Interview with Travis I. Sivart!

Have you been wondering about the man behind Steampunk for Simpletons? Well, wonder no more, for I had a chance to ask him the important questions!

Is there something you never leave the house without – be it a specific item from your wardrobe or an accessory, or something less tangible than that?

Yes, many things. Underwear for one. And only one. I never bring underwear for two. People get a anxious when I do that. In this modern world I also tend to have my keys (which have multi-tools on them) and my phone (which sometimes seems to have more computing strength than my computer. There are less tangible things also, like my imaginary friends. And I have quite an imagination! Which reminds me, I should get a larger car. They get really bitchy when they have to cling to the roof, or jog along beside me as I drive.

What does an adventurous gentleman such as yourself drink?

Oh, this one is easy! LIQUIDS! Whew, I was pretty worried about this test thingie, but I think I am doing ok. Now, for specific drinks... well, it depends. I love variety in all things, and drinks are no different. I drink tea, juice, and sometimes Coke Zero. In alcohol I prefer Jameson 12 year, but also enjoy rum, brandy, and a good beer.

Are you a cat person, dog person, or other, and why?

Cat person because they are calm, considerate, and independent (aka I don't have to clean poop from my yard or go out in the cold to walk them), but also a dog person because they are delicious!  

What is the most exotic place you have been?

Is this the place for a "Your momma" joke? Probably not, huh? Depends on the definition on exotic. I have been to Siberia in Russia, but the folks there didn't seem to think it was exotic at all, not even when it hit negative 40 degrees (which is where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet, did you know that?). I have been to 5 out of 7 continents, and seen a handful of things in my travel. But I enjoy camping and hiking as much as grand cities like Moscow. So, in short I guess the most exotic place I have been is earth. Of course, it wasn't in this current timeline.

Tell me about an incident you were involved in that is so funny or shocking, it cannot possibly be true, yet is.

I once sent away for a mail order ghost. Yup, true story. In my teens I also once was determined I would dream travel to another world, even if I couldn't remember it the next day. Well, the next day I couldn't find my left shoe. It was gone, missing, no where to be found. And it continued to elude me, until a week later when I remembered what I had said I would do (you know, travel to another world in my sleep). So when I went to sleep that night, I said I would get my shoe back. And there it was, where I always put it at night, (I am a bit anal retentive, and was even as a young child) just waiting for me.

Word association: I say “steampunk”, you say…?

Key Lime Pie! Mmmm. It may not relate, but I am hungry. 

Tell me about your book!
Which book? I have a few anthologies with other authors, as well as having recently completed a primer for steampunk called, Steampunk For Simpletons, with some awesome chick! (For those who don't know, Wendy and I wrote it together).

I guess I will talk about Aetheric Elements: The Rise of a Steampunk Reality. This is an anthology all of my own. I compiled various short stories I had submitted to other anthologies (that was my exercise to build up my writing muscles) and cleaned them up a bit. The short stories within span from the beginning of recorded time (in my fictional world, though maybe here also) to the most current time period, covering more than 30,000 years of history without ever bothering to mention that. Generally each story features a background character in the upcoming novels and makes them the primary character, giving them depth and breadth. I show you the state of the modern world, which is an almost Utopian steampunk society, to how the last era (medieval fantasy) came to a close with horrors, greed, and power hungry...

Mmm, that reminds me, I want pie. 

With which character do you most identify?

Every character is some aspect of my mind or personality and a exaggerated for effect. But if I had to pick one, I would go with Jack Tucker. He is good hearted and smart, but still very flawed and inexperienced in many ways. I like that he has room to grow, and he knows it. Of course, Croaker Norge is the grumpy old man side of my personality, Spencer the protector, Trudy the impulsive side, and so on. They all have a part of me in them. But not in a naughty way! 

Is there a particular character you love more than any of the others?

Physically? No Wendy. They are just fictional characters who sometimes ride in my car. Did I mention I need a bigger car? 

What do you hope readers take away from your story?

My recycling! That way I am still helping the environment, but... Oh, wait. I just want my readers to be entertained. My stories almost always have deeper meaning but I don't feel it is necessary to find that meaning to enjoy the tale. Just walk away feeling something. Happy, sad, hungry... whatever. Oh, I am hungry. I wonder if I have any pie. 

~Steampunk Snark~ 
 He tapped his foot on the metal deck and said, “I was thinking…”
“That is always good to hear.”  -- The Daemon Device 

~Next Episodes of Sounds of Steam~

May 5, 2014 - A Punk of a Different Color (various punk aesthetics)
May 12, 2014 - The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences with Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

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