Monday, September 26, 2011

Steam-Powered II Roundtable! Sean Holland

First writer in this series is Sean Holland. He runs the Sea of Stars resource site, an RPG setting which you can find out all about here. His story is “Playing Chess in New Persepolis.”

A two-sentence summary: A young and now broke mechaniker enters her mechanical chess set in the yearly competition hosted by the Persian Shah.  There she finds that chess is only one of the games being played.

How did your characters come to be? 
I wanted a Dutch main character, and so she is.  The supporting cast just sort of appeared, mostly a microcosm of Europe in this reality with a few characters from the Americas and Asia.

Why this particular setting? 
It really just sort of fell out of my head, I needed a story quickly and this is what came out.  Persia/Iran is one of those places that has always been important in the world but often ignored in the West, though, sadly, it is mostly a backdrop to the story.

You’re in an antho of lesbian steampunk stories. Obviously you are writing about lesbians. How does lesbianism fit in your setting? 
Skilled mechaniker are rare and valuable so are given some leeway, but period mores still dominate.

What was the funnest, or hair-tearingly frustrating thing about the writing process? 
Realizing at the end of writing and re-writing the story and multiple revisions, that the main character’s first name is never mentioned.

A random ramble? 
JoSelle keep pushing me to add more and more politics to the story, so now I have a twisting little political map of that world floating around in my head.

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