Here at The Steampunk Cavaliers we are committed to supporting steampunk creators of all kinds. I in particular am in love with the steampunk aesthetic and all the different ways people use it, so I’m thrilled to be introducing today’s guest, Madeleine Holly-Rosing, who has written a beautiful graphic novel called Boston Metaphysical.
Can you tell us a bit about Boston Metaphysical?
A six issue steampunk supernatural graphic novel, the story is about an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800’s Boston. Think “Steampunk X-Files.” I’m the writer. Emily Hu is my artist and Gloria Caeli and Fahriza Kamaputra are the colorists.
When did you first come up with the idea for Boston Metaphysical?
It was originally a TV Pilot that I wrote in the MFA Program for Screenwriting at UCLA. The story itself came from my love of history, science fiction and, The X-Files, of course.
Did you set out to write a steampunk story or did the story just evolve that way?
No, I started out writing a straight up period detective drama. It was a friend of mine in class who suggested I could develop the story in a steampunk world. I had heard of steampunk, but didn’t know a lot about it at the time. So, I did a lot of research and reading and decided he was right. I then redeveloped it with a steampunk sensibility in mind.
What makes Boston Metaphysical stand out from other steampunk stories?
Probably its use of such iconic characters like Bell, Edison, Tesla and Houdini. It also deals with social issues that some steampunk stories tend to ignore or gloss over. And don’t forget Granville Woods who existed during that time period as well though he’s gotten lost in history which is a shame. If you don’t know, he sued Edison for stealing some of his patents and won. At San Diego Comic Con, a former law student came to my table and knew all about Granville except for the fact that he was African-American. She had read Granville’s brief that her professor had retrieved from the National Archives and told us his case helped set the stage of the precedents for what became our copyright/patent laws today! I thought that was pretty cool.
Who are some of your favorite steampunk creators?
Beth Cato, Shelly Adina, Cherie Priest, The Foglios, Greg Rucka. There’s more, but I’m blanking right now.
What is the most interesting thing about steampunk to you?
I love how it’s the perfect marriage of my love of history and science fiction.
What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
I’ve just finished a short story about Duncan the ghost (a character in both the comic and the novellas) that will be part of an anthology next year and I’m starting the first Boston Metaphysical Society novel. We hope to do 32 page one shot comic stories in the future as well.
The writer/creator of Boston Metaphysical Society comic (the recipient of an Honorable Mention at the 2013 GEEKIE AWARDS and nominated for Best Comic/Graphic Novel at the 2014 GEEKIE AWARDS, among other nominations) Madeleine is also a TV, feature film and soon to be novelist. Winner of the Sloan Fellowship for screenwriting, and the Gold Aurora and Bronze Telly for a PSA produced by Women In Film, she has also won numerous awards while completing the UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting. In addition, Madeleine teaches a Kickstarter class for independent creators at Pulp Fiction Books in Culver City and has published the book, Kickstarter for the Independent Creator.