Q: Good evening! Today’s post is an interview with Lucille Moncrief. She’s an author of steampunk fiction with erotic and supernatural elements. I’m thrilled to see so many steampunk authors who are bringing their stories to the market. Thank you for joining us today, Lucille.
A: You're welcome, Stephanie. I'm glad to be here.
Q: When did you become interested in creative writing?
A: I first became interested in creative writing while I was in high school. I wish I’d started pursuing a writing career earlier instead of fiddling around with college, which I really wasn’t suited for. Kindle came out shortly after I graduated, and I’m still kicking myself for not jumping on that bandwagon when it first came to town.
Q: Why did you choose the steampunk genre?
A: It pretty much encapsulates every genre I like reading. Elements of historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy can all be found in steampunk. It’s also whimsical. It can be gritty. It can also be beautiful, and I like pretty things. Everything is so packaged and plastic and bland and the same. Steampunk is different. It’s elaborate, and also cerebral.
Q: Would you mind telling us some details about the Nefarious series?
A: Nefarious is my steampunk series. It combines elements of erotic horror and paranormal romance. Here is a bit of the blurb:
Described as “captivating,” and “hauntingly beautiful,” the Nefarious series is a sophisticated, enthralling, and well-written tale of intrigue and devious desires. Set in a lurid, southern gothic world, follow the undead Talcott Henderson as he engages in a battle of wits with his intended, Elyse Delafayette.
But wait, what’s this? Half-ling dhamphyrs armed with hawthorn stakes, an energy-witch coven torn apart by infighting, and a corpse-like, ancient vampire king with an agenda of his own?
Enhanced with custom illustrations, this fast-paced steampunk series will leave you on the edge of your seat and hungry for more. If you are sick and tired of wimpy vampires and the flood of terrible books on the romance market, grab your copy today of the Nefarious series and relearn what a true escape into fiction is all about.
It’s planned out to six books. Right now, the first three are available on Amazon for .99 cents, and the fourth book will be launched on Valentine’s Day. There is also a free spin-off short available on Bookfunnel.
Q: It seems like you include a lot of vampires in your work. Vampires are popular characters in steampunk literature. Why do you think so many steampunk books include vampires?
A: I would blame Stoker’s Dracula and Le Fanu’s Carmilla for that. The Victorian era was really the first time vampires ever made an appearance in popular fiction. I think the undead are really baked into anything combining Victorian and paranormal elements.
One of my first encounters with vampires was as a really small child, about seven or so. I’d just started reading and I found one of my mother’s books which was a collection of vampire stories from around 1900. They were illustrated, giant hardcover books and I was hooked.
Q: Steampunk books tend to have very elaborate settings. How do you approach the daunting task of creating a steampunk universe?
A: A lot of research. It’s one of the reasons why it takes me longer to publish the books in the Nefarious series than my contemporary books. I tend to write a fair bit of descriptions of the architecture and overall setting. I also try to use more latinate language that would have been used back then to help immerse the reader. The illustrations also really help, I think, for the reader to visualize the setting and what the characters are wearing, etc. The illustrations alone have managed to turn a few people on to the genre who have never heard of it before.
Q: Romance and erotica are also common elements in steampunk fiction. Why do you believe steampunk goes hand and hand with these subgenres?
A: I think it’s because the Victorian era in particular has a reputation for being repressive. If one of the quintessential elements of any successful story is tension, then it only makes sense that steampunk would have a lot of erotic and romantic undertones. The aesthetic itself is also whimsical and romantic.
Q: I’m going to ask a few more questions about steampunk. Are you noticing any specific trends in steampunk fashion?
A: I have not. I think it’s remained pretty static since it first came on the scene several decades ago. But, I have noticed elements of the fashion coming more into the mainstream. I’m seeing more Victorian inspired footwear showing up in mainstream shops, and also long skirts and lace seem to be everywhere. I just hope hats and capes can come back. Can we please bring back hats and capes?
Q: Everybody has their own concept of steampunk. How would you define steampunk as a genre and subculture?
A: It’s the Victorian era with lots of gears, better technology, tighter corsets and shorter skirts.
Q: What is your favorite steampunk setting? Victorian, Wild West, post-apocalyptic, or something else?
A: Right now, it’s Victorian, but I hope to branch out to a Wild West steampunk series eventually. The next one I have planned will be steampunk pirates. It came to me in a dream, and I believe in following my dreams.
Q: Mainstream audiences have an odd relationship with steampunk. They’re very curious about steampunk and yet they’re also apprehensive to completely embrace it. Why do you believe this love-hate relationship exists?
A: I think the reason mainstream audiences find steampunk hard to embrace is because they have trouble visualizing it. I think it lends itself better to film, but this is one of the reasons why my books are illustrated. Skepticism, this attitude of, “Well I’m afraid I don’t really know what that is and it just can’t be for me,” is a major stumbling block when it comes to selling anything, let alone a more obscure genre like steampunk. I think the initial pull or attraction to the genre is because its exotic and romantic. The fashion and the artwork are visually stunning, but steampunk needs a better, more concise way of branding itself if it’s ever going to gain any serious traction with mainstream audiences.
Q: It’s not exactly steampunk, but the Alienist is a new television series on TNT. Do you think it’s going to be a good adaption from the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr?
A: Yes, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it.
Q: Are you working on any interesting or exciting projects?
A: I’ve started an indie authors club in my area through Meetup. I’m hoping to blog about the experience.
Q: Thank you very much for sharing this information with us. It sounds like you have a very exciting and intriguing steampunk book series. You also gave several thoughtful answers about the steampunk genre in general. I hope we’ll continue to see more steampunk authors emerge as time goes on. Best wishes for a successful future.
A: It's been a pleasure and thank you for interviewing me.
That's the end of another fabulous interview. I have a couple of links to give you guys. You can read Lucille's short story Hannibal Steele and The Bone Elixir for free. Just click on the following link.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. It was definitely a fun and interesting experience for me. I'm really looking forward to reading Lucille's work. She has a lot of cool ideas. I'm also going to post a link to Lucille's author website. Next week's post is going to be part of the annual Steampunk Hands Around the World blogathon. The event has a road trip theme and I'm not sure what to write yet. Don't worry because I'll definitely find something juicy for you guys to read next week. Please support Lucille's work and have a good weekend.
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