Friday, May 13, 2016

Guest Post: Where is the Wonder? by Roland Yeomans

Roland Yeomans is here today to introduce his latest book, The Not-so-Innocents Abroad —about a steampunk honeymoon like no other…

I like the title. For me it holds the promise of some wicked humour on top of all the wonder and excitement I expect from a renewed encounter with Captain Samuel McCord.

I haven’t read it yet, but… steampunk? Vampires? An alien Empress among us? Seems more than cool.

Here’s Roland to tell you more about it:

WHERE IS THE WONDER? by Roland Yeomans

The wonder in the books we read seems to be lacking … at least it does to me.
Yes, it is Friday the 13th: the perfect time for another stop on my infamous “Don’t You Hate Book Tours?” Book Tour.

I believe the reason we hate book tours is the same reason we are underwhelmed by many books hawked in them:
Same interchangeable plots with the same interchangeable characters
Was WWI won by one person?  Was WWII?  No, those wars were won by countless sacrifices of thousands of common soldiers fighting the good fight.
Aren’t you tired of THE FATED HEROINE who is the sole lynch pin upon which victory depends?
The world just doesn’t work that way.
The best books and fiction draw from the way the world really works.

 (Image belongs to Marvel, of course)
Great movie with a well-crafted script.
And then, there is the dreaded Mary Sue craze currently sweeping the books and movies.
Take the latest STAR WARS movie: A FAMILIAR HOPE. 
It was bad enough all the plots points of  IV were plopped onto the script of the new movie.
They made Luke into a Mary Sue: Rey.  She could fix anything.  She could out-fly veteran fighter pilots.  She could use the Jedi Mind trick first time out.  She out-fought Darth Whiney Boy the first time she held a lightsaber.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”  
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best fantasies are the ones that tell of the insignificant person trying her damnedest to survive in a surreal world that doesn’t much care if she lives or dies.
Take the contemporary, urban mythology of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, in which characters from ancient religions are hiding out in modern America. Or even the weird fever-dreams of China Miéville that combine bizarre creatures with Victorian technology.
In these modern times, where most of us sit at computers or face a bland commute, fantasy books offer a chance to break out of mundane moments.
Give your readers a prose window into a world of wonders, and you will succeed in selling your books.
Oh, wait!
I’m supposed to be selling MY  book just released in Kindle format!

I quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson because he appears in my book, detailing the honeymoon voyage of a cursed Texas Ranger newly wed to an Empress of an alien race.
The Xanadu, the world’s first Air-Steamship, is setting sail for a Steampunk adventure the likes of which you have never read:
It is 1867 in an America a layer of existence from this one.
General Sherman was denied his march through Georgia by forces beyond his ken. Abraham Lincoln was never assassinated though he wishes he had been killed instead of his beloved Mary.
The battered Indian tribes of America have a strange refuge courtesy of the cursed Texas Ranger, Captain Samuel McCord.
A global war of vampire kingdoms is going on beneath the noses of the living world — and it is interfering with the honeymoon of the alien empress, Meilori Shinseen.
She ruled the Aztecs when a political execution took place on Golgotha and channeled her frustration in repairing her starcraft by erecting the Sphinx. 
Joining the newlyweds are Mark Twain, 11 year old Nikola Tesla, his faithful black cat, Macak, Horace Greely, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ada Byron, daughter of Lord Byron, and the mysterious Greek physician, Lucanus.
Lurking in the shadows, hoping to kill them, is the insane Abraham Lincoln, the crippled General Sherman, the vampires, Abigail Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Empress Theodora, ruler of the Unholy Roman Empire, and the vengeful Captain Nemo, following in his Nautilus.
What are you waiting for?  Go to its Amazon page and try its LOOK INSIDE feature, and then buy it for your very own! 
Hey, what are you doing still looking at this page? 


Well, if you're still looking at this page... Roland Yeomans has written 35 books. He lives in Louisiana and is a weaver of dreams. Visit him at his blog, Writing in the Crosshairs, or at his Amazon page. 


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks, Vesper, for being such a gracious hostess. A Kindle edition of THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD is winging your way. :-)

Nicola said...

Your blog tour is anything but boring, Roland. It's great how you individualise each post with your uncanny cleverness. Love it! Have a great weekend and look forward to reading more of your words :)

Thanks for hosting, Cora!

Charles Gramlich said...

So far I've haven't read a lot of steam punk, except maybe for H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, who were kind of precusors to the genre. I like the concept a lot. I'll check it out on Amazon.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for the kind words. I need to find more willing hearts open to hosting a guest post. Speaking of which, could I wander over to Germany and your blog to do one?

Thinking of Verne, Captain Nemo takes a decided dislike to my hero because of his actions in India during the Devil's Wind uprising. I think you might enjoy my novel. I hope you enjoy your visit to its Amazon book page. Thanks for visiting my blog. :-)

A Cuban In London said...

Interesting post and review. :-)

Greetings from London.

the walking man said...

I do believe I would have to understand what Steampunk actually is (beyond a costume trend in society) before I could actually escape into a novel of the genre. What is the point, why am i seeing on the page what I am seeing? It is a mystery to me.

Old poops like myself, or maybe just me, trend towards classical literature shunned now even by HS AP English classes. *sigh* Bukowski could be a steamy punk but I don't think his writing qualifies as Steampunk.

Vesper said...

Nicola, Charles, Cuban and Mark, thank you for stopping by! And Roland, of course!

Mark, "steamy punk"... I love that!!! I'm not sure why "punk" (unless it's simply a word based, as some say, on ... cyberpunk, which is somewhat easier to grasp as "high tech low life") but "steam" is for the steam-powered machines of the Victorian era. Since it's science fiction, there will be some alternative history or anachronistic technologies involved. That's what I think it is... :-)
Yeah, I love "steamy punk"... :-) :-) :-)

sage said...

As one who have enjoyed a couple of times Twain's "Innocent's Abroad," this sounds interesting even if it isn't one of my usual genres.

Vesper said...

Sage, I think Roland is one of Mark Twain's great admirers... :-)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

A Cuban in London:
Thanks for thinking it interesting. :-)

If you like Jules Verne or H.G. Wells (actually the first of the Steampunk authors), you may like my book. It is modern tech slipped into the Victorian Age. Vesper is right the punk relates to the opposition of stifling authority -- Mark Twain was an opponent of the European nations colonizing the third world nations. Alternate history done with lots of research to make it seem real. :-)

Vesper is right: I am a huge Mark Twain admirer. My novel actually is a supernatural version of his THE INNOCENTS ABROAD. You might like the parallels to the two books.

Thank you for clarifying my viewpoint here ... and, of course, for having me here! :-)