Three Things Thursday #9

Park your ornithopters on the lawn and pull the brakes on your spider tank. Today, Laura Strickland stops by to chat about why she loves writing steampunk romance.


Do you believe in love at first word? I do because it happened to me the moment I read my first Steampunk novel. I knew nothing about the genre at the time but I fell quick and hard. Of course, liking to read Steampunk is very different from being able to write it. But, thoroughly enchanted, I decided to make the attempt. The result, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure, found favor with my incomparable publisher, The Wild Rose Press, and was released on 2/27/15.

So why do I love writing Steampunk Romance? Here are three things that make it a fun ride for me.

I get to indulge my dark side.

Anyone who’s read my writing knows that it tends to creep in anyway. My villains are the kind you love to hate; my heroes and heroines pass through fire before finding their happily-ever-after. What do you expect from a woman whose idea of a romantic love song is The Who’s Bargain? But Steampunk by its very nature is a walk on the dark side, filled with angst,Victorian deprivation and tortured souls. Seems like a no-brainer for me.

I can unleash my black sense of humor.

Steampunk has an edge, and that includes the kind of inside-out, wry and dry humor that delights me.  As a native of Buffalo, New York, where my book is set in 1880, I can also testify that Buffalo is a city of black humorists. If the natives didn’t laugh ironically about their fates, from capricious weather to not-quite sports teams, they wouldn’t survive. A city of immigrants in a border town, they’re able to shoulder their burdens and slog on.

I can add a healthy dose of fantasy to my writing.

Fantasy, healthy? Oh, yes! Why do you think young children make up invisible friends? Why do fairy stories still delight us? I believe we need an escape from the day to day grind, the necessary conformity that might otherwise send us into the doldrums. When I write Steampunk Romance, I’m able to encourage my readers to suspend disbelief—and their membership in the real world—for a while.

Why not pick up a copy of Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure, and come along for a walk through the fantastical with me?


Clara Allen neperf5.000x8.000.inddeds a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.

Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.


About Akaria Gale

Akaria Gale lives in Brooklyn with her husband, children and a disgruntled cat. She is a native New Yorker, slow cooker enthusiast, hard cider advocate who occasionally finds time to write about the secret world right underneath our noses. One day she hopes to give winter the middle finger and become a beach bum.

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