Evangeline and the Alchemist, the first novella in my Mystery and Mayhem in steampunk Melbourne series, is almost ready to be launched upon the world.

Stay tuned for updates, but get ready to meet Evangeline in June 2016.

Today I’m focusing on what inspired Evangeline and the Alchemist and in this post, I’m focusing on place. The place is Melbourne and Melbourne is where I live.

The Antics of Evangeline are all set in Melbourne in 1882-83. In that period, Melbourne was the second largest city in the British Empire outside London.

After the Gold Rush of the 1850s, there was a flood of cash in Melbourne. The Government invested heavily in construction and infrastructure, and there was an ill-fated property boom. During the Victorian era, many beautiful and decorative buildings were constructed. Many of these buildings still exist today and I’m lucky enough to walk past them daily. A constant reminder of our Victorian past.

In recent years, I’ve read a few steampunk/neo Victorian books (more about what inspired the style in a later post) and wondered why steampunk books were always set in London, even those written by Americans? Why not Australia? Why not Melbourne?

How would a steampunk world be different in the Antipodes? Where the summers are hot but women still wore dresses covering their bodies from neck to ankles.

So, the combination of my own surroundings and the desire to write an Australian story inspired the setting in a steampunk Melbourne.

I’ll post again soon on what influenced the style of Evangeline and the Alchemist.