in with the village’s genteel society, they find everyone is at the mercy of Randall Nash, a mysterious man who knows every secret and seemingly appears out of thin air.

When the village blackmailer turns up dead, the Sorrells find themselves entangled in murder, theft, and intrigue with the manor at the heart of it all. Something long thought lost and buried within Brasshurst’s history has been found—something worth killing for.

I hope the blurb has piqued your interest. In a few weeks, I’ll put up a Goodreads page for book three even though the book won’t be coming out for quite a while (the current estimate is winter ’15 to spring ’16).


As a side note, I’ll be doing a reading at the Steampunk World’s Fair this Friday night, so prepare to see plenty of pics and a post about my experiences after. Please check out the schedule here, and if you are attending the SPWF on Friday, I hope to see you there!


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