There’s something inherently fascinating about bringing two distinctive things together to create something new. Take Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Chocolate, perfect in its own right and deserving of a food group all its own. Peanut butter, the staple of probably more than half of the school kid lunches in America on every given day. Both all on their own fantastic, but when put together, well, the angels sing.
That’s what blending steampunk and paranormal romance is for me as a writer, and it’s why I wove them both into THE HUNTER. I love both as their own thing, but when merged into one story, it’s simply irresistible. It also makes my steampunk world a little different bend than most. Yes, of course there are the wonders of science, the mad genius, the spirit of adventure, but there’s also a darkly mystical side to my world. My heroes in the Legend Chronicles, three brothers named after their father’s favorite guns, are supernatural hunters in the Wild Weird West.
Winchester, Remington and Colt have been trained to hunt down and destroy the Darkin that threaten humanity. So while regular people go about their daily lives, these guys don’t bat an eye-lash when it comes to fighting down demons, slay shape-shifters, battling hell-hounds or going up against ghosts. They just do it with some fantastical steampunk help, such as Colt’s clockwork horse, Tempus, Sting Shooters (that are steampunk, Tesla-coil-powered tasers) and the specially designed Darkin-killing bullets perfected by their inventor friend Marley Turlock. They know that while ordinary people might not see the ending of the world coming, they are the first, last and only defense in making sure humanity survives.
Part of what I love about steampunk is the essence that anything was possible if you were just curious, adventurous or determined enough to make it happen. It’s accepting that we can be more, do more, than we ever thought possible by reimagining the past as it could have happened. I love the clothing, the elegance and intricacy that was part of the Gilded Age. I’ve a bit of a Victoriana nut with a strong love of tea, and I’m a maker in my own right. I sew, design, paint, and can my own home-grown fruits, veggies, sauces and soups, when I’m not out tackling my herb garden. For me steampunk is like the peanut butter. It’s gritty, it’s brown, it’s got a specific flavor you won’t find anywhere else and you know it when you taste it.
With paranormal romance, I’m just as fascinated by the things we can’t see that still influence us. Most of my writing tends to take a paranormal path, likely because when I was little my mother did things like pretend we had elves in the tree stump in the back yard. They even talked under my window one night—which I later found out in my 20s was due to a tape-recorder. She made my brother and I believe in the magic all around us and I still have that rose-colored tint to how I look at the world today. But if there’s one thing about the paranormal I’ve learned, it’s that there’s balance. Dark must have light to survive and vice versa. And with paranormal romance, the ending is always sweetly satisfying. You know the good guys win and that love can conquer all. Paranormal romance is like chocolate. It’s dark, it’s varied, the subtle changes and flavors are nearly endless and when done right it can be an experience you can’t get enough of.
So when it comes to blending steampunk and paranormal romance, it’s not just about the fantastic inventions or goggles, nor is it about the balancing act between the dark and light forces of the paranormal world and the power of love. It’s a bit of both, blended together to create a flavor of fiction that’s something familiar but also completely different. That’s what I’ve tried to accomplish in my Legend Chronicles series, but you may have to taste it yourself to find out.
About the Author:
Raised by a bibliophile who made the dining room into a library, Theresa has always been a lover of books and stories. First a writer for newspapers, then for national magazines, she started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer’s Digest course and putting the book under the bed until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993.
In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, three cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd puppy, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden.
You can find her online on Twitter, Facebook, at her Website or blogging with the other Lolitas of STEAMED!