Sunday 29 September 2013


ISBN:  978-1937929206
Series: Steel Roots
Publisher: Seventh Star Press
Pages/File Size: 274pages/908KB
Formats Available: Paperback,E-Book

BLURB supplied by Tomorrow Comes Media

Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB'Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it's up to AB'Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB'Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa's spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB'Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries ... and that monsters come in all shapes and forms.

The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.

Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing.  The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013.
J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them "Chilled Meat", a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and "The Leprechaun’s Story", a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing)
J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower.  She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.

Author Links:


J L Mulvihill and writing in the Dystopian World

Hi Jean, thank you for having me on your blog.  So why Dystopian genre?  Well because that is what being a teenager is all about.  Your whole life is in turmoil and the world is coming to an end and everybody hates you and nobody understands you.  It’s true, I have two teenage daughters I know this is true.  Really though I do understand because I was a teenager once too and I do remember feeling like that at least part of the time.

I think that teens or rather young adults want to read something along the lines of these feelings they can identify with.  Ok, so maybe our government is not really as bad as the one I have in my book and the children don’t end up in workhouses or brothels if they are too poor to go to school, well at least not in America right?  My point is there is a feeling of hopelessness and struggle mixed with the emotions of loyalty and determination with this genre.  These emotions no matter what setting they are placed in, I believe, are feelings that a lot of people including young adults can identify with and that is why so many people read stories that take place in dystopian worlds.

I remember watching the movie Logan’s Run, I never read the book though it is on my list, but when I watched the movie I felt a passion inside.  I remember getting excited and anxious for the key characters, when they learned who they really were and where they came from.  Their struggle to understand the how and the why.  They wanted to live, they didn’t want to break the rules but they wanted to live and it just wasn’t fair.

Maybe I am just a rule breaker and this is my way of being able to legally break the rules.  After all the only way to survive in a dystopian world is to break the rules that bind you to that world.  In my Novel The Boxcar Baby, the world is not fair and the characters have to break the rules to survive, not quite like Logan’s Run, but another reality. Writing in a dystopian world especially steampunk gives you carte blanche.  I have very few rules to follow in my writing and I find it so much easier and the words flow so much better when I am not restricted to rules.

I think it is always fun to read in the dystopian genre and some of my favorites are: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; The Time Machine by H. G. Wells; 1984 by George Orwell; The Stand, The Long Walk, as well as Running Man by Stephen King; Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess; Farnhams Freehold by Robert Heinlein; The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau; and more recently I enjoyed reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Some of these are classics and some fairly new in literature but still ring true to the dystopian effect. I like to feel the character overcome the obstacles and make a change in their world.  I could read books that deal with everyday life and characters overcoming daily obstacles but it’s not the same magnitude of the feeling I get when I read and write in a dystopian genre.

I enjoyed my time here and thank you again for allowing me to share my thoughts on your blog.  I hope you have the time to read The Boxcar Baby and when you do friend me on Facebook at the Steel Roots page and let me know what you think.  If you are interested in obtaining a signed copy of the book my next event will be taking place in Louisville, MS at the Backwoods Comic Festival.  Cibo (pronounced Chi-Bo); Italian Restaurant in Louisville, MS will be the food vendor there and serving Hobo Dogs honoring The Boxcar Baby.  Their Hobo Dogs are wrapped in bacon and then deep fried southern style, yum!.  If Louisville, MS is too far out of your way, I’d appreciate it if you could give Cibo a like on Facebook to let them know we appreciate their support and good food.  After Louisville I am scheduled for CONtraflow in New Orleans October 18-20 and then November 15-17 I will be attending the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention.

Until next time remember, “No matter where you go, there you are,” Confucius.

J L Mulvihill


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