Tagged cons

ECCC ~ The Comicon to Beat

Posted by Gail Carriger


I have just returned from Emerald City Comicon (ECCC), Gentle Reader, and what a pleasant time was had by all. The only other comic con I have attended is San Diego (SDCC). While I enjoyed it very much, it was, frankly, overwhelming.

In which I meet DOOM


Emerald City Comicon Report

ECCC had everything I liked best about SDCC, but on a much more manageable scale. It has fewer actors and thus less star power (obv. no LA), but since that’s not really my fandom, I didn’t miss it. I have a Nor Cal lady’s suspicion of LA whenever it rears its beautiful plastic head. I liked that ECCC felt more down home and properly fannish. It really was all about the comics.

 Yes, I did try to dress on the first day to match the convention’s color theme.

Seattle seemed to handle the influx with aplomb. They even rolled out nice weather for us. The con-bar was good (if overwhelmed). I liked my hotel (there was a pool, a bathtub, and a decently priced veggie omelet on room service, all I really care about). I even managed to figure out the convention center lay out, after a few days. I never had to wait too long in any line (several of the bathrooms are gender neutral, which always helps with the line situation).

All in all, I highly recommend it and I intend to return again… if invited of course.

The Details of Gail in Seattle

I actually arrived a day early with the AB in tow, to spend time exploring the city. We started out by tracking down the Crumpet Shop for breakfast (on the recommendation of the awesome Piper J. Drake).

It’s a tiny place but well worth a visit. The crumpets were delicious and they offered butter and proper Marmite. Which, as this is basically my standard breakfast, made me endlessly happy.

The tea was excellent too. I had the loose leaf Assam (of course) a nice full leaf, rich aroma, malty and subtle. Highly recommended. Whole milk available to add, as it should be (but often isn’t).

We then visited the fish market. Where I admired this fine fellow:

We then trekked all over the city, visited Serious Pie (also thanks to Piper) and other yummy food spots. That evening was Drinklings (a private gathering for writer and other industry pros) and was, as always, a blast.

via @photosandbacon  Seattle, Washington, c.1891, Puget Sound, Aerial, “Bird’s Eye View”

Friday I had two panels, each followed by a signing. My first panel was standing room only, and I had thought it would be your standard world building 101, but the moderator kept us at a clip, my fellow panelists (Lisa MantchevDavid Levine) were witty and smart, and the audience questions were engaging. The second panel was the Orbit crew (Seanan McGuire, Sam Sykes, Brent Weeks). I’ve said it before: I feel like Orbit picks authors based on who is the biggest punk-arse at the bar. Sam started us off by stealing my hat and accusing Brent of something unmentionable and it went downhill from there. I had no less than three people come up after to say that they had never before laughed so hard at a panel. I call that a win.

After that, it was off to an evening of bar crawling and debauchery. As you do. Memorable moments include meeting a young man at the Boom party who has a new urban fantasy coming out based on bartenders fighting crime with cocktail magic (the mind, she boggles), several excellent cosplays, too many Moscow mules (I blame Myke Cole), and a great deal of gossip all of which is now quite fuzzy. That’s OK, I shall enjoy being shocked by it all over again at the next con.

The next day I had a signing at the Badali Jewelry booth. The ladies were most welcoming, the Bumbersnoot necklace was much admired, and I still had time to nip over and up to University Books to sign stock for them. So if you missed me, Seattle, you can get a signed book from them until they run out.

Then I walked the length of the city to Seattle Mystery Bookshop for my off site signing. (I found Gelatiamo on the way where they had Diplomatico, my favorite pastry, and Affogato, the only way to drink coffee). Everyone not a the con met me there, and a few hardy souls followed me over. I had a super fun Q&A with the die hard fans ~ I love you all so much!

 With a visiting Alexia and Sophronia!

I was gifted some wonderful loot including a hat, some buttons, a calligraphic letter, bookmarks, tea, octopus necklace set and so much more. Everyone is always so generous and crafty in Seattle.

The AB being exhausted from a long hike up a mountain, I crashed the Worldbuilders charity gaming event (well, OK, Pat said I could) and played games to raise money for Heifers International. It’s a fun idea, you pay to attend and then you can play your favorite board or card games with famous authors and comic book artists. There was also a silent action, a raffle, snacks, and a bar.

Peter Orullian (@PeterOrullian) took this photo as evidence. With @bobproeh

Yes I, even I, will play a game on occasion if is is antiquities based and for charity. I settled into 7 Wonders. And quite enjoyed myself.

With Peter Brett at the bar after.

All in all, a wonderful trip. I look forward to returning in the future.

As ever, you don’t have to take my word for it. Aloisius and I ~ The Adventures of Literary Miscreants reports on my bookstore visit, Gail Carriger, Steampunk Maven.

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via books0977-tumblr
Mrs. Henry Standish née Hélène de Pérusse des Cars (28 March 1882).
Paul Nadar (1856-1939).
Charenton-le-Pont, Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.jpg

Here shown posing with a book and umbrella [no, parasol says Gail], Helen Standish, a woman of the world known for her beauty, was a familiar figure in French and British society. She received in her Paris salon many renowned artists and inspired Marcel Proust.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Adorable blowfish hat featured in my signing line on Saturday

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Matrimonial Advertisements in the 19th Century

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
The Ready to Write Bag


  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. In production. Releases July 19, 2016 in print & eBook to US.
  • Poison or Protect ~ A Delightfully Deadly Novella.
    Status: With developmental editor. Cover art reveal to come. Release date to come.
    Gail’s first foray into hybrid land, romance featuring a several-times widowed Preshea and the gentle Scottish captain who could change everything.
  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella.
    Status: Awaiting first pass edit. Chasing cover art.
    Gail’s second foray into hybrid land, LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor whose too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Gail Carriger’s Scribbles! 


 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (July 19, 2016)

 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;
The Curious Case (featuring Alessandro Tarabotti)

Book News:

Quote of the Day:
“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”
~  Oscar Wilde

Want Gail in you inbox once a month? Get the Chirrup!
Gail on Facebook & Twitter & Goodreads & Tumblr.
Gail’s fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!

Gifts for Frequent Travelers (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


This is the last entry in my Tis The Consumerist Season series…

Some fun gift ideas for the frequent traveler in your life whether they be a touring author, like yours truly, a business woman, or beyond. As you all know I’m obsessed with packing and I travel all the time, these are a few of my favorite things, Gentle Reader.

Gifts for Frequent Flyers

Lewis N. Clark Travel Laundry Soap 10 pack ($7).

Woman With A Parasol – Retractable Badge Reel ($10).

Aluminum business card holder that looks like a tin suitcase ($10) comes in black and silver.

Runsible Spoon ($7) BPA-Free Tritan Spork with Full-Sized Spoon, Fork and Serrated Knife Edge. Multiple colors, passes TSA (or at least is has for me the last 20 times I traveled).

Clear2GO Water Bottle with Filter ($8) multiple colors.

2 straps pure silk black sleep mask, ($9) this is my favorite best-fitting soft sleep mask and I FAR prefer two smaller straps, I think it fits better.

Super Soft Footsie Socks ($10), multiple colors.

Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Liquid 10ml 3 Count ($11).

My favorite silk sleep mask and the only one I can wear comfortably ($10) because it has multiple thin adjustable straps and is nicely wide but not too wide.

Travelon Set of 7 Packing Envelopes, Assorted Sizes ($15).

Travel PU Leather Waterproof Passport Cover Holder ($16).

Macks Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 10 Count Pack of 6 ($20). These are by far the most comfortable earplugs I have ever found. This is a lot in bulk, but if you’re lucky you might find them at your local drugstore.

Memory Foam Evolution Neck Pillow ($40). Comes in multiple colors.

Super spendy option that I covet: 100% Cashmere Cozy Travel Set with Blanket, Eye Mask, and Bag ($240).

I tend to wear T-shirtsto fly, they just work out to be the best base for layering. Here are a few that have caught my eye. I tend to like men’s shirts because the neckline is higher and the sleeves longer (better for flying).

Lastly, the obligatory scarf. I know I’m not alone in that I constantly get cold, and then hot, and then cold again. Scarves are the best solution.


Pride and Prejudice Darcy Scarf ($27). There are tons of Dracula and Poe infinity scarves as well, but I’m not a fan of the infinity scarf, not as versatile.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, skinflint alternative is Ridiculous by D.L. Carter.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1806 via Ashmolean Museum @AshmoleanMuseum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Lord Maccon Character Cookie

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Early Trains Were Thought to Make Women’s Uteruses Fly Out

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
5 Best-Selling Female Writers You May Not Have Heard Of


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Out now!
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Handed in. Available for pre-order, releases July 19, 2016 in the US.
via michaelmoonsbookshop-tumblr
Michael Moon’s Bookshop Booktokens

Gail Carriger’s Books! 

 The Finishing School Series (1850s ~ completed)
1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies,
3 Waistcoats & Weaponry, 4 Manners & Mutiny


The Parasol Protectorate Series (1870s ~ completed)
1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless

 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (July 19, 2016)

Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels (1870s)
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;

Book News:
ayvalentine of Reads 4 Tweens says of Manners & Mutiny:
“There’s more on the line as the series draws to a close, and the prices paid are higher, so it’s a tad darker than the other books. It brings Sophronia’s school career to a logical if explosive close, and makes me hope for the further adventures of Sophronia and Soap. It also makes me want to reread The Parasol Protectorate series to see where exactly the Finishing School series fits in and where it overlaps!”

Quote of the Day:
“I suppose he used to tell himself that he could take them or leave them alone, and then found—too late—that he couldn’t.”
“It is often the way, sir.”
~ Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Gail’s fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Returned from LepreCon

Posted by Gail Carriger


Hello my dear Gentle Reader, I have returned from the wilds of Mesa, Arizona and LepreCon 40.

Guests of Honor via ‏@IcyCosplay twitter ~  self with @steamcrow @HandVDesigns

Mesa was an odd sort of place where the weather listed for my final day was: Dust. I don’t know why but I found this hilarious.

However, the company was charming, if unvaried, and I poodled about meeting several long-standing chums and readers for whom it was a first time pleasure for some and a lovely reunion for others.

with Dan

My favorite parts of the program were the panel on branding, the signing line, and of course, the tea party and informal chat.

via ‏@LepreconInc twitter ~ Tea Time with @gailcarriger

Thanks so very much to all of you who made the effort to see me. I am so sorry if I missed you this visit. Hopefully, next time.

And now, back to work with me, I have an edit pass to finish and a deadline to make.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

with two of my readers via Cassie Zweig ‏Twitter @cmzweig

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

by the pool

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Curling irons for a man’s moustache

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“In introducing yourself give your name audibly; or what is still better, if you have a card about you, present that; and she should do the same in return.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)


Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. November 4, 2014. Cover art to come.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Print pass (3rd edit) now, release date March 17, 2015.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins in July.


The Books! 

The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies

 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)


The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt

Book News:

Loot from LepreCon

Quote of the Day:
“He was still trying to cope with the fact that the angelic, ponytailed heroine had unexpectedly transformed into a peculiar creature with pink hair-curlers dotted all over her head and an old-fashioned white nightdress which covered her in lace from neck to wrist to ankle. It gave the overall impression that she was a large, queenly piece of sharp-cornered furniture.”
~ Ink Black Magic (Mocklore Chronicles) by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

All About Steampunk Fashion (Occasional FAQ)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Gentle Reader, I have a busy day today getting caught up on all my correspondences and paperwork ~ which is terribly Victorian of me, when you think about it. (Except that the correspondences are all electronic.) I am getting a late start because I am a lazy so-and-so. However, The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition is coming up (March 12-14, 2010 in Emeryville, CA) and in honor of that I am dropping this reboot of an interview about steampunk fashion that I did for the steampunk fanzine Exhibition Hall.

Please note that the post is image-heavy and that the accompanying images are ones ganked off the net. If you find one and it belongs to you I am happy to either take it down or provide appropriate direction/link/credit. Due to a computer snafu I have lost all of this information myself. Thanks for being understanding.

What defines Steampunk Fashion to you? How do (or do) you see fashion defining the Steampunk movement?
Steampunk fashion tends to be an amalgamation of Victorian fashion with metallic industrial detailing (usually brass) and modern gothic overtones. I’ve defined it in the past as the lovechild of Hot Topic and a BBC costume drama.

I do believe that the attire of steampunk is hugely relevant to the movement as a whole. It’s one of the things that sets steampunk apart from other SFF subgenres. The fashion melds a clear aesthetic with an intrinsically steamkpunk sense of creativity and community. It’s true that some people are more into the literature and others more into the craftsmanship side of steampunk, but even those folks usually nod in the fashion direction with a vest, or a pair of goggles, or a newsboy cap.

Where should one begin? With the Character or with the Clothing?
That is really up to the wearer. I began with the clothing, but that’s because I’m not much of an actor and I simply enjoy the style above all else. Also I incorporate steampunk into my everyday life as well as wearing full on costumes to larger events. This means I like separates and small details, like jewelry, that I can mix with “normal” garb. Starting with a character might work better for those who are planning on attending a faire or convention, or those who aren’t inveterate shoppers.

Character or Clothing also depends on ones approach to making a costume piece. I visit vintage, army surplus, and thrift stores where I find things and then modify them to become steampunk. Most of the time these pieces then dictate the finished outfit and character. But if you are the kind of person who can work from a pattern then you have the luxury of choosing where to go from the start and thus may want to have a character in mind.

What do you see as the relationship between Character and Costume?
This relationship often emerges in the kinetic or mechanical aspect of a costume. Someone will come up with an awesome motorized arm, or a great mad scientist doctor self-folding kit, and suddenly a character will emerge from that one detail.

I think it’s important not to become too carried away by character when still in the planning stage. I’ve known people who look endlessly for the perfect piece of costuming, yet they could have something wonderful if they were more flexible. As much as the clothing should adapt to your character, it is possible for the character to adapt to a new clothing discovery as well.

What is your best advice for someone just getting started with Steampunk fashion and characterization?
Be open to the possibilities. One of my most commented upon pieces is a corset I tore apart and covered in buttons and brass spoons. Yes, spoons. People love to see the silly and the unexpected.

Shop in a different area of the thrift store. For example, women’s vests sometimes also fit men and are usually more Victorian looking. The bric-a-brac section often has bendable bits of metal. Buttons can be changed, pockets can be added, sleeves removed. When you’re costuming, try to train your mind to see what a piece of clothing could be, rather than what it is. Also keep your eyes open at places like Target, Kohls, or JC Penny. Steampunk turns up unexpectedly everywhere.

I also suggest watching a costume movie from the time period you are interested in, and then extrapolating. If you’re fascinated by the Austen dandy driving a high flyer, how would that character dress to drive an ornithopter?

+ =

How would the engineer of a train differ from the engineer in a dirigible? How about Gaskell’s doctor who has to treat steam burns instead of cholera? If the lady is cross-dressing, why is she doing so? Does she have a profession that requires greater mobility? Is she riding the latest and greatest steam powered bicycle? What would have had to carry about her person if she were?

Lastly, there are certainly elements not well represented yet in the steampunk world: minors, maids, footmen, drivers, hostlers, postmen, sailors, clerks, foreign dignitaries, cooks. Yet if we imagine a Victorian world where steam power dominates, these people are its cogs.

I recall you leading a panel at the California Steampunk Convention on Thrifting and Modding clothes for Steampunk – could you speak a bit about that?
I have a blog entry with detailed notes and pictures from the panel as well as some links and other tips on thrifting. Also you can check out the shop section of my webpage, it has a list of steampunk and Victorian vendors online. Even if you don’t have the funds to buy, you can get some great ideas on what to look for while you’re out thrifting.

Beyond the perhaps de rigeur goggles, what item or items, if any, do you see as quintessentially “Steampunk”?
Some kind of hat or hair ornament is pretty common, anything from an embellish band to a tiny top hat or a massive a modified eyepiece. Vests, corsets, kilted up skirts, knickerbockers, and boots tend to abound. Deconstructed clocks, gears, leather bands, metal buttons, and military detailing are common as well. The color template leans in favor of brass and brown, although goth wear is still there with it’s black and silver. I always enjoy costumes that really adopt the Victorian delight in bright colors and the expansion of British trade that brought with it vibrant Indian muslins and patterned Chinese silks, but they remain comparatively rare.

What resources can you recommend to those wanting to become more involved with the fashion side of Steampunk?
The steampunk fashion group on flickr has over a thousand images that will certainly inspire. There are a number of thriving LiveJournal communities as well. I like [info]steamfashion best, the posts are monitored to prevent off-topic advertising, and it is comprised of a really helpful group of people, always supportive and willing to answer questions or concerns. I also suggest [info]lamodeillustree , which is wonderful for those of us interested in the actual attire of the day. Just going on to Google Images and typing in “steampunk fashion” yields up some amazing results. And in spring of 2008 Ralph Lauren put some seriously great turn of the century style starter pieces down the runway. It’s definitely worth checking out. If you are still hungry for more steampunk check out the steampunk section of my website.

Quote of the Day:

“And this one’s jusssst right…”
~ Rachel

An Unexpected Review ~ Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Research - Tea and BooksSome of you know, Gentle Reader, that I review professionally. That is, I am paid to read children’s books and write about them in 60 words. So I almost never do it here in my blog. These books are chosen for me but always fall within my supposed area of expertise (YA & MG sci-fi/fantasy/historical or non-fiction for younger ages in historical/archaeology/anthropology/social sciences). And, Gail, you might ask, how does one become an expert on such topics? Search me.

Anyway, what this means is that I have from 6 to 12 books to read a month. What that means is I have precious little time to read anything else. However, Jane True and Alexia have been nattering away recently and I thought it might be a good plan for me to set aside some vacation time to read Nicole Peeler’s Tempest Rising.

The Sub-Genre
I like urban fantasy but I am cautious in which urban fantasy I read, as I mostly do not like a modern setting or anything too dark. I enjoyed Patricia Brigg’s werewolf stuff (although she sure does like raping her characters ~ really, not my thing), and ten years or more ago I loved Mercedes Lackey’s Knight of Ghosts & Shadows (AKA elves in LA) and Children of the Night (AKA super sexy French vampire). (I think, sometimes, we do not give Ms. Lackey enough credit for single handedly holding down the sub-genre of urban fantasy well before it was a glimmer in Meyer’s sparkly little eye.) I’ve danced the paranormal polka with a few other authors and been disappointed. Recently, I have added more hopefully to my ever-growing Amazon wish list and ever expanding pile or too-read books, but I’m terribly wary.

The Confession
But, I do like Nicole. We are twitter buddies. She’s a fellow academic. She drinks (a lot). She is hilarious. She has this awesome skull belt. So I read her book, and here, ladies and gentlemen, is my take. You must consider it biased. What can I say? It’s an opinion and it’s mine ~ of course it’s biased!

The Cover

Boy did this cover cause a lot of controversy. There was hate and vitriol spread about the net, then there was love and adoration flowing forth like balm to the wounded soul of the art department. My thoughts? I’m not geeky enough to be an anime fan. Sorry, but there it is. I like me some Ranma ½ but that’s about as far as I’ll commit. I find the rabid BOOBS! female objectification thing BOOBS! objectionable and the big eyes eating the face kind of creeps me out in a alien-bug-head way. I should also state that I don’t like the tramp stamp leather crop-top headless stripper motif of most other urban fantasy either. In fact, I don’t like normal straight up fantasy covers much ~ yawn fest. So this cover? Not really my thing. However it is: striking, eye catching, mildly hypnotic, and certainly draws you to pick up the book ~ which is the point. So it’s doing its job.

The Review
(Remember what I said above, 60 words or there about, that’s what I’m trained to do. I’ve never done it for an adult book before, so here it goes.)

Jane lives in a small town that hates her, with lesbian best friends, an abandonment complex, and unexpected heritage swimming her direction. Sometimes she acts dumb, and I wondered if this was realistic (how would I treat a dead body?) or plot artifice. The book’s language is light and comfortable with humorous threads throughout making it a genuinely joyful read.

Notes & More Personal Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book but I have some tiny quibbles. A few small town hiccoughs worried me. I grew up in one in California (not Maine), and there is no “police” there’s one or two guys from the next slightly-larger-town-over and they’re called by their names, as in Sheriff Bob. But maybe things are different out on the East Coast. I also found the constant modern-culture references a little distracting. I might not have noticed if I hadn’t read this same objection in someone else’s review. But, see above about my avoiding contemporary settings as a rule.

Here’s what I loved.
1.) Nicole has this awesome casual writing style that just makes the book so darn easy to read (and not it the dumb-down vocabulary kid’s meaning of the term “easy”). There’s no work to reading it and I love love love that. I’m so tired to books that self-consciously remind me I’m reading them. Oh, you know what I mean. This one just moves along, like a movie, no concentration needed, and that is a really good thing. So comfortable was I, in fact, I didn’t even notice until page 94 that it was written in first person, which I normally don’t like.
2.) From knowing Nicole online I wasn’t surprised about this next point, but there’s a metric ton of humor bubbling throughout Tempest Rising. Much chortling resulted.
3.) And she gives us (my personal favorite) some seriously fabulous characters of doom! There’s Grizelda the drag queen trapped in a lesbian’s body (named after a character from Cats?), Anyan the hellhound with a thing for naked half-selkies, Ryu the vampire in tweed and white shoes (hot, but I’m sorry True-honey, so fricking gay), Russ the shape-shifter who’s retired to life as a pet dachshund, Miss Carol who may be some distant progeny of Miss Ivy Hisselpenny’s, and, of course, Jane herself. I found myself getting a little sad when we left the colorful cornucopia behind and had to get on with sex and plot and such. I could read a gossip column from the local paper just about these characters. Blog hint at Nicole. Hint. Hint.

I have only one last thought. And it’s a snarky one. This is what the Meredith Gentry books should have been.

P.S. Screw the vampire, it’s all about them weredoggies.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Conventions & Writing by Mary Robinette Kowal

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
Karissa says, “This was a fun read; very creative and fast moving.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon and Powell’s have posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book.
Blameless: Edits are back, that’s what I’ll be doing all day today.

Quote of the Day:
That crafty little minx, I thought, as I realized what was happening. She’s one of them . . . she owes me fried cheese for keeping secrets. In my world, fried cheese is the gold standard.”
~ Jane True (Nicole Peeler)

Gail’s Dos & Don’ts of Writing Conferences (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Miss Manners

How to act at a con . . .

  • Do: Wear deodorant.
  • Don’t: Wear cologne or any perfume that costs less than $30. Better nothing than cheap.
  • Do: Wear nice clothing and possibly a “talking point” peace of jewelry, pair of shoes, or T-shirt.
  • Don’t: Wear shorts or anything so old it’s pilling, has holes, or is threadbare.
  • Do: Ask people questions about themselves, it’s everyone’s favorite topic.
  • Don’t: Talk politics, religion, relationships, or medical problems.
  • Do: Check your teeth for lipstick and food, your nails for dirt, and your glasses for smudging.
  • Don’t: Forget breath mints.
  • Do: Smile.
  • Don’t: Hunch over into yourself and mumble.
  • Do: Obey the 1 – 3 – 5 rule (1 shower a day, 3 square meals, and at least 5 hours sleep)
  • Don’t: Dance or sing unless you’re a professional.

One final word of warning.
When asked the question, “How are you?” An honest answer is NEVER appropriate.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Some seriously fabulous teapots

Your Tisane of Smart:
Geologic podcast talked squirrels taking out power lines. Fuzzy terrorists!
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Someone elses dos & don’ts at writers conferences.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
Apparently the cover isn’t vital! My first ebook review. “The romance was believable and did not offend my X chromosome, yet made my Y chromosome beg for more.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book!
Blameless: Back from editor with edits to do.

Quote of the Day:
“Writers seldom write the things they think. They simply write the things they think other folks think they think.”
~ Elbert Hubbard

World Fantasy Day 4 ~ Sunday November 1, 2009 The End

Posted by Gail Carriger


The last day of World Fantasy was rather a recovery period. I tried, unsuccessfully, to kidnap my editor but we ended up eating breakfast at the hotel and mostly staring at each other dumbly with hangovers. After that, I double-checked the suite to make sure it was nice and clean (or as clean as possible after that kind of party), changed, and attended the World Fantasy Awards Banquet on Ken Scholes‘s arm. The food was delicious, the company excellent, and the speeches, blessedly, short. Can’t ask for a nicer way to end a weekend. Except that I returned home to find the car unpacked and my darling mum vacuuming the living room. Best mum evah!

One last thing, the boys have begun calling me the Princess of Steampunk, I accept this accolade with all the pink frilliness it deserves, and will attempt to come up with an appropriate steampunk costume homage to She-ra as a result. But, I demand a tiara!

Now, just in case you don’t trust my opinion here are some others blogging about World Fantasy:
Donwong Song ~ editor at Orbit
Devi Pillai ~ my editor at Orbit
Lucienne Diver ~ agent extraordinaire and author fabulouso

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Sunday World Fantasy Awards Outfit

Your Tisane of Smart:
Roman-era cemetery uncovered near Hebron
Your Writerly Tinctures:
How Does an Author Gain Trust of His/Her Work?

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
Kind thoughts from Pure Imagination Blog. “Gail Carriger has created new series that will have everyone hooked.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”
~ G. K. Chesterton

World Fantasy Day 3 ~ Saturday October 31, 2009 BOOK LAUNCH PARTY! (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The Great & Fateful Soulless Book Launch Party . . .

Massive party of doom! Spent the morning prepping deserts, heating savory puff pastry, last minute shopping, and picking flowers with my mamma. Marshaled the first wave of troops at 3 PM, packed car and headed over to hotel in caravan of three cars (for various logistical reasons), and commenced set up. Put team Cute Beams & Best Dressed Press on distribution lace froofroos and decorating, team Tunstell & Proxi Armenian Lover on booze, team Least Weasel on tea, team Mum on flowers, and team Professor Dufflesworth on general odd jobs. Around 6 PM the second wave arrived: Lor, Professor Lyall, Will, Katie, Chris, Kimmie, Ritchie, Nessa, Kitty, Britt, Ivy Hisselpenny, Captain Featherstonehaugh, & Melissa ~ and we had FOOD!

Food ~ Savory

  • Fig & Onion Tart
  • Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Bear Claws
  • Roasted Red Pepper & Cheese Vine Squares
  • Apples & Cheddar & Walnuts
  • Petite Quiche Lorraine
  • Petite Quiche Florentine
  • Snodgrove’s Delight Watercress Sandwiches
  • Egg & Mayonnaise Sandwiches
  • Cucumber Sandwiches
  • Cheese & Chutney Sandwiches
  • Cheddar Chive Scones with Spicy Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese
  • Pickled Onions
  • Mum’s Special Scotch Eggs & Chutney
  • Mushrooms stuffed with Spinach & Cheese & Dill & Walnut
  • Ricotta & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Croissants
  • Escargot Brioche

Food ~ Sweet

  • Assorted Cookies
  • Quisnel’s Candied Orange Peal
  • Iced Homemade Shortbread
  • Carmel Bordeaux
  • Lemon Bars
  • Swiss Almond Crunch
  • Chocolate Bordeaux
  • Swedish Ginger Snaps
  • Treacle Tart
  • Lemon Mint Turkish Delight
  • Vanilla Meringues
  • Mincemeat Tarts
  • Lemon Turkish Delight
  • Macaroons
  • Raspberry Mousse Chocolate Cups with Berry Clotted Cream
  • Espresso Chip Squares with Coffee Mousse Layer Cake

Rach, Iz, Lor, Will, Katie, Kimmie, Nessa, Kitty & Melissa transformed themselves into my “staff” and worked their steampunk magic gliding about in Floote-like glory with tea and trays off food.

Chris took himself out into the Hallway to act as town crier. Britt began snapping photos. Phran became Locus Press in action.

Savi became the bionic bartending machine.

The four characters took on full measure of their personas, complete with flirting, chatting, accents, and meaty sandwich hidden in waiscoat pocket.

Everyone sang me “Happy Book Day” I warned them we’d get slammed around 10 PM. Door opened at 8 PM and . . . we were slammed. It was pretty much packed until around 10:30.

Some highlights:

  • Jude offering to get me tape for my poster ~ Borderlands is like Floote, deadly useful.
  • Tor editor Liz’s steampunk outfit with its tiny gun that dropped down a little flag that said “STET.”
  • Phran’s expression when she ate treacle tart for the first time. “Wow, this is deliciously disgusting!” “Now you know why it’s funny in the book.”
  • Jack dragging me about to meet one important person after another, which was very reminiscent of BEA.
  • Savi carding my editor. Editor’s response: “Best party EVAH, I just got carded by an Armenian lover!”
  • Brent Weeks and company torturing said editor with booze, pointed questions, and possible YouTube humiliation.
  • Melissa receiving a marriage proposal over her amazing homemade shortbread, which earned said drunken coast guard the unenviable name of the “Shortbread Fiancé.”

Yeah, it was a lovely party. There’s a whole bunch more photos over on flickr. Here’s Orbit’s summation if you are hungry for more, and one of my fellow Orbit author’s, the lovely Mr. Bennett also has some very nice things to say. (No, Austen fans, not that Mr. Bennett.)

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Book Launch Party Outfit

Your Tisane of Smart:
Remains of 1,000 people recovered at medieval site
Your Writerly Tinctures:
A different POV on agent hunting

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
Short a sweet from Reed Now Sleep later “What I can enjoy is this new stake-and-crumpets Victorian steampunk series: The Parasol Protectorate.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
“Stupidity is no excuse of not thinking.”
~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec


World Fantasy Day 2 ~ Friday October 30, 2009

Posted by Gail Carriger


Spent the morning recovering from the parties from the night before and getting a Marcel Wave in my hair (ah la Annie Lennox). After that I liaised up with J. Daniel Sawyer my date for the evening (and the producer of the most excellent audio of the first chapter of Soulless).

Headed off to the Orbit cocktail party wherein I ran into many fantastic people including a whole host of fellow Orbit authors, a number of agents, and, of course, the suspiciously dapper Orbit team (who were very much “in da house” including Tim, Devi, Donwong, Jack, & Alex).

Dan, self, Alex.

Returned to the hotel and went to the signing room to hang out with Ken. Only signed 3 books, but got photographed with a goat and tortured fans by switching name cards with Ken. “Why Mr. Scholes you’re not quite the man you were yesterday.” It’s the little things.

Then went for a very brief swan about the party floor, visited both TOR and Locus. The highlight was running into Lee Modesitt who actually liked my book. I had not exactly thought him my demographic.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Friday Orbit Cocktail Party Outfit

Your Tisane of Smart:
Youngest Moche noble yet at Sipán site in Peru.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Tips for aspiring writers

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
All About Romance reviews Soulless. “The charms of the book lie in the author’s steampunk Victorian London (dirigible rides above the city are all the crack) and the detailed, but never info-dumpy way that she builds it; wickedly smart dialogue; highly likable primary characters and satisfying secondary ones; and a story that moves along nicely. All good. Really good.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
“I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”
~ Peter de Vries

World Fantasy Day 1 ~ Thursday October 29, 2009

Posted by Gail Carriger


So much to tell about World Fantasy. Usually, I try to blog during a con but this one hit me broadside. I spent the days madly editing the Third Book and the evenings swanning about the parties. I shall try to relay all relevant details, so much as my brain, fogged with four days of booze, minimal sleep, and small talk can recall. Please be patient with me, I’m not as young as I once was.

Wednesday morning I scooped up the lovely Ken Scholes from the airport. He landed early and shamed me by working on his book before I even got there (we both had #3 due at World Fantasy) ~ an industrious gentleman our Mr. Scholes. We headed off for breakfast and then hit the shopping big time ~ I had a massive list for the party on Saturday. Ken, I would just like to say, in a booze-finding machine.

We returned around tea time, changed, switched cars, and headed into San Francisco early for the Borderlands authorfest signing. “Early” because I was afraid there would be Bay Bridge fall out. The fall out happened to be that no one else was driving in that part of SF, so we arrived very early. Valencia Street was playing host not only to our little event but to a TV shoot and a suicide attempt. It was swarming with constabulary. (Not because of the SF/F authors mind you. Can you just picture that? Oh no! Borderlands will be lousy with fantasy authors ~ quick call the SFPD!) We consumed some delightful Thai food and then joined the madness of multiple authors and wine. I stuck a tiny drinks parasol in my hair and it was all downhill from there.

Next morning I hit the keypad and finished the third book, emailed it off to my editor without a final proof. (Very, very risky given my spelling propensities). Then headed in for a TV interview with Kimball Johnson of Pixel Media for a possible program. Francesca Myman from Locus and the infamous Jeff VanderMeer met me, we signed obscure paperwork, and then sat and chatted in front of cameras. After that I caffeinated myself at the bar and met first Travis Heermann & then John Grace of Brilliance Audio. John distinguished himself as my first pro fan! Unfortunately, I had to dash off to Blake’s reading, after which he and I meandered around together gossiping.

Bar seemed slammed and so I nipped home to eat, watch Project Runway, and change, because one pair of stilettos was paining me and I needed a different pair, which meant had to alter the whole outfit to match. I returned to the convention with all intentions of hitting the party floor, only to run into the rowdy Jabberwocky crowd at the bar (Eddie may just possibly be the most adorable agent in NY). Briefly met Brent Weeks (more on that good gentleman later), got stalled there talking to Peter V. Brett, and ended up being harassed by the Coast Guard.

Look at me, I’m hating life.

Escaped evil clutches of Jabberwocky for the party floor, where Blake and I made the rounds and finished the evening sitting on the couch in the Con Suite with two TOR editors at our feet ~ can’t ask more than that.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
WF Thursday Night Parties

Your Tisane of Smart:
Lady of Pacopampa: A woman born to rule in Peru
Your Writerly Tinctures:
All about bizarre love triangles.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
Lovely little review from Dargie. “It’s a well-balanced story that never takes itself too awfully seriously.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”
~ Terry Pratchett

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