Tagged france

Miss Carriger Talks About Food: Her Perfect Meal

Posted by Gail Carriger

A little while ago, Gentle Reader, I threw the door open to the Parasol Protectorate Fan Group for questions and Amber asked me a doozy.

If you could assemble an ideal x course meal, what would you want it to be? And if you had to prepare it, would it change significantly?

So, first of all I answered part of this for Lawrence over on his:

Eating Authors series

 

1925 Esther Borough Johnson (British artist, 1867-1949) Tea Table in the Garden

My Best Meal Ever

The best meal I ever ate was in Monterosso al Mare, (one of the five tiny towns that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Riveria). I was there on the four day break we got in the middle of excavation season (July 1995) with three other archaeology undergraduates.

We wandered into this little restaurant, I don’t recall the name. All I remember is we walked down, so the windows were at street level and we got a view of everyone’s shoes as we ate. We started with prosciutto e melone (which was more amazing than any before or since) and then we ate this risotto seafood dish ~ fruite de mar. It was as if they had taken a net and scraped it across the sea floor ~ crayfish, clams, mussels, oysters, white fish, salmon, and fresh veggies scattered over this amazing rice. The seafood was cooked perfectly, fresh and glistening. The onion and tomato rice was gooey in the center and backed crisp and crunchy on the top. We had a bottle of cheap Chianti to go with… magic.

My Comfort Meal

My all time favorite comfort meal is the peppered alpaca stake at Cafe Manu in Cuzco, Peru. Alpaca is like the Kobe beef of the pork world. It is amazing when cooked correctly. This is a non-traditional preparation, served wrapped in bacon with a French peppered cream sauce and a simple baked potato. I ate it with a pint of maracuja juice (passion fruit) and life was good. Anytime I excavated near Cuzco I always tried to visit to eat this dish.

This would be what I asked for as my last meal.

My Desert

Layered Raspberry Pavlova at the Lord Nelson in Topsham, Devon. Meringue cooked the British way, crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle, with fresh raspberries and clotted cream sandwiched in between the meringue layers and a raspberry sauce reduction drizzled about. With a nice pot of tea? Heaven. Pure heaven.

My 4 Courses

  1. The prosciutto e melone from Tuscany with a glass of prosecco.
  2. Appetizer portions of the rice and seafood from Monterosso with cold fresh water.
  3. Alpaca pepper steak, wilted chard, and papa rellena with passion fruit juice.
  4. Raspberry pavlova to finish with a perfect pot of tea.

As I told Lawrence, there are some who speculate I chose a career as an archaeologist so I could eat my way around exotic locations. Now I often decide whether I should visit a city for a book event based on the local food scene.

Would this meal change if I had to cook it myself?

Absolutely. I can’t get many of the ingredients and I accept no substitutes. Generally speaking I already cook for myself the things I want to eat and have the time to make (excepting deserts) so yeah…

I’d rather eat out, tho.

I love eating out.

{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 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 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?

Boy Meets Boy says:

“If you like a good shifter story, this is the book for you. If you like witty banter and shenanigans, this is the book for you. If you like a story with depth and angst and romance, this is the book for you. Hell, if you like to read, this is the book for you. Cause, really, you can’t go wrong with this story.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia) From the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Steampunk Curse Generator

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Back Up Your Work

Book News:

10 Top Summer Reads for Middle-School GirlsEtiquette & Espionage made the list!

Quote of the Day:

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


Winning the Prix Julia Verlanger

Posted by Gail Carriger

 
I am delighted to announce that I have won the Prix Julia Verlanger, a French Award for Sci-Fi and Fantasy. They give the award once a year, to one author. I am quite chuffed. This is my first genre award and my first international award!*
The award was announced at les Utopiales de Nantes but I’ve known for three weeks and been eager to tell you, Gentle Reader. I am so sad I wasn’t able to be there. My awesome French publishing house picked it up for me.

I asked them to please thank all my French readers for taking a chance on books set in England, and my publisher and translator for doing such a wonderful job. Also I wanted to thank everyone for being so gracious to me when I visited earlier this year, I feel spoiled by France in many ways.  

I am reminded of a silly story from the begining of this crazy journey into writer-doom.

You see, France was the first territory my books sold into, outside of the US. Before the UK.

Yes, you read that right.

Well my Mum, who is Properly British, was so upset about this. It was as if the French had conquered some desirable foriegn territory before the Queen manged to get there. Mum was mighty perturbed with her own country.

Of course, now the series is in both territories. And there are many reasons the French “got there first,” as some are prone to putting it. But I can’t help cherishing affection for my French readers, not to mention lingering surprise that have taken something so ridiculously Victorian into their hearts. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that Alexia talks about, and I describe with such evident delight, food? Perhaps it’s because I’m gently poking fun at those Victorians? Perhaps it is because Madame Lefoux is so bad ass? I suppose when push comes to shove, Steampunk is French by rights of Jules Verne. And I suspect the French of being quiet open and willing to immerse themselves in the wonder of whimsey.

What ever it is, I can only say thank you from the bottom of my marmite-eating soufflé-loving warped little heart. 

Vive la France!

* Soulless did win the Alex, an award from librarians, who are so awesome to me and my books. So one could make the argument that the “librarians got there first.” Which makes me picture librarians armed with rulers as swords and books as shields in phalanx formation storming the beach at Normandy. I know I’m mixing so many times and places and metaphors. My brain is like that.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via the FB

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Miniature corset, 1890s

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

lunar-wall-calendar-2014

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Scott Adams’ Secret of Success: Failure

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third:  
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second. Release date Nov. 5, 2013. 
Etiquette & Espionage
~ trade paperback will be available in the US October 13, 2013
Manga
~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19, 2013. 
Prudence
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.

The Books!

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series
Please DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Parasol Protectorate omnibus hardback editions
Volume 1 (Books 1-3), Volume 2 (Books 4-5)
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
The Finishing School Series: Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies (Nov. 5, 2013)
 $0.99 ebook only short stories: Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, and Fairy Debt

Book News:
Curtsies & Conspiracies makes Kirkus: Best Bets for Science Fiction & Fantasy – November 2013 Don’t be misled into thinking that such books offer little for adults.”

Quote of the Day:

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”

Oscar Wilde


7 Steampunk-ish Things In France

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

It’s hard for me to turn the steampunk hunting instincts off, Gentle Reader. I’m like a truffle pig in this particular matter. Snuffle snuffle snort . . . steampunk!

1Balloon St. Malo 1BalloonCarroseell copy

I thought there would be a more propitiatory connection to early flight, all my research suggests the French were once particularly enamored of floating about full of hot air, as it were. But I did see some fun items.

2CathedralClock copy2HousesWatch copy2ClockMusic copy

Some amazing clocks inside cathedrals, outside churches, and in museums.

3ClockRepair copy 3Closcks copy

The local market in Colmar had a clock repair station, rather charming.

4Crossbowl copy

Perhaps the crossbow isn’t quite steampunk, but there is something deliciously mechanical about this particular weapon.

5JulesVerneOld copy

Jules Verne, godfather of us all. We found ourselves in this fab old bookstore and whittled away many hours looking at the pretties. The fanciest older books were all either religious or Jules Verne. I don’t quite know what that says about the French but I found it intriguing.

6TinyTrain St Malo

Not on tracks, mind you, which means they aren’t really trains but they are cute. This one was in St. Malo. The AB and I rode on one in Colmar. Very silly.

CrazyObjects copy CrazyObjectss copy

These are Renaissance or earlier objects, so more clockpunk than steampunk, but I was still drawn to them at the museum in Colmar. They just all look like they do such interesting things. Even if that thing is just to sit and look intriguingly useful.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1825 Umbrella The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1825 Umbrella The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
The Orchid
The Ambassador survived my trip away

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Finishing School

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The Book Wranglers say of E&E that, “The pure charm radiating from this book (and, hopefully the series to come) is palpable.  Pick it up, read it once, then read it again – it’s that good and it’ll have you laughing the entire time!”
(This review is one of the cutest I’ve seen, with gifs punctuating it that were charming.)

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Working third draft.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
GatheringPPJapaneseEnglish
Gathering of English and Japanese Parasol Protectorate books

Quote of the Day:
“To be sold, an Erard grand piano, the property of a lady about to travel in a walnut-wood case, with carved legs.”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine November 1872

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Ketchup: Bowl Xylophones, Deadlines, and What Ho, Automaton!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I still have much catch up to do, Gentle Reader, from my weeks in France. I imagine there will be a number of rather oddball and random bits and bobs showing up on this here blog as I get my head together and acclimatize. Here, for example, is a bowl xylophone (aka glass harmonica).

BowlXylephone copy
You can hear glass harmonica in the Frida movie soundtrack. Here’s an example at 0:48

Apart from All Those Things that pile up when one is away, right now I am on a deadline. Plus jet lag (I always have a harder time coming this direction) this has combined to make me scatty. OK, fine, well, more scatty than normal. I hope you will forgive me?

White on White at Bernhardt — High Point Spring Market 2013Apartmentherapy
White on White at Bernhardt — High Point Spring Market 2013 via Apartmentherapy
How must do I want that fuzzy stool? It’d be kind of like a pet.

Waistcoats & Weaponry, the third Finishing School book, is due in a few weeks. My editor graciously gave me a bit of an extension (unasked for, I swear, I could have done it). It means I feel bound and determined to hand in a nice clean beta-read draft. So I’m plugging away diligently with the imaginary red pen, as are three of my betas. We shall learn how well Libre handles combining track changes. Gulp. (It doesn’t handle one document multiple different end user changes well, we recently discovered.)

One of the things I keep meaning to mention is that while I was a way I managed to read a bit. For fun. (I know, crazy talk.) And I mean read fiction, as most of my pleasure reading is spent in research non-fiction and primary sources. I was experimenting with the Nook and I had some ebooks I’d been given to read years ago, so I branched out.

cover

One of them was What Ho, Automaton! (Reeves & Worcester Steampunk Mysteries). Yours for a cool $2.99. I think it well worth the money. If you are a fan of my stuff and of Wodehouse’s this will suit admirably. There is even a little tiny bit of romance in there, not to mention a pipping strong female character.

It’s quite ideally ridiculous and definitely what I would call a mash up, like those Austen meets ninja zombie book things of a few years ago. There were a few modern language hiccups and a slow start, but both faded mid book (AKA during the second story ­– like Wodehouse this is written as a series of connected shorts/novellas rather than one large novel). Dolley got me to laugh out loud near the end. Which, frankly, is VERY hard to do. Once you write comedy it becomes harder and harder to laugh at other’s comedy writings, because the analyst brain is ever on. Dolley’s tone is spot on Wodehouse and the steampunk elements tie into both plot and silliness admirably. I enjoyed it over all. It was nice to read a Wodehouse story that I hadn’t read already!

Anyway, if any of you give it a shot, you’ll let me know what you think of it?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
ChocolatteParasols copy
Chocolate parasols at a shop in France

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 2.26.01 PM
Beautiful Colmar

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
StrangeThings copy
Strange tongs at the museum in Colmar.
Do you know what they are for? No guesses, just actually archaeological fact, please.

I thought toast as well, but they aren’t quite right to the Toast Tongs I’m familiar with.
Katharina: “fer a gaufres” also known as waffle iron.
So endith the mystery. (Thanks Katharina!)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
HachetteBook copy
An old old book, published by Hachette. I had no idea the publishing company was so old.

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Working third draft.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
AlessandroShop copy
Alessandro’s shop in France. I guess he dabbled in trade at some point.

Quote of the Day:
“He held a prebendal stall in the diocese; one of the best residences in the close; and the two large rectories of Crabtree Canonicorum, and Stogpingum.”
~ Trollope (and you thought it was just me and Wodehouse with the silly names)

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An American Author in France: Part Three, Epinal

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So after eating my body weight in shell fish in St. Malo, we made our way across the width of France (pretty much) to Epinal in the Vosges Mountains for the Imaginales Festival. It was a blast, Gentle Reader.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.49.19 AM
Self & Helen in front of Magic Mirrors Panel Room

There was an epic stall at the train station on the way there, when our lay over of two hours turned into six. I managed to convince the cafe there to give me hot boiled water (with their tea bag, which I rejected in favor of my own, Lipton indeed!) and a side of cold whole milk. As I do not speak any French, I consider this my biggest victory of the whole trip.

TrainTea
Tea and three little beignets: apple, raspberry, chocolate

I know most of these posts seem to be centered on food, but frankly, that’s my personality ­– entirely driven by my gullet. I know I may come off as all writerly but, really, most of what I do in life centers around food. I know, after reading my books, I am sure you are shocked by this confession. Shocked! But now, on to Epinal.

GailView
Self taking in the hotel’s lovely view of the park

Unlike Etonnants Voyageurs, Imaginales is fantasy centered. There didn’t seem to be all that much sci-fi even, although Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance are certainly creeping in. The French, rather charmingly call this sub-genre “Bit-Lit” (literature that bites). My books are classified as Bit-Lit. (I always find it interesting as to where marketing puts my series, given the books straddle so many sub genres.) At Imaginales I palled about with a group of fellow American including one of my oldest pro-circuit friends Ken Scholes. Also Kristin Cashore had come from St. Malo as well (a co-conspirator in bumbershoot obsession – she loves the umbrella, I love the parasol, an East Coast vs. West Coast thing?) and the marvelous Alexandra Ivy joined us fresh off the plane.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.16.39 AM
American Invasion Team Fantasy: self, Ken, Kristin, Alexandra

I had a wonderful time at Imaginles. Beforehand, everyone kept telling me it’s very “family friendly.” Which I took to mean full of children, but which actually meant that everyone behaved like family and was super chummy. There was a real sense of comradeship among the visiting authors ­– American, Germans, and British alike. And I must say the translators and industry folk who attended, seemed to be having just as much fun as us authors. We got up to a great deal of raucous mischief. But when we were out with the French, it was usually they who were the rowdiest, so I refuse to take all the blame as the bonkers American. The Germans behaved themselves though.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.58.36 AM
Self and the lovely Kai Meyer

Imaginales is a pretty big deal for Epinal, the mayor welcomed us, we appeared on local TV, and the town restaurants threw open their proverbial doors.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.00.17 PM
A real TV Interview!

I ate three times at the local vegetarian place (so called because it has one meatless option on the menu and lots of healthy sides), twice at the delicious pizza joint, and the rest time delved deep into local cuisine. I even found tea!

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.02.05 PM
Finding joy in a cup of tea

One of the most unique experiences was the picnic, where French authors all bring their favorite local dishes to share with the visitors. Alexandra and I sallied forth into the madness and tried many a strange and delicious items. I developed a passing fondness for what was called magret (basically duck prosciutto).

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.27.17 PM
Experiencing the fated Picnic

Big thanks go out to the lovely Stephanie of Imaginales, and warmest of wishes to all the volunteers, several of whom I wanted to take home in my pocket they were so cute. Also Helen is the best interpertor evah. And I can’t finish this post without mentioning my killer Orbit team, who took amazingly good care of me and ushered the lost waif from one event to the next with goodwill and the regular application of Author’s Oil (aka booze).

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.47.56 AM
Stephanie and I pose in the interview zone.

You don’t have to take my word for it, here’s a blog all about me at Imaginales from the lovely Grande Dames of French bloggers. I am particularly pleased to note the sea pig warranted a mention. You have heard of the sea pig, yes?

Day 7, Travel
Spent:
Mostly in taxis, on a train, at a train station outlasting a bomb scare, then in a train again. Finally in hotel. Epinal puts its authors up in swanky digs!
Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.19.49 AM

Lessons learned:
French men have a thing about lollipops.
Always pack a suitcase small enough to go in the overhead on a train.
Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.39.27 AM

Day 8, Epinal
Spent:
Early meet and greet panel, interviews, food, socializing, more food, signing, interviews, food, drinks, mirabelle ice cream.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.23.16 AM
Had to share Helen with Ken for the first Panel. She’s mine!

Learns learned:
Never try to out drink or out eat the French.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.24.56 AM
My dinner, traditional beef tartar.

Day 9, Epinal
Spent:
Food, interviews, blogger lunch and tea, panel, signing, fancy dinner out at a castle Gail is delivered by a veggie truck, cheese, too much wine.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.10.24 PM

Lesson learned:
France is not the place to visit if you are gluten intolerant, vegetarian, or allergic to cigarette smoke.
I already find coffee challenging. French coffee is like a bitter Napoleon waging war on your taste buds.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.04.26 PM

Day 10, Epinal
Spent:
Kaffeklutch breakfast, noon cocktails, crazy picnic lunch, interviews, solo panel, femmes panel, goodbye dinner with publishers.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.19.05 PM

Lessons learned:
Never let Manuel steal the cat.
The french love sweets too.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.18.14 PM
Happy frenchman with petit deserts.

I did get an amazing amount of tribute from my French readers. I have pictures to come. Unfortunately, I had to eat and use most of it there, as I never travel with a suitcase large enough to bring large items back with me.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.20.49 PM

Day 11, Epinal
Spent:
Food, interview, light food, signing, interview, goodbye panel, goodbye drinks, goodbye dinner

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.29.59 PM

Lesson learned:
More than three days of a convention and I struggle, must pace myself better next time.
Can’t wait to come back!

Girls
Goodbye Epinal!

The rest of my time in France I took as a vacation. I have a few pictures of steampunk and Gail-ish type things which I may do a blog about or may just leak in over the next few weeks. I know, vacation, imagine that? I realize that last year I took about 2 weeks all told. I’m trying to do better in future ~ work/life balance and all that. It’s the odd thing about working for one’s self, it’s very easy to just never stop. Even while I was on vacation I still checked in regularly, answered email, and you can probably tell form twitter/FB I had a hard time staying offline.

But I did have a fab time. The AB and I visited Colmar, Strasbourg, and ended in Paris. I ate too much. No surprise there. But the best meal I had the entire time was a duck dish at:

Chez Graff
62 Rue de Bellchasse
Near Rue De Grenelle
Paris

If you’re in Paris, do try to go there. Really, it’s worth the metro trip.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
*Parasols via Facebook
via Facebook

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Teapots
Teapot at the Colmar musuem (could be chocolate pot)

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
LockBoxes
Locking chests at the Colmar Museum

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
WritingDeskSmallColmarMuseum
Writing desk at the Colmar Museum

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Working third draft.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
Calico Reaction says of E&E,  “I think the best way to describe this book to readers unfamiliar with Carriger is that it’s a hyrbid of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy.”

Quote of the Day:
“A Mysterious Visitor.
Among the recent visitors to London we find notified an extraordinarily dense fog. This visitor, though somewhat obscure, created considerable sensation, and a sort of general illumination was got up by the London shopkeepers on the occasion. The fog arrived by the Thames, and made so much of the short time of remaining that the visitor was nearly all over London in a very brief period.”
~ Punch August 1853

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An American Author in France: Part Two, St. Malo Etonnants Voyageurs

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So it was that armed with crepe diagnostics and pink toilet paper we journey on through France to St. Malo and the Etonnants Voyageurs Book Festival. Let me tell you, Gentle Reader, things are a mite different at French book fairs.

1Festival
Here I am on top of the tower of the old town pointing down at the white tents of the book fair.

So, as you can tell part of the fair took place in big tents, the rest was in the big stone building near by or a hotel a little down the way. So far as I could gather from the interwebs, Etonnants Voyageurs started as a travel book festival and has evolved from there. Thus, to me, it felt a little more like a baby BEA or ALA than my normal SF/F only stomping grounds. It was rather fun to be on panels with main stream and mystery writers, for example.

2Panel1ByClaire
First Panel (photo by the awesome Claire)

I was given an interpreter because I don’t speak a lick of French. Helen is also a translator, and she may be one of the coolest people ever. I got her for both festivals so you’ll see lots of pictures of me leaning in towards her. She preferred for me to speak in larger chunks and then to translate the whole concept into French. After multiple interviews and panels, by the end of the ten days I think she could have answered most questions without me.

3GailHelen
Gail & Helen

The festival put up the authors and also fed us this amazing buffet for lunch. We had meal vouchers for dinner to use at certain cafes around th city. It was great! I spent most of my time at my assigned station signing and chatting, very badly, with those who came up (Helen had more than one of us to deal with so we were on our own for signings.) The booth was run by a bookstore.

4SigningClaire
Signing in booth (also by Claire)

Also spent a good deal of time exchanging funny looks with Paolo Baccigaloupi across the way.

5PaoloSarah
Paolo and his interpreter/translator Sarah

Paolo and I have been friends since we met at Balticon several years ago. (There was a late night incident with Mur Lafferty and chocolate martinis which created bonds than can never be broken … and I will say no more about that.) It was awesome to see him in France, nothing beats a friendly face.

Day 3, St. Malo

Spent:
Moving between hotels ended up at the ultra modern Oceana 76 Chausse du Salon. Good internet access. St. Malo is cold and windy but beautiful!
Signing and a panel on vampires.
Dinner with publishing house and the awesome Kristin Cashore.
So much seafood. New beasties eaten included: periwinkles, whelks, raw cockles, oysters mariner.

BuffetFish

Lessons learned:
Spoons for breakfast, forks for lunch.
One does not have to actually do all of one’s signings.

GailBooth

Day 4, St. Malo

Spent:
Signing in the booth. Eating more seafood including the two shellfish I didn’t get yesterday – scallops and muscles. Both smaller then I am used to. Panel on gothic girls. Crazy dinner with other authors, I ate sweetbreads and they were yummy. Spent dinner mostly nattering with Paolo. Yay Paolo!

GailPaolo

Lesson Learned:
Never let the French order the wine for everyone.
Always jump up first to pay your share of the bill.
I love whelks.

BuffetPlate

Day 5, St. Malo

Spent:
Signing in the booth. Eating from the buffet in the green room I counted: 4 types pickled fish, 5 salmon dishes, 12 different head-cheese style lunch meats, whelks!, 8 cheeses, 14 desert options (not including cheese) and much more. In France buffet eats you! Went to museum and climbed up to battlements, very windy but beautiful. More signing. Arctic walk back and delicious pizza for dinner.

Battlements

Lessons learned:
Flag of St. Malo is a caped weasel. Best. Thing. Ever. (Ok so it’s an ermine, but it looks like a weasel.) There is an andoulle so disgusting, I actually couldn’t eat it, and I eat anything. Also: 14 deserts is 4 desserts too many even for my super-powered sweet tooth. Regardless of what’s on offer, the mousse is always the best option. Rice pudding is the provenance of Portugal and India. Champagne goes great with pickled and smoked fish. And whelks! Love the sea snails. Love them good.

Buffet2

And that, from my perspective, was Etonnants Voyageurs. But, you don’t have to take my word for it, here one of my French readers gives her report.

Do let me know if I’m neglecting to answer questions you may have about French book fairs, and I will try to address them in my next report when we poodle across the country to Epinal for Imaginales.

But first, tomorrow, there will be C&C contest winners!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Parasol
Umbrellas on display in St. Malo

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Cats
Oddly stretched steampunk cats in St. Malo.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
SpyGlass
Spyglass with a steampunk look on the St. Malo ramparts.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Writing
Fun old fashioned writing utensils in a shop in St. Malo.

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Working second draft.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
Roxanne Reads/ Elise Reviews say of E&E, “Sophronia is clever and courageous…Full of fun and cheek.”

Quote of the Day:
“The dressmaking establishment recently opened in London by Princess Pierre Napoleon Bonnaparte, is thus described: A quiet page in buttons conducts the visitor to a room arranged with rare taste and elegance…”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine August 1872

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An American Author in France: Part One, Paris

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Hello my darling Gentle Reader, I am home!

I had a marvelous time in France. The waiters were indeed grumpy, the taxi drivers beyond the pale, but the food was amazing and everyone was impossible sweet and dear (even the waiters after some attempts at French, although the taxi drivers remained hopeless). The AB and I returned home to California making murmurs about moving to Strasbourg for three months out of every year, (dreams, dreams). I manged to eat the illusive floating island AKA ile flottante. This is a long running quest. I have been trying to eat a floating island since I first heard of the amazing concept some 20 years ago.

1FloatingIsland

Accompanying it on the menu was something called a chocolate quenelle, which of course the AB ordered (because it’s chocolate) but which I was deeply excited about because of the name. More than one Quenel! How fun is that? (It turned out to be very tasty indeed, kind of like a very dense puddingy ganoche).

Speaking of characters turning up on menus, the very first night we were in Paris we encountered a rosé on offer at a pub called Chateau Lefoux! Of course, I ordered it.

2Lafoux
2LafauxListing

It was a bit sharp for me, perhaps a little too fresh, but then many readers feel that way about Madame Lefoux. (Oh, aren’t I witty!?) Now where was I?

Oh yes, France, the food. I ate too much of it. Particularly the cheese. For France is a land that puts cheese in its proper place. Its proper place being everywhere, available at all times, and if not actually in the dish, then served as its own course, often both. So much cheese.

3Cheese

And now, what did I get up too?

Day 1, Paris

Spent:
Checking into hotel then consuming croissant and coffee. Walked through Luxembourg Gardens looking for dinner. Not much in the way of dinner before 7:30 PM so instead found wine. Eventually, sourced crepes, realizing that most savory ones are made from buckwheat and called galettes.

4Galette

Lessons learned:
The French do not line up, nor do they form a queue, they cluster.
In Paris, parks and cafes are living rooms.
When hungry before 8pm best to eat crepes. Hell it’s always best to eat a crepe.

Day2, Paris

Spent:
Consuming an amazing breakfast of coffee and croissant, packing and organizing for trip to St. Malo. Lunch of puff pastry filled with goat cheese and grilled veggies and then a visit to my publishing house.

4Hachette

Navigated to Norte Dame and encountered epic number of flying buttresses. I love flying buttresses. Weee! Walked around Latin Quarter and discovered a Jules Verne Bookstore, also paid homage to Shakespeare & Company, obtained tasty portable leak quiche for dinner on the train to St. Malo.

5Bookstore

Lessons learned:
It’s very peaceful, being surrounded by books, perhaps because they are essentially boxed dreams?
In Paris cheese on a sandwich or on a crepe, seems to mean some form of Swiss.
Some French trains have pink toilet paper.

Next up I tell you a bit about my sojourn in St. Malo and the Etonnants Voyageurs Book Festival.

Also, I believe I have a contest to conclude . . . !!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
PARASOLDollParasolColmarMusuem
Doll Parasol at Colmar Musuem

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
CUTEDollTeaColmarMusuem
Doll Tea Set at Colmar Musuem

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
SMARTLaModeLeThe
Fashion store that shows gowns in fields of tea.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
WritingDeskBigColmarMuseum copy
Writing Desk at Colmar Museum

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: First draft with betas.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013. My ARCs have arrived, contest to come.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
BOOKGailShelved copy
My book in a French bookstore!

Quote of the Day:
“Are French Canadian Ducks Quebec Quack?”
~ Gail & the AB in conversation

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Gail is in France!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Well, my dear Gentle Reader, I am off to foreign climes. I’ll be traveling from May 15 ~ June 7 in France. The first half will be work, and the second half vacation. I’ll be checking in online, periodically, but mostly unable to respond to anything until I get back.

PDSteampunkParasolEarlyFlight

If you would like to see me while I am there, I will be in St. Malo for Etonnants Voyageurs Festival May 18 ~ 20, and then in Epinal for Imaginales Festival May 23 ~ 25.

When I’m not at panels or eating, I can probably be found at the Calmann/Orbit booth signing and chatting. I’d love love love to see you!

Etonnants Voyageurs Festival in St. Malo

* Signing in the Libraire L’Atlante (we thingk) Booth 84 *

May 18, Saturday
2:15 pm Panel: “Le Retour des vampires” = “Vampires are back”
Maison de l’Imaginaire

May 19, Sunday
4:45 ~ 5:30 pm Panel: “Gothic Girls”
Nouveaux Mondes, Room 2

May 20, Monday
9:00 am Breakfast with Fans
Café L’Univers, Grande Terrasse

Imaginales Festival in Epinal

* Signing in the La Bulle du Livre (the main festival room) *

May 23, Thursday
10:00 am Panel: “coup d’envoi des Imaginales”, which means “Welcome to Imaginales!”.
Espace Cours
Ken Scholes, Lucius Shepard

May 24, Frday
4:00 pm Panel “All kinds of creatures”
Magic Mirrors 2

May 25, Saturday
9:00 am Breakfast Kaffeklutch
Noon ~ 1:00 pm “La fantasy urbaine, réenchanter notre époque” or “Urban Fantasy, how to re-enchant our time”.
Magic Mirrors 2
4:00 pm Q&A/Reading: “Meeting Gail Carriger”
Magic Mirrors 1
5.00 pm Panel: “Femmes et Fantasy, du faire-valoir à la femme” or “Women and Fantasy, from a foil to an action woman”
Magic Mirrors 1

May 26, Sunday
6:00 pm Panel: “One for the Road”
Magic Mirrors 1

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1Parasolfunny-pictures-history-paul-revere-approves

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
romantic-infinity-pool-with-island-views

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
3Smarttumblr_ml9nqzomsc1rmi9wfo1_500

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Guest Agent Sara Megibow: Is the Agent Pitch Session an Effective Tool or Could it use a Tweak?

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Rough draft done. Read through time.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013. My ARCs have arrived, contest to come.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
5BookScan copy

Quote of the Day:
“My hands are perfumed with her delicious limbs, and I cannot wash off the scent. And every moment the thought comes across me of those mysterious recesses of beauty where my hands have been wandering.”
~ Reverend Charles Kingsley, 1840 (AKA the author of The Water Babies)

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In Which Gail Worries About France

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I am going to France in a little over a month, Fashionable reader. I’ll be in Saint Malo of Les Etonnants Voyageurs Festival (May 18-20) and then Epinal for Imaginales (May 23-26)! If you are in the area and can come and see me, the details of my French trip can be found on the Gail Carriger sightings page. After that, the AB and I will explore of the countryside near the German border and end with a few days in Paris. I am excited, of course I am excited, but I am all scared.

Sheananigens
Via Facebook

I have been to France briefly before but I don’t speak any French and I’m terrified by the language and intimidated by the culture. I excavated in Italy, I speak decent Spanish, and many of my friends in graduate school were Greek. As a result, those tend to be the Mediterranean counties I gravitate towards. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know a part of Europe I’ve never really explored before, but I do suffer from travel fatigue.

no more
Via Facebook

Of course, I am attracted by the fashion, the food, and the wine. I understand all about the romance and the beauty. But I’m still scared, and the fear is blocking me from getting as enthusiastic as I want to be about the trip.

Mustache
Via Facebook

I thought I might appeal to you for help, Gentle Reader. Have you visited France? Have you always wanted to visit? Do you simply love France, or French culture? Would you mind telling me one exciting thing about the country or the people? Something that is not common knowledge? Something fun and unusual? Something a crazy tea drinking octopus centered glove wearing steampunk author might latch on to?

All thoughts appreciated.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1865  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1865 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
OctopusFelted1
OctopusFelted2
Felted Octopus spotted in Jack London Square

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Quirky Victorian Term explained: Ambergris “Ambergris (or grey amber) is a perfume found in the intestines of the spermaceti whale, of floating on the sea; it is an unctuous solid body, of an ash colour. The Europeans value it only as a scent; the Asiatics and Africans use it in cookery.”
~ Mangnall’s Questions, 1830

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
PillowWrite

PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Writing rough draft.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013. My ARCs have arrived, contest to come.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition possibly Nov. 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013?

Book News:
Not only I had a good time at AnomolyCon.

Quote of the Day:
A DECIDED FOOL.
— The man is a fool who, when asked for his candid opinion, gives it.
~ Punch December 1853

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