Many, many months ago, a challenge went out for stories based on a steampunk theme. I’d always loved Jules Verne and the stories written at the end of the nineteenth century, full of lost worlds and strange sciences, but I never thought I would be able to write them. I am not very good at science. I always have to ask either my brother (big chemistry and general science nerd) or my son (who actually seems to pay attention in science lessons). So when I saw the call, I thought about it and then rejected the idea. I could never write anything like that. I should have known myself better, and, besides, it’s always about the story.
I finished Deepest Desire about four hours before the deadline. The idea had ambushed me a few days earlier and so I went for it with gusto. Things changed a little after the call but it eventually ended up as the sparkling Crowns Cogs and Carriages that I reviewed here. For various reasons, mine wasn’t included, partly because I was already mentally tied up with Out of the London Mist and I didn’t want things to get confused.
Out of the London Mist was accepted by Three Furies Press and is coming out soon (as I may have mentioned a gazillion times) and I didn’t know what to do with the short story. Yesterday I made a decision, swore, muttered, grumbled, converted files, created a book cover and published Deepest Desire on Amazon. It’s not a very long read, and I put it at the lowest price I could, so the equivalent of 99c in Amazon. However, if you want to save some money you can register at Booksprout where I have listed it as an ARC (Advanced Review Copy). This is where you have access to free copies of books in return for a review, either on Amazon or similar places like Goodreads, and the link is here I’m not stressing about reviews, just trying to make sure people get access.
Deepest Desire is my first attempt at steampunk, and is a dashing tale about a gallant aether pilot, John Farnley, who flies an expedition to the Balkans near the edge of the Ottoman Empire to uncover a potential archaeological site. His passengers are the coolly capable Miss Sylvia Armley and the erudite Professor Entwistle, but things are not exactly all that they seem and a forced and bumpy landing is just the start of his problems.
I hope that people have as much fun reading this as I have had writing it as I had a blast! If you have any questions or suggestions, or any thoughts, please leave a comment. I love hearing from people.