Arkansas Tech University alumna Brooke Johnson gave a first reading of her recently published book, “The Brass Giant,” last Thursday in Witherspoon Hall.
Johnson graduated from Tech in 2010 with a degree in creative writing. During her time at Tech, Johnson was editor of the university literary magazine, “Nebo.”
Johnson’s “The Brass Giant” is a Victorian steampunk novel. The story follows 17-year-old Petra Wade. Petra is a talented, self-taught clockwork engineer. However, being a girl keeps Petra from joining the guild and becoming a real clockwork engineer as she has always dreamed.
When Petra meets Emmerich Goss, he does not tease or belittle her like everyone else. When Emmerich asks for Petra’s help in building a top-secret automaton, how can Petra refuse, even if it means getting caught will result in Emmerich being marked for treason, and a fate far worse for Petra?
Johnson said she fell in love with the steampunk genre after reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. However, she said many steampunk novels were mixed with other genres, such as fantasy.
Johnson was not really looking to read a mixed genre steampunk, so she wrote her own steampunk novel.
“I wrote the book I wanted to read but couldn’t find,” she said.
Currently, the sequel to “The Brass Giant” is in the process of being edited. The sequel was actually a surprise to Johnson.
“I intended for it to be one and done,” she said.
It did not work out that way. After nearly completing “The Brass Giant,” Johnson knew she would need a sequel.
After the sequel is completed, Johnson will probably go back to writing fantasy.
“I don’t want to limit myself to just one genre,” she said. “I may come back to steampunk after I’ve written some fantasy.”
The Brass Giant can be found at Barnes and Noble, on Amazon, Google play or iBooks.