Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Steampunk and Victorian Vampires

By Eilis Flynn
A touch of the future, set in the past. Pure attitude. And the awesome fashion. That’s only the start of the charm of steampunk.

That was basically what I thought when my friend and occasional writing partner, Heather Hiestand, persuaded me to consider writing a steampunky story with her. Now, mind you, I’m not a big one for writing historicals. And at the time, I knew virtually nothing about steampunk—just that it seemed to have a lot of style. The only thing I knew was the term was probably a variation on the science fiction neo-term “cyberpunk.” But Heather has a nose for these things, so I figured I’d look at what steampunk really was. I dipped into “Girl Genius,” the web comic/graphic novel created by Phil and Kaja Foglio (Google it—you won’t regret it!). I read whatever else I could grab on short notice. And I was astounded.

Holy cow, it was a whole culture. There were conventions and websites and a whole lot of literature. And I was sucked in!

Okay, I was in on the concept, I told Heather. Now we had to create the story! Now, I’d always wanted to do a story in which vampirism was a product of science, not just legend and lore. This seemed to be the perfect time to use that idea, using the sciences that were on the rise in the Victorian period. Combining all that with the secret societies that we’ve both found fun, using all that British history that Heather has jumped into for her own work (not steampunk at all is her Kensington historical romance, Marquess of Cake, coming up in July), spinning a story out of a historical figure who has been forgotten—we came up with an adventure story with a bit of romance, a bit of history, and even a bit of vampires (made of science, not legend or lore!).

So we came up with something that was fun. And if you can enjoy writing the story, I figure you’ve got a great start! Here’s what Wear Black is all about:

Death did not end his service to the British Empire: Beneath Windsor Castle, a shadow network of immortals keeps the British Empire safe. Army captain Lucas Fitzrobbins becomes one of them when the cure for his mortal wound turns out to be a vampirism potion. He is abruptly inducted into the secret St. George Protector Society…and it’s not long before the Society’s newest recruit discovers it has dark mysteries as well…

Marked as a target: Hampering Lucas’s efforts to adjust to his after-life is An Tighearn operative Nellie Clifton, a beautiful and enigmatic assassin, who has marked Lucas as her latest quarry. But then…

Secrets are threatened to be revealed: A brutal killer stalks the seamy underside of London. Protectors and assassins alike must leave the shadows to find the fiend before their existence is revealed to the world. Tasked with the job of tracking down the murderer, Lucas discovers that the crazed butcher may have connections that go to the heart of the British Empire. One thing is certain:

The Queen must never know!

Got questions? They’ll all be answered in WEAR BLACK, on sale now at, Smashwords, and other online retailers!

Eilis Flynn can be found to argue with at Facebook, Twitter, or her website at Come visit!


  1. Hm, I think I recognize that very clever storyline... :)

  2. Vaguely, perhaps. Incidentally, you are credited for making the story stronger, which you certainly did.

  3. Ooo, this sounds fantastic. I'm definitely checking it out.