Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Megan Curd's blog tour for her latest book Steel Lily, a dystopian story full of domed worlds, kids that can control elements and a lot of dark mystery. Megan is stopping by to discuss plotting World War III and sharing the other steampunk works that inspired her most recent novel. Make sure to stick around to the end to enter the contest Megan is hosting as part of the tour. Take it away, Megan!
Plotting a Potential World War III
Hi Leslie, and thanks for having me on Working for the Mandroid today! I’m honored to be here, and I hope I’m not too boring.
When I started writing Steel Lily, I knew I wanted them to live in domes. But what could cause that to have to happen? I asked myself. I knew I wanted it to be because we as a population had sent our world to the brink of extinction. What can I say, my mind is just a place of sunshine rainbows, ha. However, while I wanted the backdrop to be bleak, I wanted the people within the story to give us hope.
There are so many things happening in today’s world, so many political stirrings and conspiracy theories. I’m not a political person, but I have family and friends who are, and listening to them, it makes me wonder what a WWIII would end up looking like. The other thing I wondered about is how much we’re messing up our world on our own, even without a war. How many landfills we’re filling up with items that aren’t biodegradable, using power or items that harm our atmosphere.
A song that Muse has really put my mind into overdrive, and it says, “Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless. New energy cannot be created and high energy is being destroyed. An economy based on endless growth is…unsustainable.”
It might be because I’m married to a science guy, but I LOVE that. The thought process behind what’s happening in our world, what we’re doing by consuming everything without thinking it through. It gave me so much to work with, and really I just laid out what I thought in my head could happen if we continue on the paths that so many are following on a daily basis. If we continue to consume and leave nothing behind, what will our future look like? Even more, what would happen if we continued to do that, and then a WWIII broke out? What would it look like? What would the repercussions be? How would the survivors continue on?
I hope we never know. I hope it never becomes an issue. But I have to admit, writing it out and building a world based on so many “what-if’s” was a lot of fun, yet kind of unsettling at the same time. It had so much that isn’t real, but I wanted to ground it just enough so that the reader would think, “Well crap, what if this really happened?”
To me, being able to think about the what-if’s and put myself in the characters’ positions was a blast, even with it being a post-apocalyptic world. Would I want to live in those times? Not unless I was like Avery. ::smile:: But I hope no one ever has to find out, and it all remains between the pages of books and in our imaginations.
Megan's Top Ten Steampunk Works/Inspirations for Steel Lily
1.) Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – I LOVE Cassandra Clare! And honestly, I was reading a lot of her prior to starting Steel Lily. I love the world that Clare builds in her books, and the way she describes everything. I was hoping I could allow readers to “see” Steel Lily the way that I see her books.
2.) Wild Wild West – You know, the one with Will Smith? I love that movie!
3.) Sherlock Holmes – The movies with Robert Downey Jr. Oh man…I love those. And really, who can turn down Robert Downey Jr.?
4.) The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross – Cross’s Steampunk Chronicles are phenomenal! I love the creativity she’s implemented, and the way her characters are very three-dimensional. I love when I can fall in love with secondary characters.
5.) The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman – There are no words for how awesome Pullman’s mind is. He’s phenomenal.
6.) The Prestige – I don’t know if this is technically completely steampunk, but this movie is absolutely amazing. You don’t see the twist coming at all, and that’s the mark of a good movie or book, in my opinion.
7.) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – This is one of my absolute favorite movies/musicals EVER. I LOVE Johnny Depp, and the musical is so amazing. I sing along with all the songs, much to my husband’s dismay, haha. I don’t know if that should be cause for concern for how my mind works…but there you have it. I love Sweeney Todd.
8.) Google – Have you ever googled “Steampunk?” If you haven’t, you totally should. Because I found soooo many amazing images that got my wheels turning on how to incorporate them in Steel Lily. There are so many beautiful, ingenious things that I wanted to plug into the book, but at the same time make the story a post-apocalyptic feel too. I hope it worked!
9.) Music – I don’t know if there’s a type of steampunk music, but I’m very fueled by music. Steel Lily was written with Muse’s album, The 2nd Law, on repeat. I swear it was like Muse wrote that album for Steel Lily. I owe them a lot, haha!
10.) My Friends/Readers – I can’t tell you enough how many times I bounce ideas off friends and readers. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to say “hey, what do you think about this…” and know that you can get feedback. I’ve had many conversations about Steel Lily and what should/shouldn’t be in the book with friends...and to tell you how much I value my bloggers/readers, one of them saved a character from an untimely death in Steel Lily about three months ago. J I won’t tell you who had been on the chopping block, but just know one of the main characters wouldn’t have lived, had that blogger not told me to keep them around.
And now enter below to win as part of Megan's Steel Lily tour!
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.
When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.
Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.
About the Book:
Released August 12, 2013
YA / Dystopian / A Little Bit of Steampunk
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.
She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.
Or so she thinks.
That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.
But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.
…Which means digging deeper.
Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.
When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.