New Guest Post: To Speak with Temperance

 

Dig it, y’all!

This is a re-blog of a guest post on writing that I did for writing guru Ari Meghlen’s blog ‘Eternal Scribbler’.

Guest Post on Ari Meghlen’s “Eternal Scribbler” Blog

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Of Fury and Temperance

Hi folks. This blog post is prompted by Cait, of the aptly named writing blog, Paper Fury. Cait is a phenomenal writer and an amazing blogger with some of the most clever themes on the web.

The article is intended for current ‘works in progress’ {WIP}, but I do not really have enough material to speak about. I would rather speak about a book I wrote this past summer.

Cait has a 3-part questionaire:

Part One – Introduction:

1- What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I like to write stories with particular themes and thought a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde story would be fun. I read the Robert Louis Stevenson book but did not care for it. I loved his book, ‘Treasure Island,’ when I was a kid. I read it again, and loved it even more. Now I knew what to do with the story. On the surface, it is the story of Jeckyl and Hyde, but beneath the surface, it is the story of ‘Treasure Island’. I bounced ideas around with Miss Plumtatrt for a few weeks and then dove in.

2- Describe what your novel is about!

Our protagonist is tricked into helping construct a device of great destructive capabilities. Unbeknownst to our hero, he has also been targeted for a dangerous experiment that transforms the naive chap from mouse to monster. Murder is at our every turn and Victorian London reels from the terror that has descended upon it.

3- What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

I try to write steampunk paranormal stories, but they keep coming out as humorous. I am painfully shy of violence, yet there is action and amazing fight scenes all along the way. In an effort to keep the action active and in the present tense, I tend to write almost exclusively in dialogue. I am told that this is unusual and that I am taking a risk by writing this way, yet this is how my heart tells me to write. I also feel that this is how I can develop an individual way to write. I would like to think all of the music, singing, and rhythm would be my branding, but I think it is the dialogue-centric style that a reader may take to be my literary fingerprint.

4- Introduce us to each of your characters!

Ichabod Temperance

I am a gifted tinker from rural Alabama. Where I am, it is the year 1877. I have invented a trans-universe-temporal-scriptograph to facilitate this comunication.

I used to think that I was the hero in my stories, but I have recently come to the startling conclusion that in actuality, Miss Plumtartt is the real hero, and that I am the bungling sidekick. :-/ In this story, I have been tricked by differing factions that have taken advantage of my trusting nature.

Miss Persephone Plumartt

Miss Plumtartt is the smartest, most beautiful, and bravest girl in the whole wide world! She is the product of Europe’s finest schools and is a jewel among Britain’s aristocracy. Somehow, against all odds and reason, she has become really fond of me. Alas, this has caused her to endure many frustrating hardships in our latest adventure.

Nichodimus Cobblechunk

Big Nick is a shining example of British strength and vitality. His tremendous size is matched by his determination to rid London of the evil, fiendish monster that plagues the Great City.

Dipsy Jigglemire

Ace reporter in the competitve London newspaper world, Dipsy is a big, strong and determined girl. She is relentless and resourceful in tracking down a story. Her constant laughter and good cheer keep her Scotland Yard Detective boyfriend Nichodimus in good spirts.

Professor Christopher Diddlefudde

In an effort to develop a serum capable of changing the very nature of a man, this gifted, though ruthless scientist has no qualms about taking advantage of any test specimen he can find.The self-absorbed and inconsiderate Professor easily dupes our dimwitted hero with catastrophic results.

Bobby, Louie, and Steven’s son

Three singing newsboys whose names are similar to Dr. Jeckyl’s author name, Robert Louis Stevenson.

5- How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

No outline, I am a seat of the pants author. A few cups of coffee is all that is needed to get the ball rolling.

6- What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Rhythm and song! I was shy about including music at first, but now, I love having fun, interactive material for the reader to indulge.

7- List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

– It is set in the year 1877, as opposed to when you live, in 2000-whatever.

– We get to visit London! It’s like a dream come true!

– The world we live in has been visited by a strange comet. The Earth, after having passed through its tail, is wondrously changed. Inventiveness abounds, with astounding spring, steam, or electricity based motivation. However, there has been an alarming increase in varied supernatural occurences as well. Miss Plumtartt and I are often caught up in happenstance concerning world-gobbling monsters.

8- What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Our hero has a need to do what is right and good. Unfortunately, said hero is rather dense and in the attempt to do good, brings an avalanche of ruin upon his head.

9- How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

He must come to grips with the duplicity of others and find it in himself to overcome enemies from within and without to do the right thing.

10- What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

A theme of honesty versus duplicity runs throughout the book. I am a ‘Happily Ever After’ sort of writer, so I want the reader to be warmly tickled with the ending. I think that starting my stories is my weakest attribute, but I always manage to come up with a humdinger of a happy ending each time!

Part Two – Update:

1:Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

Geat! This was a fun book to write! I thought I had a few weeks before a job began for me, and I started the book thinking that I would not have any interruptions, however, the job started early. To write the book, I needed to go to bed early, so that I could wake up early and write. This worked out perfectly, as I had no distractions in the early morning hours.

2:What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

Let every face look upon us

in worshipful joy!”

We go now to greet

our newly appropriated subjects.”

“Stop, Miss! This is Westminster Palace; you can’t come in here dressed like…”

~Bip!~

“Westminster Guard down! Eek! I am being assaulted by a beautiful monst…Augh!”

~Bop!~

“Guards, guards! Westminster is under attack! All guards to the central lobby!”

3:Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

Miss Plumtartt is fantastic! She is all that these dastardly pirates can handle!

4:What do you love about your novel so far?

My pirates get to sing!

They let their voices ring!

It might be wrong, to write in song,

But I don’t give a ring-a-ding!

5:Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

I make no mistakes, typos nor otherwise, and the hilarity is totally on porpoise!

6:What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

Beginning – Hate it.

Middle – Oh, yeah, I’m in the rocking chair, y’all.

End – This is my fave, because I actually made it! Ohh, but it is bittersweet, as well, because it has come to a close.

7:What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music?

I like to write in one big deluge, as I snack on cookies and coffee while not being distracted by music or anything else. I have to turn the internet and emails off, too.

8:What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

Here is my writing space (and my supervisor, Kitka):

Icky and Kitka. *Please note: Ichabod is the human, and author of the books, in spite of the fact that it is Kitka looking into the camera.

Icky and Kitka.
*Please note: Ichabod is the human, and author of the books, in spite of the fact that it is Kitka looking into the camera.

I am a morning person. I get sluggish in the afternoon.

9:How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

I like to bounce ideas around with Miss Plumtartt. She reads along as I write and helps to edit and catch typos.

10:What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

I don’t try to push it. I don’t want it to be forced. When it is time to write, it will just pour out. That method probably does not work for everyone, but it is what works for me.

11:What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

Don’t be scared. Just give it a go. I did not give it a try until I was a geezer. Now, I love it!

Part Three. – 2017 writing Goals:

1:What were your writing achievements last year?

I wrote and published my Fantasy saga of epic proportions! The charming dragons steal the show. I also wrote and self-pubbed the focus of this article, ‘The Two Faces of Temperance’, or, ‘The Curious Case of Dr. Icky and Mr. Temperance’.

2:What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

Write another book.

3:Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

It will be fun and silly.

4:How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

I am not sure. Do you remember your post on writing advice, and how for every bit of writing advice, there is an equal and opposite suggestion? People tell me all sorts of things to change and become better, but I want to stay true to the way I want to write.

5:Describe your general editing process.

With each book, I improve as both a writer and as an editor. I have a better concept of what I want to put out. My balance and pacing has improved. As the books get better, they are easier to edit. I am getting closer to where I want to be as a writer.

6:On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

Personally, I rank it high. I have been told, however, that it may be difficult for a reader, especially one that is unaccustomed to my zany manner.

7:What aspect of your draft needs the most work?

Getting the book off to a good start is always my greatest challenge.

8:What do you like the most about your draft?

I love all the singing, the mad tumble of one calamity after another, and all of the charming characters, but I love how I always manage to include a tear-jerker along the way, also. I do not kill off characters, and hurt the reader’s feelings; rather, I try to include something touching, that will invoke sympathy in a difficult moment.

9:What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

I have no sense and no patience. As quick as Miss Plumtartt gives it her okay, we hit the self-pubber button.

10:What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

Would that I had some good advice to impart, but I am not particularly clever in that way. All I can do is wish everyone that has a drop of inspiration to put down in story-form and share it with the world.

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December, 2016 – New Release: The Two Faces of Temperance

two_faces_kindle

Back Cover:

“Oh, my Goodness, Miss Plumtartt, there is a fiendish monster at loose in London!”

“Quite so, Mr. Temperance. I say, the villain has the Great City in an uproar, sir.”

“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am, there is murder at our elbow, wherever we turn.”

“The machinations of intrigue threaten to crush us in their merciless gears, eh hem? Yes, One suspects that this adventure may come to be known as ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Icky and Mr. Temperance.”

* A Request by the Author:
Dear Reader, if, perchance, you should come across some drunken rogues in song whilst reading this book, you are strongly encouraged to sing these passages aloud.
Your cooperation in this matter is sincerely appreciated.
~Icky.

 

The Two Faces of Temperance for Kindle only $0.99 at Amazon!

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A Guest of Temperance – Guest Post by Daniel Ottalini

The Wonderful World Of Romanpunk

by Daniel Ottalini

Salve! Let me be the first to welcome you into my world, the world of Romanpunk (Or my Alternate History and Steampunk World). I’m Daniel Ottalini, your guide, host, author, whatever you wish to call me. I’m a teacher, an amateur historian, and an avid reader of the same type of books over and over again. My series – the Steam Empire Chronicles – is a five novel arc that covers the adventures of several heroic, intriguing, and devious characters in a world where Rome never fell.

So why Romans? I’ve always enjoyed their story – the rise to power, fighting small wars and big, conquering, then the fall – growing too large, trying desperately to hold onto power as their armies fell and their borders collapsed. Even there, the story isn’t over. The rise of the Eastern Empire, the copy-cat actions of the “Holy Roman” (Of which there was nothing Holy nor Roman about it), the Russian Empire, and the Ottomans. Roman history and ideals give you so much to explore and use as fantastic background material.

Why Steampunk? In reality, steampunk fit the story – Steampunk is actually more about the conflict between groups, not just the fantastic machines. The history of the Roman Empire is littered with conflict between different segments of the population. This is the key to Steampunk. Although personally I consider the story more Alternate History with a side of Steampunk. The Romans definitely like their fantastic machines in my world – Ostrichines, Mechaniphants, steam paddle-wheel aircraft carriers and airships!

I encourage you to check out my first novel – Brass Legionnaire. It’s an award winning action-adventure novel that introduces the world of Romanpunk through the trials and tribulations of our two main protagonists – Julius and Constantine. My most recent novel, Steel Praetorian, the fourth in the series, is due to be released on December 1st, and is available for pre-order now.

You can also follow me on my blog, on twitter, or like me on Facebook! I’m always doing crazy things here and there! Special thanks to Icky for hosting me, it’s always a fun time working with you!

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A Home of Temperance

Hello my friends.
A young lady in France by the name of Marie has a reading blog named ‘Drizzle and Hurricane Books’. I am happy to be participating in her ‘Souvenirs from Across the World’ project. Marie’s friends are invited to describe their hometowns and share local souvenirs. As I am an author of steampunk books, I thought I would point out a few local points of steampunk relevance.
I live in Irondale, Alabama, USA. This community lies directly against the Eastern border of Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city and the place of my birth.

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Birmingham has an unusual symbol of the city: a cast-iron statue of the Roman God, Vulcan. It was built for the 1904 World’s Fair in Louisville, Kentucky. Standing 56 feet high and weighing in at over 100,00 pounds, he must have been pretty impressive, first hand. Poor guy, had a tough time after that. He was dismantled, shipped back to Birmingham and dumped alongside the tracks. In the twenties, he was reassembled at the fair grounds, but they put his arms on incorrectly. :-/
In the thirties, the city built a pedestal for him atop Red Mountain, overlooking the city. That is where he stands today, a magnificent statue. In fact, he is one of the largest statues in the United States. He proudly inspects a spear point he has just crafted at his anvil, as he looks out over the city. His apron leaves his bare bum facing the community of Homewood, on the other side of the mountain. 🙂

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Something I find interesting is the base of a tower on top of an old, downtown building. I think I had always supposed this to be the base of a water tower, but I have recently learned that this is the base of a dirigible docking tower. There are very few such creations remaining, anywhere.

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The third and last point of interest I would like to show is Sloss Furnace. This complex was built in the 1880’s. This is an iron producing facility. Iron is a primary component of the steel industry. It takes an  uncanny amount of heat to separate the iron from the ore. One method is the ‘blast’ furnace. Super-heated air is forced beneath the melting furnace. ‘Blast’ refers to the forced air. Sloss Furnace is home to the largest steam engine on earth. Eight titanic pistons force a blast of super-heated air. It is a crazy facility. It is considered one of the most haunted places in the United States. It was such a Hellish and dangerous place to work and many workmen died there. I have been all over this facility many times, and it is endlessly fascinating. I always find things there I have not seen before.

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Thank you, my friends!
Your pal,
~Icky. 🙂

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March, 2016 – New Release! A Journey of Temperance

journeykindle

“I say, this fantastic craft you have built has transported us to a new world, Mr. Temperance, eh hem?”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am! Gosh, we find ourselves among many mythological beasts of outrageous legend. It would take three of me to make just one of the dwarves that live around here.”
“Yes, quite, and I find that there is no shortage of troll, gremlin, or magical creature to assail us in our destined quest.”
“You sure are right about that, Ma’am. In fact, I think we have gotten embroiled in a sweeping, high fantasy saga of epic proportions!”

 

New on Amazon: A Journey of Temperance for only $0.99

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New Release! The Title of Temperance

NEW!

Volume Eight: The Title of Temperance

 

title20160311

 

Ohhh, my noggin. What has happened? I took a whallop upside the head and woke up in a place far from my time and home. Instead of it being the modern era of 1877 like it ought to be, I am in the distant past of England’s Dark Ages! There are mighty warriors in gleaming armour, and beautiful ladies wearing colourful gowns with taffeta secured dunce caps.

This is the castle Camelot! I am in the company of King Arthur and his majestic Knights!

Golly, can you imagine? Me, Ichabod Temperance, an Alabama tinker in King Arthur’s Camelot!

Oh, Goodness, it ain’t took too long before I already have trouble up to my hat’s brim what with Mr. Merlin, Miss Morgana, and a big mean knight in black armour getting bristly with me. Gee whiz, if I ain’t careful, I might end up wrecking there ever having been a Western Civilization!

 

The Title of Temperance at Amazon for Kindle for only $0.99!

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New Release! The Seventh Voyage of Temperance

NEW!

Volume Seven: The Seventh Voyage of Temperance

7th20160311

Book Cover:

“Leapin’ lizards, Miss Plumtartt, we’ve got big trouble, really big trouble!”
“Indeed, Mr. Temperance, for unethical experiments carried out in this remote locale, somewhere south of Nippon, has left this Monstrous Isle aswarm with uncanny creatures of titanic dimensions, eh hem?”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am, and if we ain’t careful, one extra jumbo-sized mega-reptile is going to run rampant all over our unsuspecting planet!”
“Then let us gather what comrades we may, however unlikely they be, and face this, the greatest of your challenges: Ichabod Temperance versus the Monarch of all Monsters!”

The Seventh Voyage of Temperance at Amazon for only $0.99!

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Getting Tweaky with Temperance

I love my book covers!

I am so fortunate to have a friend who is adept at photoshop. The ever-obstreperous Sergeant Turk graciously and generously made the delightful cover of my first book. He then went on to create five more wonderful covers in the same charming scheme. I love the faux leather spine and corners. I love the bold colours. I love the silhouettes. I love the velvet texture. However, as much as I am enamored of the covers, there was a little something about each that needed a little tweaking. My writing expert pal, Maria Messini, suggested that the word ‘by’ before the author’s name was unnecessary and came across as amateurish. Another writing friend whom I admire, Deborah Jay, suggests that a book’s cover should be honestly and accurately indicative of the content. My first two covers did not alert the reader that there are monsters within. The title of the third book could not be read because of the effects on it. The Holmes book needed Sherlock in a centered position. The fifth novel’s title could not be read because of the contrast with the background colour, and the last book, instead of being a definitive colour like the other books, came across as gray. I asked my buddy the Sarge to make these changes and he fired me. Oops! I hope I did not offend him! He may have thought I was ungrateful and had his feelings hurt. Sergeant Turk did direct me to another mutual friend who also works with Photoshop. Mr. A.L. Williams drew monsters for the first two books and then did all the touch up work for which I asked. Here are the results:

 

Matter before and after:

A Matter of Temperance - Cover matter_cover_kindle_new

 

World before and after:

A World of InTemperance-300 worldkindle20160213

 

Love before and after:

 

For the Love of Temperance300 lovekindlerevised

 

Study before and after:

 

A Study in Temperance300 studykindlerevised

 

Latitude before and after:

 

inalatitudekindlecover latitudekindlerevised

 

Measure before and after:

 

measurecoverkindle. measurekindlerevised

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Hello Aetherwebsters!

Hello my friends!

It’s your humble pal, Ichabod Temperance.

I have a real blog/website now! How thrilling!

I shall do my best to keep you up to date as to the latest happenings in the World of Ichabod Temperance. At this date, July 30, 2014, I have four self-published novels in electronic and paperback format. The fifth is fast approaching and I am trying to get my head around number six.

Be well my friends!

Cheers!

Your pal,

~Icky.

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