Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Steampunk Mystery and Kathleen Y'Barbo Turner?

Author Kathleen Y'Barbo
Kathleen Y'Barbo Turner has written over 80 books and won a ton of awards, though there’s still way too much room on her award shelf in my humble opinion. She’s won a RITA and been a Carol award nominee. Over one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad and translated into Dutch, German and Spanish.

She graduated from Texas A&M and holds a BBA from the University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies.

And if that wasn’t enough, she’s a 10th generation Texan with four grown children and seven bonus kids she inherited when she married her hero in combat boots. 


Coming soon!

YOU COULD WIN this ebook! Leave a comment to enter.

What is Steampunk?

Steam punk is a genre all to itself with elements of historic, science-fiction as well as other genres. It is generally characterized by the use of machines or inventions as part of the plot. Sometimes it's Dystopian in that the storyline involves a shift in time, or an alternate timeline. H.G. Wells stories are an example of this kind of story, as is Jules Vern. The type of steampunk I write does not include elements of science fiction. Instead, my characters are involved in adventures where they have access to machines and inventions that the average person would not have. I always write my steampunk in a historical context. The best example I can give of the type of steam punk I write would be the old Wild Wild West television show. If you're familiar with it, you would remember that there were people solving crimes using inventions. I have a great time making up inventions, but I do go to the  archives of the U.S. Patent Office to discover what was patented a few years after my story takes place. I can then make the argument for my characters also coming up with that kind of technology, just not being the first ones to patent it. This  gives an element of realism to a story that could feel a little unrealistic. 

How did you come up with the idea to write a Steampunk Mystery?

I got the idea to write a steampunk novel because I'd been writing so many historical novels, especially ones with mystery as an element, that I thought it would be fun if I gave my crimefighters a little something extra to fight the bad guys. It was especially fun to do this in the setting where I got to write three stories that involve Pinkerton agents. Since they're not limited by local law-enforcement, they could use more creative methods  to solve crimes and for finding the person they're looking for. I had a great time coming up with inventions for these guys, and that is really the essence of why I love writing steam punk and what led me to writing it. It is a blast!

Name you favorite Steampunk book or film? Does Inspector Gadget count?

He sure does! So does the old TV series, Wild, Wild West.

How is different is writing contemporary or historical romance from writing a mystery?

The main difference in writing historical or contemporary romance is where the focus of the storyline goes. In a romance, it's always about falling in love. But the idea is to fall in love in the most unlikely set of circumstances even though the reader expects, and understands that those circumstances will be overcome.

A mystery however takes the reader down an entirely different path. There may be a romance thread along with the mystery, but the focus of the story is solving The mystery. Basically a mystery as a person or persons trying to untangle or solve a puzzle. The story is how that untangling or solving happens.

I have written a lot of romances with a few mysteries. I have to say that I have found writing mysteries to be much more challenging. I know the end in a romance, but it's exactly the opposite when I write a mystery. Until I get to the end of the story, I rarely know who the culprit is. So it's fun, but very challenging.

What are the elements of a good mystery? 

To me, the main element that makes up a good mystery is the story question of who done it. I know that's very simplistic, but to me I cannot figure out who did it, that's a good mystery. The clues have always been there, or the ending is not going to work. But I need to be able to look back after the book has ended and say well of course that's who did it. I see now from all of the hints that the author left. But a good mystery does not allow the hints to be obvious. 

Who is your favorite mystery character?

Right now my favorite mystery character is Captain Lacey from the series of the same name written by Ashley Gardner. The series begins in 1815 I believe, and carries through a few years. The protagonist, Captain Lacey, is a retired military man, and is such a great hero because he is a flawed character who is a reluctant protagonist. Basically mysteries come to him and he can't let them alone without solving them. The cast of characters who surround the captain are unique and interesting and the author mixes in fiction with real history of the time, which is absolutely my favorite part about it.

My agent told me about this series, and once I read the first book I was hooked. I binged through all 13 of the novels in a short time, and now I am anxiously awaiting the next book. But fortunately the author writes under several pseudonyms, so I do not have high hopes I will be reading about the adventures of Captain Lacey anytime soon. 

Leave a comment to enter for a drawing to win an ebook copy of "Anna Finch and the Hired Gun." Be sure to check and see who won. It might be YOU!


  1. Hi, this series looks so fun! Would Murdoch Mysteries be included! He meets Tessa and has his own innovative inventions, too! It was a good show til they got too politically correct for the time period!

  2. I loved watching Wild, Wild West. This sounds like a fun book!

    1. Connie if you loved Wild Wild West, you're sure to love her new book when it comes out. I entered your name for the Anna Finch and the Hired Gun drawing.

  3. Thanks so much for explaining what Steampunk is! I loved Wild Wild West so I'm sure I'd love yours!

  4. Paula, I entered your name for the Anna Finch and the Hired Gun drawing Her new book is going to be awesome and I will have her back as my guest when it releases.

  5. Linda,

    This is a fun interview. I would have never guessed, nor did I realize, Kathleen Ybarbo wrote steampunk!!!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win Anna Finch and the Hired gun! Good luck to everyone!

    (aka RobbyeFaye, aka Robbye)
    robbyefaye (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Robbye--I know! When Kathleen told me, I was like WHAAAT? But I'm so glad she's writing this book and I'm sure it will blow everyone away. In the meantime, your name is entered in the Anna Finch drawing:)

    2. I know! I sort of fell into it, but I love it!!

  6. I love mysteries, and look forward to reading this one!

    1. Rosalyn--I entered your name in the drawing. I will have Kathleen back as a guest when her steampunk mystery is released and we will be giving away free copes of that as well.

  7. Sounds like a winner to me! And, oh yes, Gig'Em Aggies! My daughter and son-in-law graduated from Texas A&M. We love that school!

  8. I haven't read one of Kathleen's books in a while, so it's time I read one! I love your books Kathleen! They are so much fun and I usually laugh quite a bit throughout the book!
    Thanks for giving us a peek at this one and a chance to win!
    Blessings. Joy
    ibjoy1953 at yahoo dot com

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Thank you so much for your explanation of steampunk. I loved watching Wild Wild West. This sounds like a great book.
    debbiewilder (at) comcast (dot) net

    1. Debbie, you are welcome. This is be an extraordinary book, for sure.
      You're name is entered.

  11. Sounds like a fun book. Thanks for the explanation of steampunk. I loved Wild, Wild West.

  12. Forgot to include my email address:

  13. Beth, thank you! Your name is entered.

  14. This book sounds like fun. I'd love to have a chance to read it!

    1. ABIGAIL, YOU ARE OUR WINNER! Please give me your email so I can have Kathleen send you your prize: a free ebook copy of ANNA FINCH AND THE HIRED GUN!

    2. Abigail-please contact me so I can get your prize to you:)


  15. You guys are awesome! Please forgive the late arrival to the comments section. My husband and I had a wild weekend of moving and hospital visits--a family member, not us!--so I am just now getting back to my computer.

    I do love steampunk. For me, it is a natural progression from writing historical stories with Pinkerton agents to writing about those same agents only adding the fact that these guys--male and female to be specific--are also inventors.