A Steampunk Halloween

For the last few years, we’ve had a zombie theme for our Halloween decor, and I wasn’t expecting to ditch our tried and true exterior layout. We even purchased a life-sized moving zombie as the finishing bit of gore. But then I thought – why not have a steampunk Halloween?

Half the steam items I’ve been collecting have a creep factor to them anyway, and thus the promise of Victorian freakage sealed our fate. I began searching for steampunk Halloween themed items in the ravaged seasonal sections of box stores. While I found a few key pieces, there wasn’t much to work with.

When I discovered this wonderful blog post on making Haunted House Silhouettes, the concept of turning our house into, the dreadfully haunted, GRAVES INN, struck me like a pick-axe to the heart.

I modified the original headless woman silhouette to incorporate steampunk elements.

To construct these pieces I drew freehand on large pieces of black construction paper – then cut them out with tragically dull kitchen scissors. I’m artistic, but not an artist – there are tons of flaws in my creations – so if you’re keen to attempt silhouettes yourself, make sure to go the source for far superior efforts (and PDF patterns).

Here’s the entrance to the headless woman’s parlor:

Nothing says “welcome” like a few handy household tools and a friendly hound waiting to bite – I mean lick your face off. Happy Hauntings!



Strangeways SWAG

There’s just one part of the publishing process that’s as much fun as opening up the first batch of ARC copies of your book. Coming up with the SWAG. The items you’ll be using to promote your book, from bookmarks, postcards, mini or full-sized posters, banners for author events, pens, notebooks – the list is endless.

Personally, I’m a fan of SWAG readers can wear, from vintage tees and book bags – to jewellery. Thankfully, I have talented friends. The wonderful, Nadine, of Designs By Nadine, a local small business woman, elementary school teacher, and custom jewellery maker, created some excellent necklaces for my SKINNED series. Check out my blog post about it HERE.

Oh my, did she work wonders for STRANGEWAYS. Nadine doesn’t have an Etsy site yet, but I’m working on her! In the meantime, if you’re interested in her work, email me (judithgraves @ ymail dot com) and I’ll send your her contact info.

The gothic cameo is a perfect logo / brand for my main character, Amelia Strangeways, as she’s a steampunk young lady who can speak to the dead. Here are a few images of the items I’ll be giving away during the launch of STRANGEWAYS VERSUS THE BLOOD BROTHERS and at upcoming author events. Note: I will have these available to purchase online soon!

Gothic cameo / gears / beads necklace:

Gothic cameo / ribbon choker:

Gothic cameo / gears / beads bracelet:



Winter Wonders Anthology

Another steampunk tale of mine, Steadfast, a retelling of the Steadfast Tin Soldier, will appear in this charity anthology published by Compass Press and is set for a December release. 
Contributing authors are:
Anne RileyHeather McCorkleAlexandra ShostakChristine Fonseca,Connie KellerCrystal HarrisElle StraussHarley MayJamey Stegmaier,Jen StayrookJessica NaccariJodi BurrusJudith GravesKaren Amanda HooperKrissi DallasMercedes YardleyNatalie ConeRegan LeighSusan Kaye QuinnTS Tate, and Tina Moss.