Many years ago, while reading about Cyberpunk, I happened upon another sub-genre of science fiction called Steampunk. I found myself a bit surprised that I had already encountered it quite a bit in my movie and book consumption. As I read more and more on the subject, I found my imagination working overtime, things fitting right into place in my warped brain. Story ideas started coming to me, and soon I had full blown adventures for dashing heroes wearing brass goggles and wielding strange but familiar weapons that shot lightning bolts and aether gases.
It was from this miasma of ideas that my love of writing returned. I had always been a storyteller, and I’ve been wanting to be a published writer for longer than that, but with Steampunk I found a place I felt comfortable and could produce a lot of writing. Strangely enough, more of my recent stories have been regular science-fiction, but I have a lot of Steampunk ideas brewing. I don’t want to be pegged as being one type of writer, but I do want to make my mark somewhere.
It was my love of Steampunk that managed to get me my first ever item published – a book review of Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker. My first ever published story, “The Duel,” is a Steampunk story.
So last week I received an email that put my ass in gear and had me scrambling for the goods that could allow me to have a new author headshot made. This time, wearing more stylish duds that fit in with my favorite sub-genre in speculative fiction. After combing town I located a bowler (or a derby, for those who insist on the American name).
But the search for cool stuff didn’t stop there. While combing the antique and vintage shops for hats, I also looked for shirts and other things that would fit. I couldn’t find much, and finally decided that hunt would have to wait for a better day when I had more money to play with (i.e. never LOL). I was bound and determined to find something other than just a hat.
For a few bucks, I managed to secure some green welding goggles. Ugly things, and didn’t look right at all. However, a quick stop at Lowes provided me with a can of brass spray paint. A few hours of work and a can of paint can change a lot about a pair of goggles.
Once that was all done, I just needed to get the pictures made and get them off to editors and websites. If you saw the last picture I had on display, it was of me wearing a Real Deal Brazil tarp hat, taken by my good friend Nikki Midgette. We both worked there at the time and being an employee, it made me an instant choice for photos to put on their website (you know, because they wouldn’t have to pay me :)). That picture is at least 3-4 years old at this point (I think, memory is fuzzy), so it was time for a more modern shot.
So, finding Nikki (both of us being unemployed meant neither of us had anything better to do), we headed out to a local park where I could get shots in nature without interference with modern technology. We also then drove out to the country to locate a run down barn to get some more photos. What resulted were some awesome shots, one of which you can see over on the About page. Good stuff. I also updated my bio over there, mainly because, well, I could, and I wanted it to fit my picture.
So, keep your eyes peeled for Bull Spec #5, and you may find me and my picture in there. You may also find a familiar title on one of the sections…
In other news, Indigo Rising put my story “Harvest Moon” (originally published on their website back in January) into issue X of their print edition. You can pick up a copy for $5 from their website, if you wish. It’s worth it, I think.