Grigory's Gadget by E.A. HennessyHello fellow steampunks! Allow me to introduce myself: I am E. A. Hennessy, an indie author of speculative fiction. I just recently published the YA steampunk novel, Grigory’s Gadget – Book 1 of the Gaslight Frontier Series! You can check out my website to learn more about it. To whet your appetite, here’s a brief summary of the novel:

Lodninsk, Morozhia is a frozen, industrial wasteland. Isolated by steep mountains and ruled by an authoritarian government, it isn’t anyone’s idea of home-sweet-home.

Zoya and her friends Demyan, Lilia, Anya, and Nikolai decide to leave their freezing home to start a new life. They set their sights on the tropical paradise of Mirgorod, Vernulaia, where they can study at its prestigious university while taking in the sun and sand…but nothing ever goes so smoothly.

When pirates attack their passenger ship, the friends are shanghaied and forced to be part of their crew. What’s more, the pirates have a particular interest in Zoya’s family heirloom: a small gadget of compacted wires and gears. Unsure what power the gadget holds, Zoya knows she must protect it with her life.

Trapped with pirates, caught in the struggle for the mysterious gadget, will Zoya and her friends be able to make it safely to their new home?

I’m here today to talk with you about one (okay, technically three) of my favorite annual events: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the related Camp NaNoWriMos. If you’re unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo takes place every November. The goal of the event is to write 50,000 words (the minimum length of a novel) in 30 days (approximately 1,667 words per day). If you are a “winner” (i.e. you reach 50,000 words), there are all sorts of prizes you win – namely discounts or freebies from writing websites and software. There are also smaller prizes just for being a participant. Grigory’s Gadget actually originated when I participated in and won NaNoWriMo in November 2010, and again in November 2014 when I overhauled the first draft.

Camp NaNoWriMo is similar, but it occurs in April and July, and you can set whatever word count you want. As you may realize, that means Camp NaNoWriMo is going on RIGHT NOW! I’m currently participating to produce a first (rough!) draft of the sequel to Grigory’s Gadget, Serafima’s Stone. This sequel will actually run concurrent with Grigory’s Gadget, and will follow the story of the disappearance of Princess Rozaliya, which sparks a war between the nations of Starzapad and Morozhia.

NaNoWriMo is a ton of fun, and a great exercise for creative minds. It forces you simply to get words on paper, ignoring any and all inhibitions and insecurities! In my case, it also leads to pretty humorous first drafts. In the original draft of Grigory’s Gadget, I had paragraph-long rants about how I hadn’t done enough research into airships or steam engines to fully flesh-out a scene. Those rants can get pretty sassy. But, hey, they count toward your word count goal!

Feel free to find me on the NaNoWriMo website! My username is dragongirl1225.