Haha, get ready to see me turn really geeky. So my WIP is a steampunk book, and I’ve posted here a few times on its progress, and a song or two that helped shape the plot and inspired a few scenes. Ultimately, the first steampunk band that inspired Cobalt was Abney Park, with their signature song Airship Pirates. This was when steampunk music was still fairly new to me. With pirates already being among my favorite things to geek out about, I loved the idea of pirates on AIRSHIPS! Freaking awesome. Once the plot got going, the whole pirates thing got relegated to a minor plot element, but is still in there.
A couple years after Abney Park, I discovered Vernian Process. I’ve already posted the song that inspired Cobalt’s first chapter, Behold the Machine. Now I love the lead singer Josh’s voice, but he’s said that he’s heard comments that his voice can be a bit off-putting to new listeners of the band. He’s even stated that he dislikes all of their earlier tracks where he sings, after getting lessons and becoming more a singer rather than a musician who happens to sing on some of their songs. I still think his voice has a unique quality, and after seeing them in concert, I know how much fun he has with his music–how much fun they all have. Anyway, since writers also try to improve their craft and strive for improvement, I can understand what Josh means when he’s critiquing his earlier work. I HATE some of my earlier work! LOL
Behold the Machine does seem to be a little bit weird to a lot of my non-steampunk friends, so when I explain who Vernian Process is, I don’t usually recommend it as a first song to listen to. Below I’m posting a bit of their music that I think is great to introduce people to the band, and to the steampunk music genre in general.
Unhallowed Metropolis is my current favorite VP song. There’s also an awesome instrumental version which was featured in an equally awesome steampunk animated video.
Who wouldn’t love the beautiful piano playing in The Maiden Flight (actually a four-parter)? This song is a dream of flight in the clouds on an airship.
The following is hands-down VP’s most fun instrumental, in my opinion. Their cover of Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag is my favorite. (Plus the kids love it when I play this video on the big-screen.)
Now this one is just fun and wicked! Fans of Ray Bradbury will recognize the subject of Something Wicked (That Way Went). Martin of VP cracked me up when he told me he hoped the artwork wouldn’t scare Anya. (They remembered her from their concert. Not very much scares Anya!) I would love to know who does their cover art, though.
Vernian Process makes up a large percentage of the songs in my Writing For Steampunk playlist. I think their sound has contributed to the feel of the story, as it evolves, more than most of the other steampunk or pirate music I listen to while writing. Just like the obvious fun they have creating their music, I’m having a blast with this story! I’m glad I decided to take a break after writing the first two Moongate books, to finish Cobalt.
Now I’m going to take a brief paragraph to plug my friend Jolene’s new collaborative blog. Jolene has been sweet and awesome enough to take some time out of her very busy, published-author schedule and give me some great opinions on The Moongate that have helped me improve it even more. If you love YA, especially YA contemporary, go support Jo and friends!