Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Interview With Historical/Steampunk Author Kyle Newton

Today I have an interview with author Kyle Newton who writes two of my favourite genres, steampunk and historical. Enjoy.

Interview With Kyle Newton

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

Greetings, my name is Kyle Newton. I grew up in a very small blue-collar town nestled in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. My mother bred my creativity by watching Star Trek and reading Tolkien, so it didn’t take long for my interest in writing sci-fi/fantasy to bud and blossom. I indie-published my own series, “The Penny Punkers Series,” as well as having been published in several magazines such as Bete Noire. My first book to hit #3 in steampunk was “Revolution’s Reign,” a novella that came as a short story challenge from my magnificent girlfriend. Now, I write novellas about historical fiction for teens and young adults.

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I have been writing most of my life if you include all the time I preferred writing poetry in school rather than doing math or science (Although still important, I just found myself lost in poetry). I’ve indie-published 3 soft-covered books and 6 ebooks. “The Penny Punker Series” take up the majority of my publishings, which is a fictitious steampunk universe I created. Then there’s “Revolution’s Reign”, which is a standalone historical fiction.

Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite?

I’d have to say my current favorite is, “Revolution’s Reign.” Having to find that sweet balance of historical accuracy, peppered with fiction so the plot still makes sense, really helped push my limits and helped me grow as a writer.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

For “Revolution’s Reign,” I’d say my favorite character is Annie Oakley. She might not show up until later in the story, but I find her time in it to be very unexpected and full of energy. I think I reflected on more of her determination and dedication than anything else for her character. And the fact I was able to find a place for her at all made me very happy.

Why did you decide to write in the steampunk genre?

I’ve always loved the Victorian era and found myself studying different aspects of it throughout my life. And I mean it, I even did a school report about the popular clothing and what they saw as “mainstream.” I guess my love for Tolkien’s fantasy world and my fascination for the Victorian lifestyle kind of fused together one day and thus, “Revolution’s Reign,” came to be.

What is the hardest part of writing historical fiction?

First, I want to say I absolutely LOVE writing historical fiction, but the same reason I obsess about it is the same reason it frustrates me. The amusement comes from having a “bare bones” story already laid out for you. It’s then up to you to decide how much escapism you want in your story. “Revolution’s Reign” definitely holds a lot of creative licensing, but then you can find the “Dear America” books and discover there’s very little fiction in them. I find these two are good comparisons for showing how wide the spectrum of historical fiction is. It’s that amount of freedom that really makes it fun for me, testing my balance of captivating creativity and historical accuracy.

What do you enjoy most about writing in the steampunk genre?

Similar to historical fiction, steampunk has a thin line of “must haves,” and the rest is really up to you. What makes steampunk so beautiful is that it doesn’t take much to establish its presence, it all depends on how you add it to your book that makes it a worthwhile genre. Like in “Revolution’s Reign,” I may reference larger economical changes to establish a different Victorian/colonial age, but their rifles and boats are the only distinct changes the reader really interacts with. I also love hearing from readers and getting opinions through reviews, that way, I can keep elevating my steampunk game for them. No matter what, I always add a flavor of steampunk to my writings, so reader input is crucial to me.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?

Steampunk is easily my favorite. It’s always fun for me to add a wild west heroine, or an eloquent Victorian villain into the mix. I read a lot of historical fiction when I entered Junior High School and didn’t really stop since then. That’s what drew me to studying history, by learning how much of the book was made up and how much of it was real. My first two publications were for historical magazines, focusing on warfare. From there, I got published in Bete Noire’s magazine with my short story, “Wulver of the Highlands,” which was my first crack at historical fantasy. From there, I found adding steampunk elements to be a bit more interesting and more my style. Not long after that, “Revolution’s Reign,” was published. A month later, it hit #3 in its steampunk genre and #1 in Dieselpunk.

Who is your intended readership?

Since “Revolution’s Reign,”  I’m noticing more teenagers and young adults picking up my books. Which, I really enjoy. My interest in being a writer started around the sixth grade, but the small blue collar town I grew up in made flourishing artistically almost impossible. I hope my books can reach other teenagers to show them that if you have a passion and stick to it, you can get out and make a name for yourself.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I recently got in touch with the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire and got to write a mystery book for them involving the train station. It was a fascinating challenge because I’ve never written in this genre before. It proved to have its own story arc-issues I never anticipated due to the unfamiliar structure of building a mystery. It’ll be the first one out before Christmas. Around that time, I am going to have another colonial fiction novella out for my teen and YA readers. The last two years I’ve been trying to get my books published in between school semesters, that way students can have something to relax with around those initial days of new classes and the stress that comes with getting used to the schedule.

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