Tagged etiquette and espionage

Behind the Magic ~ M&M Finishing School Extras – Women’s Education

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The Final Finishing School Book, Manners & Mutiny, releases next Tuesday. Eeep! Also, I just learned that Imprudence is available for pre-order here in the US. (Possibly elsewhere, but I can’t check that.)

 

Meanwhile, I had a wonderful time doing the Dork Forest with Jackie Kashian.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the research I did for the Finishing School series on girls’ schools and education.

  • 1848 Queen’s College, London = first women’s college
  • 1850 Miss Frances Mary Buss (1827 – 1894) starts the North London Collegiate School, hands over to a board in 1870 = first public day school (yes, Preshea’s last name came from her.)
  • 1858 Miss Dorothea Beal (a831 – 1906) appointed headmistress of Cheltenham Ladies College (founded 1854)

 

abellefilleart- tumblr: The Love Letter, Gustave-Leonard de Jonghe

 

Expelled = Sent Down
Suspended = Rusticated (to my great sadness I never got to use this word in my books)
Grounded = Gated

 

the-vortexx-tumblr Victorian slang terms you never knew existed

 

Traditional Lessons

  • History
  • Geology
  • Languages – Latin & French
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Literature
  • Daily Walk
  • Etiquette
  • Formal Graces
  • Study Hall
  • Read the Classics
via artofweddingspdx.com via enchanted-weddings tumblr

 

Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Lessons

  • Knot & embroidery communication
  • Breaking and writing in code
  • Picking pockets
  • Lip reading
  • Political history
  • Manipulation of perception
  • Assessing a room
  • Recruiting your network
  • Sabotage
  • Psychological warfare
  • Sign language
  • Search patterns
  • Spotting other spies
  • Maps & Tracking measurements
  • Recognizance

As you can see I used some of the notes, but not others. Also the language in my notebook is modern. I change the vocabulary and so forth for the names of the actual classes, and try to add twists of humor to the titles and descriptions.

steampunktendencies-      Giant Key West Chicken by Derek Arnold

 

The old rule of life was that Parliament Sessions don’t open until the frost is out of the ground and the foxes begin to breed. So politically minded aristocracy would begin to drift back to town in the early spring. The Season was then broken up into various necessary-to-attend events for girls coming out (age 17).

  • March: Non political families returned to town.
  • April: everyone is in town, Parliament is in session, and The Season begins in earnest.
  • May: Royal Academy of Art Annual Exhibition, Derby, and various court balls + concerts + private balls
  • June: Ascot
  • July: Henley Regatta and climactic cricket games: Oxford v. Cambridge and Eton v. Harrow
  • August 12: End of The Season, adjournment of Parliament, opening of grouse hunting season.
  • September 1: Partridge season
  • October 2: Pheasant season
  • November, first Monday: Fox hunting.

College sessions roughly followed the parliament/hunting model.  Christmas was spent at home in the country, January-March was Session One, then short Easter break, April-July/August was Session 2, September-December was Session 3 for Cambridge. Oxford had 4 sessions. Can you see why I avoided the whole messy business in my books?

Now this is for the mid to late Victorian Era (which is from 1837 to 1901, I tend to round 1840-1900). If you are interested int eh Regency Ear just prior (the time of Jane Austen) then here is a blog post on that subject: When was the London season?

“Miss Temminnick, you are in receipt of the highest marks we have ever given in a six-month review. Your mind seems designed for espionage.
Nevertheless, you veer away from perfect in matters of etiquette. Do not let these marks go to your head; there are many girls at this school who are better than you.
Our biggest concern is what you get up to when we are not watching. Because, if nothing else, this test has told us you are probably spying on us, as well as everyone around you.”
~ Gail Carriger, Curtsies & Conspiracies

 

1890s advice via questionableadvice tumblr

“The parents, loving their children too much to be incommoded themselves by any thing that their offspring can say or do, seem not aware that they can possibly interrupt or trouble the rest of the company.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

{Gail’s monthly read along for October is Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler}

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Conseiller des Dames Date-  Monday, August 1, 1853 Item ID-  v. 36, plate 57

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
The Hidden Graffiti of Tate Britain

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Old Foodie: School Dinners, 1913

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Women and the Cliches of the Literary Drunkard

Quote of the Day:
“I suppose he could have changed,” Neal said dryly. “I myself have noticed my growing resemblance to a daffodil.”
The other pages snorted.
Kel eyed her friend. “You do look yellow around the edges,” she told him, her face quite serious. “I hadn’t wanted to bring it up.”
“We daffodils like to have things brought up,” Neal said, slinging an arm around her shoulders. “It reminds us of spring.”
~ Tamora Pierce, Page: Book 2 of the Protector of the Small Quartet


Behind the Magic ~ Finishing School Extras

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So when I was doing research for the Finishing School series, Gentle Reader, I did a bunch of research into the Enigma Project.

 

It totally fascinated me (yes I’ve watched the various movies). Not a lot ended up making it into the books, but here is a peek at the vocabulary notes I took.

My first copy of Manners & Mutiny arrives in the office.

 

You can determine for yourself, Gentle Reader, what was actually utilized in the series.

  • Clandestine
  • Station X
  • Dispatches
  • Code Name
  • Cypher
  • Deception
  • Sensitive Information
  • Restrictions
  • Security
  • Secrets
  • Top Secret
  • Agent Provocateurs
  • Intelligencers
  • Unauthorized Disclosure
  • Compromise
  • Seal of the Confessional
  • Resources
  • Personnel Department
  • Protective Security
  • Vetting for Government Installation
  • Counter Espionage
  • Counter Insurgency
  • Domestic Surveillance
  • Registry

And then at the bottom in big letters I have scrawled:

Clandestine Scientific Information Act of 1885

Of course I ended up cutting the “Scientific” because that made it the CIA. And I can’t resist stuff like that.

the-vortexx-tumblr Victorian slang terms you never knew existed

 

More Resources on Victorian Spies

 

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

 

The Book Nut says of Etiquette & Espionage: “Carriger has a way with this genre that makes it seem much more effortless than other authors who have tried the same.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Bon Ton Date-  Tuesday, March 1, 1853 Item ID-  v. 36, plate 31

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
19 Brilliant Umbrellas That Will Make Rainy Days Fun

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Female Spy: Mata Hari

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
8 Badass Ladies Who Changed Literature Forever

Quote of the Day:
“This is Waycross, after all—sneaking around in dark alleys is practically the national sport.”
~ Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald, By Honor Betray’d


Etiquette & Espionage eBook Sale ~ only $2.99!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

In conjunction with New York Comic Con ~ not to mention the release of the trade paperback edition of Book 3, Waistcoats & Weaponry ($5.50) and the upcoming final Finishing School book, Manners & Mutiny on Nov. 3rd ~ my publisher, Little Brown, has put Etiquette & Espionage eBook on sale for $2.99 here in the US.

Finishign School Banner at New York Comic Con 2015
via Pixie Wings on FB

I know, that’s a whole lot of Finishing School all at once. For those of you who missed the sweet eBook deal last February this is it. I can’t imagine LB will put the books on sale like this again anytime soon. So if you want E&E for your digital collection there is no time like the present… costs less than a latte and twice as frothy.

Claude Monet (French painter, 1840-1926) Ladies on the Beach with Parasols

{Gail’s monthly read along for October is Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1851-55, Hungary via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Fashions for September 1905

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Historical Werewolf Trials Lost in View of the Witch Craze

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Forget the Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story on Blurbs?

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! In production.
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft.



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 (forthcoming)

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

Book News:
My dear friend Alex tells tall tales (everything is entirely true, of course) Gail Carriger: Manners Unabridged.

Quote of the Day:
“What are men to rocks and mountains?”
~ Jane Austen

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

Food! Gail’s 9 Favorite Dishes, 1864 Etiquette & Victorian Food Euphemisms (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Something a little different today, Gentle Reader. As many of you know I am a bit of a glutton, I love me my food. Hence the reason food always gets into my books. One of my favorite compliments is when someone tells me that reading my book made them hungry.

So I’m a Bay Area girl, born and raised (then escaped and returned multiple times). Here are my 9 favorite things to eat in this area, if you are ever in town.

  1. Fish tacos from El Caballo Wraps, Alameda
  2. Tea leaf salad, spicy okra and tofu, lamb kabat followed by coconut fritters from Burma Superstar, San Francisco
  3. Roasted pork loin with fontana cheese sandwich with hot chai (no milk) followed by lemon curd potted cake from The Tea Room Cafe, Petaluma
  4. Cod salad with fennel, romaine, and a lemon dressing followed by a flat white with pear polenta upside down cake from Little House, Alameda (sadly no longer on the menu)
  5. Thom yum soup followed by dancing prawns and banana leaf wrapped salmon from Royal Thai, San Rafael
  6. Pulled confit pork with orange, jalapeno, and avocado sandwich and a side salad followed by a latte from Cafe Q, Alameda
  7. Fig champagne cocktail with the full cheese sampler followed by confit duck with new potatoes and arugula salad from Girl & Fig, Sonoma (they no longer do this version of the duck, sadly)
  8. The Bento Box meal with salmon sushi dominating from Balboa Sushi, San Francisco
  9. Fresh OJ with Eggs Alexandra and a massive cinnamon bun (to share) at Los Gatos Cafe, Los Gatos

To “cut the eggs,” instead of to beat them. The motion of beating eggs does not cut them. “Braiding eggs,” is still worse.
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

1811 Fun Euphemisms Around Food

  • Bow-wow mutton ~ Dog’s flesh.
  • Devil’s dung ~ Assafoetida.
  • Field lane duck ~ A baked sheep’s head.
  • Hasty pudding ~ Oatmeal and milk boiled to a moderate thickness, and eaten with sugar and butter.
  • Rum ruff peck ~ Westphalia ham. http://www.schallerweber.com/product/westphalian-ham/
  • Salmon-gundy ~ Apples, onions, veal or chicken, and pickled herring, minced fine, and eaten with oil and vinegar.
  • Sandwich ~ Ham, died tongue, or some other salted meat, cut thin and put between two slices of bread and butter: said to be a favorite morsel with the Earl of Sandwich.
  • Sweetheart ~ A term applicable to either the masculine of feminine gender, signifying a girl’s lover, or a man’s mistress: derived from a sweet cake in the shape of a heart.
  • Yarmouth pye ~ A pye made of herrings highly spiced, which the city of Norwich is by charter bound to present annually to the king.

~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue 
 

We advise our New-England friends to eschew, both in speaking and writing, all Yankee phrases that do not convey the exact meaning of the words. For instance, to “turn out the tea,” instead of to “pour it out.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

  • When eating fish, first remove the bones carefully, and lay them on the edge of your plate. Then with your fork in your right hand, (the concave or hollow side held uppermost,) and a small piece of bread in your left, take up the flakes of fish.
  • Pouring butter-sauce over any thing is now ungenteel.
  • It is an insult to the company, and a disgrace to yourself, to dip into a dish any thing that has been even for a moment in your mouth. To take butter or salt with your own knife is an abomination. There is always a butter-knife and a salt-spoon. It is nearly as bad to take a lump of sugar with your fingers.
  • In fact, nothing should be sucked or gnawed in public; neither corn bitten off from the cob, nor melon nibbled from the rind.
  • Ladies no longer eat salt-fish at a public-table. The odour of it is now considered extremely ungenteel, and it is always very disagreeable to those who do not eat it.
  • Champagne is very insidious; and two glasses may throw her into this pitiable condition.
  • Having unfolded your napkin, secure it to your belt with a pin, to prevent its slipping down from your lap, and falling under the table.

~ Further etiquette advice around food from the The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864. I bet there are some things following that you didn’t know about how to eat like a lady. I was certainly surprised!

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for January? Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

thehystericalsociety-tumblr Cora Urquart Brown-Potter, American stage actress – c. 1880s

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

backstoryradio tumblr Lantern slides showing movie theater etiquette and announcements, circa 1912.
via Library of Congress.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The mechanical leech, the anti-crime bowtie, and seven other preposterous Victorian inventions

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Convention Tips, Tricks and Guides

PROJECT ROUND UP 

Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last Releases November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First Release date March 17, 2015 available for pre-order!


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 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

Book News:
Reads 4 Tweens says of Waistcoats & Weaponry, “This is a swashbuckling installment in the always amusing series. Some readers may miss the school and wish for less romantic angst, but overall it’s light and amusing even as the world as they know it is threatened.”

Quote of the Day:
“No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”
~ Christopher Morley

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.

5 Fun Bits From Gail’s Reddit AMA – Including How to Foreshadow (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Yesterday, Gentle Reader, was utterly consumed with a Reddit AMA, book tour itinerary madness, and Prudence proofs. But I did get some great news…

Etiquette & Espionage wins French award

Prix Elbakinnet

for best translated young adult novel!

Le squee!

And now here are 4 fun bits and 1 serious craft question from yesterday’s AMA:

1. Which superpower would you choose?
Gills. Always and forever. I want to swim underwater without having to come up for air. I’m a simple girl.

2. Favorite sport?
To play? Water polo. I was on the swim team for years, I’m a vicious little fish. To watch? American football. I can’t help it, it’s like Roman War tactics on the field. When I lived in the UK, I’ve was seen to watch the occasional bit of rugby. I am ashamed.

3. If you could would you let Lord Akeldama dress you?
Yesssss, but… only the once.

Ensemble 1790s Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 

“Nevertheless we favor every effort to stop the extravagant use of dry goods and millinery.”
“As it is, many of our young men are padded to a superlative degree, and 
have corns and bunions on every separate toe from wearing shoes too tight.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

4. Do any teas remind you of certain characters?

Well I always think of Alexia with Assam. And I imagine Sophronia is kind of a Lady Grey type. Rue has a rather epic encounter with chai in the first Custard Protocol book, she likes it but her preference is probably for something even more daring… and alcoholic.

5. When you put in Easter eggs or foreshadowing, do you write them in on first draft, or does it come later?

Some of them come out in rough draft, although I write them not really knowing why. Some of them come in rewrites as intentional foreshadows for the end of the book or series. I recently just did my 6th draft of the final Finishing School book and only then realized why one character, from book 2, had behaved in a specific way! Often it’s like that, the characters surprise me.

Occasionally, I will drop in a thread knowing I might need it, usually I have it planned, sometimes I go overboard and drop in too many (that happened with Changeless and is one of the reasons Biffy never got his HEA). As for other Easter eggs, or cookies, I call this “rewarding the careful reader.” I’ll drop in a side character or a call back pretty often in one book referencing an earlier appearance ~ these days it could be from one series to another. Usually it’s not super relevant to the plot of that particular book, just for fun if you’re a devoted fan of the world, and kind of gives a nudge nudge wink wink moment to the careful reader. But if you aren’t a big fan, I don’t want you to feel like you are missing something. It helps that I write comedy. So what in one book can simply be a character for amusement, in a later book can have unexpected significance in retrospect. It makes me seem very clever when really, initially, I was just after the laugh. As a writer, it only really works with side characters who have little screen time and fewer tapestry threads to mess with. Does that make sense?

As for the world call backs, I’m a rereader, myself so I write with the intent that after each new book comes out, if you go back and read any of the previous ones, new things about the world are revealed in light of the latest revelations.

All of this has had some fun results where some of my readers are taking bets on which Finishing School character is (blood) related to which Parasol Protectorate character. Because they know I couldn’t resist such a temptation. They are currently employed trying to figure out ages and such to make certain the timing works. I just sit back and smile evilly.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1903 tumblr fleurdulys-      Portrait of Lydia Vasilyevna Sychkov, the Artist’s Wife – Fedot Sychkov      1903

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

 

Robe à Transformation  Worth & Bobergh, 1862-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
On Morning Calls and Hosting Dinner Parties, Balls and Routs in the Late Regency

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Why and How to Outline (given some of the Reddit discussion yesterday)

Book News:
Audiobook Review of Curtsies & ConspiraciesThat’s What She Read – by  Michelle says,

“Moira Quick returns as the narrator for this quirky series, and she is delightful. She has an adorable way of modulating the volume of her voice to fit the sneakiness of a scene. Also, she delivers the most satiric sentences with an innocence worthy of an award. She capitalizes on the spirit of the novel to create a performance that breathes even more life into Ms. Carriger’s eclectic world.
As always, Ms. Carriger’s balance between satire and earnestness is laugh-out-loud funny.”

Quote of the Day:

“She looked away. Her attitude seemed to suggest that she had finished with him, and would be obliged if somebody would come and sweep him up.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

Upon the 6th Birthday of Soulless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

First, some lovely news, Gentle Reader.

 Etiquette & Espionage is on sale today for $2.99 through Apple, as part of their “50 Great Books, 50 Great Series” in the US & Canada.

And now, on to your regularly scheduled blog post…

October 1, 2009 a silly little book hit the market.

A very nervous debut author hummed and hawed over her offering. Would anyone actually like it? It was such an odd mash up of paranormal, steampunk, and comedy – who would enjoy such a ridiculous story? Were there readers out there irreverent enough to enjoy whimsy?

SoullessFINAL

Well, Soulless turns five years old today. The silly little book that I thought would find a home in only a very few people’s hearts seems to have miraculously wormed its way out into the world and touched many.

FrenchSoullessPaperback copy JapeneseSoullessCover

Soulless has now sold into 14 different territories for translation. There’s been a graphic novel manga version (which itself is now translated into French and German) and an omnibus. It’s been optioned for TV. It’s spawned a dress up doll, various videos, fan art, several tea parties, audio books, cosplay, and an iPhone app. There is even a fan site!

SoullessAUDIO SoullessFinalCover copy

Little did I know how much that one book would so utterly change my life.

In these last five years:

  • After getting my second masters degree I put my PhD on indefinite hiatus.
  • I gave up teaching archeology, discontinued my experimental work, and stopped my field visits.
  • Basically, I switched careers.
  • I relocated twice.
  • I visited 9 foreign countries promoting the books, 5 of which I’ve never traveled to before.
  • I made countless new friends and been blessed with a chance to visit old ones.
  • I watched the steampunk movement grow and expand.
  • I went to conventions and signings all over the world and learned valuable lessons from fellow authors.
  • I ate hundreds of foods, dishes, and sweets I’d never tried before.
  • I wrote 10 additional books: 4 followups to Soulless, 1 YA sci-fi, and 4 YA Finishing School books, 1 Custard Protocol book.
  • And, best of all, I got to meet my readers: some here on the blog, some on twitter, some on Facebook, some in person ~ all of you so warm and fun and strong and smart.

 

OctopusSpineProof

There have been good reviews and glorious ones, nasty gripes and soundly presented critiques. I’ve tackled tough times in social media, and made more than my share of online mistakes. But in the end, it always came back to Soulless and the writing. Did the book make you smile? Then I did my job.

So, thank you so very much, Gentle Reader, and if you have the time or inclination please raise up a teacup in honor of Soulless, who’s original secret code name, at the dawn of this blog, was “The Little Paranormal That Could.” I guess Soulless could and did.

And if you put a spot of amaretto in your tea, well, I won’t tell.

Thanks for five glorious years!

SoullessOriginalImageSoullessThatWasn't

 

Soulless’s original cover art photograph and the cover that never was.

Many of you have been with me all along, and several of you have already posted to similar October 1 posts of the past, for which I thank you. But if you would like to share your “How I discovered Soulless” story in the comments bellow, I would love to read them. I’m in edit hell right now so I might not have tiem to respond to each individually but i promise that I do read them all.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Th Jersey Lilly with a Parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

I ADORE this image if you know the photographer please tell me?

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Teaching Moment: Make A Banned Books Bookshelf

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 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

Book News:
Tea and Jeopardy – 27 – Gail Carriger visits the tea lair
“In this episode, the utterly splendid author Gail Carriger is invited into the secret tea lair. We talk about etiquette, the many ways in which octopi are remarkable, archaeology and some of the strange things Gail has eaten.

Quote of the Day:
“We plan, we toil, we suffer – in the hope of what?  A camel-load of idol’s eyes?  The title deeds of Radio City?  The empire of Asia?  A trip to the moon?  No, no, no, no.  Simply to wake just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs.”
~ J.B. Priestly

 

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.

 


Behind the Magic ~ Sophronia’s Moors – Finishing School Insight

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

While I was in England I trotted down to Devon to visit my family and childhood stomping grounds but also to rove about Dartmoor. As you know, Gentle Reader, the Finishing School books partly take place in Dartmoor. (Or should I say: floating above it?) I thought you would like to see what the moor looks like.

 

If you aren’t already familiar with the place. I wonder if it’s how you imagined from my descriptions.

Moor (and tor to the right) from the road.
Another tor seen from the road

 

Marching up to Haytor

 

Haytor, different view ~  yes it does look like a massive cow pie

 

Gorse (yellow), heather (purple), ferns, and other vegetation

 

The beautiful moors, this is what I see in my head
Making friends

 

Classic moors stretching away

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via ornamentedbeing tumblr: Hélène Standish, née de Pérusse des Cars, 1882

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

via Innocent drinks on FB

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Formatting Manuscript for Submission

Quote of the Day:

via Berfrois on FB

September’s Book Pick ~ Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

September’s book pick, for those of you participating in the read along, is Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey. This is a reread for me, but a welcome one.

Originally published in 1990, this is the second book in Lackey’s short lived but much beloved Diana Treagarthe Investigates series. (There’s wild rumors as to why she gave up on this series ~ buy me a drink sometime and I’ll tell you about them.) I’m not a huge fan of the first installment, and I think Children of the Night stands well enough alone, so that’s why I chose it.

Perhaps more importantly, Children of the Night introduces us to André. I thought you all might enjoy reading not only my first encounter with urban fantasy but also the origin (in Gail’s psyche) of the sexy vampire archetype. I think Lackey does it better than anyone else and to this day I love André with an undying devotion.

This is going to be interesting for me, I’ve never read this book with my critic/writer hat on.

Cogent information:

  • There are three books in this series: (Burning Water, Children of the Night, and Jinx High).
  • There’s some suggestion Diana’s world might jive with some of Lackey’s other urban fantasies (like the elves in LA series), but no concrete evidence.
  • There are three Diana shorts as well, if you really like the character. “Arcanum 101” is in Trio of Sorcery and features Diana in college. Two (written before the books) can be found in Werehunter: “Satanic, Versus” in which Diana attends Romance Writers’s Halloween costume party (also featuring Robert Harrison from Lackey’s role-playing game Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic) and “Nightside,” the first Diana story which grew to become Children of the Night.

Don’t want to read this book? I’ll probubly also be reading the follow up to last month’s Clockwork Heart, Clockwork Lies as well as rereading Diana.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for September? Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1866-1868  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Barn Looks Like It’s Wearing an Invisibility Cloak

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Colonels of Industry

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Working copy edits.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished first draft. Out with Beta readers. Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 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

Book News:

@TheTwinsRead  on Twitter “Nicole’s Nails inspired by @gailcarriger ‘s Etiquette and Espionage”

Quote of the Day:
“Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don’t eat has been proved to be indispensable for life.  But I go marching on.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

 

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.

Reading Guide for Etiquette & Espionage Now Available

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

A little while ago, Gentle Reader, I had an inquiry from a librarian about a study/reading guide for Etiquette & Espionage. I am ashamed to say I didn’t even know such things existed. When I was a girl we read a book and, sometimes, did a book report. That was pretty much it. These days, teachers, librarians, and parents expect books for young readers to come with guides.

Apparently, this is kind of like a press kit meets discussion syllabus, including:

  • cover art
  • author photo/bio
  • about the book/pre and/or post reading activities
  • vocabulary words
  • timelines (real and/or fictional)
  • questions for discussion/essays
  • links to other websites of interest
  • suggested additional reading
  • common core standards tie in
  • character lists

“Isn’t that basically Gail’s website?” you say. I know, that’s what I thought too. Finishing School Section of my website.

Nevertheless, I know that most teachers and librarians out there work brutally hard at their jobs. And there is a certain appeal in a guide for schools featuring a book about a school. Circularity! So I did the only thing I could, given my current deadlines and time constraints: I crowd sourced. I threw out the question to my readers (knowing many of them are librarians) to see if any has written a guide.

Reads 4 Tweens: “Not exactly a study guide, but my review points out things adults might want to talk with kids about.”

So then I asked if anyone was interested in doing one for me. Ray & Elizabeth stepped to the plate. (Thanks guys!) And then I, because I am a perfectionist, reviewed and tinkered a bit.

So now, on my website in several places you will find the following:

Etiquette & Espionage Reading Guide and Vocabulary List

Here are two free printable pdfs for teachers, librarians, parents, and other interested parties.

* Reading Guide ~ includes fun activities, discussion questions, Common Core details
* Extensive Vocabulary List

Please feel free to spread the word to your local education establishments. We did our best to make it clear, easy to print, and entertaining.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1857  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Willow Ware Poodle Don Moyer

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Tea blood via Fb

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Boys Will Be Boys, and Girls Will Be Accommodating

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 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

Book News:

Quote of the Day:
“The history of England is the history of progressive refinement.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards

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.

ConDor Convention Report ~ Victorians, Werewolves, and Spies, Oh, My!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

ConDor was great fun, an established convention in San Diego with reliable attendance and a writing/reading SF/F bent. I arrived Friday and hit the ground running with my first panel. I’m going to let you peek at my notes. I’m afraid I didn’t take them on other people’s comments, just my own thoughts. And, of course, they are only notes, starter thoughts on what I actually said, so don’t take them as gospel. I also include links to some of the sources I recommended. Gentle Reader, make of them what you will.

 

Friday

The New Victorians: The Allure of the Antique to the Decidedly Modern

  • Existing silliness, whimsey of playing with technology that wasn’t, interconnection of tech & culture
  • Industrial age as compared to modern world, our economic chaos is attracted to their perceived order
  • Americans apparently love the idea of the class system (see popularity of Downton Abby)
  • Etiquette & manners, introductions & politeness, precedence, safety in knowing the requirements of any social interaction, joy of secure place
  • Progress as an allure: accepted by middle class, threat to some aristocrats
  • QV giving over much of her monarchical power to parliament just as aristocrats are loosing out to middle class
  • (Sherwood Smith was on this panel with me and I must admit to a fan girl squee, I adore her Crown Duel YA and highly recommend it.)

 

Friday Ice Cream Social (by Jerry Abuan)

Developing & Maintaining Romantic Relationships in Continuing Storylines

  • Differences in writing love/sex for Romance market vs SF/F
  • 6 standard Austen tropes in romance
  • Realistic versus romantic
  • Thrill of suspense in the handkerchief drop
  • Combative love, matched wits
  • Using romance as a spice (not a main theme), using it for humor
  • Twisting tropes in series: Theirs Not to Reason Why series (friends arrange the match), Miles Vorkosigan saga (not your typical hero)
  • My suggestions were: Farscape (soap opera love but I stay engaged), Servant of the Empire series (two love affairs both wonderful), Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness YA series (multiple loves, all romantic and appealing)
  • Authors who write good romantic threads (not major themes but still wonderful) Tarr, Renault, Edwards

 

Ice Cream Social
There was a cake just for me! Three kinds of ice cream, another cake for the fan GOH, and it was all delicious and fun.

Friday Ice Cream Social (by Jerry Abuan)

 

Saturday

Guest of Honor Q&A
No notes. It was the usual if you come to see me in person. You can ask me anything, I’ll answer as best as I can, with the understanding it doesn’t leak onto the net.

Q&A (by Jerry Abuan)

Autographs
Had a nice little line, managed to get them done in 45 minutes just long enough for an off the cuff interview and signing stock for Patrick and the Mysterious Galaxy folk.

In the dealers room with authors Tod McCaffrey and Brothers K (Dani’s phone)

Inventing Exotic Cultures

  • Be wary of cultural misappropriation
  • Use of word “exotic”
  • Info-dumping
  • Real world ancient vs historical
  • Objects having meaning & symbolism informing character & space
  • Point of entry
  • Using exotic words in context to give enough understanding, trusting the curious reader to look up exact definition if they want (fichu, decolletage)
  • Subversive nature of humor

Werewolves: Sociology & Sociobiology
Some books I suggested: Black Dog, Blood & Chocolate, Mercy Thompson series
Myth debunked: Full moon does not increase incidence of psychological problems

On Panel (by Jerry Abuan)

 

Sunday

Historical Research for Fantasy Literature

  • Know the rules of the time period, so you can break them
  • Types of errors that throw people out of the suspension of disbelief, give up on some of the specifics (the 10% rule)
  • Errors of context ~ no jean at the Renascence Faire
  • Primary vs secondary sources: each are biased in their own way
  • TK ~ return to check later, beware the assumptions of your own brain
  • Recommended starter books: children’s DK Eyewitness Books, Timetables of History, maps of the time period
  • Visit the location if possible: familiarity with space, light, smells, mood, may not be exactly the same as the past but it gives a starting access to all five senses
  • Keep in mind basic human needs as provided by environment: drink, sleep, eat, shelter, procreate
  • Worldbuilding in my book ~ including resources
  • 26 Tips for Researching Victorian Set Steampunk

 

Eytan and I, friends for years, our first panel together (by Jerry Abuan)

Learning to Edit Your Own Work

  • Identify your own ticks & bad habits search/replace
  • Gail’s stages of editing detailed
  • Read manuscript out loud to catch sing-song and flow issues
  • Read backwards, one sentace at a time (short stories)
  • How to keep deadlines from impacting quality
  • Keeping drafts of deleted scenes

 

Dani edited himself out of the panel (by Jerry Abuan)

Secret Agent Stories in SF/Historical/Fantasy: Adapting Espionage Tropes

 

Tribute from lovely readers

As you can see it was a fun con with lots of panels discussing topics I’ve never had the opportunity to discuss before. That was so much fun!

Next up? Colorado Springs, CO April 25 ~ 27, 2014 Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference (Colorado Springs Marriott 5580 Tech Center Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80919)

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Bouquet with parasols

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Pile of crochet octopus in the dealer’s room

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Recommended to me, customizable 1950s inspired clothing company eshakti. You can buy off the rack or pay c. $10 extra and submit your measurements. Most of their items are capped or sleeveless (grrrrr, but the customization fee includes changing sleeve style short, elbow, 3/4, long). I’m skeptical, so I might start with a top, as that’s the real challenge with me. However, I’ve been on a new clothing diet this year and I wanna see how long I can go.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

PROJECT ROUND UP 

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. November 4, 2014. Cover art to come.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins in July.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Delayed. Why? Rewrite begins soon, release date March 17, 2015.

 

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
Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:

Blast from the past, Mike and I at my first steampunk convention.

Quote of the Day:

 

APRIL FOOL. Any one imposed on, or sent on a bootless errand, on the first of April; which day it is the custom among the lower people, children, and servants, by dropping empty papers carefully doubled up, sending persons on absurd messages, and such like contrivances, to impose on every one they can, and then to salute them with the title of April Fool. THis is also practiced in Scotland under the tile of Hunting the Gowke.
~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue


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