Interview with Katherine Gleason, part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of our chat with Katherine Gleason, author of Anatomy of Steampunk.

Read part 1 here.

Anatomy Steampunk Cover

AA: What were some fun moments in pulling this together? Any frustrating experiences?

KG: I had a really amazing time emailing with so many of the designers. We really had some great correspondence going on. Lots of late night message exchanges, and that was fun. Going to Temple Con was amazing, too. Frustration… oh, gosh. Sure, there were definitely frustrating moments. Luckily at this point I have forgotten the specifics! After a book is done, I usually do forget!

AA: What did you learn along the way?

KG: I learned how generous and accommodating and creative steampunks are as a community. Everyone was so amazing and helpful and lovely. I really feel that everybody in the steampunk community is part of this book, whether one’s image appears inside the covers or not. The book honors all the individuals who’ve been a part of steampunk and have built the movement and its great wave of creativity and fellowship.


AA: With such a great selection, which entries didn’t make the final cut? Are there any plans for a second, or more, volume?

KG: Wow, another volume would be fun, but right now there are no plans for such. I guess it will all depend on sales. If the book sells a lot, my publisher may want more. (Hint: Please buy the book! It’s excellent for people who are already into steampunk. It’s also great for people who are new to steampunk, and for people who want to stay up-to-date on fashion trends. It makes a super gift. What about the teenagers and artists on your gift list? There are more than 200 color photos inside! The book is available at bookstores across the country, and it can be ordered online at IndieBound, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.)


AA: When people peruse Anatomy for inspiration, what would you like for them to take away from the many pictures that they could apply to their own creativity?

KG: Well, I guess two main things. We really wanted to foreground the diversity of steampunk. There are steampunks of every race and age, of every size and gender expression and ability. There are also steampunks all over the world. I’m totally fascinated to see the way that various individuals express and explore their identities through steampunk, and I hope that more people continue to do so. And secondly, I do want to emphasize the DIY know-how and experimentation of steampunk. Try working with some new materials or techniques! Depart from the directions! See what you get! And if you don’t like it, try again. You never know how an experiment will turn out until you test it for yourself.

AA: If you weren’t creating steampunk fashion books, what else would you be doing now?

KG: I’m always working on about six different things at once, between sending out short stories and revising them and writing some new ones and working on nonfiction, and I’ve been writing a play on and off for a while now. Oh, and gardening. I’m involved with a community garden in my neighborhood. I used to do a lot of event planning there—music and poetry readings.


AA: What has the fan reaction been like? Have you had a chance to talk about it at conventions or book signings?

KG: I have done a few event. I was at New York Comic Con, which was fun and totally crazy. I got to participate in a panel with a group steampunk authors—Andrea Cremer, Kate Locke, Beth Ciotta, Genevieve Valentine, and Emma Jane Holloway, who were all really super. I also spent some time at my publisher’s booth, signing books and chatting with people and admiring the amazing outfits and costumes that people turned out in. That was fun! Back at Halloween, I participated in a conversation with Noam Berg, musician and steampunk craftsperson, and author Jean-Christophe Valtat, who wrote the novels Luminous Chaos and Aurorarama. And Noam and I judged a steampunk fashion show. In mid-October, Berít New York and Kristin Costa, two of the designers whose work is featured in the book, held a fashion show and party in Greenwich Village. I attended and sold and signed books and talked a lot with a variety of people. In mid-November I was in California. Clockwork Couture hosted a crafting event at the shop in Burbank, and I got to meet Trip Hope and Glenn Freund from the League of S.T.E.A.M. And Donna Ricci, of course, and Kristi Smart! And a bunch of fun people showed up and made sleeve garters. I think I talked nonstop for five hours!


We’ll stop here in our chat with Katherine Gleason, author of Anatomy of Steampunk.

Check back for part 3 where Katherine talks about writing and other interests.

Published in: on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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