Tagged alexia tarabotti

Upon the 8th Birthday of Soulless

Posted by Gail Carriger

Every year on (or around) October 1, Gentle Reader, I post a bit about the beginning of it all: Soulless. (Soulless, incidentally is on sale at $4.99 (ebook USA) so now is a great time to get others hooked!)

This year I thought I would take you back to the very beginning of everything.

Some time ago, around nine or ten years now, Gentle Reader, an event occurred.

Picture this, little Gail Carriger biding her time, humming softly to herself, in some unnamed hotel somewhere at some unnamed convention. She has just been to a panel called “Escaping the Slush Pile” and she is considering a new project.

She jots down some notes in a notebook.

They read as follows…

  • “I was born without a soul.”
  • Blah. Blah. Something about not being undead. Poke. Poke. No, decidedly alive. People make that mistake all the time, natural people, but the thing about the undead is they all have souls that couldn’t die – too much soul, really.
  • Me, I’ve none at all. Born that way.
  • Preternatural (preter)
  • Supernatural (super)
  • Natural
  • “I” therefore is just a whole lot more representative in my case.
  • I have identity – a heart. I can love and feel, but I’m null.
  • Undead call me a soul sucker, werewolves = anti-change, ghosts = grounds.
  • ? What supernatural creatures do I want in my universe?
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves
  • Ghosts
  • Remove Undead

There it is. The seed that became Soulless.

I had entirely forgotten that I wrote it in first person originally!

After those notes there is a line break, probably signifying a week or so, then a switch in pen color and tidier handwriting, a surefire indication that the Authorbeast has given the project Serious Consideration.

Via Carina “I shield in the name of fashion. I accessorize for one and for all.”

Then comes the heading:

Some Additional Thoughts

Under that are world building notes, including some on Victorian government and earlier history detailing how the immortals integrated. Then there’s some notes on Victorian Gothic romance novel structures, the beginnings of characters, including Alexia, Conall (who was Conall Goring, Lord Brindle), Ivy (who was Ivy Thistlewaight), Professor Lyall (who had no first name), and Lord Akeldama (who was Lord Ambrose, Earl of Serkan, although I have another side note that says Akeldama “field of blood” is more dramatic).

After that, there’s several pages of mini scenes in the sloppy handwriting of “middle of the night” or “just out of the shower” inspiration. (This is still how I write, sometimes jumping pages or even books ahead of myself to write a scene I see really vividly.)

The first scene written is the one between Ivy and Alexia in the park, but after that most of the others are between Alexia and Conall or Conall and Lyall.

And that, as they say, was that.

I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into the creative process of an unpublished author-baby.

Today the Little Paranormal That Could (original code name for Soulless) is eight years old.

And I… need breakfast.

Here’s to eight more glorious years!

Praise for Soulless

Readers are still finding it for the first time!

  • Kyromagica says: “Highly recommended – really enjoyed this. It had me laughing out loud a lot, generally sniggering in various rooms in our house, and even in public places… I had to stifle my hysterical laughter whilst drinking a cup of tea in Starbucks!”
  • Golidlox and the Three Weres says: “Soulless is one of the wittiest and smartly written books with one of the best heroines that I’ve ever read. Rather than rely on the traditional male hero to swoop in and save the day, Alexia embodies tenacity, critical thinking, stubbornness and independence. She is NOT helpless, she is NOT passive, and she is NOT stick thin.”
  • Delighted Reader says: “From page one, I was enchanted by this fun story. Alexia Tarabotti is a blend of sensible and scientific with quirky, strong-willed and heedlessness when she’s nosing out the answers. Conall Maccon is a good foil for her with his brash, equally stubborn and sensible nature alongside his willingness to see the true diamond in a lady that almost all of London society rejects or ignores because she is different.”

Do you want more behind the scenes info and gossip?

Exclusive stuff goes to my Chirrup members each month, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for October is Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.}


Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger will be available in digital form on Nov 5th (print & audio to follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.


  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy werewolf with a powerful crush. The pack’s started a business called Heavy Lifting. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Horse races, 1908. via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The True Story Behind England’s Tea Obsession

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

7 Key Things I’ve Learnt From A Year of Blogging

Book News:


Quote of the Day:

“I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

Occasional FAQ: The Ideas Behind The Parasolverse

Posted by Gail Carriger

Gentle Reader, I frequently get repeat questions at Q&A sessions. I’ve taken to answering them here on the blog for your edification. Without further ado…

What’s the name of your universe?

I’ve officially started calling it the Parasolverse.

How did you come up with the idea?

The simple fact is: this was what I wanted to read. I like steampunk but it tends to be a little too dark and riddled with technobabble for me. I enjoy urban fantasy but am not wild about a modern setting. So I thought I might just combine the two, and then shake it up with a jot of romance and a whole lot of comedy.

Then I started thinking about what kind of world could accommodate all these different elements. I’m familiar with the Victorian era and I find it a rich source of amusement in and of itself. Those ridiculous fashions and that obsession with etiquette seem the perfect time period to drop in vampires (dictating such things) and werewolves (chaffing against them) not to mention steam technology. It seemed to me that what comedy I couldn’t supply with plot and character, an alternate Victorian London could provide simply by being itself.

So where did you go from there?

After deciding on a setting, I started idly toying with the idea of how a person would become undead. After all, if vampires and werewolves are bouncing about, what’s to keep them from turning everyone supernatural? There must be biological procreation controls in place on an apex predator.

Taking into account what I knew of Victorian scientific theory, I hypothesized that an excess of soul, found in only a few people might account for bite survival rates. This led me to investigate the measuring of the soul (which an American scientist actually tried to do in the late 1800s). This, in turn, lead to the idea that if some people had too much soul there should be others who had too little, or none at all. And these people could act as nullifiers to supernatural abilities. Thus Alexia and the concept of preternaturals was born.

Want to know more?

{Gail’s monthly read along for January is A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer.}


  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: Developmental edit (third draft).
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.
  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Rough Draft Complete. On Lay Away.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some very unexpected gifts.
  • Competence (working title) ~ Custard Protocol Book 3
    Status: Outline
    Third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends.


Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1880 fashions, summer dress

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A 5-minute Guide to the House of Worth

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Does the Epistolary Novel Still Have a Place in Modern Literature?

Book News:

Fan Art Alexia Maccon by Rohan Elf

Quote of the Day:

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

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