Amy Leigh Strickland is the author of several novels, noteably steampunk fantasy, Rescue Or, Royer Goldhawk’s Remarkable Journal.
When Royer Goldhawk witnesses a fly-by kidnapping, he becomes inextricable entangled in a madman’s plot to break the barrier to another world and harness an unimaginable power. With the help of his friends, Royer embarks on a mission of rescue and revenge that will lead him across the country and plunge him into a world of magic, machines, and danger.
Today I welcome her to the Carnival with an interview and a tote bag giveaway!
Welcome to the Clockwork Carnival! What is steampunk to you?
Steampunk is retro-Victorian speculative fiction. It’s a way of looking back and looking forward at the same time. It deals with the sensibilities of the time– the idea that man can better himself through the power of his own mind, through invention. Some Steampunk romanticizes the era, while some of it pulls out the social and moral issues of the time and shines and spotlight on them. People often mix up Steampunk and clockwork. Gears are definitely part of Steampunk, because most steam technology needs gears, but the delicate wind-up clockwork automata of the 16th century are not specifically steampunk.
What made you decide to write steampunk?
The Victorian era experience a real world-warping emergence of science. The theory of evolution, the theory of the unconscious mind, the industrial revolution, and a number of other advancements made the world a very different place between 1850 and 1900. The story I wanted to tell is one about the conflict between science and magic. As the world changes, as technology advances, there is less room in our lives for magic. I thought that the Victorian era was a perfect setting for this tale. Also mechanical arms and googles. Those are just fun.
The Royer Goldhawk series is also fantasy, how did you decide to combine steampunk with fantasy?
As I said before, I wanted to explore this conflict of magic and science. Royer, the narrator, is an engineering student. He is a logical person and finds it hard to believe in magic. The baddie, Zachariah Bedloe, is a little more open to the ideas of both worlds. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that they get a lot of their answers in an occult shop in New Orleans from a psychic old woman and that Royer has to question a lot of what he believes along the way.
The cover art is brilliant! Did it turn out the way you imagined it?
It turned out better than I imagined it. I knew I wanted something that looked like an old dime novel cover, but my original idea involved HDR photography. Carly Strickland, my cover artist, took the photoshoot and made something way cooler with it. We already have the photos for book two, so I’m excited to see how the two go together.
What’s next for you in the world of fiction?
I have to write the second Royer Goldhawk novel, and I have another series that I’m finishing this summer; Olympia Heights is about a group of teenagers who are the Greek Gods reborn, and its fans are itching for book four. I want to get that finale to them by Christmas. After that, I’m toying with the idea of a series of fantasy novels set in Savannah.
Amy wanted to do something a little different in the realm of giveaway so you can win this tote bag featuring steampunk art from Amy’s cover artist, Carly Strickland. Sorry international folk, this one is available to US/Canada/British Colombia only as Amy is running it herself, but the rest of you, good luck! It’s a great prize.