Suzanne Lazear, author of Innocent Darkness (2012)
Don’t Fear the Mashup
First off, I’d like to thank Nikki for inviting me. Being a debut author is what of the most excitingly nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever experienced.
I’m Suzanne Lazear, and I write things that end in “punk.” My debut YA, INNOCENT DARKNESS, is what I call “Fairytale Steampunk” – a mashup of Steampunk, faeries, and fairytales.
Yeah, it’s a strange little mashup, but for me, it worked. I was combining things I loved, and I had solid reasoning for mixing them up. After all, the Victorians loved faeries, so why couldn’t a steampunk story, especially one that’s an alternate Victorian world, include faeries.
But not everyone thought that way. Granted, I was writing this in 2009 and a lot less people knew what Steampunk was. I got really good at the 30-second explanation. Still, I got a few people who told me that I needed to pick one, that you couldn’t have both.
My answer was “why not?”
Yes, the faeries outweigh the steampunk in book 1, because most of the story takes place in the Otherworld, Faerie, not the mortal realm, but the steampunk elements are still important in shaping the characters.
If I took away Noli’s flying car and hoverboard I could still find a way for her to get in trouble, but it would also change something within her. Her brother could still be something nefarious, but him being an air pirate adds a different layer to the story. Sure, book one could probably stand without the steampunk but the characters would change, and when characters change, the story can, too.
Also, since book 2 takes place mostly in the mortal realm on an airship, that book would change completely.
What I’m trying to say, is that mashups aren’t meant to be feared, but embraced. If someone says you can’t do that, think hard before letting that stop you. Sure, mashups don’t always work. I’ve got a hard drive full of them. But sometimes they do work. After all, I sold mine, and I’m not the only one writing Steampunk faeries either.
Write the book the way it needs to be written. Your characters will thank you.
~SuzanneInnocent Darkness Blurb
Wish. Love. Desire. Live.
Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.
Short Author Bio
Suzanne Lazear’s young adult steampunk dark fairytale, INNOCENT DARKNESS, book 1 of The Aether Chronicles, will be released from Flux in August of 2012. Suzanne lives in Southern California with her daughter, the hubby, and a hermit crab, where she’s currently attempting to make a raygun to match her ballgown.
Aether Chornicles's Website