Love Bytes says hi and welcome to author Susan Laine joining us today to promote her new release “Skyships over Innsmouth” 🙂
Hi. I’m Susan Laine, the author of Skyships Over Innsmouth. Thank you kindly, Love Bytes Reviews and Dani, for having me here today.
Skyships Over Innsmouth is a Lovecraftian horror story with elements of both science fiction and steampunk, plus an M/M romance side plot. It came out three days ago, on August 2, 2016, by DSP Publishing, and it’s available in e-book formats and in paperback.
Here’s the blurb:
“Twenty winters have passed since the Cataclysm brought down society and robbed people of their memories. Humanity, vastly reduced in numbers since the initial chaos, has started anew in Canal City with the aid of library books and steam technology. The Scout and Ranger Corps was established to search for possible survivors and to replenish dwindling resources.
Dev is the captain of the scout airship Smoke Sparrow, and Shay is the scholar of their newest expedition. Their destination is Innsmouth, Massachusetts, a small fishing town that is mentioned in obscure books but shows up on no maps. Might its secrets offer answers? But within the fog-covered, ruined hillside town by the bay lurk unspeakable dangers and horrors beyond imagining. The expedition team soon learns that Innsmouth is one town that should have been left forgotten.”
Here’s the buy link:
Today, in this guest post, I’m here to talk about genre mashups. Skyships Over Innsmouth mixes a variety of genres: Horror, steampunk, dystopian science fiction, and gay romance. Not exactly the kind of blend one typically sees. Two different genres combined seems to work best for media with a limited time or length, such as books and movies.
Literary mashups that have crossed the public awareness threshold and become hits most often mix a classic work with a popular theme, for example Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And equally as often these classic tales are combined with horror or paranormal themes since those are guaranteed to titillate, amuse and scare at the same time, being not quite parodies, not quite fright night.
Genre mashups are big these days. Publishers and movie/TV producers are actively searching for original twists on familiar stories. Works like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies have come out as both books and movies, and they have been box office hits and bestsellers. They prove that at the moment these stories have what it takes to become part of popular culture and to (re)introduce classic tales to new readers and viewers.
My story is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s books, such as The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Since the base is already horror, I decided to add another popular genre: Dystopian science fiction. Gloomy futures where young adults become unwitting heroes to save a dying world are all the rage. I however have adult characters since there is a romance side plot with sensual scenes. Nonetheless, the world is in pretty bad shape, as are the humans populating the newly desolate planet. As our heroes and heroine struggle to survive, they begin to learn why everything has gone so horribly wrong.
Other genre elements I added came from steampunk. Why? Simple. I love steampunk. The quirky fashion, the fantastic mechanisms, the social phenomena, and so on. It’s a whole subculture onto itself, popular outside the fictional world of books and movies. It also gave my characters access to pieces of technology, just not the kind we’re used to today. Since Lovecraft’s monster are terrifying and formidable, I felt the characters would be at a serious disadvantage without at least some means of self-protection. Hence steampunk tech and an array of new weapons invented by yours truly for the purposes of this tale.
Last but not least is the romance genre. While my story is not explicit when it comes to sex, there is a continuous thread of attraction and sensuality between the two male heroes. Kisses are exchanged and sex is part of the narrative. So if gay romance content offends you, even if merely a part of a larger horror story, be forewarned. I’m a gay romance author, so I knew this story wouldn’t be complete without two heroes who fall in love. That’s just the way I roll.
Whether or not the genre mashups work in my story Skyships Over Innsmouth… well, I’ll leave that up to you, dear readers. I hope you find something new and exciting in this tale of horror.
Here are a couple of tiny teaser excerpts to show you the various genres, except for horror since most of the book is horror:
Shay peered at the countryside below, his brow furrowed. “Anything?”
“Nothing.” Dev shook his head even though Shay faced away from him. “What did you expect? Candlelight vigils? Burning cities?”
Shay seemed unwilling to rise to the bait. As he leaned cautiously over the railing, his expression remained glum, almost yearning. “Both. Neither. I don’t know. Something. Anything. Proof we were here once.”
Dev heard what Shay left unsaid. Here before the Cataclysm. “It’s been twenty-three winters. If there was anyone else still alive, the scouts would have found them by now.”
“I don’t know,” Shay said slowly. “It’s a big world out there. Earth, I mean.”
That, at least, was true. Dev scanned the darkening horizon with no small amount of anxiety. From maps made before the Cataclysm, it was clear the world had grown small in those days, every nook and cranny discovered and occupied. But now it was all unknown again.
Restoring the machines that had been lost proved to be a futile effort. So the machines of conveyance—the ones called cars, busses, trains, and planes—sat in place, with no one able to move or steer them. Constructing new means of transportation proved easier than trying to get the old ones working. They all seemed to have been powered by electricity, which no one knew exactly how to use anymore. Harnessing lightning was seen as a fool’s errand.
Dev’s steam-powered airship was small and silent, but she glided through the air like a majestic bird. That’s why Dev called her the Smoke Sparrow. She was an elegant piece of wood with metal reinforcements and a big, dark blue helium balloon above. Two propellers, running on steam and operated by Stork and Wren, moved the airship to wherever her captain wished. Lately that had been solely scouting expeditions.
- Gay romance
Shay entered his cramped cabin, blowing out a breath as he leaned against the door. He brushed a hand over his forehead, sweaty and feverish again, just like his nether regions. Not to mention his fast-beating heart that seemed ready to jump out of his throat.
Dev. Dev again. Always Dev.
What on earth had possessed him to kiss Dev? Cursing under his breath, Shay tried to push the rough-stock captain out of his mind. It did no good to dwell on what could never be. But he admitted to himself it was hard to let go. After two winters, with a third closing in, Shay had grown used to Dev and his solitary ways in the Scout and Ranger Corps.
That’s all, folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guest post and the teaser excerpts. And thanks again to Dani and Love Bytes Reviews for having me here today. See you around the internet!
“Susan Laine, an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBTQ erotic romance and a Finnish native, was raised by the best mother in the world, who told her daughter time and again that she could be whatever she wanted to be. The spark for serious writing and publishing kindled when Susan discovered the gay erotic romance genre. Her book, Monsters Under the Bed, won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Paranormal Romance.
Anthropology is Susan’s formal education, and she could have been happy as an eternal student, but she’s written stories since she was a kid, and her long-term goal is to become a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces, and friends in movie theaters, libraries, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include pop music, action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes, while a few of her dislikes are sweating, hot and too-bright summer days, tobacco smoke, and purposeful prejudice.”
Here’s where you can find me and other books by me:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/authors/susan-laine-65
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Susan%20Laine%22