SJ Davis is the daughter of an ex-patriate British mother and a Southern Baptist ex-CIA father. As a child, she spoke in silly accents and recounted outlandish tales of fantasy over afternoon tea and to this day it remains her favorite activity. Born in Long Island, NY, she was raised in the suburbs of Washington DC and went to school for a very long time (University of Virginia and George Mason University), married an all-around wonderful man, had two kids (smart, funny, full of opinions), moved from Virginia to New Jersey to Philadelphia to Chicago, and began her writing career. She is a believer in fate, an avid tea drinker, a stiletto aficionado, Doc Marten worshipper, punk rock listener, and lover of flip flops and cardigans. She has a terrible sense of direction, loves gummy bears, and is a Johnny Depp fangirl
Before we get into S.J's guest post, let's take a quick look at Invisible Sun:
Without further ado, please welcome the lovely SJ Davis!
Did I pick Steampunk? Or did Steampunk pick me?
by SJ Davis
Readers, family, heck even strangers ask me “What is Steampunk? Why do you write it?” In a ridiculously tiny nutshell, Steampunk is Victorian-era speculative fiction – it’s an exciting subgenre of science fiction traditionally occurring during the Age of Steam. The “punk” in Steampunk is a reflection of its similarity to Cyberpunk. Steampunk often adds a dystopian feel to the narrative or a sort of “fight the power” punk aesthetic and that is truly indicative of the era. The Victorian era was not a Utopian time for the masses – the Industrial Age was rife with issues of pollution, child labor, and of course women had no political or legal voice.
So, why do I write Steampunk? Well, first, I am a huge fan of everything Victorian. From teacups to parasols to bustles, the many fashions and ideas during the age of steam can be seen as uber romantic when viewed through the lens of time. But I am also a huge fan of dystopian and futuristic science fiction by writers such as William Gibson. So, when I discovered Steampunk, I found a sub-genre of speculative fiction that I could really enjoy – it’s the best of both worlds. I found a way merge my love for Jane Austen, John Keats, and Mary Wollstonecraft, add a dash of dystopia, and add a punk rock aesthetic. Did I say I love punk music? Because I love that too!!
DRACULA is one of my favorite novels of the Victorian era. My new novella, Invisible Sun, incorporates this Vampire mythos. Vampires are a fun way to contemplate the horror of immortality and the mythology of creatures that go bump in the night. Writing about Steampunk vampires was a fun way to merge this fantastical creature with innovative modern science – for me, it was a perfect mix for a dramatic narrative. So, Steampunk Vampires were born!
When I began Invisible Sun, I wanted to begin with the perils of the Industrial Age and man’s obsession with alchemy. It’s through genetic engineering that man inadvertently creates a new race of vampires in Victorian London. But instead of these vampires being scavengers or prowling the fringes of society, these creatures are highly evolved and respected organizers of law and also the guardians of science.
Unfortunately, one stray drop has spilled from this genetically perfected vein. Draegan, a vampire genetically designed to be “perfect,” turns rogue. Of course, the genetic experiments have unintended results, upending the precarious peace between human and vampires. But there is a sense of hope, a message that as we work together, we can regenerate our fallen spirit and fix our errors. I hope you enjoy reading Invisible Sun!
Thanks so much to SJ Davis for stopping by. If you'd like to follow her virtual journey in support of Invisible Sun check out her schedule at Bewitching Book Tours. You can also check out her blog @ www.steampunksarah.blogspot.com, her Facebook fan page, her Twitter feed, her Goodreads page, or her Google+ feed.
I'll be giving Invisible Sun a read this week, so be sure to stop by later this month for my review! In the meantime, check out the book trailer below: