Tagged author

Gail Carriger Interviews Her Hero ~ Patricia A. McKillip

Posted by Gail Carriger

My darling, Gentle Reader, I am WILDLY delighted to welcome Patricia McKillip to tea at my blog today. Patricia is one of my author heros, I have loved her work for as long as I can remember and she is still one of my idols.

I was honored to be asked to write the foreword for the latest release of The Forgotten Beast of Eld, one of my favorite books of all time. (And it’s first time in ebook form!) And because I am an uppity bit of baggage, I asked her to drop by here for a little interview.

Please join me in a very warm welcome to the marvelous Patricia A. McKillip!

About You, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Coffee: black, preferably French Roast, and as soon as possible after my eyes open.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

High heels and a mustache. Just kidding. Mostly boringly tidy.

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?

You might see about one foot by three feet of empty Formica table space on which I write. The rest of the room is full of “stuff”: knickknacks, thingamabobs, little things given to me over the years, awards, books, CDs, candles, a glass octopus that I call Jeeves or Mrs. Darcy, depending, small vases, windup toys, a wooden backscratcher, this’s-and-that’s on the walls, including a Green Man face from Bath, artwork by one of my sisters, and magic wands made by another sister for her dance class. Possibly the most surprising things would be the college-ruled binder paper and gel pens that I write my first drafts—oh, heck, all my drafts—with.

If you drive, what do you drive?

I drive a 1999 red Chevy Metro with a stick shift.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone?

Chocolate in a plain cone.

(Gail pronounced Ms McKillip perfectly sane.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Old M*A*S*H episodes. P. G. Wodehouse. My husband’s eyebrows, upon which owls could roost, when he waggles them at me.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?

Since I’m ancient and try to stay out of trouble, a nice cold glass (or two) of Chardonnay.

I believe this might be the original cover.

About Patricia McKillip

Patricia Anne McKillip was born in Salem, Oregon (USA) on February 29, 1948 – a leap year baby! She started writing at 14, and according to the notes in the Riddlemaster trilogy,

“she has been writing ever since – except for a brief detour when she thought she would be a concert pianist.”

The House on Parchment Street has a neat quote about how she started writing,

“In a fit of boredom one day when she was fourteen, she sat down in front of a window overlooking a stately medieval church and its graveyard and produced a thirty-page fairy tale.”

She went to the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, and San Jose University where she earned a BA in English. She then went on for a MA at the San Jose State University. McKillip then moved to San Francisco, then to the Catskill Mountains in NY, then Roxbury, NY and now lives in Oregon.

She won the World Fantasy Award in 1975 for The Forgotten Beast of Eld, the Locus Award in 1980 for Harpist in the Wind (Riddlemaster Bk 3), and the Balrog award in 1985 in the short fiction category for “A Troll and Two Roses”.

About your book (The Forgotten Beasts of Eld)!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Dunno. There’s not much food in the book, except for basic stuff like mushroom stew.

What form does evil take within its pages?

The most complex evil is in my heroine herself, who makes some bad decisions because she is angered and hurt by other people’s evil toward her.

The mass market edition Gail owned as a child.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?

Certainly not my hero — I’m old enough to be his grandmother. But I wouldn’t mind kissing the baby, Tam. I grew up with younger siblings; by the time I was seven, I knew how to fold a cloth diaper. I’ve always loved babies.

What’s your favorite period in history, and does it influence your world building?

I’ve researched various bits of history: the pre-Raphaelites (“The Gorgon in the Cupboard”), Edith Wharton’s and Henry James’s time (“Edith and Henry Go Motoring”), plumbing in late medieval times (“Knight of the Well”); my latest research has been about Thomas Malory and the Grail legends (Kingfisher). I like doing research and most often do way more than I have to, because it’s easier and more fun than writing the tale.

One of the most accurate covers. (Possibly influenced by the Pern books?)

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?

My heroine, sometimes, for talking too much. Me, sometimes, for writing seemingly endless descriptions.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?

I don’t think there’s much humor in The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. A line or two here and there, maybe. If you blink, you’ll miss it.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?

Mountain air. Ancient books. Mushroom stew.

The Forgotten Beast of Eld

Young Sybel, the heiress of powerful wizards, needs the company of no-one outside her gates. In her exquisite stone mansion, she is attended by exotic, magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the treasure-starved dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon, tawny master of the Southern Deserts; Ter, the fiercely vengeful falcon; Moriah, feline Lady of the Night. Sybel only lacks the exquisite and mysterious Liralen, which continues to elude her most powerful enchantments.

But Sybel’s solitude is to be shattered when a desperate soldier arrives bearing a mysterious child. Soon Sybel will discover that the world of men is full of love, deceit, and the temptations of vast power.

[Gail’s dishonorable mention to the following two covers: one one because of the hair (?) the other because of all the fantastic beasts in this amazing book, unicorns are NOT among them.]

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • 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.
    The werewolves are back. There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy man mountain 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.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now in all editions.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900s via steampunktendencies

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Me at about the age I first read McKillip & now

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Young Victorian Croquet Player

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

For New Indie Authors: What I Would Do if I Were Starting Today

Book News:

Traveling Through Books says of Romancing the Inventor:

Carriger strikes again; she has yet to disappoint me with one of her pieces, novel, short story, or novella. This novella is a long-awaited story featuring Genevieve Lefoux. Madame Lefoux is one of my favorite characters in The Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School Series, so it is extra nice to get yet another glimpse of her later in life- after the Parasol Protectorate Series has ended.”

Quote of the Day:

“I saw all.
‘Jeeves,’ I said.
‘Sir?’
‘I see all. Do you see all?’
‘Yes, sir.’
‘Then flock round.’

~ Jeeves and the Impending Doom by P.G. Wodehouse

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

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

Romancing the Inventor

by Gail Carriger

Giveaway ends September 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Gail Gets Real About The Chirrup (Her Newsletter)

Posted by Gail Carriger

My dear Gentle Reader, some of you may have noticed I’ve been (not so subtly) encouraging you to join my newsletter over the past few years.

Why, Miss Gail, all this fuss about a newsletter?

Because, frankly, I know you probably like your social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, blog feed, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterst) etc so much better.

I get it, I do. I have my preferred social media ways to get information myself.

Here’s my reasoning…

This has to do with the unreliability of various social media platforms. I’m not naming names but certain parties over the past 9 years have accidentally…

  • booted me
  • threatened me
  • accused me of plagiarizing from myself
  • shut down entirely for several hours or days
  • suffered from DNS attacks
  • refused to tell my fans I had a book out because a scammer claimed to have my book out 2 months early
  • throttled my reach out to fans who have already come to find me and then tried to charge me large sums of money to get them back

Look, the Chirrup is the only guaranteed way I have to reliably get info to you. Frankly, it’s the only guarantee you have the you are getting info from me.

If you want to know things about my new releases, cover art reveals, sneak peaks, gossip, upcoming projects, current writing, and events that not yet out online, that’s in the Chirrup.

I will never stop trying to get this info out to you on other channels, even if sometimes it’s weeks late. However, I do get fatigued and exhausted at times by the sheer volume of my social media requirements…

Amazon | BookBub | Twitter |Goodreads | Goodreads Group |Author Page on Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest | YouTube | Retro Rack

I take breaks.

Break times I’m only promising you the newsletter. I allow myself to drop everything else.

I work hard to make sure the Chirrup is…

  1. infrequent
  2. not at all spammy
  3. light
  4. fun
  5. informative

I promise there is always some nugget of special information, or opportunity to win a box of swag, or secret insight into an upcoming story, often all three.

Alright, I hope I’ve enticed you to join up.

If that wasn’t good enough, here’s a peek at all the books I’ll be giving away via the Chirrup over the next year or so…

Not pictured are audiobook download codes, Bumbersnoot necklaces, swag boxes full of steampunk jewelry & costuming bits and so much more.

Righty, there you have it. Why you should join. What you get for joining. All the enticements.

Now, it’s my feeding time.

Yours as ever,

Miss Gail

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • 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.
    The werewolves are back. There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy man mountain 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.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now in all editions.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

Women Write About Comics says:

“Well folks, it’s happened. Gail Carriger wandered away from the Parasolverse, and the results are fantastic.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900s via l’ancienne cour tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Microphone Tribble

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Fashions for August 1852 (Finishing School time period)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List?

Book News:

Just Love says of Romancing the Inventor:

“Longtime readers will of course appreciate when favourite characters make an appearance – the humanisation (so to speak) of a minor recurring ‘love to hate him’ character was certainly a surprise, and as a fan of outsider POV getting to see them through new eyes is always a treat. But this is great jumping on point to start reading, and would definitely recommend this as a gateway to the rest of the Parasolverse!”

Quote of the Day:

“I cannot raise one eyebrow. So I have my characters do it a lot. I have this living vicariously through my writing thing DOWN.”

~ Gail Carriger

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


10 Things Miss Carriger Hates That Everyone Else Loves

Posted by Gail Carriger

For the sake of nothing else but my own amusement, Gentle Reader, here’s a Listical featuring the ten things I really do not like that everyone else seems to adore…

  1. Jets/bubbles on in hot tubs (those Jacuzzi brothers have a lot to answer for)
  2. Earl Grey Tea
  3. Firm mattresses
  4. Too many choices at a restaurant
  5. Designer labels
  6. Christmas music
  7. Mood lighting
  8. Puffy pillows
  9. Naps
  10. High tech fabrics

Bonus, 4 things Miss Carriger doesn’t mind that everyone else seems to hate…

  1. Long flights
  2. Short books
  3. Spreadsheets
  4. Color coding

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 0r 2019.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now also in audio.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

Rally the Readers says:

“The Sumage Solution is set in modern day San Francisco and is one smoking, scorching, smoldering paranormal romance. This might be the closest my Kindle Fire has ever come to, well, catching fire.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900s antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Rare Look Inside Victorian Houses From The 1800s (13 Photos)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Admitting to Writing

Book News:

G.L. Carriger Guest Blog on I Smell Sheep

Quote of the Day:

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


7 Side Effects of Being a Full Time Author

Posted by Gail Carriger

I’ve been a full time author for five years now, and I’ve learned a few things. Here, Gentle Reader, are some of the side effects of my life choices.

1. My spelling is worse than it ever was.

While my typing has gotten faster my accuracy certainly has not. Follow me on Twitter for the sad consequences of this fact.

2. I have never read that book you think I should have.

New book, old book, whatever the book is that you think I should read because of what I write, or assume I have read because of my genre. I probably haven’t read it.

3. I know about all the octopuses on the internet.

All of them. All the time. First.

Octopus Mug

4. My passion for the oxford comma is unbending.

I’m open to wiggle room on other points of grammatical enforcement, but you will pry the oxford comma from my cold dead calloused fingers.

5. Cocktail parties are a minefield.

What do you do?
I’m a writer.
What do you write?
Commercial genre fiction.

Then the conversation inevitably goes horribly wrong, either…

  1. I have to explain genre by using dumb Hollywood examples.
  2. They assume I’m some starving artist type who lives off my tech-bound significant other.
  3. They want to tell me all about the brilliant book they have inside them. (Which is invariably not brilliant and should stay inside, preferably buried with a small but elegant tombstone.)
  4. They want me to write the book of their: life, times, weak imagination.

Godeys Sept 1872

6. I have no sense of time

I never know what day of the week it is and I never know if it’s a national holiday. Ever. The number of times I have gone to the bank and then been confused as to why it’s closed are almost as frequent as the number of times I’ve gotten up and gone into the office, even though it’s Saturday.

7. There is no retirement, there is only writing

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 0r 2019.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now also in audio.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

Love Bytes says:

“And if that is how the author treats her secondary characters, you can be damn sure that her protagonists are wonderfully written. They have layers and flaws–some not so obvious on first or second inspection–and grow throughout the book in the way all good characters should.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900ongesoleil- “The Umbrella Maker” Studio Shin-e-Do ( Kobe, Japan ). End 19th century? Kimbei Kusakabe.(1841-1934). Photographer

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

New TSA Policy May Lead to Increased Scrutiny of Reading Material

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

My Top Five Suggestions for People Thinking about Writing a Book

Book News:

FanArtCharactersparasol_protectorate_sketches_by_terrizae

Quote of the Day:

The truth about Gail & tea comes out at last

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


5 Most Common Questions This Author Gets From Readers About Being An Author ~ Occasional FAQ

Posted by Gail Carriger

Well hello there, Gentle Reader.

I get a great many questions from readers about being an author. Many I could probably have guessed at and a few surprise me. Here’s a selection of some of the most common things I’m asked (online and in person) specifically about the author business side of things.

 

Part of Miss Gail’s Occasional FAQ series.

1. Where do you get your ideas?

My arse, if I sit on it long enough.
Seriously? I pay very close attention to my friends when they’re drunk, but usually inspiration comes to me when I’m contemplating the absurdity of the universe and at the most inconvenient time – like in the shower.

2. Was being an author always a goal for you?

You betcha. Along with sleeping in Pompeii, owning a motorcycle, traveling to Egypt, and eating guinea pig. Four out of five ain’t bad.

3. What are your least favorite parts to write?

The nookie and the humor. It’s true what they say; it is harder to make people laugh than cry. With the smooching scenes, I keep embarrassing myself.

4. What edition should I buy that gives the author the most money?

Honestly, the first time someone asked me this I was genuinely flummoxed. Now I realize it comes from a place of patronage, really wanting to support the author.

So, for my indie (self-published) projects, here it is in order of “the most money comes directly to me” via royalties…

  1. Directly from my website (via the Gumroad interface)
  2. Amazon digital (USA)
  3. B&N | Kobo | iTunes digital (USA)
  4. Amazon print
  5. Elsewhere print
  6. Subscription venues
  7. Short story reprints (anthologies/audio collections)

I genuinely do not know the order of…

  1. Traditionally published (digital/print/subscription/foreign editions & translations)
  2. Audiobooks (hybrid)
  3. 3rd party indirect sellers (on Amazon & elsewhere) (hybrid)
  4. Libraries (hybrid)

Yes, I can figure out how much I am theoretically owed via my contracts but with advances, flash sales, discounts, distribution, wholesale deals, subscription models, and licensing fees this is unbelievably difficult to tease out.

I don’t get any $ from…

  1. Used copies (print, hybrid)
  2. Charity auctions
  3. Charity foreign edition sales
  4. Giveaways

I’m talking purely fiscally here, there is a return on many of these, it just isn’t always in hard cash.

5. What’s the best thing I can do to help an author?

  1. Buy the book.
  2. Leave a review.

Other things are sweet and thoughtful: tribute, fan mail, cosplay, social media interaction, but honestly the absolute nicest thing you can do for any author is leave them a review.

Fan Art Conall by Matt Harrison via Twitter

I have a career because YOU spread the word and shared the love. For no other reason.

You.

Hey, thanks for that.

Yours,

Miss Gail

Want more like this?

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 0r 2019.
  • How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Featuring a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him). Coming 2018.

OUT THIS MONTH!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Gail’s guest blog post for Horn Book Review: Fashion-Forward Vampires and the Power of Humor in Genre Fiction

Book News:

Parasol Protectorate in Thailand (thanks Pete)

Quote of the Day:

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


How I Work: Gail Carriger, Authorbeast

Posted by Gail Carriger

So, Gentle Reader, I’m a bit of a Lifehacker follower. Back in 2013 I was particularly taken by their How I Work series. I thought it would be fun to answer their questions, and now here’s an updated version. I hope you enjoy!

Location:
Bay Area, Northern California, USA.

Current gig: 
Chronically tea addicted, octopus obsessed, shoe collecting, New York Times bestselling authorbeast.

Current mobile device: 
iPhone 5, iPad Mini

Current computer: 
2013 MacBook Air (named Hestia) – desperately in need of an upgrade

One word that best describes how you work: 
Efficiently.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? 
Apps: (most of my phone’s natives like Mail, Weather, Camera, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Notes) as well as Twitter, Facebook, Friendly, Feedly, Instagram, Google Maps, Stylebook, Yelp, Downcast, Chrome, and Scrivener iOS. All the airline apps for checking in to flights.
Software: Scrivener, Skype, Chrome, Firefox, Safari (yes all three browsers), iTunes, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Hootsuite, Pinterest, Wikia, Word (because I must for work).
Tools: Kindle Oasis, iPod Nano, yearly wall calendar, old street stomper bicycle with detachable shopping panniers, electric kettle or water boil coil, tea, Ikea mini reading lamps, my car, tote and carry-on suitcase, modular packing devices, Roomba, a bath tub (does that count as a tool?), and a gas stove.

(Although, truthfully, back in my archaeology days I can, and have, lived without all of the above except the iPod and tea.)

Tea zone in Gail’s Office

What’s your workspace like?
At home and in my office I have a standing desk made from a CB2 wet bar with a S-shelf for a riser, Perixx wireless keyboard and mouse, and Wellness mat.

Gail’s Home Desk Set Up

In the office, I also have two additional sitting desks which I use for editing and sewing projects. A reading/research/imagination nook, a sitting area and the all important tea station. I have a blog post with more pictures, including the before and after of decorating.)

Gail’s Reading Nook

What’s your best time-saving trick? 
Outlining and setting realistic goals. And tea.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Evernote.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My iPod nano, named Caper. I’m addicted to podcasts, I use them to stay in touch with the writing industry and the world, everything from news to entertainment to comedy to academic lectures about the Byzantine Empire. Because I live in California (driving!), bike to work, and travel a lot, audio is a great way for me to stay informed.

Pretty much any time I’m not writing, I’m listening to a podcast. Since I’m a girly girl who likes pretty clothes I can’t pocket my phone on my person and I’m not yet happy with wireless earbud offerings, a small iPod down the bra is essential to my mental well being.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Making tea.

What are you currently reading?
See Coop de Book at the bottom of this blog post.

What do you listen to while you work?
When I’m writing that’s the only time I’m not listening to a podcast. So, nothing.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Introvert, though I perform extrovert very well.

What’s your sleep routine like?
Regulated but restless.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.
Mercedes Lackey

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
No one is interested in a writer that doesn’t actually finish her novels.

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more.”

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Copy Editor
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1894 Seaside fashion plate shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

16 Cozy and Inviting Reading Nooks

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

What it Looked Like to Travel the World Solo as a 19th Century Woman

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Unpredictable Nature of a Writing Career

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


Fun & Practical Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

Posted by Gail Carriger

NaNoWriMo has ended and the holidays are upon us. So here are some fun ideas for gifts for the writer in your life, Gentle Reader.

Gifts for Writers

1. Profession association membership: Coupon to purchase membership for your budding author in something like SFWA (if they qualify) or RWA. (You can always give a coupon for drop-in attendance at the local RWA chapter, which allows your author to sample this experience.)

2. Octopus pen ($7).

3. Scrivener ($40-$45) & Scrivener iOS $15-30 & Scrivener for Dummies ($13 – $17): I’ll be moving to this processing program soon. Designed by and for writers. Every author I know who uses it, loves it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth a try.

4. The experience gift. Check about to see if the there is a local writers conference, for example Pike’s Peak Writers runs a wonderful annual event in Colorado Springs. Sometimes these are run through a local university and often local libraries know about such things.

5. Professional courses: offer up a professional course, evening class, or private lessons in something useful to a writer or a small business. All things from Scrivener, to Office, to the basics of bookkeeping to Photoshop 101 can be helpful for beginning writers.

6. Professional Magazine subscription: A subscription to Locus Magazine, or RT or something similar (depending on genre) is a nice jumping off point.

7. Do a “writer’s mug” take on the following idea.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Rough Draft.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: First draft done. Resting before second draft.
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Victorian Money Means Coins ~ Research Behind Prudence

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

This is one of those blog posts in which I demonstrate the nitty-gritty of research in an aggravatingly nit-picky way. This is an amended reboot from 2012 when I first started writing Prudence.

Read at your own risk.

To protect the guilty I’m not going to name any names, Gentle Reader, and I’d like to state up front that currency is not my expertise.

However, I was reading a book of the alt-historical romantic variety. The hero visits a whore in Victorian London, 1883.

For her pains he “pulled out far more notes than planned and handed them to her.”

I had to put the book down.

It was very upsetting.

Coins vs. Notes in Victorian England

BANK NOTES!

First, bank notes are drawn on a bank more like a cashier’s check (or an IOU) than paper money today, which means the whore in our above example would have to go into a bank to redeem her notes or find herself a very non-suspicious tradesman, in modern times this is a little like trying to break a $1000 bill.

ON YOUR PERSON?

Second, no one regularly carried notes or paid for anything with notes until well after the 1920s. Culturally, no one would carry that much money into the kind of area of London where whore houses are located.

For services people paid with coin, with tradesmen (who handle goods) the wealthy actually paid via their butler or valet or abigail’s coin, or on account, because it was beneath them to physically touch money.

Even, as the author was trying to get across, this was a highly generous gesture, NOT WITH PAPER MONEY HE WOULDN’T.

*HEAVY BREATHING*

We writers all make mistakes. I have made more than my share. And there comes a time when every historical author must stop researching and begin writing (or the book never gets written).

I do understand and believe that some modernization is necessary in alt-history genre fiction because most readers want their books to be fun and entertaining. It is our business, as authors, to provide that first. (Now for genres like historical fiction or biographies this is a different matter. I am speaking in terms of managing expectations.)

BUT IT’S MONEY

However, I do think something as basic as currency should be second knowledge if you are going to write in any alternate time period. It’s like getting the basic clothing terms correct. (In another unnamed steampunk novel, a corset was referred to as a bodice. FYI, both terms are incorrect. At the time, a corset would have been mainly referred to as stays. The bodice is the top part of a dress. Thus, I spent the entire scene confused into thinking the character in question was swanning around with only her torso dressed, rather than entirely in her underthings as was intended. But, I digress . . .)

A corset AKA stays

Godeys July 1872 Bodices

On Victorian Money (from Baedecker’s London 1896)

  • sovereign or pound (gold) = 20 shillings
  • half-sovereign (gold) = 10 shillings
  • crown (silver) = 5 shillings
  • half-crown (silver) = (2 shillings & a six penny piece)
  • double florin (silver – rare) = 4 shillings
  • florin (silver) = 2 shillings
  • shilling (silver & same size as a sovereign) = 12 pennies
  • six penny (silver) = 6 pennies
  • three penny (silver) = 3 pennies
  • penny (bronze) = 4 farthings
  • half penny = 2 farthings
  • farthing
From lot at auction.

 

I know, I know, overly complicated. Think back to that wonderful scene with the money exchange in Room With a View when Cousin Charlotte comes to visit Lucy’s family.

“In England alone of the more important states of Europe the currency is arranged without reference to the decimal system.”
~ Karl Baedeker, 1896

Victorian Money in Terms of Value

In 1896: 1 sovereign was approximately: 5 American dollars, 25 francs, 20 German marks, or 10 Austrian florins.

To reiterate: The Bank of England issued notes for 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pounds or more. They were generally not used in ordinary life as most people “dealt in coin.” Gentlemen and ladies, when shopping, either had a servant with them to handle the coin (including gratuities & all fares) or paid on credit (AKA account). A shop would then send a bill around to the townhouse at the end of the month on Black Monday, which would be paid by the house steward, accountant, or personal secretary. A gentleman handling his own money is either no gentleman or engaged in nefarious activities like gambling or trade.

Baedeker advises letters of credit (AKA circular notes) drawn on a major bank for travel, to be exchanged for local currency upon arrival. He also advises never carrying a full days worth of coinage about your person.

It’s important, as historical writers, for us to grasp a larger picture – so allow me to attempt to put this into perspective…

Middle class wages per annum 1850-1890:

  • A Bank of England Clerk £75 to £500
  • Civil Service clerk £80 to £200
  • Post Office clerk £90 to £260
  • Senior Post Office clerk £350 to £500

So let’s say a middle class wage was anything from £75 to £500 a year, that’s £1.44 – £9.61 a week for a relatively comfortable lifestyle.

Since there is no £1 note, to “pull out far more notes than planned” as our unnamed author writes above, and give such to a whore, means at least £5 per note. More than one means at least £10. Not only should this character not have been carrying that kind of money, he just tipped that woman better than one week’s salary for the upper middle class to someone who likely could never break that bill, today that’s something on the order of $2,500.

A gentleman of lower standing, say a younger son with a Living could expect something similar to upper middle class £350-500.

Titled or large landed gentry could pull in anything from £1000 to £10,000 a year (what, you thought the 99% was a new thing?).

A dowry for landed country gentry’s daughter of few means would be about £100 a year.

Still, even the highest aristocrat wouldn’t tip in notes, ever. If for no other reason than it’s the kind of thing the neuvo riche, or An American might do. (It’s worth noting that poor were a great deal poorer, earning shillings per week or less.)

Later on, this same author writes “cost me twenty quid to delay matters” of bribing a coroner to delay a funeral. That’s a heavy bribe, about $5000. I couldn’t find any information on coroner’s pay in Victorian times (the job was either uncommon, not yet official, or went by another name) so let’s say grave digger, which is well below middle class, so a £20 bribe would probably be about a year’s income for the man.

End of Rant

A Budget from !9th Century Historical Tidbits

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. Or should I say “out of my chest”? Chink chink.

So, if you have a Victorian setting (really, anything up through the 1920s) what do we pay with?

Yes, that’s right children, coins!

This is also a rather depressingly clear indication of how Gail Carriger spends her weekends. I am such a dork.

“I may be a chump, but it’s my boast that I don’t owe a penny to a single soul – not counting tradesmen, of course.”
~ Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

How does this relate to Prudence?

Well might you ask. What I had to do (or thought I had to do) was determine the conversion rate between pounds and rupees traveling from England to India in 1895.

Unfortunately, Baedecker didn’t write for India.

What I ended up having to do was make some very loose estimations based on the above assumptions of middle class wages and the information I could source, which was monthly accounts for a household of four living in India on a diplomat’s wage between 1880 and 1897 (something on the order of £500 per annum). Here’s my fun chart:

Here’s hoping the above was, if not fun, at least informative or, if you yourself are an author, helpful.

Prudence by Gail Carriger

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