Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Author Interview: Vanessa Barger (and Giveaway)

As part of Decadent Publishing's YA Blog Stomp, Vanessa Barger, the author of Steaming, is here today to answer some of my questions. 

A bit about Vanessa (as quoted from Goodreads): Vanessa is a Young Adult author who teaches high schoolers all about technology education (and yearbook!) in rural Virginia along the Chesapeake Bay. She is the owner slave to one cat, Molly, who looks a little like a cow when she gets a haircut, and writes in her free time. Vanessa is actively involved in the YA Fiction Fanatics critique group, which is dedicated to helping its members produce the best MG and YA novels they can write. This past summer she finally bit the bullet and also joined the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). 

I haven't read many steampunk novels, but I've enjoyed what I've read. What made you decide to write a story within the YA steampunk genre?
Steampunk is a great genre because there are so many possibilities. I love history, and the combination of Victoriana and technology is really inspiring. I also like it because of the aesthetics. If you ever look up steampunk on the web, you get an amazing array of costuming ideas, gadgets and gizmos. All of them are brass and a mixture of modern sensibility and Victorian England and the US. It’s really anything you want it to be, and adding magic in just feels natural. 

Steaming also contains deities from Norse and Greek mythologies. Is there a particular type of mythology you especially love and which anthropomorphic god or goddess is your favourite?
I love most mythologies. If I have to pick some, it would be Celtic, Norse, and Greek. I also love Indian and Mayan, but they weren't as easy to add in ;)  As for which god or goddess … it would be a tie between the Celtic god and goddess Cernunos and Morrigan. 

As a Tinker, Cornelius' idol is the Duke of Windsor. Who is/are your idols as an author and why?
Oooo ... I adore Shakespeare. Like, if he were living, I'd be a groupie. My other big favorites are Bill Bryson, Katie MacAlister, Jane Austen and Carrie Ryan. :) 

In Steaming, Cornelius manages to surprise people a few times. What is one thing about you that would surprise others?
I'm not sure. I suppose that I am way more talkative than I think, and that I adore Renaissance faires and that I have this weird obsession about the shapes of trees. Lol.  

Will there be a sequel to Steaming and if so, can you tell me a little about it?
Steaming does have a sequel in the planning stages involving Cornelius and Isadora, and what has happened to Lord Stevens. 

Are you working on anything else at the moment?
Right now, I've just finished a paranormal thriller called "Shame the Devil" and am shopping it around. I've also got about seven stories started while I decide what to work on next!

A huge thanks to Vanessa for taking the time to answer my questions! Decadent Publishing's YA Blog Stomp continues tomorrow at Coffee Time Romance.


Decadent Publishing has also generously offered to give away an ebook of Steaming. This giveaway is open to everyone only for the day so just leave a meaningful comment and your email address to enter. 


  1. Great interview! I am big fan of steampunk even though I am not really into historical. I think it is the touch of technology and magic that makes it so interesting too :)

  2. I have started reading a little bit of steampunk and the idea of mixing mythology into the concept sounds really interesting. I'm curious to see how that works out.

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  3. I haven't read a steampunk novel yet. Steaming sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing the review!


  4. Ooh! Thanks for the giveaway. I read your review and Steaming sounds really interesting. I'd love to read it!


  5. Sorry, but I focused on the cat. Molly gets her fur cut???? I had a 15 year old cat who couldn't keep up with her grooming and had to be shaved (her fur grew back and she was able to keep up with it again). Is it that kind of situation?

    Good luck getting your paranormal thriller published. I like that genre a lot.

  6. Thanks for the great giveaway! I haven't read much steampunk, but what I have, I've loved. I love the fact that Steaming incorporates Greek deities, because I also love mythology.
    Thanks again!

  7. I am a huge steampunk fan, and there just is not enough YA steampunk out there. Would love to read this, already added it to my Goodreads TBR list. Is it only in ebook?

  8. She sure has a lot of story ideas and I hope they all work out for her.

  9. Well now I'm all curious about this obsession with the shapes of trees - what about them? I love the steampunk genre, its so much fun to read how different authors come up with their own worlds and gadgets and things. Thanks so much for this interview!

  10. I haven't read any steampunk novels yet, but they definitely sound interesting. Great post!

  11. Anne - Molly gets shaved because the roommate is allergic to cats... :)

    Java - Yes. At the moment, its only in ebook.

    Jenny - I just like the shapes they make. The more gnarled the better!

    Thanks for having me and for stopping by everyone! Sorry I'm a little late. Internet troubles abound in my house this week!

  12. Steampunk is fun because you can do so many things with it. Sounds like she had a lot of fun with Steaming. Love the mythology angle!

  13. ok, interesting obsession, shapes of trees? Ok. I get it. 90% of the time when we go on a "vacation" it is by car. I am often pointing out trees. and how sometimes they are all alone in a field or other type of yard and sometimes they have large wide branches or they sweep the ground, or maybe they are all bent over and the top touches the ground Several years ago we took our sons on a mission tour in our home state of Texas and we visited the oldest tree, cool for us, probably boring for three teenage boys... sorry I missed the giveaway. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. I hadn't heard of this book before, so thanks for linking the review. The story sounds so good.

    I'm fascinated by the concept of mixing mythology and steampunk. Something has me protesting to keep them separate, but I'm not really familiar with either, though I am intrigued by both.

    Fantastic interview. I applaud this author's creativity. It seems boundless!


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