Oh the “Byrony”: The making of Lily Stargazer – guest post by Melanie Karsak

Chasing the Star Garden_PaperbackD4.jpgIt’s with great pleasure that I welcome Melanie Karsak, author of the Airship Racing Chronicles.  For me, one of the great things about social media is connecting with other authors and it’s been a pleasure making Melanie’s acquaintance! 

She’s generously offered an international giveaway to all commenters on this blog for an autographed copy of Chasing the Star Garden plus book swag.

Remember, EVERY comment made on one of my guests’ blogs in December will be entered for a $50 Amazon gift certificate!  


First, my thanks to Emma Jane Holloway for inviting me to drop by her blog and talk steampunk. It is a pleasure to be in such delightful company. I am very excited to for the release of Emma Jane’s third book. Congratulations, Emma Jane. Now, let’s talk Byron.

Mad, bad, and dangerous to know. That is how Lady Caroline Lamb described the historical George Gordon, Lord Byron. When I decided to write a steampunk series, I knew that I wanted Lord Byron to be a central figure in my work. Byron was a rock star of his age. And honestly, if I can be all fan girl for a minute, he is pretty darned cute. When I set about creating my steampunk world, I didn’t want Queen Victoria or Tesla to be the sun in my solar system, I wanted Byron.

Given I can barely understand the man I’ve married, I knew I could not write from a man’s consciousness. Byron could not be my protagonist. Instead, I decided I would write from the perspective of one of Byron’s lovers. Lord Byron was infamous for his sexual appetites. In fact, he went into self-imposed exile to flee possible persecution and damage to his reputation for his bisexuality. I imagined that being in love with Byron would be a lot like being in love with any man you can’t quite tie down . . . thrilling and unfulfilling all at once. What kind of woman would be with Byron?

In walked the concept for Lily Stargazer. I wanted Lily to be a less than perfect character. I wanted her to have anti-hero qualities: questionable morality, cynicism, a self-destructive

byron energy, a rebellious nature, and questionable sexual appetites. In other words, I wanted her to be a Byronic heroine!  The term Byronic hero, as we know, is inspired by the attitude cultivated from the historical Lord Byron himself. Oh, the “Byrony.”

Link to Wiki on Byronic Heroes:


Lord Byron bio videos:

The irony for me was that I didn’t even really think about the fact that she was Byronic. I just wanted to write a character that was true to the dark, crappy sides of life. There is a tremendous body of literature on the indenturing of children during the Industrial Revolution in England. Children suffered in horrible working conditions that are akin to slavery. I wanted to write about a woman who suffered at the hands of others and did not bounce back.

Link to Youtube series on the Children who built Victorian England (bring tissues): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87eVOpbcoVo

Despite her terrible past, as revealed in the novel through flashbacks, I envisioned Lily Stargazer as a woman who accidently found herself in a profession that was typically male dominated: as an airship pilot. And I wanted Lily to be good at what she did, really good. In fact, I wanted to punk the norms of 1823 (and today, really) and make Lily the best at a male-dominated sport. Take that, male sports. Lily Stargazer, an airship racer with a famous lover and an opium addiction, was born.

lord byron quotes mad if dont writeChasing the Star Garden is available now in paperback and at most ebook vendors. The second novel in the series, Chasing the Green Fairy, will be released in the spring of 2014.

Amazon US Link: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Garden-Airship-Racing-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00GXUU6IC/

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasing-Garden-Airship-Racing-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00GXUU6IC/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/melanie-karsak

Melanie Karsak Author Pic by Orange Moon StudiosConnect with the author online!

Blog: http://melaniekarsak.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelanieKarsak

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorMelanieKarsak



  1. Raquel Muniz says:

    Great post. Lord Bryon is an interesting historical character and making him a character in your story is genius. Can’t wait to read this book.

  2. Raonaid Luckwell says:

    Bryonic heroine! First time I heard that term. I like! But that is neat perspective to take. That’s why I like Steampunk, each other’s take on it is different giving its own quality, making the world its own.

  3. Diana Huffer says:

    I love the premise for this book. I especially love the character of Lily Stargazer. (Great name, BTW.) I am a woman in a man’s profession — programmer, IT tech. It has been tough having to prove myself every step of the way but it has been well worth it. I can’t wait to read this book (as well as the next on in the series!)

  4. Thanks for having me stop by, Emma Jane!

  5. Jessica Sturgill says:

    I love Chasing the Star Garden!!! I didn’t know Lord Byron was a real person…now I have to do some googling 🙂

  6. oooh, I want to read this book more and more with every snippet I see about Chasing the Star Garden. So much awesomeness combined with fantastic history I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!!

  7. Angela Searles says:

    Can’t wait to read Melanie’s book!!! angelarosebooks@yahoo.com

  8. Krys H says:

    I recently saw that Byron quote on Pinterest and thought, wow, I get that! Sounds like a great book.

  9. Ivy says:

    Sounds fascinating. Byron, Shelley etc..a friend taught them in college & got me interested in them & their lives. Strong heroines are great!

  10. Johnnie says:

    Good info. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon).

    I have bookmarked it for later!

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  12. I wanted to thank you for this good read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you bookmarked
    to look at new stuff you post…

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