Exploring the Mysteries and Parallels of Worlds
by Kara Jorgensen
When people ask me what I write, I often have to explain myself, as anyone who deals with steampunk does. Currently, I am working toward an MFA in creative writing, so many of my classmates and professors are writers, and several times I have been asked why I write about the past. It seems odd for a twenty-three year old to not want to write about modern people dealing with issues while texting, googling, and grabbing a coffee from Starbucks. My go-to answer is usually, “Well, I live that, so why would I want to write about it?” but my reasoning goes much deeper than that. From the time I was a child, I have been drawn to the Victorian Era. My favorite Disney movie was The Great Mouse Detective, and as I grew, my love of Conan Doyle, Dickens, and Wilde only deepened.
The world is so big today, so explored, and the Victorian Era still has some mystery left in it, and I want to explore those mysteries. Because I don’t write straight-up historical fiction, I can add in some fantastical elements, like underground libertarian civilizations and machines that can suck the souls from a body, while still keeping one and a half feet in reality. Back then, there was still quack medicine, places left to be explored deep in the jungles, artifacts to be excavated, and enough left behind closed doors to cause a scandal. The Victorian Era is just removed enough from our modern world to be familiar yet maintain an air of mystique. In this world, my characters find themselves struggling against societal and personal issues that are still relevant in our world.
The Winter Garden (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices Book 2)