Tag Archives: Steampunk

Interview with Doc Coleman (Three Questions)

(This is part  “Three Questions With Xxxx“. If you’re interested in taking part click here and fill out the form.)

Doc and I have worked together on a number of projects and I love his imagination. His writing style is full of wonder and I’m looking forward to his new book launch. So, to let you get to know him a little bit, I asked him some questions. Enjoy!

1)Much of what you’ve written falls into the steampunk “genre”. What appeals to you about it?

For me, part of the allure of steampunk is that anything can happen. Nothing is out of bounds. You have mad scientists who can create futuristic technology, or bizarre life forms. You can have aliens come to earth, or humans go to their planet. On top of that, you can have eastern mysticism, ancient magics, fairies, werewolves, vampires, mummies, and anything else that goes bump in the night. It is pretty much the genre where all other genres meet. You can have adventure, romance, intrigue, and horror. Or all of them at once. The possibilities are just endless. And sorting through them is a ton of fun.

Writing Perils of Prague, and building the world of the Eternal Empress, I concentrated more on mad science and adventure. In the process, I kind of stepped on some of the characteristic mad technology that one usually sees in a steampunk world, but we’ll see some of that in future stories. A Walk in the Park, the short story I wrote for Flagship, had more of the tech, and just a touch of magic. That story is actually going to become part of the introduction for the fourth Crackle and Bang adventure, A Cuckoo in the Nest. The story I did for The Way of the Gun, The Shining Cog, is much more of a gadget-driven steampunk story, but also takes a look at religion and philosophy, and has a very different flavor.

2) As a new author you’ve elected to self publish your upcoming novel. Why go that route as opposed to shopping it around?

I blame Tee Morris for that one. I considered shopping Perils to traditional and small publishers, but I saw what happened to Tee with his Billibub Baddings novels. His rights got tied up with a publisher that wasn’t willing to support the series, and it hurt the property. By the time he got his rights back, Tee had other properties that were selling better and he felt he couldn’t continue with the series. While I don’t fault Tee for his decision, I didn’t want to lose control of the Adventures of Crackle and Bang. I knew from the get-go that it was going to be an open-ended series, and I always wanted to be able to put out a new book when I was ready. For me, the only way to be sure of that was to hold onto my rights and self-publish.

This also means that when I get ready to shop another property out to traditional publishers, I will already have built an audience and a following, which should make those properties more appealing.

3) As a voice actor, writer, and podcaster you’ve engaged in a lot of creative pursuits. How do you balance your time between them/prioritize them?

Poorly. Between the day job and spending time with my loved ones, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to pursue my creative pursuits. When I’m in a writing phase, I try to make an hour a day to work on writing, but it doesn’t always happen. Podcasting can often take more time. It is easy when someone else is doing the editing, as you just have to show up to record, but when you have to edit episodes, that really needs a block of time to really focus on the audio. Narration and voice acting is pretty much the same. I love jobs where I just have to record my lines and send in the raw audio, then I’m done, unless there are re-takes. For a while, my wife was doing my editing for me, but she hasn’t been able to do that in a while and I’ve had to really cut back on my audio production for the past year. I hope I’ll be able to get back into doing more audio after Perils gets published.

As for priorities, pretty much family comes first. After that, I was working on the Balticon Podcast, but last summer I realized that I needed to focus on publishing Perils or I would never get it done. With Perils almost done, I want to try to catch up with the podcast, and maybe look at picking up some narration work this summer. But I also have another writing project that another author really wants to work on with me. So, I’m going to have to figure out what project I’m going to put first, and plan how much time I am going to have for secondary projects. It is a balancing act, and the balance is always changing.

Twitter: @scaleslea
email: Doc@swimmingcatstudios.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34659094-the-perils-of-prague


Cover Reveal for Perils of Prague

It is with SO MUCH PLEASURE, that I get to show you folks the GORGEOUS cover for I book steampunk fans will love.

I’ve written with and gotten to know Doc over the last several years. He’s a talented writer and voice actor. I’ve read an early version of this book and have been waiting for it with bated breath. You can pre-order it here. Catch the excerpt at the end of the post.

Title: The Perils of Prague, The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, Book 1
Genre: Steampunk Adventure/Comedy
Release date: April 25, 2017
Formats: Kindle, and Paperback

Book Description:

Victoria, the Eternal Empress, has sat the throne of the British Empire for over 150 years. Her policies have brought peace to the world by suppressing the development of “dangerous technologies”, and where that has failed, her Imperial Troops, with their lightning rifles, have swiftly brought order. But there are still those who chafe at the yoke of peace.
When an evening’s entertainment in the British Protectorate of Bohemia unexpectedly leads to the destruction of the State Opera House of Prague, the eccentricity brilliant Professor Harmonious Crackle and his beautiful colleague Miss Titania Bang must team up with the Duke of Prague’s nephew and hunt down the evil genius responsible. Can they find him and stop him before he unleashes his new technology to terrorize the city and threaten the stability of the British Empire, and the Eternal Empress herself?
In a race against an unknown menace, this intrepid trio must search high and low and discover The Perils of Prague!

Author Bio:

Doc Coleman began his writing career in 2010 with the Nifty Tech Blog, a tech review blog that demystifies technology by highlighting some of the best consumer products available. Doc soon moved on to writing fiction, with the short story “The Gift”, and stories for the online magazine Flagship and for The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ podcast Tales from the Archives. His latest work is the first book of his steampunk series The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, The Perils of Prague.

Doc is a computer geek, a motorcyclist, a homebrewer, a podcaster, a writer, and voice actor. Sometimes, he even finds some time to relax, too.

Twitter: @scaleslea
email: Doc@swimmingcatstudios.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34659094-the-perils-of-prague

An excerpt from the book:
“You’re serious!” Miss Bang’s brow was creased in ire. The hint of ire blazed behind her eyes.
He blinked at her. “Of course, I’m serious. Such a joke would be in very bad taste!”
“I don’t believe anyone ever accused my great-grandfather of having good taste,” I commented ruefully.
The professor turned to me. “Your great-grandfather was actually quite a thoughtful fellow in his youth. He did throw the most excellent parties. I never did find out what made him such a misanthrope as he got older. I’d often wondered… Wait! Wait, I was going to tell you something. Something I’d just discovered.” He looked down at the wing in his hand. “Yes! That was it! You remember the birds, the clockwork birds?”

I nodded. “Yes, Professor. It was just earlier this morning.” I wondered if it was still morning.

Professor Crackle nodded vigorously. “Yes, they’re a perfect recreation of the living creature. Or at least as best as I can tell, given the damage the sample sustained. If only I could examine an intact specimen.”

Miss Bang spoke up. “You’re drifting again, Harmonious.”

“No, no, no, no! This is important. Did you get a good look at the singers? The male and female leads?”

“At the opera?” I asked. I wasn’t quite sure where he was leading.

“Yes! Did you get a good look at them?” He seemed very agitated as he leaned toward me for my answer.

“Well, Professor, I am afraid I wasn’t really concentrating on them for most of the performance. And when things livened up at the end, my attention was, well… on other things.”

“And you, Titania?” He whirled to face Miss Bang.

“Other than the final song, they seemed quite capable, although somewhat uninspired performers.” She paused in thought for a moment, touching one finger to her lips. “I’m not sure how to describe the final performance.”

“Drat. I hoped one of you got a better look. Now we shall have to find what is left of them.” The professor moved back to his workbench and put down the wing and his loupe.

“You want to go find their bodies, Professor? Isn’t that a task better left to the police?” I did not fancy the idea of sifting through the rubble for pieces of the dead performers.

He turned to me. “Their remains, yes. But their bodies, I think not.” He lifted the wing again and shook it to illustrate his point. “I think they were clockwork.”

“A clockwork man? How is that possible?” I looked to Miss Bang, but she seemed fascinated by the idea.

“But such intricate detail, Harmonious… and such a complex series of actions to perform upon the stage. They were actually singing. It wasn’t a phonograph recording. Even with the latest equipment, one can tell the difference. I’ve never heard of an automaton that could truly sing.”

“Yes!” The professor looked like a child who had been promised a new pony. “Exactly! Such perfect duplication of the living form! When I went down on the stage and examined the woman, she looked otherwise normal except for the side of her face. The flesh sagged under a weight. I think a piece detached from the underlying support structure and dragged it out of shape. I believe the same person who made these birds constructed the opera singers as well. But I need more evidence. We need to find what is left of those performers.”

“So, we’re going back to the opera house?” Miss Bang asked.

“Yes! Well, no! We’re already there. I’m sorry about the little detour, my boy, but I’m certain your uncle is going to want to see whatever evidence we can find.”

“Surely he will be worried about my disappearance? Perhaps it would be best to just drop me off first and I can explain your theory to Uncle Randolph?” Much as I would like to avoid his wrath, putting off seeing my uncle could only make things worse.

“After losing a major landmark?” Professor Crackle asked. “Don’t be ridiculous! He may be worried, but he will have hardly a moment to think on it. No, trust me, even if you went back now you wouldn’t be able to get in to see him. But if we can find something to prove it wasn’t an accident, we’ll be able to get right in to see the duke.”

“And the police, Professor?” I asked, wondering what Inspector Janecek would think about the professor’s clockwork people theory. “Yes, we must get there before they do! The last thing we need is for them to tromp all over everything and destroy the evidence we need.” He grabbed a pair of goggles off of a bench and strode through the door. “Come along!”

“But, but that’s not what I meant!” I sputtered and hurried to catch up to Miss Bang as she swept out of the room in the professor’s wake.