Hello! Grab a cup of tea and come join me for a quick introduction to the Gunpowder Chronicles.
I haven’t properly blogged in a while, so I may be a little rusty. I’m so happy to be invited to the Coffee Time romance blog. Steampunk is a genre that continues to linger about at the edges of romance (one can’t go out of style when one isn’t ever IN style, right?) and it had been several years since I had finished the last full book (Clockwork Samurai) which meant that I was just surprised anyone would think of me when thinking steampunk.
As luck would have it, I had just finished the third book in the trilogy, The Rebellion Engines, so it was like someone read my mind that it was time to talk steampunk again.
I was a fan of steampunk before I ever thought I’d write it.I loved the history/science geek nature of it. The vintage feel. The cosplay. The artwork.
I loved the idea of steampunk, but I was firmly a historical romance author. So when an author buddy brought up that there should be more Asian steampunk and that I should write it, I laughed. But when I started looking into what was going on in China during the steampunk Victorian era, all of the sudden the time period hooked its claws into me. This was the time of the Opium Wars and opium dens. It was a time when Orientalism became vogue, when Shanghai and Hong Kong started growing into cosmopolitan centers. it was the age of sail and pirates.
I knew then that I had to write this series. A series where I would make the geeky scientists and engineers the heroes. Where I would base the technology on Chinese knowledge and sensibilities. Where I could write an East meets West tale that was deeply rooted in the Eastern part.
I made the main protagonist, Soling, a young woman who would be pulled from all sides — her mother was addicted to opium, her younger brother was bullied, her family is in exile. She’s a healer and a practitioner of traditional medicine who faced the prospect of trying to heal much larger rifts and wounds. The ones that are tearing the empire apart.
At it’s heart, the Gunpowder Chronicles tells a story about navigating a hostile and rapidly changing world where there is no clear line between good and evil, friend or foe. It’s got cool gadgetry and weapons. It’s got science! It’s got kung-fu secret societies. It’s got romance.
All things which make the Gunpowder Chronicles so very much my kind of story. I hope you’ll find that it’s your cup of tea too.
Where to start?
Here’s the suggested reading order, though the short story can be enjoyed standalone at any time:
- Short story: The Warlord and the Nightingale
- Gunpowder Alchemy – Book 1
- Clockwork Samurai – Book 2
- Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles (novella anthology) – Book 3
- The Rebellion Engines – Book 4