I’m Dakota Kemp, a graduate student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the author of three books: The Arrival, which is a medieval fantasy, The Shrike Chronicles: Goddess, a science fiction novella, and Ironheart: The Primal Deception. I enjoy stories in any medium, but I prefer that either magic or spaceships be involved. Otherwise, I might get cranky.
Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about?
Ironheart: The Primal Deception is basically a sword-and-sorcery fantasy novel that takes place in a steampunk setting. The plot follows Jack Booker, an orphan who has turned to crime to survive. After his gang is drawn into a political plot, Jack finds himself unwillingly embroiled in a struggle for the fate of the Primal Empire.
What drove you to write this book?
Mostly, I just wanted to write an allegorical novel. Allegory has fallen out of popularity in recent decades, which I find to be unfortunate because it can be used to express some great symbolism that almost everyone can tap into on at least some level. After thinking about the symbolism I wanted to use and the story I wanted to tell, I came to the conclusion that a Victorian era setting was the best way to present it. Being a science fiction and fantasy author, that translated into steampunk. I’d never gotten to venture into steampunk before, and the prospect was stimulating. So what really drove me was the excitement of trying something new!
Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that is familiar to you?
Ironheart is a mashup of two different genres: Steampunk and Sword-and-Sorcery Fantasy. Sword-and-sorcery is my bread and butter, but steampunk was a new adventure for me, so it was a lot of fun to write something new. It was definitely challenging at times, but steampunk can be a super cool genre in which to write. I mean, what’s not to love about mechanical horses, flying ships, and jetpacks?
What’s next on the horizon for you as an author?
It’s time to start working on sequels! The sequels to both Ironheart and The Arrival are up next on my writing agenda.