by: Ray Dean
This is a post in two parts… because I’m strange like that.
I’m a Western Fiction girl… have been for a LONG time. Still, the industry says that Westerns are dying as a genre. It’s enough to give a girl fits! So what does a writer do? Should I pack it up and throw my hands in the air? Should I pack away my spurs and six-guns? Not quite.
Steampunk… a growing, changing, evolving genre is on the rise. What is Steampunk? Well, it’s safe to say that Steampunk is different things to different people. Just pop into any Steampunk forum, group online and you’ll see what I mean. But Steampunk has many facets to it… and that’s why I brought it up.
A sub-genre that some refer to as Weird Westpunk or Dustpunk takes much of what we know as a Western and give it that fantasy element that seems to be so inherent in Steampunk. Think of the TV show “Wild Wild West” and you’ll see what I mean.
So… is the Western dying? Maybe in its current incarnation. But a new version is on the rise. Much like the old gunfighter with cap and ball pistols must see the advantages to the new cartridge pistol. Advance or be left behind.
Besides writing in the Western genre, I’ve also been a fan of the Victorian Era, or in American terms the Civil War and Antebellum Eras. Those eras have been out of favor for a bit in publishing… Medieval, Regency, all trump the tight corsets and odd shapes that those bones corsets give a woman’s figure. So why bother writing in that era? I didn’t really. I was, ‘chasing the genre’ trying to figure out what was popular and write ‘that.’
It sounds like a good idea, but then you’re always just a step or two behind at the best… and that’s if you have a ton of time to write, no distractions, and lots of support from family and friends.
Steampunk, again, is largely a part of the Victorian Era… Exploration, Steam Technology, God Save the Queen and all of her lovely pith helmeted soldiers! If I hadn’t wasted my time
trying to chase what was currently the hot topic on the market… imagine where I might be today!
If I had been writing in those genres of my heart… believing in my muses and inspiration instead of the imagined carrot dangling before me. I might be in a completely different place.
Still, I am grateful for where I am and constantly moving forward. The path ahead is one of my own making. And like the Victorian Explorers that found their way through jungle and desert with little more than their wits and a determined mindset…. here I go!
Ray Dean is an author with two short stories published in the anthology books “Shanghai Steam” and “Steamfunk!” She can be found at her website here or on Amazon here.
If you would like to be featured as a guest poster please drop me an email, I’d love to feature you.
Until Next Time,