Hi there! So glad you stopped by. I’m Amelia. I wrote SMOKE, STEEL, & IVY. It’s a steampunk, fairy tale, myth, YA, fantasy, romance, and I am swimming through the deep waters of revision as we speak… Or, erm, read. I hope I get to share my revision in time for #AMM. Cheering me on is appreciated and encouraged.
SMOKE, STEEL, & IVY is my second novel. I gently queried (less than 35 queries) my first novel (THE STORYTELLER–also a fairy tale retelling) last year after an encouraging go at #PitchWars. I had some success in the way of full requests. I learned a lot through the process, but I wanted to apply everything to a new, fresh story. Sometimes it’s just easier to let one manuscript rest for a bit, and write something new.
So what is SMOKE, STEEL, & IVY about? Oh man, always the hard questions first. It’s the myth of Atalanta meets the 12 dancing princesses with a little steampunk thrown into the mix.
Ivy is the eldest of King Rupert’s 12 daughters. And running the kingdom, winning the war, making sure that her younger sisters are cared for and not chasing after the young gentlemen–that’s all her job. But Ivy can’t do it alone. Enter Major Collin, a young officer and explosives expert, who has unconventional methods and even more unconventional ideals. Ivy convinces Collin to help her win the war and tasks him with assembling a band of engineers, tinkers, and mechanics to build a doomsday machine. The only problem: Collin demands that Ivy’s talented sisters join his band of merry steampunks.
Throw in a plot to assassinate the king, a disastrous contest to choose an heir to the throne, clandestine dance parties, a secret marriage, an invisible cloak, cherry blossoms, a type writer, bicycles, and ice cream and you have SMOKE, STEEL, & IVY. My draft is sitting at 70,000, but I’m furiously working through revisions. Expect that number to bump up.
Comp titles. K. Show of hands. Who has read Sharon Cameron’s Rook? My MS isn’t set in a futuristic/yet historical past, but like Cameron, I’m retelling some classic tales with this baby. And the feel of Cameron’s technology is very similar to how I incorporate tech into my story.
Strengths: I can take criticism. And after I internalize it, I apply the lessons learned and polish up my MS to a high shine. I play the long game. I have tempered expectations. I understand that the process includes multiple drafts, revisions, cps, betas, and (when it comes to publishing) subjectivity. Lather, rinse, repeat with multiple manuscripts as needed. I’m still here. I still want to do this and learn how to write the best story I possibly can.
Weaknesses: Y’all I struggle with showing and not telling. My MS is not a movie. I don’t have a camera. I have only words to tell my story. And even if I write, “The callouses on Gran’s hands caught on his linen sleeves,” I’m still telling you something, even if I’m not explicitly saying, “Her hands were rough with callouses.” If I write, “Her pulse hammered in her ears as she riffled through her notes,” instead of saying she was nervous, I’m still telling you about her pulse. I can write, “She pulled her cloak tighter around her in the unforgiving shadows of mid-morning,” to show that it was cold, but I’m still telling you about her action. Sometimes I wonder if it should be called “Good tell, don’t bad tell.” Please send help (articles, examples, advice)!
***Since posting, my CP/friend/adopted niece Catherine Bakwell, has shared that show don’t tell means to use imagery to convey important ideas. You da’ best, Cat!***
So there you go. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to poke around. You can read about my influences for this book here. Good luck and happy writing!