Friday, June 25, 2010

Blending Bad Boys, Westerns and Supernatural into Steampunk

Today, I'm happy to host guest blogger Theresa Meyers. When I heard about her exciting new series and her love for Supernatural, I knew she'd be a great person to come by and share the love for our favorite show.

You know how they say write what you love? But what if what you love is a whole bunch of different things? So what’s a writer to do? Write it anyway!

I love writing paranormals for Harlequin’s Nocturne line and admit to being a total squee-girl fan of the television show Supernatural (in fact, Jensen Ackles aka Dean, if you are reading this, can we talk? I’d love for you to play one of the brothers in my books if they ever go to the big screen). I love history, and in particular I’m a bit of a Victorian nut, so I write historicals. I’ll admit to being partial to the American West simply because I’ve been a West Coast girl all my life, living in California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona, all for different periods of my life. Now normally you’d think there was no way to blend all of that together, but guess what—there is.

Case in point is the new series I’m currently writing for Kensington that won’t come out until 2011 with the first book, The Hunter. It’s a Steampunk trilogy featuring three brothers named after their father’s favorite guns in the Weird Wild West who hunt down supernatural beings along with help from their slightly mad British inventor friend Marley to protect mankind. From skinwalkers and demons to vampires and shape-shifters, they hunt them all, as they work to find the missing pieces of The Book of Legend, the compendium of all Hunter knowledge.

I originally had the idea for the brothers decades ago. I knew who they were, but I didn’t realize this whole other side of them until I was watching the outtake interviews on one of my seasons disks of Supernatural where one of the writers for the show was talking about how he’d always thought it would be cool if they could have gone back in the series to the Wild West. Seen what it was like for Hunters in history. That got me thinking. Who were the Hunters in history, where did they come from? How do they know what they know and train one another? I mean really, you know there’s got to be more to it than what you seen on the screen. Every good character has a history.

That’s when it hit me. My Jackson brothers were Hunters. That was the thing that held these three very different men together. From there I created a whole history and world that stretches back to the dark ages where the Book of Legend was torn apart and scattered to protect it so that Hunters might learn portions of what they needed to know but would have to find one another to truly understand it all.

Winchester, Remington and Colt all have different approaches to being part of their Hunter legacy. Colt (my hero in The Hunter) is a bit of a bad boy, gambler/gunslinger who really, really likes women. He’s the baby and has the whole “Go hard or go home” mentality to him. Which makes things really interesting when he needs the help of a demon to unlock the hiding place of the piece of the Book of Legend he’s searching for. Nothing like a succubus to keep a womanizing bad boy on his toes!

Oldest brother Winchester has sworn off hunting and become a lawman in the Wild West. But that doesn’t mean the supernatural baddies out there have forgotten who he is or where he came from. As the Gates of Nyx threaten to open, letting the Darkin out into the world, he knows he’s going to have to help his brothers out, even if it means going back into hunting. He’s got to accept the help of a vampire countess to track down the second piece of the book.

Middle brother Remington likes to straddle both sides of the law as an attorney. He’s my half-and-half brother, able to understand both his brothers' philosophies. Remington can just about talk his way out of (or into) anything. But when it all boils down to finding the last piece of the Book of Legend, a shape-shifter thief is going to take him into situations that’ll leave him speechless.

Now, you’re probably scratching your head saying, hey wait, these just kind of sound like western-set paranormals. What’s that got to do with steampunk? My version of their world is just a little bit different than you’d read in your average western. For example, when the vampire countess comes calling, she has an airship to take them back to Europe on the journey to retrieve the segment of the book. Colt has a faithful mechanical horse, named Tempus, whose clockworks make him very reliable in the unrelenting travel in the western frontier. And remember that inventor friend I mentioned? He gives the boys all kinds of fun experimental weapons (and where, exactly did you think the demon-killing Colt gun came from in the first place?).

The best way to understand steampunk is to know that the steam refers to the steam age, Victorian era. The story can be set anywhere in the world (or in a parallel world for that matter) during that time when combustion engines weren’t the norm and steam ruled as a power source. The Punk of steampunk comes when you adapt the world to fit your vision of it. Girls as airship captains, inventions that can bore into the earth, search the bottom of the seas, zap holes through a vampire at twenty paces, mad inventors, intrepid adventurers and explorers. You get the idea.

So there you have it. A way to blend an unnatural obsession with Supernatural into historical, steampunk, paranormal romance. Sweet, huh? I can’t wait.

I can't wait either! I think this series sounds amazing, and I'll be there at the bookstore when The Hunter hits the shelves. Thanks for being with us today, Theresa. So, everyone, have questions for Theresa? Do you think this series sounds as awesome as I do? Until the series' release, be sure to check out Theresa's other stories for Nocturne Bites.


Linda Thomas-Sundstrom said...

HI T - One of your Nocturne sistas here, reading your dish on Steampunk, and loving it. The books sound like so much fun. My wishes for you: May you get covers you love. May you continue to write what you love. May you see many,many sales and much success!
Since I also have written for Kensington, I know you'll be happy there, as well as with our Nocturne hosts.

GO, Steampunk!
I'm speaking at Comic-Con this July, and am hoping Steampunk makes a big showing there.


Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Theresa Meyers said...

Thanks, Linda!!! I appreciate the good wishes! Can't wait to go to Steamcon II in Seattle in November. I've been sewing on costumes and just got the new goggles I wanted for my birthday in the mail.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Linda, how cool that you're speaking at Comic-Con. I go to DragonCon each year, but I'd love to go to Comic-Con at some point.

Theresa, how cool that you're making your own steampunk costumes. DragonCon is actually where I first learned of steampunk through some of the awesome costumes I saw.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Hi, Theresa, and welcome to Supernatural Sisters! Cool to have you here!

Your books sound FABULOUS, and not even just because of the Supernatural connection. :) Steampunk is one of those things that sounds great to me in theory, but I'm not sure it's "my thing"--so we'll see if you suck me in. :)

Theresa Meyers said...

Thanks Natalie and Trish for the great suggestions for cons to attend! I'll have to check into those. ;)

Gina Robinson said...

I love your explanation of steampunk.I'll have to remember it next time someone asks me what steampunk is. The new series sounds fun. Hope it's a great success!

Anonymous said...

Theresa, I love the idea for your new series. Will definitely need to check it out. Nat, will you post a reminder for our readers and me on the release date? :)