Award-winning author and editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries Anthologies and other genre fiction.
Full of Sound and Fury
By Gail Z. Martin
Airships, inventions, secret government agencies, and trips around the world to acquire rare objects for wealthy and sometimes supernatural patrons. It’s all just another day for Jake Desmet, Rick Brand, and Nicki LeClercq as they outwit assassins and foil murderous plots in Iron and Blood, the new steampunk series I’m co-writing with my husband, Larry N. Martin.
But while Jake, Rick, and Nicki are the main characters in the Iron and Blood novel that debuts July, 2015, two agents for the Department of Supernatural Investigation are in the limelight in several new steampunk short stories related to the Iron and Blood world.
Mitch Storm, a former Army sharpshooter, and his investigative partner Jacob Drangosavich, are agents for the Department of Supernatural Investigation, a secret government agency that looks into crimes involving supernatural or paranormal elements. DSI doesn’t doubt the existence of magic, witches, vampires, and monsters. They just step in ahead of local law enforcement to make sure problems are dealt with quietly so that regular people can go about their business without worrying about things that go bump in the night.
Mitch and Jacob are DSI’s problem children. Mitch tends to favor solutions that are bold, innovative, and use lots of explosives. Jacob has a knack for finding information and slipping unnoticed into places he shouldn’t be, to get things he shouldn’t have. That’s why their boss calls them the ‘Sturm und Drang’ boys, Sound and Fury. Both Mitch and Jacob have a penchant for ending up on suspension, but they’re too damn good at what they do for DSI to do without them for long.
In Airship Down, our story in Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens for Zombies Need Brains Publishing, Mitch and Jacob are sent to find out what’s behind mysterious lights in the sky over New Pittsburgh and the unusual energy drains happening all over the city. Mitch and Jacob investigate with their usual fondness for dynamite and a bevy of top-secret gadgets, trying to shut down the invaders and discover whether the strangers are European spies or visitors from much, much farther away.
Resurrection Day, in Dreams of Steel 5 for Dark Oak Press, pits Mitch and Jacob against two mad doctors bent on discovering the secret to creating clockwork men out of human corpses. Missing bodies, stolen inventions, and a Jack the Ripper suspect on the loose means time is running out for Mitch and Jacob to get to the bottom of things before dead men walk and social niceties get severely strained.
While we’ve been inventing and exploring the whole steampunk world of Iron and Blood and New Pittsburgh, it’s been fun to do stories that are related to the book and main characters but deal with two secondary characters who really get their chance to shine. And while we’re not ruling out the possibility of writing stories about Jake, Rick and Nicki in the future, these anthologies came up early in the series development, so focusing on Mitch and Jacob gave us a little more wiggle room as we got to know our protagonists better.
After the success of the Deadly Curiosities novella (The Final Death) that I wrote for Wattpad last year, we’re seriously considering writing a Sound and Fury Adventures novella in the spring. I’ve discovered that creating short stories in the worlds of my fictional series lets me get to know the characters even better, and helps me flesh out background and world building as I tell extra tales, all of which makes the main books richer and more believable. And, it brings new adventures to readers more quickly, helping them feel like they are part of an ongoing, exciting new fictional world.
After having lived in the real Pittsburgh for a decade, it’s so much fun writing a book and short story series set in an alternative history New Pittsburgh filled with steampunk gadgets, Victorian villains and supernatural surprises. Stay tuned—there’s a lot of Sound and Fury yet to come!
My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for stories and books by author friends of mine. And, a special 50% off discount from Double-Dragon ebooks! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here: www. AscendantKingdoms.com
Trick or Treat: Enjoy an excerpt from Airship Down, my steampunk short story in Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens here:
And a bonus excerpt from The Final Death, my Deadly Curiosities novella here: http://www.wattpad.com/story/15334006-the-final-death
And a second bonus excerpt from my friend Michael Ventrella’s novel Axes of Evil here: http://michaelaventrella.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/theaxesofevilsample.pdf