Today, help me welcome author Theresa Meyers, who is here to talk about her most recent release, The Chosen, the third book in The Legend Chronicles series, published by Kensington Zebra. Theresa is the daughter of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library. She learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot. A former journalist and public relations officer, she found far more enjoyment using her writing skills to pen paranormal novels in the turret office of her Victorian home. She’s spent nearly a quarter of a century with the boy who took her to the prom, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show “Supernatural,” and has an indecent love of hats. You can learn more about Karen and her books at her website and on Facebook.
ABOUT THE CHOSEN: The Chosen: a prophecy older than dirt and more dangerous than death. Even as they perfected steam-powered gadgetry and rounded up varmints from Hell, the Jackson brothers didn’t believe in it. But when the chips are down, three brothers named for weapons aren’t going out without a fight. Attorney by day, demon-hunter by night, Remington Jackson is used to being on the sunny side of the law, even in the Wild West. But it’s showdown time, and Remy and his brothers are getting desperate. They don’t have the relic they need to slam the door shut on evil, so Remy is going to have to find and steal part of it. Enter China McGee, shapeshifter, thief, beauty, and current prisoner. When Remy offers her freedom in exchange for a little light-fingered help, she’s pretty sure she’s going to end the association with a good old-fashioned seductive double cross. But there’s something about fighting through a jungle full of Mayan ruins that makes you want to settle own together. China could change. Remy might be special. But none of that matters if the devil takes them all.
Now let’s hear from Theresa:
My Favorite Steampunk Gadgets
By Theresa Meyers
One of the favorite elements most readers have when it comes to steampunk are the gadgets and inventions. Go to any steampunk convention and you’re bound to see everything from giant mechanical arms to Tesla-powered cannons, to the ghost-hunting net cannons and plunger devices of the Legion of S.T.E.A.M. (a set of steampunk ghostbusters that are a must watch if you have the chance to see them in action). There are personal flight devices (I’ve even seen some with retractable wings created out of wooden airplane propellers) with wings or copper steam rockets.
So why are these gadgets and gizmos such a big deal in steampunk? Well, part of it is they represent the element of science reimagined in the Victorian era (steam refers to the time period, punk refers to the tweaked out way we represent it with things like clockwork mechanical horses such as my Jackson brother Colt has in The Hunter or the Tesla Blaster my Jackson brother Remington has in The Chosen).
Now, I do confess that among the various accoutrements available to those in the steampunk realm, I do have my favorites. So without further ado, let me share my favorite five with you.
The Parasol: Ok, you may not think it a mechanical wonder, but it can be! I, for one, think a parasol, in addition to being a handy weapon, and shelter from the inclement weather, can also offer a multitude of possibilities. What if it had a small lever allowing it to squirt out acid that could eat away a lock or fend off an attacker? What if it had secret pockets for ones most valuable secrets? And what if it were bullet proof? They did have bullets back then, you know. Not to mention it’s a fashion necessity, as much as gloves or a hat for a lady in the time period. (And also a boon for people like me who burn easily.)
The Coil Illuminator: These are so popular they are even sold today! To be honest I simply renamed something we could have easily used and invented at the time. We already knew about electro-magnetics, we just hadn’t paired it with the incandescent light blub. Know those flashlights you shake that never need a battery. These are those with a steampunk twist.
Airships: Oh, come on. You know you were thinking about them too. They are practically an icon for steampunk. They are romantic and flashy, imaginative and useful. And while my airship in the Legend Chronicles has steam engines heated with an ingenious thermal chemical reaction (that’s totally legitimate and possible – thanks to research assistance from my chemist husband), some were powered by giant wings or even lightning. They are simply too cool not to make a top five of favorite steampunk gadgets and inventions.
The Mechanical Horse: Frankly I own a real horse, and as much as I adore that Arabian, cleaning up after him, getting his hooves trimmed and brushing him out, as well as the twice daily feeding, is a lot more work than you think, all for the occasional ride. Having a mechanical horse would be far easier, and for Hunters in the Sonoran Desert, where there’s not a ready source of water and food for a horse, they’d be a necessity.
And the last in my top five is the Sting Shooter: It’s based on a modern-day taser, but powered with a Tesla Coil. Effective, powerful and unmatched as a weapon, I think it’s possibly one of my favorite steampunk things. I even had an artist make one off of the cover of The Hunter for me!
So those are my top five favorite steampunk gizmos. What are some of yours?