How the hell did you know that?

I overheard a conversation outside my office at work the other day – two people talking about another coworker’s recent wedding.  Someone was curious to see photos, saying, “Yeah, it sounds really weird.  I can’t remember what the theme was called – punky something, or something about smoke, or…”

“Steampunk!” I called out.

“That’s it!” she yelled back, and she and the other person came into my office.  “How the hell did you know what it was called?”

“It’s a genre of fiction,” I told her.  And she screwed up her face at me but luckily ventured no further.  I have yet to confess my part-time pursuits to people at work.

I don’t know a lot about steampunk, truth be told.  I’m sure there are lots of sub-genres of which I may not be aware.  And while it seems safe to assume that authors write what they know and know what they write, I’m guessing there are some lost souls out there.  People just like me.  People looking to find their niche, feeling alone, and unaware that they aren’t.

So, here are a couple of places to learn more about this off-shoot of sci-fi.  First, something, albeit a few years old, from the Huffington Post.  And here is an explanation and some comps on Goodreads.  Happy publishing to those of you who write in this area. And for the rest of you, have fun mystifying your co-workers!



A Novel Idea

I’m still on the hunt for good comps.  I have one under my belt – finally – but it would be nice to have at least one more.  Ugh.  It’s like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, and I’m reminded why I burned out eight months ago.  I feel like I’ve exhausted Google and Amazon and Goodreads, typing various versions of ‘novels like _____.’

You’ll find lots of suggestions online regarding your search for the elusive comp, but I received an interesting piece of advice at a recent writer’s club meeting.  The published author told me to ask a librarian.  She said it helped her.  And although I’m hesitant to do it – sure that I’ll ask the one librarian who’ll say ‘how the hell am I supposed to know which book is similar to yours?’ – I figure it can’t hurt.  Maybe I’ll try it this week and report back.  And now that I’ve written that I guess I’m kind of committed to it, aren’t I?  Oh well.  Here goes nothing.