Three Furies Press: Now I get to introduce a super sweet and amazing person. Lyssa Medana. Lyssa writes in different genres, so I will let her go ahead and introduce herself and tell us about what she writes.
Lyssa: Hi, I’m Lyssa, and I’m a wife and mother based in Yorkshire, UK. I have far too much fun writing, which is a nice change from a fairly uneventful life. I don’t really have one type of genre. I have an idea for a good story, and then I go for it! I think the most important part is the story. Though I admit, vampires seem to appear whether I mean to add them or not!
TFP: So you do some horror writing then, but your new book is a steampunk genre. How was that different to write? What did you keep in mind when tackling this new genre?
Lyssa: I found it a challenge. I had never really written steampunk, it was something that looked amazing, but wasn’t something I thought I would be able to write. I read a lot of Jules Verne when I was young, which I think is a steampunk foundation, but up until now I stuck a lot to the horror and fantasy stuff where I felt safer. Then I saw a prompt for a steampunk story. I thought I couldn’t possibly write that, then I thought some more, and the next thing I had eight thousand words that were completely steampunk (look out for the novella Deepest Desire coming soon). I then found I had more of the story to tell.
The most important thing to me about steampunk is the sense that problems can be solved. If you read Jules Verne, or even some of the Tarzan of the Apes books, there is an incredible sense of people triumphing because of ingenuity and determination, that people can survive, succeed and flourish against all odds. I also thought it was important to keep a good atmosphere, with plenty of detail.
TFP: This is so true, aesthetic is important in the steampunk genre. I would have never guessed you weren’t old hat at writing steampunk. One thing I wondered, was where the idea for aethers came from?
Lyssa: Embarrassing confession—I have no idea where the idea came from. I think there were some memories of reading ‘First Man on the Moon’ and similar, but I was just going about my business, wondering what I could possibly contribute to steampunk, and it hit me. I think it’s a good metaphor for the discoveries that were being made in science at the time, which were changing the way people were thinking. It’s like a new world opened up to them with powered flight and radio. Perhaps the aether stands in for that (in a very elegant casing!)
TFP: It’s a great analogy to our science as you say. In what ways would you say the London Peculiar, or the mist, plays a part in your story? It’s almost another character the way it’s written.
Lyssa: I think it plays a vital role. I hope I’m not sounding too deep, but the London Peculiar is almost symbolic. In our world, the smogs killed thousands of people, but were finally banished from London and other British cities by the Clean Air Act, which was made possible by a change in how we heated our homes. We were using natural gas or electric instead of coal inside the home, and the smog just faded away. In our story, the aether power could potentially replace coal and strip away the smog.
TFP: And the mist has an important role to play in the story as well as being a cautionary tale and bit of history about clean air.
Lyssa: As a writer, I was very glad of the London Peculiar as it allowed me to hide some dreadful deeds in the East End of London.
TFP: It was an important plot device. Were you aware of the different devices you were using? Like using the mist to hide some of the nefariousness that was going on?
Lyssa: I wish I could claim that I planned it, but it sort of evolved. I didn’t realise how important the mist would be until I got a little way in. I did some research, and it really was a corrosive, creeping hazard.
TFP: And the perfect way to hide things. We won’t give away any details, don’t want to ruin the story, but there’s a reason it’s titled Out of the London Mist! We really love this novel here at TFP and can’t wait to read more from this steampunk world. Thanks for joining us today, Lyssa! Where can we find you online?
Lyssa: It’s been a pleasure, thank you for inviting me. You can find me mainly on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LMedana/ and I have a blog with regular flash fiction, writing challenges and the occasional book review, Always Another Chapter, which is here https://alwaysanotherchapter.co.uk/ I love getting feedback from readers, and it’s great to chat.
TFP: Thanks again for joining us! Readers, be sure to check out more from Lyssa Medana!