Monday, April 16, 2012

a steamy weekend

If you ever wondered what I would like like in a hat made out of playing cards and covered with feathers that vexed everyone around me... now you know.

This is also apparently how I would look as a vampire.

Thanks a lot, flash.

Last Saturday, I went to a marvelous steampunk event called S.T.E.A.M.Fest held by The Artifice Club, an Atlanta alternative history society of which I am a proud member. You can even see my little badge, that grayish smear under my neck. They actually let me in a club!

It was my first event as an official, real, "look-I-can-hand-you-a-book" author.

And it was AMAZING.

I met so many wonderful people, saw so many beautiful and mind-blowing costumes, gazed longingly at so many shiny things, and finally let myself buy a handmade leather belt bag from Aegis Steamcraft so I never have to worry about a purse again when con-ing.

Is it called con-ing? Con-going? Fangirling? Corseteering?

Whatever. I need both hands to gesticulate madly and hugattack people.

I attended a steampunk roundtable, a panel on bustling, a high tea, and a preview of the steampunk Tempest being put on by the North Fulton Drama Club. I had my first chocolate sea salt popsicle from the King of Pops. I saw hilarious improv comedy and watched an Englishman perform a German cabaret number that involved humping people's faces and leading us in a round of "It's Raining Men." I sat at a table with thirty other steampunkers and ate delicious pizza while our hats posed on the porch railing in a long line of feathers and velvet and goggles.

And I met a mime... that I didn't want to murder! Because he was cool!

All in all, it was one of the best times ever. And my dear friends looked amazing and drove me there and helped me carry books, because they are THE BEST:

All those corsets are from Damsel in this Dress, of course.

I also did my first panel, titled It Was a Dark and Steamy Night. The plan was to discuss writing a steampunk book, how to publish a steampunk book, and the general climate of steampunk literature, but as almost all the attendees were my friends and none of them really wanted to know those things, I winged it and discussed how writing romance scenes is like writing fight scenes and how mortified my grandmother would be if she'd known I wrote a book called Wicked as They Come.

(Note: I said the book name. It will now pop up on Google Alerts tomorrow, and I'll get all excited, and then realize it's just me. Baw.)

I also got to see The Gin Rebellion, a marvelous group I met in the green room at AnachroCon. They are such delightful creatures, and some of the best dressed people around.

Look at those pants! That waistcoat! The skirt! The gaiters! And there was even an accordion, and you know how I love those. Almost as much as bagpipes.

I simply can't say enough wonderful things about S.T.E.A.M.Fest!

I had never been to a con before this year, and I am quickly learning that con people are awesome people, and steampunk people are awesome people, and having an excuse to wear fun costumes is awesome, and just plain YAY.

If you'd like to experience the steampunk world yourself, we're having a Grand Steampunk Exposition of entertainment, art, vendors, and cupcakes at Barrington Hall in Roswell, GA on Saturday, April 28. Many of the S.T.E.A.M.Fest folks will be having an encore.

I shan't miss it.

But I'm going to need another costume...



Christa Desir said...

This is a weekend of awesome.

amber d* said...

I am SO jealous of your weekend!! I adore your hat. I've never dressed up in steampunk before, but the more I see the clothes the more I know I'm going to have to buy something eventually!

delilah s. dawson said...

Amber, darling, it's utterly addictive!

Pinafores and Pinwheels said...

You can borrow any of my stuff, cause I'm sure I'll be wearing it all the time....

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear your thoughts on the current climate for steampunkl literature. I am querying a YA Steampunk MS at the moment.

LOVE those Damsel corsets! I wish she would make some seriously cute long sleeved jackets to wear over the top :)

Leslie said...

How fun, love the hat and the corset and I am into Steamy Goodness too. Congrats on being an author that can hand out books.

delilah s. dawson said...

A.W., I want those jackets, too! I love the safari-style ones that come to the elbow.

As far as steampunk lit, I haven't been keeping up with sales like I did when I was in the querying and submission stages, but I see lots of cool stuff on the shelves. And not just steampunk-- all sorts of alternate histories, like Victoriana flavor or post-apocalyptic. It seems like publishers are getting that the readers like mixing things up and don't always stick to one genre. In some B&Ns, my book is in the romance section, and in others, it's in the scifi/fantasy section. It's definitely changing and mutating, that's for sure.

I think the most important thing is to have a unique hook and a very strong voice. YA is a tough sell right now, from what I hear.