Guest Post: Veetu Industries

Having met the lovely Rachael at Asylum last year, I thought it was high time that she visited the blog so you folks can sample her wares. Here she is, telling us all about Veetu Industries. Take it away, Rach.

Veetu Industries is a company who do not like to be approached. They do not like to be threatened and do not appreciate the protests which regularly take place before their offices on Lambeth rae gee 2Road. We, the Comrades for the Abolition of War, have many times attempted to find the sites of their factories but have yet to proclaim victory.

However, our mole has recently turned up plans of their upcoming weapons, weapons which will be used aga  inst the citizens of this world. They are horrific creations, intended to bring pain and death to anyone who stands before them. We can safely say that these weapons may even be turned against the citizens of this fair isle should they choose to rebel. And I can assure that they will rebel once all the information of this horrific company is brought to light. Some of it I am going to outline here.

 

MarsontheRise(1)

Information has been handed to us which proves that these weapons have been tested against the people of England. Experiments which have seen them ripped limb from limb and killed in the most dastardly of ways. Erus Veetu, the man behind the company, has said that only those convicted of a capital crime have been used in these experiments but the documents I am now holding say differently. They are proof that the homeless and the wayward have been taken from the streets to underground test facilities, chained in to small, tiled rooms, and had some of the most advanced weaponry known to man turned on them. People that you and I know! People who were one day sitting beside the sea and breathing in the salty air! People who had done little more than temporarily lost their way in life! This must stop! It must stop now!

How are we going to stop them? We need you! You are hereby invited to join us on a protest this coming weekend. We shall meet at the pier and march to the offices of Veetu Industries. Please feel free to bring banners proclaiming your disgust at what this company does and the corrupt industry it brings to our beautiful City-by-the-Sea.

 

Veetu Industries does exist, or at least in my mind it does. It’s the company at the centre of a series of books. The first two, “Mars on the Rise” and “Selling Mars”, were released in 2012 and “Mars on the Rise” has amazingly gone on to win two Rainbow Awards for Best Debut Novel and Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy. They focus on the story of Cedo Reilly, a storyteller who weaves tales at the end of the pier and who becomes involved with weapons designer Erus Veetu (or “psychotic millionaire industrialist” as he prefers to be called). A war is raging in the East, and a battle between England and the Dynasty is on the cards. Erus is determined that England’s going to win and stops at nothing to make sure his weapons are the best they can be. Cedo, on the other hand, is a firm opponent of war and does everything within his power to stop Erus from launching an all out attack against not just the Dynasty, but also his own people.

The books are a strange hybrid of Steampunk and LGBT fiction. I’d been writing LGBT pieces for a long time before I started on “Mars on the Rise” and, as many authors will tell you, the characters kind of wrote themselves. They decided that they were going to be gay and it went from there.

Having gay characters has allowed me to explore homosexuality in the 19th Century. It was still classed as a crime, although it was removed from the death penalty in 1861. The last two people executed for homosexuality in the UK were John Pratt and John Smith in 1835. The main character, Cedo, discovers his sexuality in the first book “Mars on the Rise”, and goes through probably what anyone in his situation goes through. He questions himself, asks if it’s the right thing to do and, obviously, questions whether he will see the noose (although the books are set in the 1890’s, in the Veetu Industries universe homosexuality is still punishable by death).

Selling Mars

Coming from an engineering family, I’ve always been fascinated by machines from Mars and men going to the moon, and Steampunk has become the perfect vehicle for me to get out some of the crazy ideas which whirl through my mind. Obviously, each book I write goes through rigorous quality control before it even goes to the publishers (Think the kind of quality control a £5,000,000 jet engine would go through and you’re not far off the mark!). One of the things I love about Steampunk is how it allows me to construct whole new worlds based on what we already have. I adore coming up with new ideas, sketching them out, before they added in to a book.

Coming from an engineering family, I’ve always been fascinated by machines from Mars and men going to the moon, and Steampunk has become the perfect vehicle for me to get out some of the crazy ideas which whirl through my mind. Obviously, each book I write goes through rigorous quality control before it even goes to the publishers (Think the kind of quality control a £5,000,000 jet engine would go through and you’re not far off the mark!). One of the things I love about Steampunk is how it allows me to construct whole new worlds based on what we already have. I adore coming up with new ideas, sketching them out, before they added in to a book.

Obviously, Steampunk is so much more for me. It’s about being the person I’ve always wanted to be, about delving in to strange worlds and discovering odd people. It’s about meeting new people, sharing ideas, and making new friendships. Like many people, I try to live up to the motto of“Be Splendid”. It’s two words which so many people live their lives by and it really does feel like it’s making a change in the world, that the darkness of this broken planet is slowly being eased away by people and their good deeds. I’m thankful that Steampunk is a growing genre, drawing more and more wonderful people together. It feel like a revolution, a good revolution where people raise money for good causes, create art, music, literature, clothing, and a whole host of other beautiful items and are, well, splendid, not just to one another, but also to those around them. Stay splendid, won’t you? Because you never know whose life you’re going to touch and make that little bit better.

Thank you for reading! It’s a pleasure meeting you all!

“Mars on the Rise” and “Selling Mars” are both available from Torquere Press ( https://www.torquerebooks.com/ ), Amazon, The Book Depository, and all good retailers.

 

“Selling Mars” is having its launch in April, with a little help from Crimson Clocks and Birthrite! You can get tickets at:

http://veetuindustries.eventbrite.co.uk/

 

And Rae can be found haunting her own little corner of the internet at:

http://www.raegee.co.uk/

Expect silliness, crazy complaint letters (which she’s become exceptionally good at in the last year), mad engineering, free fiction, fresh tea, and lots more in between. The kettle’s always on, so please make yourselves at home!

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