Welcome to the blog, Alison! Could you tell us a little bit about your novel and about steampunk?
Thank you so much, Rachel! The Night Watchman Express is a train that runs past the house of the main character, Miriam. She is an orphan who is afraid of the train, and she has strange, terrifying dreams about it. When she finds a version of a quantum computer, it sets into motion a series of adventures. Miriam gets kidnapped and put on the train, and she discovers that what happens at the Watchman’s destination is even worse than her nightmares.
Steampunk is a form of fantasy that uses technical objects based on Victorian technology, although the technology in The Night Watchman is really Edwardian. The story is set at the turn of the last century.
What led you to write this book?
My sister had a print of a train that used to run in Scotland, called the Night Watchman. One evening I had a flash of a girl and a boy sitting on the floor of one of the carriages, not knowing where they were going, and the story evolved from there.
Steampunk, while not a new genre, has only recently become popular. Why do you think this has happened?
Yes, it’s been around since Jules Verne! I think steampunk gives a simultaneous feeling of familiarity and alienation. The objects, people, and machines in steampunk fantasy are based on outdated tech, but what occurs with them is very unexpected.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
I used to rely on outlines, but they have recently become much looser. Honestly, when I write now, I feel as though I am watching a movie, which I transcribe as quickly as possible. When the story is nailed down in text, then I take a break from the story and go back for my favorite part of the process – rereading and editing. It is then that I can continue development of the layers of my plot and characters.
What is your best advice on writing?
When I first started writing, I found it was really helpful to make lists of images that occurred to me when I thought about my story: ivy growing on a wall, an old stairway in the moonlight, a pair of golden spectacles, a burned piece of a letter lying in a fireplace.
My other piece of advice is to read Stephen King’s book, On Writing. It’s amazing.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Alison!
Rachel, it was my pleasure!
Alison DeLuca is a writer of urban fantasy for young adults. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. As a teacher she taught every grade level in every kind of school district possible. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter, and she is currently at work on the sequel to TNWE. The new book is called The Lamplighter’s Special.
Alison Deluca can be found on her blog and Facebook. The Night Watchman Express is available on Nook.