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Ter | 08.11.16

Interview: Shelley Adina

Olá a todos, Hoje temos uma entrevista a Shelley Adina. Desta vez o post não está em português, no entanto se quiserem é só comentar lá em baixo na caixinha que farei a tradução :)

 

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Today I have the pleasure to post an interview to one of my favourite Steampunk authors: Shelley Adina! (Official website)

 

Your books aren’t translated to Portuguese, so many people don’t know much about you outside the steampunk community. Can you please tell us about who you are?

Thank you for hosting me on the blog!

I’m Shelley Adina, a transplanted Canadian now living in Silicon Valley, California, with my husband and a flock of 11 rescued chickens. I’m a member of the adjunct faculty of the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University [https://www.setonhill.edu/academics/graduate-programs/writing-popular-fiction-mfa/], a low-residency program in Pennsylvania. The MFA is the terminal degree on the arts side, so it’s a little like a Ph.D. without the “Doctor.”

I began writing when I was 8, and wrote my first novel at 13, but didn’t start writing seriously for publication until 1991. After five unsuccessful “practice” manuscripts, I earned a degree in Literature, and made my first full-length sale—my thesis—to Harlequin in 2002. I went on to earn my MFA, and that was the beginning of a career that has seen 35 published novels so far.

 

You write a lot, but it seems that Steampunk is the genre you like more. Why?

I’ve loved steampunk since the 1960s, when in North America there was a TV show called Wild Wild West. In it, Secret Service agents crossed the country in a tricked-out train doing spy work for the President. As children we would act out the episodes ourselves and I always liked the character who invented the devices. I got my start early!

The thing I like best about this genre is the creative freedom it gives a writer. If you can imagine it, you can write it. I can set Venice on a giant clockwork that keeps the neighborhoods moving around each other. I can have a rifle that fires lightning bolts. And I can have female characters who shake off the Victorian rules for ladies and live life on their own terms and according to their own skills.

 

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The Magnificent Devices series already has 10 books. Do you plan on writing more?

This, apparently, is The Series That Will Not End. But I do have an end point for it, really. There are two more books in Gloria Meriwether-Astor’s arc (her trilogy begins with Fields of Air, and afterward come Fields of Iron and Fields of Gold). After that, I will content myself with novellas about characters I haven’t explored yet, perhaps. I’m sure Peony Churchill must be getting into trouble somewhere.

 

Have you ever thought about a new steampunk series?

It takes every brain cell I have to write this one! :)  But it’s always possible. I love the genre too much to leave it just yet.

 

“A lady of resources makes her own luck.” Do you also follow this motto?

I certainly do. Or in other words, “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” I firmly believe that we create our own destiny, and if a woman has the internal resources, she can make anything of herself that she wants to. I think this philosophy may be part of the reason that people like the books. If a character can be cast out in the streets and still make something of her life because she believes in herself and in other people, then maybe there is hope.

 

In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a steampunker?

Don’t you love it that steampunk offers something for everyone—for costumers, for makers of devices, for interior designers, for authors, for musicians? The common characteristics, of course, are a love of history (or a history we wish had happened) and creativity. I like the “maker” philosophy and the sense of wonder that the Victorians had about technology. For them, no matter how fantastic, technology was about making life better, and they seemed to have no boundaries in their imagination of gadgets and gizmos to accomplish that. Whether these things actually worked in the physical world or not, the point was that someone could think of it, and as I said, the only limit was the imagination. Writing a book is a little like that!

Steampunkers have something to say—about society, about gender roles, about human ability. The “punk” element is what sets the literature, at least, apart from either fantasy or historical fiction. It’s subversive, it’s critical, and the reader ought to come out of it both greatly entertained and a little bit changed.

Thanks for allowing me to visit—it’s been fun!

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