Guest Post by S.J. Davis: The Gears and Gadgets of Steampunk

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Guest Posts | 10 comments

Boy do I have a treat for you today. What, I ask you, is better than vampires? How about vampires and steampunk. See, I knew that would get your attention. I have a guest blog today from author S.J. Davis, who wrote a book called Invisible Sun that features both!

Check out the description:

In Victorian London, at the beginning of the Industrial Age and the height of man’s obsession with alchemy, scientists gave birth to the foundation of modern genetic science. As steampunk airships cut across the foggy city of Gravesend, vampires are brought to life.

But instead of scavengers prowling the fringe of society, these creatures have evolved to be the respected organizers of the Society, a universal religion, and the Guardians of Science.

One stray drop has spilled from the vein.

Draegan, heralded from birth as the genetically perfect vampire, has turned rogue, attacking the women of London’s East End. Only his brother, with the help of Lady Astrid West, can hunt him down before he is able to unleash his full insanity upon the helpless city. And only another birth, the birth of yet another perfect vampire, can stop his madness.

And now, S.J. Davis, with a little bit about the gears and gadgets of steampunk:

What is Steampunk?

I bet that even if you have never heard of Steampunk before, you have some limited experience in the genre without even realizing it. Steampunk has slipped noiselessly into our culture. You might be surprised to learn that perhaps your favorite book, movie, or band has steampunk influences.

Steampunk is often referred to as the “greatest era that never was.” Set in the span of the 19th century, it encompasses all of the romanticism of the Victorian Era with all the dystopia of the Industrial Revolution. And what does that entail exactly? A world in which corset clad ladies sail the skies on steam driven airships!

 Steampunk ‘Rules’

The largest thing to remember about the genre is that there are no set rules, Steampunk is so anachronistic it can’t settle on a fixed standard, but there are a few unspoken guidelines you should look at when working within the Steampunk genre.

Traditionally, Steampunk usually occurs in the Victorian era, and many people have taken Steampunk out of England and into the Wild West. Some have ventured into the far-flung space operatic future. However, the technology inside the narrative should reflect some sort of steam powered gadgetry, the more fantastical and imaginative the better. Some writers focus more on the characters, others focus mostly on the technology and leave characters more as a backdrop. Did I mention multiculturalism? Because multiculturalism is GOOD! It’s not just about Great Britain. The Victorian Era happened across the globe. I’ve seen Steampunk cowboys, Steampunk pirates, and Steampunk Samurai.

The most fun part of Steampunk for me has to be the accessories! They are to die for!! Goggles, corsets, parasols, airships, time machines…there is no end to the imagination! When I started to outline INVISIBLE SUN, I wanted to incorporate vampires into a Steampunk story filled with imaginative but plausible science.  I began with the perils of the Industrial Age and man’s obsession with alchemy, an area ripe for steampunk devices and fantastical inventions. But my Steampunk vampires are genetically altered. They are not scavengers prowling the fringes of society. They are highly evolved and respected organizers of law and also the guardians of science.

Of course there must be an obstacle! An unforeseen circumstance, right? Well, a vampire genetically designed to be perfect, turns rogue, attacking the women of London’s East End and upending the precarious peace with the Londoners. The chase to stop this bad seed is the core focus, as two opposing forces – a male vampire and a female heroine – work together. But, they both pay a high price for a hopeful end.

I hope you enjoy INVISIBLE SUN and learn to love Steampunk!


About the Author:
SJ Davis is the daughter of an ex-patriate British mother and a Southern Baptist ex-CIA father. As a child, she spoke in silly accents and recounted outlandish tales of fantasy over afternoon tea and to this day it remains her favorite activity. Born in Long Island, NY, she was raised in the suburbs of Washington DC and went to school for a very long time (University of Virginia and George Mason University), married an all-around wonderful man, had two kids (smart, funny, full of opinions), moved from Virginia to New Jersey to Philadelphia to Chicago, and began her writing career. She is a believer in fate, an avid tea drinker, a stiletto aficionado, Doc Marten worshipper, punk rock listener, and lover of flip flops and cardigans. She has a terrible sense of direction, loves gummy bears, and is a Johnny Depp fangirl. (fan page)!/SteampunkSarah (author page at Vamptasy)

Invisible Sun is available in Kindle format.

S.J. has offered to do a giveaway of a signed bookmark, pictured above–open for US shipping only. It’s a lovely piece of art, so say hello or ask her something for your chance to win!


  1. Oh wow, does that sound like a story I’d like to read.

    I’ve seen a lot about steampunk about, but, although I had an idea what it encompassed, your description makes it much clearer, so thanks!

  2. Thanks for hosting me! This is a great blog and I am so happy to share a some steampunk love!

    • Thanks for coming here and teaching us a few things about steampunk. 🙂

  3. My thanks for hosting Sarah also. Not only does the book sound interesting but her description of steampunk is worth reading your blog for. I almost said worth the price of admission. 🙂

    Anyway, I’ve wanted to do a steampunk story for quite a few months, her post helped to show me what I need. Obviously steam… duh. Hmm, now that gives me the beginning of an idea. I read one steampunk novel recently which even had a listening device run by steam… a steam bug?

    Anyway, the post helped set things in my mind. So thanks again. And thanks to Sarah too for writing it and being so clear.

    But I wasn’t sure which link to use to go to try for the give away. I hope it wasn’t the first link. That site was hard to read because of the background picture.

    • Just commenting is enough to enter the giveaway and you won! (CD is located overseas so that disqualifies her from winning.)

      I’ll send Sarah your email and she’ll make arrangements with you.

  4. Whee! Sarah has agreed to send a bookmark across the pond, so CD also gets a prize. She also just tweeted the buy link: I’m going to add it into the post.

    • That’s great, and really kind! I knew I couldn’t participate in the giveaway, but wanted to comment anywho. This has made my day!

  5. Wow, neat even.

    Hmmm, wonder if E-mail takes longer to get here from England.

    Just kidding.

  6. Sorry to put this here, but did you add to your blog? I just noticed your “Peek ” intro- probably was there the last two times I’ve been here. It’s nice and to the point. 🙂

    and now on my favorites list your link has an icon. A wolf of course. It wasn’t there last time I was here.

    • Actually, yes! The peek at the top isn’t new, but the wolf in the favicon and on the menu are both new. Me trying to gear up for my first release. I’ll be doing the cover reveal for it later this week.

      I’ve been trying to change the background image as well, but I haven’t found anything high-res that I’m fond enough of.

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