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Interview & Giveaway with Meljean Brook

Jane

Full disclosure. I’ve been reading Meljean Brook long before she was a published author. She had a blog and wrote about fun (and kind of dorky) stuff. My favorite pieces were the Missy related ones (http://meljeanbrook.com/category/missy/). Missy is the preteen? early teen? alter ego of Meljean who loved reading inappropriate category romances. When Meljean published her first book, I admit to being kind of shocked. It wasn’t adorkable at all. It was serious, sexy, and introduced me to a new level of world building in paranormal romances.

I guess because I’ve followed her for so long, going on eight or nine years now, I feel like I have an internet friendship with Meljean. I think her books are pretty amazing but you should know that I consider her a friend. Before this past year, though, it was definitely more me emailing her and her responding every four months. Now I get an email from her about every other month. It’s a big step up for us!

For those who know Meljean, she disappears into a writing cave for weeks at a time only to surface for a short time like a dolphin in need of oxygen and then she dives back into the writing waters. I try not to bug her because I’d rather have her writing books than answering my stupid emails which are often–when is the next book coming out or in this case, am I ever going to get Part 7?

With that caveat, disclaimer, and warning, let’s proceed on. The big question is are you doing this serial because you want all the money? I mean, really, don’t you authors get paid millions already?

Meljean Brook

MeljeanBrook1-200pxSee, now — the reason I only respond once every four months is because it takes me that long to stop laughing after you ask questions like that.

But, okay. I can be serious. I’ll admit to struggling with this answer, because as I mentioned on Sunita’s post a few weeks ago about length and format (http://vacuousminx.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/length-and-form-in-genre-storytelling-the-kraken-king-and-other-experiments/#comment-5024), it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly how transparent to be online regarding sales, money, and so on. That’s pretty personal information and although I don’t mind sharing embarrassing moments online — how many times have I tweeted about wearing Wonder Woman underwear on a day when I need a little extra boost or spilling my drink down my shirt? — sharing details about my income seems a little different, because invariably it ends up putting a number on my “success,” (or lack of it) even though I don’t personally feel that the quality of my work and my income are directly proportional. There’s always the sense of “now everyone is going to find out what a loser I am.” I don’t believe I am; but still, it’s one of those fears that is difficult to quash.

Then, of course, it runs the danger of making readers feel a crazy obligation — either to reassure me or to support me. And that makes me twice as uncomfortable and makes it twice as difficult to be transparent, because how many authors have said crap like, “I need to pay my bills! I need to feed my kids! I’m going to quit because bullies are ruining my sales!” and I really *hate* that. So if I can, I’d like to preface this all with a statement that *I am responsible for my own livelihood.* Full stop. Readers are not responsible for it in any way, shape or form. I couldn’t make a career out of this without readers, of course, but whether my career fails or succeeds doesn’t depend on anyone but me (and my publisher, to a lesser extent.)

So I wouldn’t answer this at all, typically. I might make a joke and shrug it off. But that wouldn’t do anything to dispel what I think is a very common assumption about serials — that it’s all a money grab. (And for some authors, maybe it is.) But I’ve seen that “greedy” label come up over and over, and I’ll admit a little discouraging that, in this current online environment, the first response to an announcement about serials is: the author is just trying to grab more money. Which is not to say that isn’t the reason behind many serials, just that in all the discussions about the work, the first assumption is never: The author must have thought the story would be better that way. So I think that’s really sad … but at the same time, I can’t blame everyone for not assuming that authors care about their craft or their readers, because more than a few authors have made this bed, and now we all have to lie in it.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t tuck in my sheets in my little corner, and maybe make it a little more comfortable for other authors like me, so that maybe the “greedy” label isn’t tossed around so haphazardly. So the very short answer is: No. I’m not making all the money. And I probably won’t make any more money on the serial + compiled release than I would have if it had just been released all at once. It doesn’t make any difference to me, financially, because the amount I received in my advance (which is a modest one) is probably all the money that I’ll ever see for this book, and the total royalties for the sales probably won’t exceed that whether it’s a serial or a compiled novel.

The long answer is: I didn’t write it as a serial for the money. I wrote it as a serial for many reasons, which I’ll list below and which we might not be able to address in the course of this interview, but which I’ll be happy to take up in the comments if anyone wants to know more.

--Three most important reasons for writing the serial–

1.

I personally like the format, and I thought it would be an awesome challenge for me as a writer and would fit the steampunk/adventure genre perfectly. Plus I thought it would be fun to write this particular book as a serial because the heroine writes serial adventures in-universe. So it made the dork in me happy.

2.

It allowed me to write it in parts, which allowed my publisher to edit and format the story in parts instead of waiting for me to finish the book before beginning the production process. I was concerned about the two-year gap between Iron Seas novels, and the serial allowed me to get the story to readers faster than a full novel could have been released. (I’ve talked about this more on my blog, too. http://meljeanbrook.com/the-serial-as-a-feature-not-a-bug-the-kraken-king-faqs/)

3.

I broke my brain on the final Guardian book, which was a 200,000 word novel that wrapped up an eight-novel + five-novella storyline, and which took me a year to write. I was pretty close to burnout, so I told my editor that I just wanted to write short things for a while (I really like writing novellas). So writing The Kraken King in eight novella-length installments allowed me to focus on smaller bits of the narrative at a time, and to hang the story on a completely different framework than a longer novel.

–Other factors that played in, but on a much smaller scale, because the above reasons are things that I can be sure about and the following reasons are maybes, and I don’t base decisions about my career on “maybes”–

Four years ago, when the first book in the Iron Seas came out, steampunk as a genre was being touted as the hot new thing. It was going to gain a huge audience. That hasn’t happened. And I don’t think that it’s because readers simply aren’t interested — it’s just that there are still SO MANY people who have no idea what steampunk is, or that it even exists. Even now on Facebook, after a status update from a reader that mentions one of my books, I often see comments from other readers/friends of readers that ask “What is steampunk?” Offline, it’s rare that I don’t have to explain what steampunk is to someone after they’ve asked me what I do for a living. Many people simply don’t know that it’s out there — just as, before Twilight, many readers didn’t know about paranormal romance or Young Adult romance, and there was a surge of new readers (and books.) Or even Fifty Shades. How many times have we gnashed our teeth because of comments like, “This is completely new and wonderful!” when most romance readers know that erotic romance has been around for a while? Yet whatever else it did, that book opened up a new audience for erotic romance in general.

So steampunk hasn’t had that moment of discovery in a wider audience. I would give anything for a blockbuster steampunk movie to come out, just because it would tell the audience that it’s out there and that it exists and it’s fun.

Now, I don’t think The Kraken King is going to do that. I think it’s a fun story and a romantic story, and I think readers will enjoy it, but I only mention the size of the audience because it leads into the other considerations for a serial novel:

4.

All of my previous Iron Seas books have come out in trade format, which is listed at $16/$10 (print/ebook). For a reader who is new to the genre, $10+ is a huge investment to make in a book they really aren’t certain they’ll enjoy. So a lot of readers pass over the books, and even when the price drops after the mass-market reissue, the moment has passed and they don’t come back to it. BUT, even though the total of the serial is just as much as the print version, there seems to be a large segment of readers online who will try a serial novel for $1.99. So there is the hope — but not the expectation — that we might be able to broaden the audience by appealing to that population of readers who are buying serials and will give the first installment a try.

5.

We don’t really know why it’s been so difficult for steampunk to catch on. I’ve received tons of emails that are basically, “I didn’t think I would like it, but then I read it and now I want more!” So the serial allows us to change up a few things in the presentation to (hopefully) make it more appealing. The covers, for example, are so gorgeous — and much different than the original gears-and-mantitty of The Iron Duke, or the costumes of Riveted (which was a cover I really loved.) And because the serial is released over an eight-week span, it doesn’t release like a flash in the pan. So it’s visible longer and, hopefully, will be talked about a little bit longer, and with the increase in chatter maybe some readers who are on the fence about steampunk might give it a try (either as a serial or a compiled novel, or someone else’s steampunk romance, it doesn’t really matter to me.)

6.

It will give me a better idea of whether to continue the series as I’m writing it now. I don’t want to call this a last-ditch effort to broaden the Iron Seas audience, but it kind of is? At least as it’s being packaged and released now. Because if the audience is there but we (my publisher or I) can’t find out a way to access it — or worse, if I’m completely wrong and the audience isn’t there — then I’m basically spinning my wheels. And I don’t expect to get rich as a writer (cue laughter again) but I do want to at least see some upward progress — just as if I were in any other career. You expect to do better as you go along, not end up in a rut (or worse, losing sales and readers) and so if what I’m doing now isn’t working then I need to figure out another way to do it.

So the serial is basically an attempt to do something different — in both a writing sense and in a marketing sense. But I don’t expect to actually make more money from it.

Is this the last of the steampunk then? I mean, it’s not like I’m not going to follow you everywhere even when you tell me stop and that you’re annoyed with my questions about when the next book is coming out? But what’s next for Meljean Brook? I saw a new penname called Milla Vane? What’s she writing? Will I like her as much? 

MeljeanBrook1-200pxIt isn’t the last of the steampunk. No matter what else happens, I still have one more novel under contract with my publisher (it will probably be the Blacksmith’s story.) Basically, I’m just kind of in that period of “I need to figure out how I’m going to move forward” — which means a lot of conversations with my agent and editor in the upcoming year. It might be that interest/awareness of steampunk continues to grow and by the time contract renewal comes up, the issues we’re facing now won’t be issues anymore. It might be that we decide to go to digital-only format — which I hate to do, because I still have a print audience — but that the different pricing options available will help chip through that audience wall.

Or maybe I’ll do something completely different with my publisher and the steampunk (which I love too much to give up) will just have to be something I release on the side … like issuing it as a serial on my blog or writing more steampunk novellas and self-publishing them. (And because I imagine this will come up: Self-publishing as a primary activity is not really an option for me because I’m such a slow writer, and it’s really hard to sustain/build an audience in self-publishing without frequent releases. It’s a supplemental option for me, not a primary one.)

Milla Vane is another experiment for me. I actually picked out the name and bought the website a few years ago, because I knew the Guardian series was coming to an end and I needed to think about what I would be doing post-Guardians. I tossed a couple of different ideas to my agent and editor that had been kind of sitting on the back burner in my head for a while — mostly pretty safe options, like some contemporary romantic suspense and paranormal suspense. Those still interest me and I’d like to write them at some point, but the one that really, really, really grabbed me by the throat was a dark fantasy series about barbarians. Like Conan. Or the Beastmaster.

I know. I know.

So last spring I kind of chatted with my editor about it, and we both agreed we weren’t really sure of the market for something like that — and even if we did, we’d probably want to use a different pen name, because there are certain expectations that come with a Meljean Brook story, and I planned to have way, WAY more beheadings and a rougher edge to the sex and romance than my established readers were probably expecting. So the different name would have to serve as a warning, I guess.

But we put it aside. And then I had the awesome opportunity of writing a Red Sonja comic book story, so I got to dabble in a barbarian story a little bit, anyway. I was still thinking of it, though, and sketching out all of the worldbuilding and everything on the side, and planning to maybe self-publish a story or two in the next year, when I wasn’t so behind on other work and deadlines, and I didn’t have any other contracts looming.

Then my editor sent me an email that was basically, “I have an anthology coming up — do you want to try the barbarians?”

And I was like, “OH MY GOD, YES.”

So Milla Vane is writing dark barbarian fantasy. I’m going to call it “Barbarian heroes who can only dream that their dicks are as big as the heroines’ mighty swords.”

“Does Missy have any writing aspirations?”

MeljeanBrook1-200pxI think that Milla Vane *is* Missy, in a way.

The thing about discovering and reading romance that still sticks to me is how very visceral it all felt at the beginning. And maybe that’s because I was eight years old, and had no idea what those hard thighs really were, but even into my teenage years it seemed that my gut was always twisting and my heart was always being ripped out.

It all felt very raw. Every emotion, every story. And although I probably remember it that way through a selective filter — the stories that didn’t rip me apart didn’t make much of an impression, so I simply don’t remember them as well — that’s something I really want to explore with Milla Vane. Why did Johanna Lindsey’s work (not all of it, but especially the late 80s/90s stuff) work for me like it did? What is it about HPs that *still* get to me, even though I know what a terrible asshole the hero is? And why can I tolerate that in a HP but not a contemporary single title?

So there’s something about that very raw aspect that really appeals to me and I want to play with it some, feeling it all out. It might be that I end up crossing lines all over the place, and it goes beyond raw into horrible and uncomfortable. Even if it does, I don’t mind dwelling in that place for a while.

And now for our Giveaway

 

Kraken King Covers Poster
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

137 Comments

  1. Olga
    May 06, 2014 @ 06:09:56

    What’s your favorite steam invention?

    If I said Steam, would it be horribly inappropriate? ;)
    I guess it would be steam locomotive, I’m a fan of developing public transport ;)

    ReplyReply

  2. TrishJ
    May 06, 2014 @ 06:24:35

    Ok, I admit, I have never read steampunk. Oh I know it is out there, just sorta stuck in my rut. And I am not fond of serials or cliffhangers. But I really liked this interview with the author. So to prove you can teach old dogs new tricks, I am going to try, not only steampunk, but the serial as well.

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  3. Ellie @ Elie Reads Fiction
    May 06, 2014 @ 06:37:04

    I don’t have a favourite steam invention, but I’m currently reading The Kraken King which is my first steampunk romance and I’m loving it.

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  4. Angela
    May 06, 2014 @ 06:39:39

    I don’t know that I have a favorite steam invention…I guess if we’re talking real-world it’d be the steam engine. If we’re talking steampunk world, it’d be so hard to choose from the many awesome inventions in Meljean’s books, but I guess I’d have to say that it’d probably be the kraken that Ivy builds. ;)

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  5. Maritza
    May 06, 2014 @ 06:54:17

    Okay in real life or the books? In the books I love the airships. I don’t know if it’s steam they run on but I love when the characters are on the airships.
    Real life: cappuccino maker? Whoever owns the patent on that. Wow.
    And meljean, say it ain’t so…. Only one more steampunk? The world has so much going on, I really hope it keeps going. Only reason I’m waiting for the kraken king to come out in its entirety is: I have a hard time with instant gratification. So I will wait until all the parts are out and buy them all. Bwahaha!!! *cough cough* So thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. CG
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:05:34

    “a dark fantasy series about barbarians. Like Conan. Or the Beastmaster.”

    I would so read the heck out of this!

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  7. JPeK
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:05:49

    Steam inventions, steam inventions…. Like others, IRL, I think the steam engine in general was ingenious. In particular, I’ve never been on a steamboat, but for whatever reason I think it’d be cool. Probably too many Westerns that involve the Mississippi River…. :)

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  8. Jess
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:09:53

    In Steampunk world, my favorite invention is the airships.

    Thanks for the interview – it was interesting to hear about your process. The barbarians sound awesome!

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  9. CG
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:11:04

    “a dark fantasy series about barbarians. Like Conan. Or the Beastmaster.”

    I would so read the heck out of this! gimme gimme

    Agree the cappuccino steam machine is one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

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  10. Carin
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:15:00

    I’ll admit to being a little confused as to what I’m supposed to do here. I want to enter the drawing. Am I supposed to talk about my favorite steampunk invention for that? For me it’s the artificial limbs that end up being so much more useful than real limbs. Or the nano bugs in Meljean Brook’s stories.

    I think part of the steampunk issue (not catching on) for me is that I love the Iron Seas World and Meljean Brook’s writing, and no one else has come close to measuring up to that for me. I wish it would catch on and that there’d be more really good steampunk authors, though – quite selfishly I want a lot more Iron Seas!

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  11. Fiordiligii
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:24:20

    No steam invention either, but I love the covers … I can totally be seduced to buy and try out an author if the covers are nice and tempting.

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  12. Diana
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:31:15

    Any steam invention that can make a person fly is my favorite.

    ReplyReply

  13. neurondoc
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:34:03

    OMG, The Kraken King! I’m holding out for the final before I buy, because I hate the wait between installments (I’m an impatient cuss).

    As for steam inventions — though it isn’t steampunk, per se, I have the image of the flying time-traveling train from the last Back to the Future move stuck in my head… Can’t do better than that, I think. ;-)

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  14. Patricia
    May 06, 2014 @ 07:39:08

    Dark Barbarian Fantasy. I am so all over that.

    When I was a kid I found a picture book at the library that told the story of an extremely lazy boy who had an elaborate Rube Goldberg-esque contraption to get him out of bed, dressed, and fed in the morning without any effort on his part. The irony was that at the end he had to climb back up the extremely tall mountain of machinery to get back into bed so he could start the whole process over again the next day. It’s not exactly a steam invention, but I loved that book so hard. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title or author. Anyone have any idea what it is?

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  15. Ruth (CO)
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:02:14

    I love that ability to extend life through technology (nanobots). I love Ms. Brooks’ works and I just wish she did write faster but brilliance sometimes takes longer.

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  16. Angela
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:05:41

    @Carin:

    I love the Iron Seas World and Meljean Brook’s writing, and no one else has come close to measuring up to that for me. I wish it would catch on and that there’d be more really good steampunk authors, though – quite selfishly I want a lot more Iron Seas!

    This is my problem, too! I’ve had a hard time finding other authors that measure up to the level that Meljean Brook set with the Iron Seas – if anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

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  17. Jia
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:07:01

    Milla Vane, I await all your works.

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  18. Grace Draven
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:13:51

    Like Carin, I’m a little confused about what I’m supposed to do to enter the drawing. As for a favorite steam invention, I’d probably say Hero’s aeolipile. Supposedly, Hero was a half-step away from the breakthrough to full-on steam-powered mechanisms, but because he considered the aeolipile a toy, he didn’t go further with it. It’s an interesting thought that we came within a hair’s breath of possibly starting a steam-powered industrial revolution in the Classical world.

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  19. hapax
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:22:16

    As far as steampunk inventions go, I don’t see how you can top Agatha’s coffee klank in GIRL GENIUS.

    It is, after all, perfect.

    ReplyReply

  20. Suz Glo
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:25:34

    My favorite steam invention? How about the steamboat!

    ReplyReply

  21. Lynnd
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:33:33

    I love steampunk and your Iron Seas series is brilliant. As a fantasy and romance reader, I have always wondered if cross-promoting books in this genre in both romance and fantasy would help them reach a broader audience – there must be a lot more readers like me who love both fantasy and romance. If they aren’t aware the the romance genre includes books like this. Thanks to the media, many people have a very limited knowledge of the kinds of stories that are being told in romance. I know I certainly was not aware of the broad scope of what was being written in romance until I started reading blogs like DA. If that is the case, they might be missing them entirely because in their ignorance, they wouldn’t ever check out the “romance” section.

    I am also really enjoying The Kraken King in its serial format – I am an unapologetic end-reader and this format is challenging me in a really good way because I can’t peak at the ending :-).

    As for your steampunk inventions, I really like the idea of mechanical flesh to replace lost limbs.

    I hope that you will be able to keep writing in the Iron Seas world for a long time to come, but I am also really looking forward to your Milla Vane books.

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  22. Tae
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:38:18

    does a steam iron count? Love the Iron Seas series, The Iron Duke is one of my favorite, favorite romances. It doesn’t hurt that the heroine is half Asian.

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  23. cleo
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:44:07

    It’s a tie between steam powered trains and the steam powered printing press – both were revolutionary.

    Great interview.

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  24. Kim W
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:46:01

    In books, the airships. In real life, those things that do my laundry.

    ReplyReply

  25. Cat Russell
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:55:16

    I think that the things that the Blacksmith makes are the most incredible things in Meljean’s world.

    ReplyReply

  26. Colleen
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:55:25

    The walking things that look like bugs and carry people around like carriages. Can’t remember what they are called but it was a great idea.

    ReplyReply

  27. Zoebro
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:55:41

    Hmm…my favorite steam invention would probably have to be those individual flyer things. They seem like lots of fun!

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  28. Adeline
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:57:19

    I find any distillation tool kind of cool : the fact that you can extract a fluid from another just by its “heaviness” is amazing in my opinion plus it always looks like you’re doing some kind of magic !

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  29. Antonia
    May 06, 2014 @ 08:58:43

    I’m just starting to read steampunk but I think the airships are one of my favorite inventions.

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  30. cleo
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:02:24

    @Carin – you have to fill out the rafflecopter form at the end of the blog post to enter – once you do that, it prompts you to comment on your favorite steam invention.

    ReplyReply

  31. Stacie Penney
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:13:30

    Corsets with weapons built in. I love how it always catches the bad guy by surprise!

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  32. Amy Lee
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:15:57

    My favorite invention is definitely the nanobots and artificial limbs. It’s a nice twist from the more traditional “steam” inventions that are basically steam-powered giant robots.

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  33. lorenet
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:21:38

    I love the spare body parts that are discussed in steampunk books.

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  34. Kyla
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:22:00

    I cannot wait for barbarians!
    As for my favorite steam invention, can I say airship. It may be a steam punk invention, but it is my favorite. That and Alexia Tarrabotti’s later parasol.

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  35. Amy R
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:30:44

    IRL my favorite steam invention would be the steamboat, in books I’ve only read a few steampunk so I don’t think I could choose.

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  36. Chantell Straw
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:34:27

    Favourite invention would have to be artificial limbs, the whole idea is just so awesome and it always looks brilliant~
    Really starting to get into steampunk novels. Currebtly reading the Steampunk Chronicle by Kady Cross, read the first two and they are awesome!!

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  37. Sarah
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:34:41

    Um, steamed potstickers? (Truthfully, I like the pan-fried ones more) Seriously, though, I adore the Iron Seas series and I’m not surprised to hear MB loves writing novellas because hers rock.

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  38. Lynn
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:38:47

    In the genre, air ships

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  39. Jules
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:45:53

    Is it weird that outside of steam engines, I have no concept of a real life steam invention? Maybe like those things that are supposed to open up your pores or clean out your sinuses?

    But honestly, even if I did have another invention in mind, steam engines rock my socks off. I was able to ride in a train car pulled by a 1930s engine. It was so cool to see the smoke. Not as cool was sticking my head out the window to feel the breeze and getting hit with a face full of coal dust.

    Anyway, thanks for this interview and giveaway. I thought it was really interesting and makes me want to catch up on the series faster. Also I want to read that barbarian thing like now haha. :)

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  40. Elise Hepner
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:46:53

    I love the idea of having a steam carriage.

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  41. Make Kay
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:49:33

    Wow, this was a FANTASTIC interview. Thank you so very much to both of you!!

    ReplyReply

  42. JewelCourt
    May 06, 2014 @ 09:53:26

    I haven’t really contemplated steam inventions long enough to pick a favorite one. I will say however, that as a whole I’m not crazy about steampunk, but I’ve read all of the Iron Seas series (with the exception of the serial- waiting until the whole thing is published) because I’m a huge fangirl of Meljean Brook.
    I was sad to reach the end of the Guardians, because I loved that series so much, but I can see how it was time to wrap it up. There’s nothing worse than a series that drags on pasts its expiration date.

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  43. Patricia M
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:11:51

    I can’t think of steam powered machines other than my iron, a steam locamotive (which I don’t think they have anymore) or a heating system. This is my Ms Brooks is the writer and I am the reader since I lack the imagination to come up with steam powered fun machines.

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  44. Katherine
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:15:31

    I think (outside of the steamy chemistry between characters) my favorite steam invention are the airships. The freedom, but also the detail, of these massive inventions made them into their own characters, and very loveable one’s at that.

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  45. Katrina
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:21:01

    I love the coffee sequence in Girl Genius, because coffee makes me crazy too!

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  46. Jill Sorenson
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:31:57

    Great interview, Meljean and Jane!! We don’t see frank discussions about publishing like this often enough and I really appreciate it. Especially since I’ve been going through my own struggles over the past year about which direction to take my career. It reminds me of the time Sherry Thomas blogged about doing a series of tough rewrites while I was having the same issue. I was so glad I wasn’t the only one, and I admire her work so much. I feel the same way about Meljean and this interview. If well-respected, popular authors can speak out on these issues, so can I.

    The downside of being this honest is that readers might think we’re trying to drum up sales or emotionally manipulate them. An author I’m not familiar with blogged about how her series was cancelled and earned a lot of criticism on twitter. People said she was trying to get readers to complain to her publisher. I mentioned that Jeannie Lin had blogged about her print run being cancelled and gained support. The bloggers looked on Jeannie’s actions favorably, maybe because they knew & liked her. The other author got tweeted at in protest. So authors are definitely taking a risk when they talk about sales/contracts/cancellations, and some readers are cynical about any marketing technique–for good reason.

    About serials. I prefer the whole book at once, as a reader, but as an author I’m interested in trying new things. I wasn’t sure HQN would offer me another contract so I was thinking about self-publishing in serial form. I started Wild, the book I just finished, with this idea in mind. I included lots of end-of-chapter cliffhangers. I thought it was high-concept (earthquake + zoo = win!) and exciting enough for this format. But HQN, who did offer me a contract, didn’t want to go that route. Maybe because romance readers are currently more interested in alpha hero + dark/twisted than earthquakes at the zoo?

    Anyway, I love my RS and my outdoor adventures but I felt like I had to switch it up to stay alive. I just started a motorcycle club book and HQN is considering a serial release. Will the book be suited to that format? I don’t know. I’ll try to write a good, twisty story. It will be digital only and hopefully very affordable. I might get some criticism for jumping on the bandwagon. That’s fair–I am. But I can’t regret a decision that has my publisher excited to try new things to get my name out there. I also don’t regret writing an ongoing series vs. unconnected stand alones. That decision, also based on marketing trends, has made a big difference.

    Sorry for going on & on about myself! I hope all of that is relevant. If not, ignore me. I also wanted to say that I truly value your creative storytelling. I wish you all the best in your series and beyond.

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  47. Rebe
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:32:44

    Definitely Ivy’s inventions! I love the kraken she builds and all the improvements on the prosthetic limbs she makes!

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  48. MarieC
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:35:56

    I love the steampunk (or gaslamp fantasy) genre, so I am so excited for the next Iron Seas book. However, I also follow the series “Agatha H, Girl Genius” series by Phil and Kaja Foglio.

    Of the many inventions (like ‘clanks’), I think I love the Castle Hetrodyne (which is a seemingly sentient castle) and Castle Wulfenbach (a dirigible fortress).

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  49. Grace
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:39:45

    I thoroughly enjoy the Iron Seas books!

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  50. Grace
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:40:58

    I really liked the trolls in the last book. They were fun inventions.

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  51. sula
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:41:09

    Sigh…if this comes up twice, blame the spam-o-meter. Anyways, my favorite steam invention is really lo-tech. The steam room/bath! Relaxation central.

    And count me in as another future reader of the barbarian novels. WANT!

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  52. KatieF
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:43:23

    About the only steampunk I have read is Meljean’s Iron Seas books, so what I know about steam inventions is based on that. I’m torn between the prosthetic limbs and the airships.

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  53. ilisa
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:48:11

    I love the bugs. The idea of nanotechnology going wrong appeals to the skeptic in me.

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  54. Heather H
    May 06, 2014 @ 10:51:46

    Really interesting article…thanks

    Probably the steamship, since I love ships in general. :D

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  55. Kelley
    May 06, 2014 @ 11:21:41

    I really liked the idea of the nanobots–creepy but very cool!

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  56. Justine
    May 06, 2014 @ 11:27:51

    The autoclave is my favorite steam invention.

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  57. Yvonne A
    May 06, 2014 @ 11:46:47

    Not easy to answer.

    I think the mechanical heart or the heart of synthetic flesh is that which can rescue the most life so it will be the most famos invetnion.

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  58. Darlynne
    May 06, 2014 @ 11:47:57

    An iron? Sheesh, I am so not the invention-type person, steam or otherwise. Artificial limbs? Something to make tea? BTW, I would read the barbarian books in a heartbeat. Thanks!

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  59. RLJ
    May 06, 2014 @ 11:55:51

    My favourite steam invention right now is the little steam engine my dad bought himself for Christmas a couple years ago. I can’t wait until he gets it started – it looks so cool.

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  60. Janhavi
    May 06, 2014 @ 12:28:47

    Let me go with fictitious steam inventions, I think I have to say the airships, a skyrunner perhaps. In real life, I dunno, trains, perhaps…

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  61. Rachel
    May 06, 2014 @ 12:32:54

    I am totally skirting the rules here, but my favorite steam invention is the Iron Seas series. Seriously, I LOVE this series, and hope Meljean does a ton more!!

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  62. Kim
    May 06, 2014 @ 12:47:24

    I haven’t read any steampunk, so I’ll go for the practical steam engine.

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  63. Faye
    May 06, 2014 @ 12:57:26

    Favorite real-life steam invention? Those humidifiers that blow vicks vaporub into your face. But that might just be because the pollen count is over 3000 today and I would like to breathe.

    In steampunk? Definitely the automatons.

    I am also completely loving the Iron Seas series and am ready to try the Kraken King!

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  64. srs
    May 06, 2014 @ 12:57:48

    Real or fictional steam invention? I guess it doesn’t matter because the only thing I can think of on the spot is an iron, which I’m not sure really counts.

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  65. Hanna
    May 06, 2014 @ 13:05:47

    Favourite steam invention? I don’t know, perhaps the old versions of trains. Think the correct term for them is steam locomotives

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  66. Jenna
    May 06, 2014 @ 13:11:59

    Steamships! There is something amazingly cool about the huge old ocean liners.

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  67. Phoebe Chase
    May 06, 2014 @ 13:14:32

    The airships, for sure. They practically put me into a dream state.

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  68. Cassandra B.
    May 06, 2014 @ 14:03:34

    I have yet to read steampunk, although I did buy the first book in the series it was a Kindle Daily Deal, so I don’t really have a favorite invention. I am not sure what to think about steampunk but I am looking forward to reading the Iron Seas series.

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  69. Floating Lush
    May 06, 2014 @ 14:26:31

    A really good steampunk series, although it’s not by any stretch of the definition romance, is Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century. They have the same excellent world building that I love about the Iron Seas, as well as featuring really strong female leads. They veer slightly towards horror without ever crossing the line, so they might not be everyone’s cup of tea. (I’m a real weenie and coward, and they don’t bother me at all.)

    Gail Carriger’s two steampunk series are also quite fun; the adult one (Parasol Protectorate) has romance and paranormal elements to it, and the YA series (Finishing School) takes place in the same world and is a ridiculous good time. They are both much more lighthearted, but still have rather good world building.

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  70. Jennifer
    May 06, 2014 @ 14:33:03

    I love the nanobugs. It is not only a really cool invention, but I like how it is used as part of the story line. The “new world” mistrust of the nanobugs and each persons reason for using them.

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  71. cyclops8
    May 06, 2014 @ 14:41:10

    I’ll have to go with the airships.

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  72. Julia
    May 06, 2014 @ 15:37:03

    I love the airships. That’s sort of iconic steampunk in my mind.

    I wish more people realized how awesome steampunk is. I took my sister to the Ren Fair here less than a month ago and was shocked when she had no idea what steampunk was. I dragged her around and showed her all the awesome costumes. For me it’s a really visual thing – it’s hard to verbally explain it to people.

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  73. Julia
    May 06, 2014 @ 15:38:50

    Sigh, why does it think I’m a spammer? Long story short, I like the airships.

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  74. Emmel
    May 06, 2014 @ 16:01:39

    I have read steampunk, but sparingly. I think part of my issue with this subgenre is that every steampunk book that I find seems to be a variation on the grimdark theme. Somewhere, somehow, there has got to be a lighthearted steampunk. But the grinding sameness that I see in the tone of the titles I have found has discouraged me. Sigh.

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  75. Maureen
    May 06, 2014 @ 16:14:39

    The ships are great but I remember some kind of special eye from the Iron Duke but I don’t remember exactly what it was.

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  76. Susan
    May 06, 2014 @ 16:15:26

    I wouldn’t mind having Alexia Tarabotti’s nifty umbrella. . .

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  77. Rachel
    May 06, 2014 @ 16:18:06

    I love the airships: quiet power and the idea that a sidestep in history could have led to a different future. I love steampunk when I like how it’s done; love the fashion and design as well. But I’m cautious with new authors because I’m not a fan of Victorian angst and if the set up is merely Victorian with a bit of added clockwork it puts me off. And I’m so glad to hear about Milla Vane, I’m so up for that.

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  78. Alexandra
    May 06, 2014 @ 16:38:52

    My favorite steampunk invention is the nanoagents of the Iron Seas world. They are such an exciting combination of modern technology and the steam-powered technology associated with the Industrial Revolution. However, I have to admit The Kraken King is my first foray into steampunk and my first encounter with Meljean Brook as an author. Since I read part one I have glommed my way through the rest of the series and plan to pick up her Guardian stories as well. Within two weeks Meljean Brook has become one of my favorite authors. I will also be diving further into this genre – I’ve had Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series loaded onto my Kindle for some time, so they’ve definitely jumped up my TBR list.

    As a romance reader I prefer novels with science fiction, fantasy and paranormal elements. I will read ANYTHING if it’s written well because I have an enormous admiration for writing as a craft, but I tend to steer away from contemporary and even historical romances because I feel they don’t have the same potential for worldbuilding, – and that is a part of storytelling that I personally need in large doses. I have a feeling steampunk may become a staple for me.

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  79. Jennifer
    May 06, 2014 @ 16:58:22

    All the wonderful mechanical limbs etc

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  80. Timitra
    May 06, 2014 @ 17:01:20

    Air ships

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  81. Sabrina
    May 06, 2014 @ 17:45:42

    I was personally fascinated to learn that some early cars IRL had steam engines.

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  82. Kristi
    May 06, 2014 @ 18:50:06

    I’m a bit of a steampunk newbie but I’ll go with the train. I really need to jump into Melijean’s books. I read the Iron King but i didn’t continue and I really need to. I liked the book! I want to go back to her first series though and try that too. Love the interview! I’m glad you are trying new things and making your little nerd heart happy!

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  83. Lindsay
    May 06, 2014 @ 19:16:31

    Boilers, seriously. I had steam-based radiators in places I worked and lived and they were glorious compared to the electric heaters (that did nothing!) I grew up with. They still heat the building I work in today and we were comfy even during the Polar Vortex of Vortexination.

    I loved this look at the whys and the hows of the Kraken King being a serial, I really appreciate this kind of transparency and I am sorry that it generated a lot of angry backlash.

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  84. Madison W F
    May 06, 2014 @ 19:22:07

    I read the first two chapters of the serial and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more.

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  85. Julie
    May 06, 2014 @ 20:18:45

    I don’t have a favorite steam invention, but I do have an overwhelming fondness for the way steampunk heroines dress!

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  86. Books Darling
    May 06, 2014 @ 21:08:43

    Thank you for giving a glimpse behind the wizard’s curtain. I enjoy learning about the process behind the great books I have the pleasure to read. And you tell the process with humor and even a smidge of mystery. I love it!

    And, BARBARIANS!!!! Count me in!

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  87. Books Darling
    May 06, 2014 @ 21:12:16

    The spam machine ate my first comment. LOL I am a real girl, no strings I swear!
    First comment essentially said thanks for the look behind the pub process curtain. It is almost like origin stories, but about the lit biz and I love it.

    Oh, and, BARBARIANS!!!!

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  88. Jen McKernan
    May 06, 2014 @ 21:27:33

    I love airships! It just seems like such an exciting way to travel!

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  89. Victoria
    May 06, 2014 @ 21:50:04

    From steampunk in general the airships always fascinated me. From the Iron Seas it is the trolls. I really want one!

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  90. Liz S
    May 06, 2014 @ 21:50:09

    Favorite steam invention in a story was a steam based calliope.

    I am enjoying the Kraken King serial. This was a perfect format for Zenobia Fox and I am not a big fan of serials because I want the whole story at one time. I truly hope this is not the end of the Iron Seas series because The Iron Duke introduced me to the steam punk genre and I have gobbled up numerous books since then.

    Looking forward to your barbican story!

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  91. SonomaLass
    May 06, 2014 @ 21:57:39

    Another vote for the trolls!! Although I am generally a train person.

    I agree with the recommendation for Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century novels; although I’d say they have romantic elements, they aren’t romances. Dru Pagliasotti’s Clockwork Heart was my favorite steampunk romance before Meljean took it on, and there’s a sequel now. Scott Westerfeld’s WWI alternate history series, which is YA, is a great steampunk read — again, with romantic elements. I wish there was more great steampunk out there, because I think it takes a critical mass of good books to help a sub-genre really catch on.

    Thanks for being so honest and dorky, Meljean.

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  92. Meljean
    May 06, 2014 @ 22:04:34

    Just popping out from my writing cave to say: My favorite steam invention is the steam mop! Seriously, have you ever used one of these things? It’s like watching the dirt on the floor melt away.

    Of course, my steam mop eventually broke in the weirdest way — I can’t open up the cap to the water chamber. I’ve tried EVERYTHING, including a wrench, but that thing is vacuum-sealed on there or something. One day I’m going to write a book with a heroine who is a maid and she manages to unscrew the cap, and that will be my ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy.

    @Jill Sorenson — I agree, it’s really difficult to know how much to share (and impossible to know how the information shared will be taken.) I also think it’s easier for an author with an established social relationship with readers in a certain group to share some less-than-awesome info, because there is an element of trust that has been built through that interaction (and also might be why the anger and disappointment can seem sharper, because depending on whatever that news is, it might be taken as a betrayal of that trust). It’s complicated — easily as complicated as trying to figure out how to give your career a push that it needs, while at the same time doing right by your readers and your writing.

    And to everyone excited about the barbarians — Whee! I’ll admit to wondering for a long time if I should keep the Milla Vane name secret, because I have no idea if the reception will be “WTF?” or “I love this!” (or maybe both) and I might need to quietly crawl away in shame. But now my shame will be out there for everyone to see, lol. The shame and the beheadings.

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  93. MissE
    May 06, 2014 @ 22:31:20

    Favorite steam invention? I have not a clue. I guess the steam engine.

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  94. Cynthia Sax
    May 06, 2014 @ 22:47:29

    THANK YOU for addressing the serial question. I’ve written a 3 part serial for Avon Impulse last year (The Seen Trilogy) and I’m writing a 12 part serial for them again this year (Sinful Rewards). I definitely am NOT writing serials for the money.

    Serials are HUGE risks. If, for some reason, the first story doesn’t sell well (and there are a million reasons why a story doesn’t sell), the remaining stories will sell even worse.

    The ONLY reason to write a serial, IMHO, is because that’s the format that best serves the story. Both of my serials could only have been written as serials.

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  95. ms bookjunkie
    May 06, 2014 @ 22:47:56

    It’s not a steam invention per se, but it does produce steam… I really can’t live without the electric kettle. (Not when I also have to live with the electric stove. *sigh*) And if I had to make do without the electric kettle, then I’d want one of those whistling tea kettles. Because absentminded.

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  96. Lenice
    May 06, 2014 @ 22:53:38

    Fav invention would be Jonah the kookily named whale in Riveted – that was very cool & scary. Megs and walkers tied as a close second.

    Adore Iron Seas and think Meljeans writing is truly delicious – perfect romance with fantastically created worlds that skirt between dark and playful. Haven’t found other romance steampunk that has this skill or entertainment factor.

    I’m *just* coping with the serial format for kraken King because I’m much more used to absorbing myself in the world of a story and find it hard to dip in and out. But as an “experiment” with the rationale above I am supportive and appreciate of the enforced delayed gratification… (It must be good for me – kind of like morning runs…)

    Sadly one downside to the format for me as a reader has been the limited discussion of the actual story and it’s ideas on blogs like this one. Discussion keeps getting distracted by the serial issue (such as the first set of reviews here on DA). I’m really hoping that when all the parts are released there will be some better engagement online.

    On that note, I’ve been busting to say that as an Australian I’ve found Meljeans reimagining of the history, populations and politics in the Krakken King to be such a cheeky and subversive juxtaposition to the real life one in light of colonisation, White Australia policies & tokenism in our reconciliation policies. And Zenobia and Ariq…hoohah!

    Bring on the barbarians and exploration into the darker twisty places that they may go :)

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  97. Nadia Lee
    May 07, 2014 @ 01:15:13

    Steam locomotive. I got to ride a very old steam locomotive train preserved from WW2 era some years ago, and it was so fun! :)

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  98. kbum
    May 07, 2014 @ 04:40:00

    I like the kraken.

    then all the various prosthetics, including the mechanical eyes, ears, hearts as well as arms.

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  99. CC
    May 07, 2014 @ 09:07:40

    Anything related to the production of coffee and espresso. Imaginative? Perhaps not. The addict speaks. :)

    Thanks for this great interview, too! I adore steampunk, and Meljean Brook seems like a pretty great person as well as writer.

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  100. Lynnd
    May 07, 2014 @ 13:22:33

    @SonomaLass: Have you read Paula Volsky? She published several historical fantasy novels in the 80s and 90s with what I would call “early steampunk” elements. Her books have remained on my keeper shelf.

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  101. JenM
    May 07, 2014 @ 13:41:08

    I can’t say that I’ve ever thought long enough about steam to have a favorite invention, but I do love food cooked by steam. I always feel virtuous eating it since I know it’s a healthier cooking method. As for serials, I’m not a fan, but I’m definitely interested in reading the complete book once it’s released. I love the Iron Seas series.

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  102. Brenda C
    May 07, 2014 @ 14:06:16

    I like the prosthetics and metallic flesh described in Meljean’s books.

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  103. Joy B
    May 07, 2014 @ 15:33:41

    I love Meljean’s books!

    Fav steam invention: Real-the steam pipes under the sidewalks that prevent ice. Imaginary: Airships

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  104. Natasha
    May 07, 2014 @ 18:56:20

    It’s difficult to pick on favourite steam invention….first one that comes to mind are the air ships.

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  105. maidenveil
    May 07, 2014 @ 19:01:03

    Train!

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  106. Ana
    May 07, 2014 @ 20:49:35

    Meljean, thank you for being so open about your writing/publishing life. I love getting a peek behind the curtain.

    The only barbarian I’ve read is Busiek’s run on Conan The Barbarian for (Darkhorse?) with Cary Nord, which I actually enjoyed greatly. So I will I don’t considers myself a barbarian lover I will venture out to the wilds with you (or Milla).

    Steam invention: the clothes steamer. Love not ironing anything anymore.

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  107. Jordan R.
    May 07, 2014 @ 20:56:18

    I love the bionic arms and legs!

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  108. Readsalot81
    May 07, 2014 @ 21:08:15

    I’d go with the steam locomotives too. :) Thanks for being so open Meljean, I look forward to reading the Kraken King!

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  109. Holly
    May 07, 2014 @ 21:24:26

    I’m going to go with the steam engine, because of the possibilities with it. Thank you for sharing your writing & publishing insight.

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  110. Elizabeth
    May 07, 2014 @ 21:43:42

    Meljean, I enjoy your books very much and found the glimpse of writing as a career fascinating.

    Regarding serials: I wait.

    Regarding other steampunk: others have already mentioned Phil & Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius series, so I’ll just add that I read the first graphic novel and then waited for the book, which I enjoyed, frankly, more than the graphic format. Cherie Priest is GREAT, but not romance. There’s Mark Hodder’s “The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack”, also not romance, but it stars Richard Burton and Algernon Swinburne and I loved it. Cassandra Clare’s work sounds like it’s closer to romance, and it has been recommended to me by people I trust, but I haven’t read it so all I can do is pass along the recommendation. The specifically steampunk romance I’ve tried hasn’t measured up to Brooks’ world-building OR quality of prose, but I’m hoping for more suggestions here…

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  111. Elizabeth
    May 07, 2014 @ 21:57:45

    AND there’s always Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age”, an excellent steampunk-y story. It’s not set in the Victorian period, but rather in a neoVictorian culture; it’s about a young girl being raised by a book. Not a romance per se, but of obvious appeal to readers.

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  112. Erika
    May 07, 2014 @ 22:08:37

    Favorite “steam” invention? The whistling teapot.

    These aren’t really romance but Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan series written for middle grade readers is very good Steampunk story that both children and Adults could appreciate.

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  113. Meljean
    May 07, 2014 @ 22:44:55

    If anyone is looking for more steampunk, Airship Ambassador has a great list of many, many different types of steampunk. It isn’t up to date — there are a few authors that are glaringly missing, just in a quick glance through, but it might be a place to start clicking and reading reviews to see if you’ll like them.

    http://www.airshipambassador.com/aa-literature.html

    Some that are missing that I know have fans among romance readers (and I’m sorry for any misspellings): Lindsay Buroker, Zoe Archer, Karina Cooper, Delilah Dawson, Margaret Foxe, Shelley Adina, Ann Aguirre, Lynn Viehl, Cindy Spencer Pape, and Bec McMasters.

    There are probably more obvious ones that I’m having a total idiot-brain moment over. Amazon has a category that might be helpful: http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/6361472011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_5_last#1

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  114. Patti (@lovesfabromance)
    May 07, 2014 @ 22:59:30

    Favorite steam invention? I’d have to say the calliope, because I have fond memories of listening to the music on the riverboats in summertime (although I don’t know if they still use steam).

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  115. Sophie
    May 07, 2014 @ 23:21:37

    Airships. I can just imagine how awesome the sky looks with those floating all over the place. Like a harbor where everybody is fishing in their yatchs :)

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  116. Susan H.
    May 07, 2014 @ 23:31:22

    Haven’t read your series- yet, but I’m intrigued with the covers!

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  117. Brandy
    May 07, 2014 @ 23:32:56

    I have to go with the nanotechnology and artificial limbs as favorite invention. Or the airships. Or just the basic steam engine. Or really all of the steam things. This interview made me realize I live in a strange nook of the world because I genuinely didn’t know that steampunk remains an unknown thing to people.

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  118. marty
    May 08, 2014 @ 02:08:40

    Steam boiler furnace, followed by locomotive. So many advances from these two inventions.

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  119. Mary Preston
    May 08, 2014 @ 04:29:26

    I would have to say the steam locomotive.

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  120. Reneesance
    May 08, 2014 @ 06:29:15

    Favorite actual steam invention or steampunk steam invention? Just as a part of daily life I’d be lost without my garment steamer and steam iron ;) But I love the spider walkers and giant combine fortresses described in the Iron Seas novels. I really hope you’ll continue writing them I love them even more than the Guardians! I’m actually gearing up to go to The Steampunk World’s Fair in NJ in less than two weeks and I’ve run into so many people there who love your books!

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  121. Schen Callahan
    May 08, 2014 @ 09:17:07

    the heart ♥

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  122. Monica Campos
    May 08, 2014 @ 12:15:09

    I’m new to steampunk and I’m basically in love with everything, the Victorian time period is fascinating, one of the things that trully fascinates me are the airships, they have sails and wings and steam engines.

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  123. Joylyn
    May 08, 2014 @ 12:15:14

    I have to say my favorite is the flying machines. The thought that people could fly through the air because of water boiling kind of boggles my mind:)

    I can’t wait for Milla Vane! I have secretly loved Red Sonja since the day I watched the movie as a 10 year old girl. She was so awesome and didn’t need a man to kick ass. I kind of dreamed I was a cross between Red Sonja and She-Ra and would make my brother battle with me with stick and trash can lid:)

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  124. Zora
    May 08, 2014 @ 16:16:00

    Steampunk invention? Right now it is the cover for the second Kraken’s book because the building is the old city hall in my hometown – Prague (CZE).

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  125. Robert Dix
    May 08, 2014 @ 16:25:30

    I like balloons that are operated by steam engine – a very classy way to travel.

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  126. Kathleen
    May 08, 2014 @ 22:25:26

    Steam Turbines… since I work on them in real life :-P for fiction I’d have to go with Airships, I think floating would be fun :D

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  127. LindaL
    May 08, 2014 @ 22:26:52

    I love the idea of the airships so that makes the airships my favorite steampunk invention.

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  128. Mikou
    May 09, 2014 @ 00:05:30

    At first, I was going to say airships, but I thought about it a bit more and realized that the wings (used by one men to fly in Sean Kennedy’s “Wings of Equity”) might have an edge over the airships as my fave.

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  129. CelineB
    May 09, 2014 @ 12:58:26

    I’ve always liked steamboats.

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  130. flchen1
    May 09, 2014 @ 13:43:34

    Favorite steam invention? How about just the use of steam to cook foods? A ton of dim sum is best created through steaming ;)

    And LOVE steampunk–thanks for the fabulous interview, Meljean and Dear Author!

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  131. DIaneN
    May 09, 2014 @ 17:06:38

    My choice would NOT be the steam iron. I’ve been known to throw away clothes that require ironing. So I’m going with everyone who picked steam locomotives as their favorite. They’re just so Wild Wild West/Brisco County Jr.!

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  132. bn100
    May 09, 2014 @ 22:19:04

    airship

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  133. hilly
    May 10, 2014 @ 13:35:04

    Combustion-based Steam technology is a troublesome concept for me, because it consumes limited resources. When there is technology to create energy using renewable, non-toxic and non-polluting components, I’d be totally on board with it! (I know: way too over-thought, right?)

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  134. hilly
    May 10, 2014 @ 13:43:35

    Oh! And I was so distracted by answering the question, that I forgot to Thank You both on 2 counts: for the informative interview and for offering the Giveaway! Many thanks!

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  135. Lana Baker
    May 10, 2014 @ 17:50:04

    I have to admit that I’ve read a few steampunk stories, and I…just don’t like them. Not even when they’re written by favorite authors. Not my thing.

    But that Dark Barbarian Romance? Oh, yeah. I’d read the frak out of that.

    As for real steam inventions – the steam engine. It’s got so very many ways to be useful.

    Thanks for the great interview, and the insight into why an author might go the serial route. From now on, I’ll remember to wonder if the author just thinks the story works better that way.

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  136. Elise S.
    May 10, 2014 @ 20:37:18

    I was really wary of the format but so far I’m enjoying The Kraken King. I take back at least 50% of what I’ve said about serials. I do wish there was more steampunk to be had.

    Oh and my favorite steam invention is airships.

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  137. Update: Jumble | Something More
    May 10, 2014 @ 23:07:57

    […] their struggles, and their professional decisions. (Another recent example is Meljean Brook’s explanation of her reasons for publishing a serial.) So often people hide their professional difficulties or […]

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