I meet the nicest people through my connections with writing, book signings, Steampunk, and ghost investigations. Leonardo Ramirez is one of those nice people. I came to know Leonardo because of an interesting kickstarter he has going on. You’ll want to learn all about this kickstarter, but first a chat with the very talented author of the Jupiter Chronicles.
Marie Gilbert: Hi Leonardo. I’m happy to have you on my blog.
Leonardo Ramirez: Hi Marie! Good to hear from you. That is so very kind of you to want to support our campaign. The way to do it though, is to simply pledge through the website which you can find here: http://bit.ly/SteampunkKickstarter. Your interview and your posts certainly help so thank you!
Marie Gilbert: How did you get involved with Steampunk? I have my oldest grandchild, Allie Gilbert, to thank for introducing me to Dorian’s Parlor and the world of Steampunk.
Leonardo Ramirez: As far as what drew me into Steampunk? I would say its untapped nature. I don't care much for following the trends that everyone else marches to the beat of (right now, I think it's zombies) but instead prefer to fill a need or a gap that needs filling and start there. While there is quite a bit of Steampunk literature available for YA there is close to nothing for kids that don't want to read a 500 page book. I love CS Lewis and loved the Chronicles of Narnia series so I wanted to write something that closely fit that audience.
Marie Gilbert: Do you feel that children, (grade 3 and up) who are so entwined with video games, would understand a world where technology is powered by steam. I ask because I’m worried that we’ve lost that inventive spirit and spark of imagination that Steampunk offers. How has the feedback been from children, parents and teachers, especially, science teachers?
Leonardo Ramirez: It's not been an easy sell, surprisingly enough. You would think that the thought of a Steampunk Children's series being pitched into Steampunk online communities would be like throwing gas onto a fire. To the contrary, it’s been very difficult to get true Steampunkers behind it possibly because it's meant for kids. There are shows that I grew up on that I would still watch with my daughter even as an adult so I'm hoping to get the project noticed by the community even if it's meant for a younger audience. I, for one, haven't stopped watching animated shows!
I do agree that kids are struggling to find their voice and the spark of creativity. Parents, teachers and kids, on the other hand, have been ecstatic about the series. This past weekend I attended Geek Media Expo where I was approached by a gentleman who runs a family-friendly geek convention for kids in Memphis and has asked us to come out as a guest. I had one Science teacher of special needs kids who bought the books for her class since they were written for reluctant readers.
I've heard it said that Steampunk is on the decline but I vehemently disagree with that. I think that what it needs is a property like Star Wars or Star Trek for fans to rally around and draw more people to it. I'm hoping that The Jupiter Chronicles can be a vehicle for that. Despite the audience it was originally written for, the universe of The Jupiter Chronicles is vast. The moons of Jupiter are each a world of their own that revolves around Jupiter and each one has their own nature apart from the others.
That is why I want to start an animated series. With an animation studio like Magnetic Dreams behind it we can make it top-notch and with our Kickstarter campaign we can make it happen. The cast is diverse and includes a disabled primary character who uses a prosthetic claw for a hand and two steam-powered rockets that come out of his feet for flight.
I've been writing for a long time. My first published work was a graphic novel called, Haven that was published by Markosia Enterprises. It's the story of a descendant of Dante Alighieri who is tasked to battle the nine circles of hell much like her ancestors before her. The nine circles call themselves, The Aristocracy and are embedded in our society at every level. Because that story is vast as well I felt it was necessary to release a prose novel version of it which released in 2012 and called, Haven of Dante.
Marie Gilbert: How is the Kickstarter doing and have you reached your goal?
Leonardo Ramirez: If there is one thing I'd want to share with folks considering donating to The Jupiter Chronicles it is this. The untapped potential that this has is endless. Because of the way it's set up there are years of stories to tell. It's fun and fast-paced and kids love it. It's diverse and tackles the issues of growing up in a single-parent family in the angst that befalls it's main character, Ian. There's a lot of heart that goes into this. Not just from me but from my family so I'm very grateful for the interview and for helping spread the word.
Marie Gilbert: Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog and I’m sending in my check to the Kickstarter today. If you want your children to read good science fiction, then you can give to the Kickstarter and if you want to learn more about Leonardo Ramirez, check out the sites below.
Leonardo Ramirez, Author
Visit Science Fiction for the Human Condition at Leonardoverse.com.
Learn more about the Steampunk Children's Series at JupiterChronicles.com.