11 Dec 2012

Next Best Thing Blog Hop!

As part of ‘The Next Big Thing Blog Hop’, I was tagged by author of "How to bag a Jabbawock- a victorian monster hunters guide"  Mr Kit Cox esq last week.  Kits book is a splendid romp of an instruction manual with diagrams, photographs (yes photographs) and annecdotes on a variety of historic creatures and monsters complete with very gory descriptions of how to dispatch them!

The purpose of these posts is to introduce you to writers and their work, hopefully including some you haven’t heard of, whether a new release or a Work in Progress (WIP).

According to the rules, I will be answering some questions (the same ones for every other blog hopper) and I have some authors to nominate to continue the Hop! Some may already have been tagged but that's no reason not to go and check out their work again!

This is a bit weird for me because I don't know many authors, as I don't go to writers groups or indeed read many blogs (hangs head in shame) I mainly read classic fiction and all those authors are no longer writing blogs....however these are a selection of cracking writers all of whom have connections of one sort or another with my mad fantasy/historical/steampunk world!

Lia Habel  
Dark future/victorian/zombie romance trilogy, think frocks, fights and a hearthrob undead hero
Magda Knight 
Young adult fiction with a fantasy/mythological twist. Witty, topical and thoughtful.
Fidelis Morgan
Restoration mystery romps, fun, fast and frivolous, my copies are falling apart.
 Janine Ashbless  
Well written erotic fiction, with a fantasy/history flavour... definitely not "work safe"... no really, not even her blog...
Philip Reeve
Young adult fantasy/history/steampunk adventures. quite possibly my favourite living author...

1)What is the working title of your next book?

The next to be published will be "Steampunk Apothecary" although I have two books out next year (2013) "Steampunk Teaparty" will follow soon after....
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

It is a sequal of sorts to "Steampunk Emporium" so I wanted to continue Emilly and Mr Woppits adventures but also add something new to the experience and projects. I opted for a darker and more fairytale theme this time round, it really seemed to fit well with the alice in wonderland victorian sinister whimsy. Which is how I like my steampunk.

I'd wanted to do a fairytale jewellery project book for years but publishers kept stealing my idea, giving it to someone else, having it done badly, the book not selling, then rejecting my proposal again because "we've done that- it didn't sell" so a large part of me is going "squeeeeeeeeeeeee! at last!!!!"

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Arts and Crafts. My book is a how to make jewellery and accessories book, with added stories and art.

4 What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a bit of an odd question for me, because it's a project how-to book although I do have a main character for the stories, Emilly ladybird is very much my own alter ego, and i use all the models for the photographs as my inspirations for the stories...
If we are playing fantasy football though, I'd like Sir Ian Mc Kellan and Derek Jacobi to play Dickens and Rivett and Christina Hendricks could do a fun Emilly...
 5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

"Fairies, Airships and Adventure,
Making magical steampunk jewellery and accessories"

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It has been comissioned by a large craftbook publishing house.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It takes about a month to get the rough outline of the book together, then another two to make all the projects and do the step by step photography, then about six months of to-ing and fro-ing between me and the publishers to arrange the art direction/beauty photography/layout etc.
 8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Well the little stories are very much light whimsy like Philip Reeves larklight trilogy, or perhaps Joan Aikens stories, but as it's a craft book as well I'd say theres not much like it out there to be honest! perhaps Enchanted Adornments by Green Girl studios?

 9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love making beautiful things and I wanted to carry on being able to pay the mortgage while I did so! My creative friends and the people I meet at Steampunk conventions are a huge inspiration too.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Think of it as an introduction to a fabulous fantasy world of Steampunk, If you don't make things you'll enjoy the stories, if you don't read stories you'll enjoy the projects! and if you don't know what Steampunk is then Im pretty sure it's time you found out!

30 Sept 2012

New Winter Workshops!

A fancy underbust, hip bucket corset workshop, just like my green laced one seen at the asylum, suitable for beginners too! Choose from a variety of coloured corset satins and ribbons and make one to fit you perfectly. and learn the fancy self lacing technique. You just need to be able to use a sewing machine competently for this course, no previous corsetry experience required, though intermediates also welcome. All materials provided.
Hold onto your Hats! New Workshop Dates in the Nottingham studio are listed below, as Emilly Ladybirds Friends you get first dibs and 10% off if you book by the 12th October, perfect for Christmas presents....

Brand new Fan lacing Corset Course
This course is so popular i'm running it twice...November 17th and 18th (two days) £180 (£162 for early bookers) OR February 23rd and 24th
Brand New Fan lacing Corset.

Mini Top hats and Tricornes.
A favourite workshop creating couture style hats using traditional victorian techniques in assorted lush silks, velvets and brocades. Beginners welcome, there is a little sewing involved on this course but it's mainly handsewing and gluing! all materials provided, though you may bring your own outer fabric and trims if you want to match an outfit.
December 8th (one day) £80 (£72 early booking)

Steampunk Jewellery Experimenting Day.
Have a go at a vast assortment of techniques and play with a wide variety of materials to create wonderful components and pieces for your steampunk jewellery, with metal, resin, polymer clay, shrink plastic and more. You don't need to bring anything, but feel free to bring your "stash" of beads and watchparts to incorporate into your designs as you learn new things. All equipment and basic materials supplied.
December 9th (one day) £60 (£54 early booking)
To get the early booking price you need to email me to reserve your place, I will then give you payment options (paypal, bank transfer or cheque only). After the early date, you can book online

11 Sept 2012

Weekend at The Asylum

The Third annual UK Steampunk Convivial...

I won an award!!!! I still can't quite believe it, but "Steampunk Emporium" was voted the best non fiction steampunk book of 2011/12.  I am so thrilled to have won, a huge thankyou to everyone who voted. It genuinely was most unexpected.

Sowhat a terribly exciting and busy weekend that was!
It went by in a flash and I know I didn't get to see a quarter of the things I'd intended to, or indeed the people I'd have loved to chat with, but It was jolly good fun anyway.

Much thanks to everyone who came along to the stall and showed me the wonderful things they'd made after being inspired by Steampunk Emporium! I hope you all enjoyed seeing the sneaky previews of the next two books as well...

Despite hiding from the heat (and the First Tea Companies First Court Martial)  in the lovely cool assembly rooms in Lincoln, I managed to do quite a lot really! I sat on a panel about the nature of steampunk writing with the lovely Raven Dane and awesome Jonathon Green which was jolly good fun. I saw Mr B the gentleman rhymer play,  I helped judge the costume competion with Jonathon and the very talented Mr Thomas Truax. Even MC Elemental got me up on stage to sing a song to me, which was very silly indeed.

I'm afraid I was so busy I didn't take many pictures! though on the left you can see Mr Rivett pretending to be Kit Cox...myself and the irrepressable Ms Peacey and Nick Locke being Steam Trinians, and the lovely Lady Raygun and Robert Rankin relaxing.... but there are links to many many wonderful photos on the VSS facebook site, Now we only have to wait till March for The Great Steampunk Beach party!

1 Aug 2012

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Today we have a lovely deepsea diving outfit, The steamrena mechanics outfit and some extra accessories for the Emilly Ladybird dress up doll for you to down load! Just click on the link to go to a high resolution version!

Emillys diving costume

When the weather is warm, Emilly and Mr Woppit like nothing more than to visit the seaside with a pair of binoculars and watch out for Kraken frolicking in the waves!

11 Jun 2012

Patriotic Panel

Another page of Emilly Ladybird dress up dolly fun, this week is a Patriotic ensemble to celebrate the Jubilee, and some other fun stuff.  This Steampunk Brittania dress was displayed in all it's actual 3D glory at Kewbridge Steam Museums Exhibition!

After a little experimentation, I have also discovered that repositionable stickers are absolutely perfect for creating a changeable costume doll without the need for tabs! This one from Avery is excellent (despite the rather odd sounding name). You get 6 A4 sheets in a pack and it works in a normal inkjet printer.

You can get your high resolution version of the dresses here

29 May 2012

Paris Fashions Ahoy!

To celebrate the beautiful new look to my journal, I have a special treat, you can now download your very own Emilly Ladybird Dress up doll!

Drawn by Mr Kit Cox, you can mix and match all Emillys favourite costumes, including The Steampunk Absinthe Fairy, The Britannia Gown and even colour in or design your own.

You could print them out onto Magnetised paper and cut out with sharp scissors or simply cut out with extra tabs to fold round a cardboard Emilly.

There will be a few different pages appearing over the next few weeks!

To down load the high resolution versions just click here and here