We are at it again! Kicking off the year with a brand-new campaign: Full Steam Ahead!
Grimm Machinations is a fun follow-up to our collection Gaslight & Grimm. More steampunk faerie tales, only this time all of the tales the stories are based on are about makers or conmen, playing with the dual meanings of “Machinations.”
The other two books funding through the campaign are A Cast of Crows, Poe-inspired fiction created in conjunction with the Tell-Tall Steampunk Festival; and Grease Monkeys: The Heart and Soul of Dieselpunk, our first foray into dieselpunk.
Over the course of the campaign, we will be featuring these spotlights so you can get to know our authors—and the projects—better.
eSpec Books interviews Christine Norris, contributor to Grimm Machinations, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer.
eSB: Grimm Machinations is not the first steampunk faerie tale collection to come along. It isn’t even the first one by this press. What makes it unique?
CN: I think the theme is different—con men and makers. I don’t know that anyone’s ever thought about fairy tales in that specific way before? Most people think of wicked stepmothers and fairy godmothers. It’s definitely a new perspective.
eSB: As an author, what drew you to participate in a collection of faerie tale-inspired steampunk?
CN: Danielle said “hey, we’re doing this, wanna come?” and I thought of a story and said, “sure!”
eSB: Did you base your story on your own previous literary setting or did you embrace the faerie connection? Or hey, did you do both?
CN: This is a completely made-up setting, but also keeping with fairy tale lore. FYI, I’m a librarian, and I teach students about the commonalities of fairy tales. Many fairy tales take place in a forest or a castle, and this story has both! It also includes a multiple of 3 (Six Swans), a tangential wicked stepmother, and a bit of magic.
eSB: Is this your first time writing for a themed anthology? If so, how did you find the experience? If not, what draws you to them?
CN: No, actually, this is my third. I have a story in Gaslight & Grimm, and I contributed to Beware the Little White Rabbit, an Alice in Wonderland anthology for the 100th birthday of that book. I don’t know that I’m drawn to them as much as accidentally find myself doing them? I am not really a short story writer, and yet, here we are.
eSB: What advice would you give aspiring authors considering participating in a themed anthology?
CN: Don’t shy away from it! The best part is once you have a theme, you can build around that, so you’re not starting from scratch. It’s actually a nice way to jumpstart a story.
eSB: What other events are you doing this year—steampunk or otherwise?
CN: I’ll be hanging around for the launch at Tell-Tale Steampunk Festival in Hunt Valley on the weekend of April 1 for sure. And usually, they invite me to Philcon in November, so I’ll show up there.
eSB: What are some of your other works readers can look for?
CN: I have a series for middle grade/YA called The Library of Athena, there are four books in that series. There are some ancient backlist titles too, the Zandria duology and some wizard academy-type books that I ended up publishing myself after the publisher that wanted them collapsed.
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
CN: Weeellll if you unlock it, we’ll see the reprint of A Curse of Ash and Iron, my steampunk retelling of Cinderella. I’ve kind of taken a hiatus, so I don’t have a lot of new anything. There’s a manuscript floating with my agent that hasn’t found a home yet. And notes on a new book…
Once Upon a Time, Christine Norris thought she wanted to be an archaeologist but hates sand and bugs, so instead, she became a writer. She is the author of several speculative fiction works for children and adults, including The Library of Athena series, A Curse of Ash and Iron, and contributions to Gaslight & Grimm and Grimm Machinations. She is kept busy on a daily basis by her day job as a school librarian in New Jersey. She may or may not have a secret library in her basement, and she absolutely believes in fairies.
Learn more about Christine Norris here:
Website * GoodReads * Amazon Author Page
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