Hi everyone. I’m Patricia Coleman, aka P. R. Morris, and Cathy and I have been friends and writing buddies for more years than either of us care to count. I write humorous historical intrigues, the contemporary amateur sleuth series Media Fan Mysteries, and steampunk mysteries. My latest steampunk short story , “English Waters”, just came out in the September issue of Steampunk Trails. You can find me at www.prmorris.com.
I get a lot of questions about just what steampunk is. Basically, it is an alternative time line where the combustion engine is not the prime technology. Most stories are set in a late Victorian era, but not all. Lately we’re seeing stories set in WWI and the 1920s. Another definition I hear a lot is retro-futuristic. Think how nineteenth century writers predicted the future. Another common element in steampunk stories is the emphasis on technology, either as a positive force or as the antagonist. Many plots deal with the abuse of technology and the creation of techno-based feudal political systems. Like historical mysteries, steampunk mysteries incorporate these unique aspects of the “times”.
Steampunk has moved beyond its YA roots and is appearing in practically all genres now. We’re seeing leather corseted ladies with guns in their garters on romance novels and bowler-wearing gizmo-carrying PIs with a dirigible in the background in the mystery section. So why do I write steampunk?
Steampunk allows me to explore alternatives that my historical and contemporary mysteries don’t. In those the investigative techniques and modus operandi must stay in the realm of appropriate and realistic for the time. In steampunk I can extrapolate and create new possibilities. It is a grittier world, full of horrifying villains and troubled heroes, and societies in the middle of change, yet the fundamental human spirit is constant, fighting through.
Not all steampunk is dark and brooding. One of the lighter examples is the old TV show and later movie The Wild, Wild West. Series like Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate and Ballantine and Morris’ The Ministry of Peculiar Occurences are cross-over stories that appeal to mystery readers. So if you’re looking for something a little different, give steampunk a try.
Patricia's steampunk short story is found in volume 2 of Steampunk Trails: http://steampunktrails.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html - the website states Denver area fans can find copies at Broadway Book Mall 200 S Broadway
I recommend Patricia's cozy mystery Entering the Twilight Zone, written as P. R. Morris, available in paperback and a variety of e-book versions:
You can learn more about Patricia at http://www.prmorris.com/