Baltimore Book Festival

The Baltimore Book Festival starts today and runs through Sunday afternoon. I’ll be taking part on the Steampunk panel, hosted by the Maryland Romance Writers group.

I’m not a romance writer, and most of the writing I do is nonfiction, but as things go, I met someone who knew someone and so I got an opportunity to take an active role at the Festival. I am working on a Steampunk novel. Sort of. It’s just really not ready for presentation to the public in any recognizable shape. I plan to talk about the concept of Steampunk and how I want to use it in my writing.

I started a chapter of the novel, then broke off of it to start a short story. As creative projects go, they tell you what they want to be. Someone the short story began to appeal to me more than the nebulous novel idea, and then at some point I started thinking that they might actually be different parts of the same book. Both projects are nameless at this point. Maybe if I name them, they’ll become real, just like when naming magic things in stories gives you power over them.

The novel follows the path of Derek, a young man who doesn’t really know what he wants to do. He’s not exactly a drifter, he’s more or less looking for his first job, but he’s not interested in anything. So he gets a job on an airship as a courier so he can travel. As the story opens, he’s waiting on a platform with his new boss for the airship, and it explodes. The boss runs away. Derek must decide whether to follow his boss or stand his ground; he doesn’t have any idea what’s happening.

The short story opens in an underwater poor house. The protagonist keeps getting a name change. I came up with a name I thought sounded great, then I had to name his co-worker and realized that they needed to switch names. The poor chap is having an identity crisis and I haven’t even written very much about him! But now he’s Tom and not Jeremy. So the first thing that happens is that Tom and Jeremy have to help put out a fire — a bad thing, especially in underwater structure with limited oxygen!. NO — they are not Tom and Jerry — I hear you saying that now, Ben! I just didn’t realize what their names sounded like until now.

And I also didn’t realize how many fires and explosions there are in my stories. How exciting! I wonder if it’s because my house has caught on fire and been hit by lightning? They do say you draw from your own experiences when you write fiction! Well, enough preview of my work-in-progress. If you are at the festival, come by and say hello. And yes, there will be a sea monster.


3 thoughts on “Baltimore Book Festival

    • Nice to see you again too, Bill! I have a few photos of the festival I’ll put up later this week. I went into the Peabody Library and the architecture was absolutely gorgeous.

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