#OWSCyCon2019 Author Spotlight
As part of the build-up to OWSCyCon2019, I want to introduce you to some of the amazing volunteers and authors taking part in the event. If it wasn’t for the volunteers, there could be no CyCon, and I’m grateful to every single one of them for giving up their time to make this happen. But by the same token, without the authors taking part in the event, we wouldn’t be able to bring you the amazing events that we have planned. So without further delay…
Meet Crysta K. Coburn
Crysta K. Coburn has been writing award-winning stories for most of her life. Her first short story was published at the age of sixteen after winning runner-up in a local writing contest. She earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University. She is a journalist, fiction writer, poet, editor, podcast co-host, and one-time rock lyricist.
What Genres Do You Write In?
Why Don't You Start By Sharing A Little About Yourself
I’m a weirdo, and I mean that in the best way possible. I am drawn to things that are mostly forgotten or overlooked by mainstream society, and I am open to the possibilities of the universe.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
The anthology that I self-published last year “The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales” was an exciting collaboration with fellow creative authors, some unpublished up to that point, that was a lot of work and totally worth it. I have had my stories included in multiple anthologies edited by others, but this was my first time in that seat. I am a staff editor for a local journal, so editing wasn’t new to me, but the fiction setting was a real treat. I have always loved fairytales, and combining them with steampunk was a fun challenge as a writer (one of my stories is included in the anthology), I loved seeing how other writers interpreted that theme.
Who is your intended readership?
Anyone who enjoys steampunk and fairytales should like this book. The tales are varied in style and tone, so I would recommend teen and up overall. It’s definitely the kind of thing I would have read in middle school, but not all stories may be appropriate for all middle school age children.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I remember very distinctly being in a B. Dalton bookstore as a young child with my mother and looking at the bestseller shelves, and I thought, “That’s going to be me one day.” I have no idea why I thought that, and I don’t necessarily feel the need to be a bestseller considering all the politics involved in that, but I have always known my purpose is to be a writer. My father was a writer, which I actually didn’t know until I was nearly an adult (he was a private person), and he named me and my brother with names he thought would flow well in case we grew up to become famous writers, so I think it was instilled within me from birth, maybe before.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
A few writers who stick out for me are Roger Zelazny, Storm Constantine, Harlan Ellison, and Jane Austen.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
A lot of young writers are easily discouraged. Don’t be. Take yourself seriously as a writer. Make time for writing. Listen to your critics, don’t take it personally, and use critiques to hone your craft.
Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
I once dared my husband to write a story and submit it to an anthology that I had also submitted a story to. He did, was accepted, and now he also has a story in “Queen of Clocks” (the title story, in fact), has written a play that was given a live workshop performance last year, and is currently writing a musical for a local theatre company to be performed next year.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?
I read a lot – books, ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, comics, graphic novels and memoirs… I also blog and co-host the movie podcast Cinema Guano with my husband. I am currently doing massive amounts of research for an upcoming blog with a friend and fellow “Queen of Clocks” author that I won’t announce yet. It’s going to be spooky.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
I recently had a short story accepted for the upcoming steampunk anthology “Cogs, Crowns, and Carriages” due out in November from OWS Ink. I’ve been writing and submitting a lot of stories to anthologies lately. I also write a romance novel a year or so ago, and I am in the process of getting it typed up (I literally wrote this one – by hand) and edited. There are a few places I have in mind to shop it around. I also write and edit regularly for a few local journals and magazines, which is ongoing. And there is the secret blog awaiting its grand opening!
The Queen of Clocks
and Other Steampunk Tales
“Once upon a time” is a phrase that immediately conjures images of enchantment. Royal balls, magical creatures, love at first sight… We are taken to a fantasy world where anything is possible. The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales brings together the magic of fairytale and the allure of cogs and gears. Within these pages, find dancing automatons, industrial age fairies, a mermaid with wind-up legs, heroes of the steam age, and more. Drawing from classic tales of the Brothers Grimm, Carlo Collodi, Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, and Homer, these original interpretations are sure to delight fans of steampunk and fairytales alike.