Announcing a new serialized Twist story!

Have I mentioned that I can be a bit long-winded sometimes?  Well, as if I didn’t know that 12 adventure novels in the same series wasn’t enough, I’ve begun working on a new series, in the same universe as the Twist books.  And, it will premier next month!

Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to read the original Sherlock stories in The Strand?  You’d only get one case, and then have to wait a week for the next one.  There were no compilations of all of them, at first.  Well, I would have loved it.  I personally really enjoy having something live, be it TV, web shows, or the first singles of an upcoming album. to look forward to.  It makes me feel like I’m a part of something, when I’m there right at the beginning.

So, I’ve decided to do just that, with a side-story of my books.  I’ll be posting new chapters (about 1200 words each) weekly on a new blog that is just for this project, telling a single story at a time.  The first story only came out to 12 chapters, so it’s not a huge commitment.  And if you miss one, the posts will not be going anywhere.  Also, I will be publishing a permanently free eBook, and a cheap as possible paperback, once all of the chapters are posted.

Preliminary cover designAnd now, you ask, what will this serial be about?  If you haven’t read the second Twist book, Trick, then what I’m about to tell you really isn’t a spoiler.  If you have read Trick already, then you’ll remember Jeffery Simian, the gentlemanly baboon that Myra wished Idris to make out of a coffee pot.  As soon as I saw Jeffery, and saw the way that he and Idris got along, I realized that I had to send the two of them out solving mysteries.  And that, is exactly what I’ve written.

Jeffery is a baboon in a tweed suit, who has a sense of honor and good diction.  Idris is a powerful djinn who is easily bored and needs constant entertainment.  Together, there can’t be a single dull day.  The Journals of Jeffery Simian will follow Jeffery and Idris as they explore the world, try to find the most interesting ways for Idris to use his powerful magic, and solve mysteries while they’re at it.  This will be a very fun side adventure, and will be more in a gaslamp fantasy style than straight steampunk.  And best of all, it’s free!

Why is it all free?  Because I have met with nothing but love and support from all of my readers.  You guys are the best!  I wanted to give you something special, just for being awesome.  I also wanted to create something else that could lure people who haven’t ready my books in, to take a look at Twist.  And really, who says no to free?

I hope to continue writing these little stories of Jeffery and Idris, and releasing them between Twist novel releases.  If all goes well, I would be able to publish 4 books a year, without compromising quality.  Honestly, it only took me about 2 weeks to write this little side story, and I’m currently writing Clockwork Twist: Book Seven.  See?  Told you I was long-winded.

Anyway, keep an eye on my blogtwitter, facebook, tumblr, or whatever, to see when the first chapter of the The Journals of Jeffery Simian will appear.  This will be such a fun little ride!

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Suggested Reading: Echoes 2!

eBook coverAfter the success of Echoes: Neo-Victorian Poetry, we have now been gifted with another wonderful collection of poetry by JaniceT!

Once again, the works you will find in this volume are all of a classical style.  There are no confusing prose, or ostentatious turns of phrase.  These are poems that echo the more refined and understandable rhymes and rhythms of Emily Dickinson and Poe, but with JaniceT’s own unique voice.

I find that much of modern poetry is aloof and self-important, as if the work itself were looking down its nose at me with judgmental eyes, assuming that I could never truly understand its so-called greatness.  Others are so rough and simplistic as to make me wonder why it’s called a poem at all, and not simply a very short essay.  Slam poets can reach me once in a while, but usually I’m off-put by their aggressive shouts and clear intent to offend.  Either way, I always end up going back to the more inviting, delightful, and damned understandable works of old, where I can enjoy a moment of truth and beautiful melancholy with Yeats, or dance happily through the clean air with Shelly and his skylarks.

Because of all of this, I’m very happy to announce that JaniceT’s work is something anyone can easily relate to and enjoy.  She took great care and attention to give these pieces rhyme and structures that are familiar and comforting, while bringing up many new and fascinating ideas.  She writes both about the modern condition with poems about organic foods and on-line trolls, as well as venturing farther into Steampunk than before with airships and a delightful look at Verne.  All the while, you will find graceful moments of relateable human experience and true emotion.

If you’re put-off by poetry in general, or feel that you just don’t get it, then do yourself a favor and give this one poet a try.  These poems will welcome you in with open arms, and show you that this art form really is one that you too can deeply enjoy.  You were simply reading the wrong poems, all along.

Get the paperback or eBook on Amazon or Smathwords.

Get a taste for JaniceT’s work on her blog, at http://janice-t.weebly.com

Janice T’s Facebook page.

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Are you an author who loves Steampunk as much as I do?   Or, are you just a big big fan of a Steampunk/Neo-Victorian author?  Would you like to see  your favorite book, or your own book, featured on this blog?  Please leave a comment on this post with a short pitch and a link!   I’ll happily feature anything that I think will fit the style of my blog.  And even if I don’t feature it, please please leave your info in a comment anyway!  Who doesn’t love new books?

Bright Shiny Announcements that you missed!

Copyright © 2006 - 2007 Tiago Grácio

First of all, I’m terribly sorry that this blog has been silent for the last few weeks!  See?  Look how sad the clock is…  My nasty, broken, no-auto-posting blog is just as sad.  We had a talk.  Thing should be running smoothly again, with a weekly blog and an extra picture or two, as of now!  And if it doesn’t run smoothly, we’ll have another talk.  That’s right, I’m looking at you, blog!

Announcement 1!

I’ve quit my day job!  Pop those party popper, break out the music, and hand me a drink!  After trying to juggle a full-time job and a 12 part series, I finally dropped all the balls at my feet and thought “Gee, this is silly.”  I simply had to let something go.  So, bye bye full-time job!  I’m now only working part-time (more on that later) to help pay the bills, and spending most of my time writing and editing my books.  And honestly, as much as I liked my old job and my co-workers there, I finally feel like Twist and I are really getting somewhere!  Expect great things…

Announcement 2!

I got a part-time job with SteamyTech!  You know them, right?  Every good steampunk knows them.  They’re the people who make the wooden geared things that actually work.  Go check out their Esty.  SteamyTech is expanding and trying to get their lovely little toys and wooden bow-ties farther out into the world.  And that means that they need to cut loads of wooden bits on their fancy laser cutter…  That’s right, I now get to play with lasers.  I win!

Announcement 3!

In case you haven’t heard, Clockwork Twist: Waking has been nominated for Best Fiction by the Steampunk Chronicle!  I can hardly believe it, and I’m so honored.  Go check out what else has been nominated for the best of steampunk!  …and maybe, you know, scroll down to the literature section and … you know… (coy smile)  *Whispers* “It’s the ‘best fiction’ one.  Clockwork Twist…”

My mother, the awesome poet JaniceT has also been nominated for her book, Echoes: Neo-Victorian Poetry.  I’m ever so proud.  Voting will close on the 12th.  Just, you know, in case you wanted to know that… *wink, wink*

Announcement 4!

There’s still time to support Clockwork Twist and get sneak previews (and a free copy) of the 3rd book, Clockwork Twist: Dreamer, which will be out later this year!   Inkshares is a new crowdfunded publishing house, that is very excited to help propel the Clockwork Twist series into the world on a much wider distribution than it’s ever had before!
Get in while it’s still new and trendy!  Click here to see the Twist posting.

Wow!  That was a lot that my stupid blog didn’t post about.  Well, now you should be all caught up.  And if I missed anything, I’ll let you know about it all as soon as I remember!  I’m sorry about for the technical issues.  I hope you’ve all had a lovely few weeks as well!

Picture Day: Hu Shaoming

Thanks the promotional interests, I’ve been unable to keep this blog on it’s proper schedule.  But now that Trick is out and Waking 2nd Ed is all finish, we can get back to the eye-candy and silly steamy things!  Huzzah!  So, without further adieu, here’s some pretty to brighten your Sunday.

Click images for more of each.

  

  

Aren’t these pieces just lovely?  Be sure to check out the rest of this amazing art over at Hu Shaoming’s site.

Are you an artist/photographer/sculptor who loves Steampunk as much as I do?   Would you like to see your work featured on this blog?  Or, do you know of someone else who’s work you adore?  Please leave a comment on this post with a link or two!   I’ll happily feature anything that I think will fit the style of my blog.  And even if I don’t feature it, please please leave your info in a comment anyway!  More art is always better than less.

Suggested reading: The Map of Time

I want you to take a moment, and breath in a lung-full of air.  Savor the taste of it.  Notice that it’s ordinary, clean of the ozone-spark of anything like magic.  And now that you know what you’ll be leaving behind, let me introduce you to something truly magnificent.

The Map of Time, by Felix J. Palma is without a doubt, the best thing I’ve ever read.  It’s not a classic (yet), it’s not Poe, or Dickens, or Wilde, and it’s certainly not flawless, but it is still the very best.  Let me attempt to explain what I mean.

Rather than listing all of the ways this book is exceptional, first let’s take a look at what’s wrong with it.  Palma breaks loads of literary rules.  There are more red-herrings than I can count.  He uses real, dead human beings as characters.  He makes fun of Terminator in the middle of the Victorian era.  He’s writing in Spanish, but writing exclusively about English people.  He switches POV whenever it suits him.  He smashes the 4th wall to bits so frequently that I got used to it, and made fun of his own novel, inside of his own novel!  And yet…  When he breaks these ancient rules, he does it with such grace and smug brilliance that I not only forgave him for it, but I wanted to thank him for his bravery and for proving that it could be done.

I fell in love with this book on the first page.  I had no idea what was in store for me (or H.G.Wells) when I read that first page, but I could smell the magic.  But it’s not just the first page.  Every character in this massive tome (I recommend the eBook simply so that the book is physically manageable) is treated with near-Vernian compassion, which gives them all a full life of their own.  The plot is revealed in endless layer upon layer, each one perfectly plausible at the time and yet obviously ridiculous once you see the next.  The actual events are dense and complexly connected, and yet there is always time to sit down with the Elephant Man for tea, and learn through sublime implications just how human he really is.  How human we all are.

This book is a treasure trove of delight and beauty.  There’s something wonderfully clever around every corner, and something honest, raw, and bittersweet tucking into every silence.  There were moments, when reading this, that I honestly could not put the book down (even if I was supposed to be working, or I was starting to run late for my appointment) because I felt that electric tingle in my blood that always tells you: Stop.  This is rare.  This is something worth being late for.  This, right here, is going to change your world and make it a little wider … even if just by a little.

I should, also, mention that there are actual flaws that I can’t exactly excuse.  There seems to be no filtering when it comes to “romance” or gruesome violence.  Although they are few, some of the scenes are so unexpectedly detailed, and yet surrounded by such charming passages, that I felt they were incongruous with the rest of the book.  And so, as much as I’d like to, I can’t recommend this book to anyone under-aged or easily offended.  I noticed many, many, typos throughout the book, probably due to the fact that it was translated from Spanish to English and is longer than Harry Potter.  And yet…  I found I could forgive Palma all of this, easily.  I guess, in this case, an overwhelming amount of good really can outweigh the bad.

Now, I will not tell you what this book is about.  If I did, it would spoil so many wonderful moments.  So, you’re just going to have to take my word for it.  If you’re fine with your air the way it is, then go read something else.  But, if you’re like me and you prefer your air scented with a hint of magic crackling in the corners, then I have just the book for you.

Try the official first Chapter excerpt right here!

Get the Kindle version (seriously, the paperback is huge!) here.

Check out the gorgeous Official Site.

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Are you an author who loves Steampunk as much as I do?   Or, are you just a big big fan of a Steampunk/Neo-Victorian author?  Would you like to see  your favorite book, or your own book, featured on this blog?  Please leave a comment on this post with a short pitch and a link!   I’ll happily feature anything that I think will fit the style of my blog.  And even if I don’t feature it, please please leave your info in a comment anyway!  Who doesn’t love new books?