A Gentleman and a Scholar (Tales of the Captain Duke #3) is NOW AVAILABLE!

Five Years of the Tales of the Captain Duke: An Author Anniversary!

Five Years of the Tales of the Captain Duke: An Author Anniversary!

Origin of the idea for the Tales of the Captain Duke series

Five years ago, at 3:31 AM on October 20, 2012, I saved a little snippet of a story idea that would go on to change my life.

What’s remarkable is how unremarkable it is. The file is one of dozens in the folder that year. There were other ideas that were better developed, some that I had been working on for months or years already. But this one, this little seed of an idea, it grew into a whole series of steampunk novellas.

Rebecca Diem at Can-Con 2017!

Thrilled to be attending the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts & Literature this weekend in Ottawa!

I’ll be reading Saturday afternoon and paneling on Sunday (see schedule below), but mostly looking forward to catching up with friends and talking sci fi & spec fic with fellow nerds. Maybe even visit a few favourite coffee shops while I’m in town?

Signed books will be available in the Dealers Room courtesy of Myth Hawker!

You can follow my adventures this weekend at @kthnxbex

#CurrentlyReading: Where to Buy the Tales of the Captain Duke

The book tour is finished, the gears and gadgets are packed away, and I’m now looking forward to a few months with no events so that I can get back to writing more stories!

But for those of you who want to get your hands on the print books, never fear! The Tales of the Captain Duke are currently in stock at a number of independent bookstores across southwestern Ontario.

Below is a list of bookstores where you can buy the Tales of the Captain Duke in print:

Rebecca Diem at Ad Astra 2017!

I’m thrilled to be joining Ad Astra 2017 this year! Below you’ll find my schedule, details of my panels, and when you’ll find me reading and signing books.

Don’t miss the reading Friday night where I’ll be sharing an exclusive preview from Tales of the Captain Duke #4: Of Tempests and Teacups!

Books will be available for purchase through Bakka Phoenix in the Dealer’s Room.

You can keep in touch or follow along on Twitter: @kthnxbex

Ad Astra Sci Fi and Fantasy Convention

Ad Astra | May 5-7, 2017 | Sheraton Parkway North | 600 Highway 7 East | Toronto, ON



8:00 PM (Aurora) – Reading

11:00 AM (Richmond CD) – Historical Fantasy
12:00 PM (Richmond B) – The YA Revolution
3:00 PM (Suite 1070) – The Tesla Tea Service
5:00 PM (Markham AB) – Autograph Session
7:00 PM (Aurora) – Reading the Revolution

11:00 AM (Richmond CD) – Disrupting the Narrative
2:00 PM (Richmond B) – Star Wars/Carrie Fisher Tribute

*more details below*

Interview: Rebecca Diem at Fan Expo Canada

I’m so thrilled with this interview by Off Beat Cinema at Fan Expo Canada 2016!

I was completely overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to Tales of the Captain Duke #3: A Gentleman and a Scholar. It was just incredible to spend a weekend meeting and connecting with fans. Watch closely for a brief cameo by John Barrowman himself!

There is such an energy and joy to fan conventions, and I think this video captures it beautifully.


For interview requests, please do leave a note. You can find more interviews, guest posts and podcasts here.


Best of 2016 – Rebecca Diem’s Recommended Reads

In between all the writing and touring and tweeting, I actually managed to make more time to read this year! As per usual, I am terrible at keeping track of the exact number, but I’d say it averages out to 3-4 per month, and more when I find a series I love.

So, while I begin my winter writing season and the rest of you wait for Book #4 of the Tales of the Captain Duke, I wanted to share some of my favourite reads of 2016. Books that captured my imagination and sent me scrambling to find the author on Twitter. Or, actually, a few I met on Twitter, who sent me scrambling to the bookstore find everything they’ve ever written.

I’m pleased to present my Best of 2016!*


A red-haired man stands in front of a large window in a library while looking out at an airship on the cover of A Gentleman and a Scholar

Some wounds run deeper…

After tragedy strikes, Clara and the Captain Duke must find a way to adapt and move on. With their trust shaken, they need to rely on new allies to save their friends… and discover who is behind the nefarious plot threatening their crew.

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon.ca

Buy on Kobo

I can say without reservation that it’s some of the best indie steampunk I’ve ever read, and I would recommend her to readers looking for high adventure in small packages
Mike Perschon, the Steampunk Scholar


A Gentleman and a Scholar Steampunk Book Launch Tour!

I am delighted to announce the launch of the thrilling third book in the Tales of the Captain Duke steampunk series, A Gentleman and a Scholar!

~~~A poster for the book launch tour of A Gentleman and a Scholar, featuring the book cover with a man staring out of a library window at an airship, and event dates and locations.


As of September 1 you will be able to purchase the book online and in select independent bookstores. On August 27, we’re throwing a special pre-release party in Toronto for fans and friends so you can be the first to get your hand on the print edition!

#AmEditing: First Drafts and Book Launch Planning

First Draft of the Tales of the Captain Duke #3: A Gentleman and a Scholar

First Draft of the Tales of the Captain Duke #3: A Gentleman and a Scholar

It’s done! The first draft of Tales of the Captain Duke #3: A Gentleman and a Scholar is in my hands. It’s ready to be torn to pieces and reformed before I send it off to my darling crew of editors and beta readers.

I find it thrilling, always, to see the book at this stage. When I read through, it’s exciting to see the parts I’ve forgotten and how they all fit together. It’s funny to find all the duplicate words or expressions, those quirks and bad habits of writers everywhere. Editing is the part where you begin to shape and polish what you’ve made. I get to see the areas that still need work and the parts that make my heart sing.

Editing the first draft of the Tales of the Captain Duke #3

Editing the first draft of the Tales of the Captain Duke #3

I’m especially pleased, because I sent a couple chapters I was particularly proud of to a beta reader and disability advocate, and her feedback was exactly what I was hoping for. Readers anxiously waiting to hear of Trick’s fate will not be disappointed, and I’m more excited than ever for you to meet Professor Sewell!

This book took longer than the first two. I had various reasons for this – the pressures of a day job, a terribly annoying vitamin deficiency – but really, I wanted it to be perfect. The stories of Clara and the Captain are beginning to intertwine. Cat and Mouse are growing up. Nessa is out for revenge, and Trick is, well, he’s not very happy at the beginning of Book 3. But I feel like I’ve managed to weave the plot threads together in a really beautiful and exciting way. And everything is coming together for Book 4, which will be the final chapter in this saga. (For now!)

It’s going to be a busy few weeks while I finish editing the book and begin the formatting. I’m also in the midst of coordinating the book launch tour for this September! I’ll also be appearing at the Coldwater Steampunk Festival on August 6 – and I’ll have a few ARCs on hand! Stay tuned for upcoming dates and giveaways, which I’ll be announcing in next month’s Airmail newsletter and through social media.

Until then, I’ll be right here:

Rebecca Diem at Early Bird coffee shop

Rebecca Diem at her new favourite writing spot

Rebecca Diem


  • / Comments Off on May the 4th Be With You! Celebrating Star Wars Day as a Geek Girl
  • Filed in: Musings

May the 4th Be With You! Celebrating Star Wars Day as a Geek Girl

May the 4th Be With You! I think it might have been my Grade 3 teacher who first spoke those words to me. Mrs. Dinsmore had that kind of humour, and she was a Star Wars fan. I do remember thinking it was hilarious, and repeating it to everyone. I was a geek girl from the start.

At Toronto ComiCon this past March, I decided to focus on getting pictures with all the Rey cosplayers. And oh. wow. They were spectacular.

Rebecca Diem, Author

Rebecca Diem. Photo by Britney Townsend

Rebecca Diem. Photo by Britney Townsend

One of my favourites from a recent photo shoot with Britney Townsend. Britney is doing a photo series featuring artists in their work environments. Mine, naturally, is a cafe.

#AmWriting: The Search for the Perfect Cafe Writing Spot

A café orphan finds her new home…

A few months ago, I was coming off of a really intense period of events, interviews and travel while promoting the second book in my steampunk adventure series Tales of the Captain Duke, looking forward to writing Book 3 at my favourite café, Dark Horse Queen West. As I waited for my Americano-for-here-with-room-for-milk, my barista and I chatted about the lovely fall weather, the book tour, their classes…and then they dropped this on me.

“Yeah, I’m really going to miss this place. But the one I’m going to will be closer to school anyway.”
“Oh no, you’re leaving!?”
“Oh…this location is closing.”

Writing the Tales of the Captain Duke at Dark Horse Queen West

Farewell to thee…

It’s hard enough when one’s favourite baristas move on, but to lose them all at once? To miss my daily walks down Queen St.? To let go of this perfect little café where there’s just enough busy and just enough quiet and the space is filled with happy, creative vibes? My heart was shattered. I was in shock.

It was a common reaction among patrons of this particular café. But the realities of Queen St. West is that rent is pushing out many of the spaces cherished by our neighbourhood. But I’m not here to discuss the gentrification or whether it’s truly necessary to have ten eyeglass shops in a three block radius, I am here to discuss the terrifying dilemma of finding a new café.

Happy Holidays From Rebecca Diem: The Adventures of Cat & Mouse #1

Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours! As a special treat for the holiday season, here is the origin story of Cat & Mouse, a short story I created for the Airmail newsletter. It’s the first in a new series of shorts following the exploits and escapades of your favourite sibling duo. My deepest thanks for being part of the extraordinary adventure I’ve had this year!

Sign up for the newsletter to get a special Christmas Eve story tonight and monthly updates  on the Tales of the Captain Duke!


Cat searched her bag for the last of the biscuits and came up with crumbs. She took a deep breath before uncorking the water flask and turning to her brother with a smile.

“Here you are! Just enough to wet your whistle.”

She dribbled some into Morris’ open mouth. He giggled and most dribbled down his chin. For the hundredth time that morning, Cat reminded herself that a toddler could not be counted on to understand the gravity of their situation.

“Now dinner!” he exclaimed.

“Not just yet, it’s hardly tea time silly boy. You wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite. Soon we’ll have a grand feast.”

“But I’m hungry now.”

“No, no, not yet. Here, want to play with the telescope again?”

Cat was very nearly at her wit’s end, but there was no time for despair. Not when they’d made it so far already. She helped Morris climb onto the musty armchair she’d pushed to the boarded-up window, peering between the slats at the bustling town below. In the distance, the new tallport stretched high into the air, with airships of every shape and size gliding to and fro. If only they knew which one they were looking for. 

NaNoWrimo, Writing Updates and Interviews, Oh My!

Dear Reader,

After a positively overwhelming month+ of events and happenings of varying degrees on the scale of “thrilling” to “OMG! I die”, I have returned to some semblance of normalcy. The primary difference being that there are many more of you encouraging me on my quest to finish Book 3! Delightful! (Current word count of the first draft is around 8,000 words and coming along nicely). 

Print Anniversary for The Stowaway Debutante

Exactly one year ago I was standing in the back of the Ginger Press Bookstore in Owen Sound for my first book launch party. I was wearing a red dress and the heirloom amethyst necklace I inherited from my grandmother. The books were arranged beautifully around a portrait of Queen Victoria by my sister and cover artist, Sarah, and all my family was there to celebrate with me on a chilly Saturday afternoon.

I was only going to print 50 books. I had launched the eBook edition of The Stowaway Debutante in August and they hadn’t sold well. Mind you, I was half terrified that people would read my book at that time. But my mother insisted I print at least 100, and I had a tidy little tri-city book tour planned for my hometown, university town, and the city I’ve fallen in love with.

There were maybe twenty people in the bookstore when MaryAnn introduced me. And I had not yet mastered my explanation of what exactly “steampunk” was. But then I settled onto a tall stool, opened my first book, and began to read.

Owen Sound Book Launch - The Stowaway Debutante

I remember the moment so clearly. I could hear the bell above the front door chiming as I wove the tale of Clara and her discovery of the gunpowder on the airship.

ding…ding…ding ding…..ding 

And the next time I looked up from the page…the bookstore was full. Packed. Standing room only, as people shuffled to the sides to make a little more room, and a little more room, as my community filled the space.

My heart beat faster, and I stumbled over a word. But I kept reading, and everyone clapped as the Captain Duke entered the scene.

I had no idea what to expect back then of releasing my little story into the world. I certainly didn’t expect to be here one year later, one thousand books later, typing this story for you.

Podcast Interview: Moving Sideways

A year ago, just before I released the print edition of The Stowaway Debutante, a friend put me in touch with photographer John Meadows for my first steampunk photo shoot. Now, I’m pleased to share an interview I did for his podcast On the Log discussing steampunk, writing, historical research, airship technology and a few behind-the-scenes looks into the Tales of the Captain Duke.

And as a bonus, here are a few of the photos from our October 2014 steampunk photo shoot!