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

Archives: Tales of the Captain Duke

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.

#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:

#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


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.

Now Available at Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop!

Now Available at Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop!

I’m so pleased to announce that Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop will be carrying the print editions of the Tales of the Captain Duke!

Tales of the Captain Duke

Tales of the Captain Duke

Toronto-area readers rejoice! Page & Panel is one of my favourite new bookstores, located in the Toronto Reference Library just north of Yonge & Bloor. You can browse the merch, pick up a new comic AND check out their extensive selection of local authors.

Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop

Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop now carries the Tales of the Captain Duke

I am a huge supporter of indie bookstores. There’s nothing quite like wandering into a space that’s been curated to help you discover new favourites and classics alike. And it’s so special to have the support of bookstores like Page & Panel and The Ginger Press (Owen Sound) as an indie author too.

There’s really nothing quite like seeing people get excited over a project you’ve held dear to your heart for so long. I’m so pleased to be able to share these books with you!

Rebecca Diem

Register for the monthly Airmail newsletter for updates, events, and exclusive access to bonus content for the steampunk adventure series Tales of the Captain Duke



I’m so thrilled to be joining Fan Expo Canada as part of their lineup of  scifi authors this year!

You can find me all weekend at Booth 4712 (North Building) with the Toronto Steampunk Society, and I’ll be appearing on the Steampunk Authors Panel: Words Driven by Steam on Saturday at 4:15 PM in Room 703 (South Building).

It’s my first major convention as a guest so come say hello and let’s celebrate all the fandoms together!

See you at Fan Expo!

Steampunk/SciFi author Rebecca Diem at Fan Expo Canada 2015

Steampunk/SciFi author Rebecca Diem at Fan Expo Canada 2015

Upcoming Events:

September 3-6 – Fan Expo
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Panel: Words Driven by Steam – 4:15 PM Saturday in Room 703
Booth 4712 with the Toronto Steampunk Society

September 26 – Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition
Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
Reading at 2:00 PM Saturday in “The Monstrosity” Tent

September 27 – Word on the Street
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
11 AM to 6 PM

Register for the monthly Airmail newsletter for the latest news, events, and bonus content for the Tales of the Captain Duke

Reviewsday Tuesday and a Tales of the Captain Duke Prize Pack!

I’m so thrilled to hear that you’re enjoying the books! Ratings and reviews are so important for indie authors so that new readers will take a chance on our work. Thank you to everyone who has shared these stories and helped to spread the word!

I’m hard at work on Book 3 of the Tales of the Captain Duke, and I promise you that Events of Particular Significance will be resolved in a satisfactory way. (You’re going to love Professor Sewell…)

A Steampunk Author Goes to Owen Sound…

…and ends up on the front page!

Steampunk author Rebecca Diem on the front page of her hometown paper

Rebecca Diem on the front page of her hometown paper with her steampunk adventure series Tales of the Captain Duke

Thanks so much to Nelson Phillips of the Wiarton Echo for the write up! It’s so exciting to celebrate with my hometown, especially as I began writing the Tales of the Captain Duke while living in the area.

The book launch tour for From Haven to Hell was a resounding success! I am currently sipping tea and trying to recover my senses after such overwhelming displays of support in Toronto, Ottawa and Owen Sound. Thank you to all my readers, old and new, and everyone who helped make this incredible dream come true.

Rebecca Diem

The Tales of the Captain Duke are available on Amazon and Kobo, and at The Ginger Press Bookstore in Owen Sound. Don’t forget to sign up for Airmail to get monthly updates with bonus scenes, cast interviews and details on upcoming appearances!

Tonight! Owen Sound Book Launch Party and Signing

Tonight! Owen Sound Book Launch Party and Signing

I am pleased to invite you to a steampunk soirée and book launch for Tales of the Captain Duke #2: From Haven to Hell at The Ginger Press Cafe in Owen Sound, Friday June 26 at 7pm.

I do hope you can attend!

If you’re not available this fine evening, you can check out the Events page for details on upcoming appearances, and don’t forget to sign up for the monthly Airmail newsletter for updates!

Rebecca Diem

RSVP – Facebook 

The Tales of the Captain Duke #2: From Haven to Hell is now available in print and digital! 

BOOK LAUNCH: From Haven to Hell

steampunk invitation

Invitation to From Haven to Hell, a Tales of the Captain Duke Book Launch

I am pleased to extend an invitation to From Haven to Hell, a Tales of the Captain Duke Book Launch this Sunday May 31st, 7:30 PM at Tequila Bookworm (512 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON)

There will be a reading and signing by Rebecca Diem, with refreshments appropriate to a steampunk pirate party and prizes for fancy dress. Print copies of The Stowaway Debutante and From Haven to Hell will be available for sale, along with prints of the cover art and other goodies.

SALE: The Stowaway Debutante

SALE: The Stowaway Debutante

In The Stowaway Debutante, an encounter with the legendary Captain Duke sets Clara’s life on a new course filled with airships and adventure.

Now, the Tales of the Captain Duke continues in From Haven to Hell, where the pirates return to the hideout to find the traitor in their midst and Clara must learn to trust her new friends before her secrets tear the crew apart!

Digital editions of The Stowaway Debutante are now on sale! For a limited time only, you can catch up with Clara and the Captain for just 99¢ in advance of the release of the sequel on May 31.


From Haven to Hell Cover Art!

Welcome to the Haven, the home of the legendary Captain Duke and his crew of airship pirates. Many thanks to the very talented Sarah Dier-McComb!

New cover art for Tales of the Captain Duke: From Haven to Hell by Sarah Dier-McComb

New cover art for Tales of the Captain Duke: From Haven to Hell by Sarah Dier-McComb

“The brass was tarnished and the paintings worn, but the manor itself was well-kept. Lush occasional chairs and small tables dotted the hall and the landing as they made their way up a grand curved staircase to the second floor. Faded damask fabric hinted at a former glory, now settled into comfortable squalor in its senescence. Light filtered in through tall windows. The furnishings were threadbare, but the house retained a sense of life. It carried itself with the impression of stateliness, humble in its decline.” – Chapter 3, From Haven to Hell

Over the next month, I’ll be posting treats here for the lead up to the release of Book 2 – Tales of the Captain Duke: From Haven to Hell, including character bios, sneak peaks, and the cover reveal.

Stay tuned for the official release date and launch parties!

Rebecca Diem

Ada Lovelace Day!

Ada Lovelace Day!

Today is Ada Lovelace Day! A day to celebrate and commemorate the work of female scientists and engineers. Ada Lovelace is considered to be the first person in history who made the conceptual leap about the potential for Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. Her work is the progenitor of our modern day computer coding. And yes, she was a real woman, the estranged daughter of Lord Byron, who lived only to 36 years of age from 1815 to 1852.

To celebrate, I want to share the origins of the science in my steampunk fantasy series, the Tales of the Captain Duke.

In the steampunk history of the Captain Duke, a royal declaration by Queen Victoria in 1866 intended to secure her hold on the throne after the death of her husband had the unintended consequence of legitimizing gender equality years before it actually happened in ours.