Tagged interview

Gail Carriger Interviews Her Hero ~ Patricia A. McKillip

Posted by Gail Carriger

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

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

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

About You, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

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

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

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

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

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

If you drive, what do you drive?

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

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

Chocolate in a plain cone.

(Gail pronounced Ms McKillip perfectly sane.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

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

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

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

I believe this might be the original cover.

About Patricia McKillip

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

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

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

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

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

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

About your book (The Forgotten Beasts of Eld)!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

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

What form does evil take within its pages?

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

The mass market edition Gail owned as a child.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mountain air. Ancient books. Mushroom stew.

The Forgotten Beast of Eld

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

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

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

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

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

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

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

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900s via steampunktendencies

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Me at about the age I first read McKillip & now

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Young Victorian Croquet Player

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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

Book News:

Traveling Through Books says of Romancing the Inventor:

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

Quote of the Day:

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

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

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

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

Romancing the Inventor

by Gail Carriger

Giveaway ends September 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Gail Carriger Interviews Lauren Harris About Unleash

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

My dear Gentle Reader,

Please join me in welcoming my dear friend Lauren Harris to the blog today for tea and a chat. Funnily enough, Lauren has already made her debut here on this blog, I talk about her as my fellow fangirl squeeing over Mercedes Lackey in this post: Behind Romancing the Inventor: Blame Mercedes Lackey

About Lauren, The Author

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
I drink both equally. Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.

Coffee: Americanos are best, but drip coffee is what I make at home, usually freshly ground and in a French press or pour over. If not espresso, it MUST be either a dark roast or a full-bodied medium with low acidity. This is possibly the only instance in which I’d refuse a blond.

I take it with half and half or heavy cream. The only time I will get a sweetener is if I get an iced coffee, in which case I add two pumps of either vanilla or toffee nut. Iced drinks are rare for me, though. I like hot drinks.

There are very few exceptions to my coffee rule, one being if there are no other hot drinks available or the only other hot drink available has “Liptons” or “Luzianne” in the name. I live in the South, so this happens more often than one might hope. As the quality of drinks go down, so do my coffee standards. I’m usually not so much of a snob that I would rather go without.

Tea: Ceylon or Assam-based black teas. Much to Gail’s distress, I still take sugar in my black tea, along with milk. Favorites are English Breakfast, Earl Gray (someone get Gail the smelling salts), and Chai. Twinings is the favorite, loose leaf when I can get it. I’m also not mad at green tea or mugicha. You can’t live in Asia for any length of time and not get a taste for it. White tea can scamper off to whatever dark, flavorless hole it came from.

[Gail: I have tried my dears. I have tried.]

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
It depends on whether the appearance is at a convention or elsewhere. Usually, it’s at a convention, in which case, one might encounter me in street clothes (usually edgy or casual), or some manner of corset. Sometimes both!

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
Notebooks! I still like to write longhand. RSIs from work are making this more difficult, but it’s still one of my favorite ways to start books. For some reason, it helps me to tap into the characters and the world more deeply. I’m sure it’s a psychological trick of some kind, but I don’t care. Most of my beginnings and some of the more difficult scenes tend to be written in notebooks first.

If you drive, what do you drive?
I drive a gunmetal gray Prius C named Padfoot.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
Chocolate in sugar cone. How is this a question?
[Gail: Lauren is judged to be entirely sane. Except that she questions my question.]

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
A truly clever play on words. My roommate informs me that my most “satisfied” sounding laugh is when *I* make a truly clever pun.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Very partial to Vodka Collins, Cape Cod, Moscow Mule, and Mojitos. Sangria and red wine is also an option. Absolute nos are: anything with pineapple juice, tequila, absinthe, or jaegermeister. I will make an angry bunny face.

 

Lauren was raised by an impulsive furniture mover and an itinerant TV News professional in a string of homes up and down the East Coast of the United States. Eventually settling (sort of) in Raleigh, NC, Lauren befriended a band of whimsical nerds who found themselves de-facto beta readers for her scribblings.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied English and Classics, Lauren moved to Tokyo, Japan for three years. While there, she studied Japanese, taught English, and fell in love with the hot drink section in the vending machines.

Now, Lauren balances a day-job of Cardiac Ultrasound with her passion for writing and other creative pursuits. She is the author of The Millroad Academy Exorcists novella series and an Assistant Editor at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. Her narration and voice acting can be heard on Audible.com, EscapePod, and various short fiction podcasts.

About Lauren’s book: Unleash!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
If possible, Korean bulgogi. Keep those iron levels up for spellcasting.

What form does evil take within its pages?
Sinister Scottish Sanguimancer. Also, Sorcerers. A more esoteric evil is absolutism.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
The cute Korean love interest because I had the power to make him an excellent kisser, so I did. Also, he is mischievous and funny and looks like Lee Minho in my head.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
Classics was one of my areas of study in school, so I am partial to the Bronze Age, but I’m also a big fan of the Middle Ages. Most of my high fantasy stories are set in some analog of our 600 -1600 ACE.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Said sinister Scottish Sanguimancer, because he’s the reason my poor heroine has had such a terrible life. She’s been magically enslaved to his human trafficking ring since she was three years old.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
The most fun parts for ME were the big disasters. I like to let people kiss and then have everything explode. Sometimes literally.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
Freshly sharpened pencils. Our heroine is an artist, and that slight tinge of blood scent to hot graphite feels suitable.

Unleash by Lauren Harris

Orphaned. Hunted. Pissed as hell.

Helena Martin doesn’t know who she hates more, the sorcerers who fired the magic-laced bullet or the gang-lord master who used her mother as a shield. It’s not the price she expected for escaping magical slavery, nor is the unstable power now pulsing in her veins.

Caught between her former master’s hunters and the Guild Sorcerers determined to kill them, she finds a safe haven at a dog rescue willing to take in a different kind of stray. But Helena’s newly-unleashed power is a beacon for her enemies. And they’re threatening the first place she’s ever thought of as home.

[Incidentally Lauren and I share a cover art designer, Starla.]

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Poison or Protect Audiobook.
    Status: Battling ACX. (AKA Audible/Amazon)
    Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

UP NEXT

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

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Fatigue Dress, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888
American,
Commercial color lithograph

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Lord Akeldama nick names from Kelly Schneider‎ via the Parasol Protectorate Facebook Group

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

World seems a big dumb at the moment, so no smart links to offer. You guys have any for me? Something interesting about tea or octopuses or the like?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

~ Somerset Maugham

Book News:

Heartless Shelf in Gail’s Office

Quote of the Day:

“I often feel sorry for people who don’t read good books; they are missing a chance to lead an extra life.”

~ Scott Corbett

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


In Which Gail Answers Some Cubicle-Style Interview Questions (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Is has been a long time, Gentle Reader, since I worked a cubicle job.

Yes I did. Once. A long time ago. I worked gaming Q&A for an education and entertainment company. Let me see, over 15 years or so. Then I returned to academia and never looked back. In case you think me a slacker I also worked as a manager in both retail and the food service industry. And yes, my first job was as a library page.

What? You doubted me?

Now where was I? Oh yes, cubicle.

Prudence Stuff in a Cubby

The thing is, once you’ve been out of it for a while, the whole concept of the cubby world seems alien and odd, but nothing is more so than the dreaded interview questions. So I thought I’d play a tortuous kind of game and give some to myself, now, over year into being officially my own boss as an LLC.

Here we go!

1. Miss Gail, What Do You Like Most About Working Here?

Well my boss is pretty relaxed, the place is always tidy, I can stop and eat whenever I want and the tea is endless. It can get a little lonely, but that is what Twitter is for. Ooops. I shouldn’t tell my boss how much time I spend on Twitter. She can get a bit mad about that.

2. How Do Your Customers Define Success?

Number of books per year and quality of said books. I think. They don’t seem to mind too much where or how they get those books so long as they get them with something approaching regularity.

3. What Would You Change Around Here If You Could?

I’d love to duplicate myself, I’d get so much more done.

Honestly? I’d really like to travel less and write more. I enjoy getting out and seeing people but the impact on my creativity is drastic. I’d also like to do 3 writing retreats a year. I’m so much more productive on those than I am at any other time.

4. How Does The Management Team Deal With Mistakes?

Usually she apologies as quickly as possible, confesses all and asks for forgiveness. (If said mistake is visible to the public, of course.) Otherwise she scrabbles like crazy to fix it before anyone notices. If it’s not her mistake, and she can’t fix it, but people keep telling her about it (happens a lot in publishing) she ignores it and the people.

5. What’s The Best Benefit You Offer?

Aside from the aforementioned unlimited tea? Nimbleness. It’s the single best thing about being my own boss and a hybrid author. My traditional publishers have been great, supportive and motivating, but with my indie projects I can turn on a dime and that is pretty great in this day and age. Of course, then if it doesn’t happen I have no one to blame but myself.

Speaking of which, better get back to work.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May 2017 is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

UP NEXT

Poison or Protect audiobook. ACX has delayed production for some unknown reason. Fighting with audible right now. Merph.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Fashion of My Fair Lady

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Alexia Tote $11.85

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A (Semi) Comprehensive Guide to LGBTQ+ Romance

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Yes, You Can Make a Living Writing Fiction

Book News:

Parasolverse Books In World Chronological Order (oldest setting at bottom)

Quote of the Day:

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


Gail Interviews Emma Newman (Brother’s Ruin)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today, Gentle Reader please give a hearty welcome to the fantastic Emma Newman!

Emma is many things: a delightful author, a fantastic narrator (I should know, she narrates my book Romancing the Inventor), a stylish dresser, a killer podcast hostess, and a fellow tea lover. I have been interviewed on her fantastic podcast, Tea & Jeopardy (which is how I learned of her gorgeous voice and fell in love with singing chickens).

So please join me in welcoming her to tea with me, on this rainy day. We’ll be talking about her and her new gaslight fantasy novella, Brother’s Ruin (which I have chosen for next month’s book group read along.)

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

First thing in the morning, in order to be able to form a coherent sentence, I require coffee with milk and two sugars (or sweeteners are fine). Once I have become functional (I am not a morning person) it’s tea (my first love) for the rest of the day, and I take that with milk.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

I design and make the clothes I wear to conventions and signings, purely because it helps me to manage massive anxiety in the lead up to the event (i.e. I can channel the terror of being in public into “ack, will I finish sewing this outfit in time, oh heavens, it’s midnight the day before!” instead). My style leans towards formal, highly structured tailoring at the top with long flowing lower halves, often drawing heavily upon a variety of historical periods ranging from early Georgian to late Victorian. The only period I can wear from the 20th century with any confidence (and comfort!) is the 1950s as I have a hourglass figure. I once joked to my husband that if one is supposed to dress for the job one wants, I seem to be aiming for low-key historical fantasy queen. The only thing I don’t have is a crown. Which is probably just as well, otherwise it would be a bit silly.

[Gail could not approve of this more if she tried. SO rare to find a fellow author who also loves to dress. I should say, I don’t have the anxiety thing. But I do stress out packing before a trip and my stress dreams are always travel related.]

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

Oh, it is a terrible mess. I try to keep my desk tidy but it ends up looking like Indiana Jones’s desk in The Last Crusade. Whenever I finish a big project I like to have a huge clear out, and just before I start a huge project I clean everything again. Over the course of writing a novel the mess slowly accumulates, as all of my brain is going into the book. So I suppose you could deduce exactly where I am in the first draft by the state of my desk. I suppose the knitted chicken tea cosy that sits on my desk sometimes (when he is not needed for his primary job) may raise an eyebrow (gift from a wonderful Tea and Jeopardy fan). The knitted alien facehugger may also cause a squeak of surprise, knitted by the same wonderful lady and given to me as a birthday present.

If you drive, what do you drive?

I drive a horribly practical and boring black Ford Focus. This is because I had to grow up and sell my extraordinarily fast and fun Fiat Coupe when I became pregnant. When I no longer need a sensible family car, I am going to get something sporty again. I love driving and fast acceleration. I’ve always wanted to try rally driving or track racing.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

I fear I am at a disadvantage, being British, as I am not entirely sure what a sugar cone is. Here in the UK, we tend to get one sort of plain cone (but we get a bajillion types of tea readily available everywhere, so I guess that is compensation). I like very fancy vanilla ice cream, the top of the range stuff where you can actually taste the vanilla. I would probably go for the sugar cone if I had the opportunity, because I love sweet things.

[Gail’s judgement: vanilla in a sugar cone means quirky, but probably not actually dangerous.]

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

I laugh often and heartily. Something absurdist usually does the trick for a hearty laugh, like Monty Python, or a particularly well placed film quote. I am allergic to any but the most subtle puns, sadly.

[Gail highly recommends the Tea & Jeopardy blooper reel. If you want to hear Emma’s gorgeous laugh.]

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

I am far from a connoisseur of alcoholic beverages, but I do love a good cocktail, one that is creamy and dangerous and contains Kahlua or Baileys, something like that. If there are no cocktails available, a sweet white wine will do.

Emma’s Bio

Emma Newman writes novels in multiple speculative fiction genres. She won the British Fantasy Society Best Short Story Award 2015 and Between Two Thorns, the first book in Emma’s Split Worlds urban fantasy series, was shortlisted for the BFS Best Novel and Best Newcomer 2014 awards. Her science-fiction novels, Planetfall and After Atlas, are published by Roc. Emma is an audiobook narrator and also co-writes and hosts the Hugo-nominated, Alfie Award winning podcast Tea and Jeopardy which involves tea, cake, mild peril, and singing chickens. Her hobbies include dressmaking and playing RPGs. She blogs at www.enewman.co.uk and can be found as @emapocalyptic on Twitter.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

For Brother’s Ruin, I would recommend a cream tea. The scones should be fresh, with a spreading of jam (preferably strawberry) and then a generous dollop of clotted cream. Being Cornish, I would recommend Rodda’s clotted cream. If anyone tells you that the cream should go on before the jam, I can assure you that they are wrong (there are very few subjects that I will declare such a forceful opinion on publicly, but this is one of them). The correct ordering of jam and cream on a scone is very serious business, especially for someone who is Cornish.

[Gail entirely agrees, although her training comes from Devon, so: salted butter, then jam, then clotted cream. Because, you only live once…so far as we know.]

What form does evil take within its pages?

The same form that it takes in the present day; men filled with greed who are willing to put their own profits above the health and wellbeing of anyone else, especially the poor.

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

Magus Hopkins, without a shadow of a doubt. Why? Well, he is very handsome but he has hidden depths that only I know about. I confess, I developed a little bit of a crush on him whilst writing Brother’s Ruin, and its sequel. I have given myself a stern talking to about it.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your worldbuilding?

That is such a tricky question! I find so many periods fascinating and draw from them in all of my work. I do think the 1850s (Brother’s Ruin is set in an alternative 1850s London in which magic, instead of science, has driven the industrial revolution) were utterly fascinating. There had already been so much social upheaval due to the industrial revolution, which in turn had an impact on the law and social attitudes and the effective invention of our modern cities. There were massive forward strides in engineering and science alongside the brutality and horrors perpetrated by the British Empire. So many contradictions and interesting juxtapositions across all levels of society!

I am also fascinated by the tensions between the industrialists and the nobility in that period too, and that is definitely something that has directly influenced my worldbuilding for the Industrial Magic series. At that time in the real world, many of the most successful industrialists were far wealthier than the landed gentry and the political, social and legal jostling that took place at the time reflected so many aspirations and frustrations on the parts of the industrialists and the fears of the nobility.

In the Industrial Magic series, no one from the nobility has manifested magical ability, so the industrialists are the ones who hold magical power, and it is that which has driven their industrial success. I established this so that I could explore the tensions between the two groups of people writ large, so to speak. I plan to explore that more later in the series, should more novellas be commissioned. (I really hope so, as I have so many more stories to tell!)

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

Hrmmm, that’s tricky, as I would dearly love to give Magus Ledbetter a solid punch to the jaw, rather than a slap. But if I was only allowed to slap him, I’d make sure it was a really good one.

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

I think the part when the magi arrive to interview the heroine’s family and they all snip at each other is fun. I really enjoyed writing that part, especially the way that Magus Ainsworth refers to the others and warns the heroine about Magus Hopkins. She is a character I would like to write more about in the future too.

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

I would like to say a musky, warm, vanilla laced scent, but I would be lying. It would smell of city dirt and coal dust, perhaps with a hint of freshly baked bread on the breeze; gritty, yet with an element of something homely and comforting too.

 Brother’s Ruin

The year is 1850 and Great Britain is flourishing, thanks to the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts. When a new mage is discovered, Royal Society elites descend like buzzards to snatch up a new apprentice.

Talented mages are bought from their families at a tremendous price, while weak mages are snapped up for a pittance. For a lower middle class family like the Gunns, the loss of a son can be disastrous, so when seemingly magical incidents begin cropping up at home, they fear for their Ben’s life and their own livelihoods.

But Benjamin Gunn isn’t a talented mage. His sister Charlotte is, and to prevent her brother from being imprisoned for false reporting she combines her powers with his to make him seem a better prospect. When she discovers a nefarious plot by the sinister Doctor Ledbetter, Charlotte must use all her cunning and guile to protect her family, her secret and her city. Brother’s Ruin is the first in a new gaslamp fantasy series by Emma Newman.

Gail’s Thoughts

As I said, I also chose this book for next month’s book group read along. I was lucky enough to get an early review copy and I really enjoyed it. I love Emma’s worldbuilding and the way the Magus system is used to explore class disparity in Victorian London, but without being in-your-face about it. A quick and enjoyable read and well worth the $3.99 price point.

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Beta read (fifth draft).
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

VictorianTrends.com @FreeVintagePics Two young #Victorian women in #summer dresses from July 23, 1886

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

1895 map of South Africa

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

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


Interview with Rhys Ford, Author of this Month’s Coop de Book

Posted by Gail Carriger

This months book pick is Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford. This is a great urban fantasy with some fast paced action, stellar world building, and lovable (if snarky) characters.

I invited Rhys round for a visit, so we could get to know her, and her book, a little better.

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Oh God, coffee. So much coffee. For brewed, I like a medium roast from Pumehana, a coffee plantation in the Ka’u District of the Big Island or Major Dickason’s blend from Peet’s. At Starbucks, a Trenta iced coffee with cream, vanilla and an add shot or two. When possible, a double Vietnamese hot or cold, I’m not picky.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

I tend to be very laid back. Teeth and hair brushed, Chucks, jeans and a comfortable t-shirt or blouse I was feeling when I got dressed that morning. Some makeup but not too crazy. Usually appearances go hand in hand with cons and a long day in comfortable clothing goes a long way in retaining sanity.

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

I actually write in the living room with headphones on. The house is fairly quiet and I’ve got a bit of everything in the room. Lots of geek stuff, art ranges from a Flaming June litho to Azeazelbunny by Ursula Vernon. There’s swords that I’ve somehow ended up and a Pludwhump, also from Ursula. A couple of dog beds mostly used by the cats and a red-blond cairn terrorist at my feet.

(Gail would like to note in one of those odd twists of small world-doom Ursula is a friend of hers, and a very particular friend of her very particular friend, Mur Lafferty.  Because fandom is tiny, and the more you pro, the tinier is gets.)

If you drive, what do you drive?

I drive a black on black 1979 Pontiac Firebird with a stock 301 engine and a lovely high powered stereo to keep me company on the California freeways.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

Are you kidding me? Jesus. Hell. Um. Chocolate on a plain cone. No wait….hell. This is too hard.

(Pronouncement. Author, but entirely sane. Very good.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Something absurd. The oddest thing makes me laugh. Like Hyacinth Hippo and Ben Ali Gator dancing in Fantasia cracks me up. They’re so much in love. She is his whole life. My sense of humour tends to skew a bit dark but I love a good laugh.

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

Oh that’s much easier than the ice cream. Whisky. Or Whiskey. I’m not picky.

About Rhys Ford, All Official-like

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications. She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people

About your book: Black Dog Blues!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Beef Chow Fun dry style, char siu bao or miso ramen with fish cake and tons of shoyu egg. And perhaps a Tsing Tao beer to wash it all down. Or a Spam musubi.

What form does evil take within its pages?

Oh that’s a question. I tried to make sure no species was branded as evil or good. The world’s a grey kind of place where that’s concerned and evil is a choice. It’s not like the old school D&D where a certain species of dragons was a set alignment. If you’ve got a soul and can rub two brain cells together, you’ve got to be the one driving your own destiny. That being said, the cat’s full on wicked. Can’t be trusted. Very sketchy. I would say the evil manifesting in Black Dog Blues and really, throughout the series, are the sins Greed and Envy. There’s a lot of power mad, dark-soulled people who really view the people around them as meat.

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

Did I mention the cat? Newt. He needs love. Poor thing’s a scrapper. He could use a kiss on the forehead. Preferably applied while he’s firmly wrapped in a towel and from behind so he can’t latch onto a lip or nose.

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

Dude, this is WORSE than the ice cream. I’d say it’s a toss up between the Edo Period in Japan and the Joseon Dynasty in Korea. I would say because both periods saw massive growth in the arts and technology but the political intrigue and machinations of clan / family heads were intriguing. A brutal, beautiful period full of pretty things and sharp teeth.

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

Probably Ryder. In the first book he pushes a lot because well, it’s his nature. He’s used to being in control and command but comes up against an immovable object in Kai. There’s a cultural learning curve Ryder has to go through and there’s no skipping any steps. For someone with a long life, he’s very impatient when he first meets Kai so he has to adjust his approach. Also, he carries a lot of sidhe cultural baggage that will eventually get himself killed because he won’t do X, Y or Z to defend himself.

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

Oh, I have two. Pancaking the dragon or sucking egg yolk. I can say that without spoilers.

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

It would probably smell of old pages, gunpowder, sulfur, cinnamon, gasoline, forests and Chinese Five Spice.

Black Dog Blues Official Blurb

Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in.

Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears. It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past.

And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.

And if you like Black Dog Blues, the second one Mad Lizard Mambo is also available.

Thank you Rhys, for stopping by. And I hope you, Gentle Reader, love Kai as much as I do.

{Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1883 Pierre Auguste Renoir (Fench artist, 1841-1919). Girl with a Parasol (Aline Nunes)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Emma Jane Austen (Food Reference List)

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Bra Size is a Myth

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Publishing Predictions for 2017 by agent Laurie McLean

Book News:

Alexia Polyvore Fan Art By Theamaia

Quote of the Day:

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


Facebook Live & Ketchup (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

My dearest Gentle Reader,

I’m planning another Facebook Live, to say hello and chat on the release of Imprudence in trade. That will be next Tuesday, Feb 7, at 1pm Pacific time on my Facebook Author Page.

I know it’s not an ideal time for many of you but due to a conflagration of events, that’s when I can spare the hour. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. We must keep our fingers crossed that the office internet is up and running. Although, frankly, these days anything is better than the home net.

Story of living in the Bay Area, internet invariably sucks. The place of all things silicon related… except decent wireless.

Chirrup News Ketchup

For those of you who missed this month’s Chirrup (my newsletter) I talked about some fun stuff. Including but not limited to: becoming a workaholic loony slob, writers in their native environment, what I’m writing about in Competence the 3rd Custard Protocol book (add it on Goodreads), and much more.

Audiobook News

In other news Romancing the Inventor audiobook seems to be doing well. Hard to tell so far, it’s a bit early, but thank you to everyone who has bought and downloaded. As ever, your reviews are very much appreciated, particularly on iTunes.

Romancing the Inventor Audiobook

{Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1880s L’ancienne cour tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Previewing Upcoming 2017 Small Screen Period Dramas

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Turn a Wire Coat Hanger into a Book Stand

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Actual Timeline of a Book and Why it Matters

Book News:

Fan Art Alexia Parasol

Quote of the Day:

“I can resist everything but temptation.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


Occasional FAQ: The Ideas Behind The Parasolverse

Posted by Gail Carriger

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

What’s the name of your universe?

I’ve officially started calling it the Parasolverse.

How did you come up with the idea?

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

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

So where did you go from there?

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

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

Want to know more?

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

PROJECT ROUND UP  

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

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1880 fashions, summer dress

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A 5-minute Guide to the House of Worth

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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

Book News:

Fan Art Alexia Maccon by Rohan Elf

Quote of the Day:

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

~ Oscar Wilde

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


Interview with Author Lea Kirk

Posted by Gail Carriger

Gentle Reader, please welcome Lea Kirk to tea on the blog today. Lea writes one of my favorite sub-genres: science Fiction romance. She is also a darling friend.

About You, Author Lea Kirk!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea, with honey. Normally peppermint tea, but I have found that Throat Coat is mildly addictive. Is it just me?

[Yes, Lea, it’s just you.]

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

Totally depends on the type of event, and my mood. Most of the time I go for business casual. I have considered dressing up as an alien a couple of times, though. Maybe I will at some point.

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

If I had my way, my writer beast would work all day in my PJs and my big, fluffy robe. Occasionally I have, but most days I’m a boring t-shirt and jeans writer. I am a method-writer though, meaning I sometimes act out how my characters move to make sure I’m describing it right on the page. If you happen to walk in on me during those moments, you might be surprised.

As for environment, I share an office with my husband, so normally the CPA in him forces him to keep it organized. I’m much more the laid back, artsy type, and messes don’t bother me until I trip over them. This has driven my DH to the brink of insanity more than a few times over the years.

If you drive, what do you drive?

Oh, dear. Well, most days I drive my beat-up, dark-green, mid-90s vintage Grand Caravan with a black Spock Box on top (also referred to by normal people as a Thule gear box). On special occasions—when I don’t have to haul around my five kids—I will drive my 2004 T-bird convertible. (This was a gift from my hubby for staying married to him for 25 years. Can’t wait to see what he’ll give me for our 50th anniversary!)

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

*Gulp* Chocolate on a plain cone. (Did I pass?)

[Yes! You are sane with very slight oddball tendencies.]

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Questions about ice-cream.

Also, some of the antics my kids (and hubby) get into.

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

Margarita, always with salt. Ice consistency depends on my mood.

Lea Kirk

Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her romances of science fiction and time travel. Her fascination with science fiction began at six years old when her dad introduced her to the original Star Trek TV series. She fell in love with the show, and was even known to run through her parents’ house wearing the tunic top of her red knit pantsuit and her white go-go boots pretending to be Lieutenant Uhura.

Ms. Kirk lives in California with her wonderful hubby of twenty-six years, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and a Doberman who thinks he’s a people. She’s also proud of her seven times great grandson. Apparently her stories will serve as the inspiration for James T. to join Star Fleet Academy. She learned this in the 1980’s when James sought out her counsel on where to find a pair of humpback whales.

Find Lea on Facebook and Twitter.

 

About your book! Prophecy

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Eat? There’s no time for food—only reading! When you finish, though, you should definitely celebrate with a nice steak dinner, then pick up book two of my series and start all over.

What form does evil take within its pages?

Ohhh, evil is tall and green. Evil is exotic and blue. Evil is old and feeble. “Trust no one, Dr. Jones.”

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

Oh, geez. I’m not allowed to skip this one, huh? Okay, it’s a tough choice, but I’d have to pick Dante Dacian, one of the hero’s best friends. He’s 6’3”, geeky, and a healer. He also happens to have blue skin and hails from another planet. Disclaimer: My choice may be slightly guilt driven as I’ve given Dante a heartbreaking past.

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

There are a couple of eras that appeal to me. One is the 1930s through mid-40s for sure (music, dancing, WWII, Western culture). The other is Old West (1800s). It just seems like an exciting time, especially with the expansion of the railroads. And horses. I love horses.

Overall, I’d have to say that these eras do not particularly influence my world building. The Old West might but only because I compare post-invasion life on Earth to living in the Old West. Even though alien technology provides methods of fast transportation, many of my characters prefer to ride horseback for their local jaunts.

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

Probably Kelly Rossler, a secondary character in Prophecy. Kelly loses her eight-year-old son during the Anferthian invasion of Earth. She can’t quite manage to accept that not all Anferthians—or aliens in general—are evil. The toll on her mind starts to show in book two (Salvation), and she does the unthinkable in her search for “justice”. I’m not certain what will happen to her next, or if she’ll even make another appearance in future novels for the series. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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

I totally love the interactions between Alex (the heroine) and her younger brother, Nick. They love each other unconditionally, but there is an underlying sibling rivalry that helps keep them going even though the world has fallen apart. One of the funniest moments IMO is when Nick happens upon his sister and her alien love interest, Gryf, getting on in the middle of the forest.

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

It depends on the part of the story. In some places it smells like a gentle ocean breeze in the springtime. Other places it smells like the pine trees of the High Sierra-Nevada Mountains. Mostly though it smells like home and family, with a touch of smoke and gunpowder mixed in.

Prophecy

Prophecy (only $0.99!)

A nightmare of galactic proportions…

One normal day turns into horror when Earth is attacked. Now ER nurse Alexandra Bock is imprisoned aboard an alien slave ship with no way out. She deems all aliens untrustworthy, including the handsome blue-skinned Matiran captain who shares her cell.

A betrayal from within…

One night of treachery leaves Senior Captain Gryf Helyg a prisoner of his enemies. Because of him, Earth’s inhabitants face extinction and his home world is threatened. But his plans for escape are complicated by his inexplicable draw to the Earth woman imprisoned with him.

A chance to save both their peoples…

One ancient prophecy holds the key to free Alexandra and Gryf’s war-ravaged worlds. Can two wounded souls who have lost everything learn to trust and forgive in order to fulfill the prophecy, and find a love that will last for eternity?

Amazon |  Nook | iTunesKobo

{Gail’s monthly read along for November is Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger. Oh don’t look so shocked.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: Rough draft completed. Lay away this month. First pass red through starts in December.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via julielondon-tumblr Mary Pickford, 1922

via julielondon-tumblr Mary Pickford, 1922

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

When Librarians are Silenced

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Do Authors Owe Us Their Whole Selves?

Book News:

1Book1Review on YouTube says of Imprudence: “I loved the book. It was fun to read. It was fast paced, action-packed, and a lot of flirting and tea (as you can expect from Gail Carriger).”

Quote of the Day:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”
~ Red Smith

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


Gail Interviews Author Tess Rider

Posted by Gail Carriger

Today, Gentle Reader, please welcome my dear friend and lovely author, Tess Rider to the blog.

Tess and I are dear chums, but we see each other once a month for tea and good gossip, and I consider one of the best sorts.

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About you, Author Tess Rider!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea, Earl Grey with a dash of sugar and a splash of milk (coconut, only because regular milk and me aren’t on speaking terms).

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

Colorful, coordinated, often with signature jewelry or hat/fascinator and fun shoes.

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

First, it’s TINY, nothing more than a walk-in closet in an old Victorian, but it has a little window for light and its walls are covered with art, notes, reminders and pictures. Somehow I’ve even managed to squeeze a leather recliner and flat panel monitor, some bookshelves, and, oh yeah, me into this itty bitty space.

If you drive, what do you drive?

Yes. A 1996 Lexus ES300.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

Vanilla on a sugar cone.

(You are mostly sane but definitely odd.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Cats doing silly things.

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

I love a good margarita.

author-pic-sq-tess-rider

Tess Rider lives with her wonderfully eccentric husband in an equally eccentric Victorian in the San Francisco Bay Area. An avid cat lover in search of her next cat, Tess is a huge fan of anything by Joss Whedon and gets inspiration for her books from dreams. She’s an accountant by day, a novelist by night and an artist at heart 24/7. Her debut paranormal time travel romance, Bring Me to Ruin (only $2.99 ebook USA), released April 2016. The second novel in the Haunted Hollow series released September 2016. Find her on the web at www.tessrider.com and contact her at tess@tessrider.com.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Dark, bittersweet chocolate paired with a delicious red wine.

What form does evil take within its pages?

Evil takes the form of a vicious Fae ghost who can infect characters’ minds with their greatest fears and doubts.

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

Sam Severin. He’s a devilishly handsome redhead from the future and he can slow time down temporarily, which has interesting possibilities.

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

If I had to pick one, probably the 1800s. The dynamic change in art and culture in Europe is exciting and the “Old West”, particularly California gold rush era, holds great allure. My fictitious town of Radley’s Hollow was founded in 1847 in Sonoma County and includes a winery and a mine that figure prominently in the series. I had a fantastic time traveling through wine and gold country doing research for the series, visiting gold mines, historic towns and some of the oldest wineries in the area.

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

Sam Severin. I forgot to mention he’s a hothead and an irreverent smart ass.

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

The scene where Sam Severin arms the story’s hero, Justin Wyatt, with a whole host of weaponry and technology from Sam’s home in the twenty-second century. Justin is nineteen and the story takes place in 1942 in a seemingly “normal” world, so Justin’s understandably excited to get to play with Sam’s toys.

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

Honeysuckle and wine. The heroine’s perfume smells like honeysuckle and much of the story takes place in a winery.

tessrider_beforemyworldturnedblue_2500

Before My World Turned Blue (USA ebook only $1.99)

A paranormal time travel romance about two star-crossed lovers whose affair could change the future of planet Earth. Atmospheric, sensual and haunting, it’s the second in a series about a small town turned gateway to an apocalyptic ghost war and the men and women on the front lines fighting to save humanity from extinction. Book website.

The first is Bring Me to Ruin.

{Gail’s monthly read along for November is Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger. Oh don’t look so shocked.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: Rough draft completed. Lay away this month. First pass red through starts in December.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1924 filmsploitation- Sunshade Styles 1

1924 filmsploitation- Sunshade Styles 1

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

50 Interesting and Unusual Octopus Home Decor Finds

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”
~ Tom Clancy

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

To Pen Name or Not to Pen Name

Book News:

Ditch Diggers Podcast #31: The Godparents Episode with Gail Carriger and Howard Tayler

Quote of the Day:

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”
~ Kingsley Amis

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


NaNoWriMo Q&A With Gail Carriger

Posted by Gail Carriger

This post spawned off of a forum discussion, Gentle Reader.

During NaNoWriMo I usually get an influx of questions on places like Goodreads regarding the craft of writing. I’m happy to answer them, although I don’t consider teaching about writing my forté. (Here is a good post on NaNoWriMo for those who’ve no idea what I’m on about.)

So I puttered about and pulled together some interview questions that I felt might help the baby-booking NaNoWriMo-er.

How do you break down your book into chapters? 

My chapters are usually around 6k words long or 10 pages, for the novel length Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol series. However, it’s more like 4k for the Finishing School YA stuff and novellas. If I were intending my 50k NaNoWriMo project to resolve at 50k, then I’d likely go with a 4k/chapter length. And yes, you do need to get comfortable with thinking about your book in terms of word count, not page count. In the internet age, page count is too flexible.

Professionally speaking?

On deadline, 6k is perfect for me as it’s about one week of writing/rereading. Also, that works out to 16 chapters, (plus any starting bits or epilogues), giving me a 96k book. I like to stay under 100k, so that works for me. Plus, 16 feels like a nice satisfying number. Of course, a novel rarely actually comes out that tidy. But I’m optimistic.

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein

What makes you decide to end a chapter and break flow?

Flow breakdown is a consequence of pace, climax, and tension. Usually, it’s something like: 8 chapters end on a cliff hanger, 6 chapters end on an up note, 2 end on a downer. These are intermixed with each other and are a result of my genre, author voice, comedic bent, and style. Someone who writes horror, or suspense, or dark epics for example, would make different choices.

Gail Carriger Poof Pass Tea Cat

How do you discipline yourself to write?

I use shameless bribery: cup of tea if I finish the chapter, sushi every 25k, new shoes when I finish the first draft. I also punish myself. If I haven’t made my word count I can’t watch TV. Not even GBBO.

“You must learn to overcome your very natural and appropriate revulsion for your own work.”
~ William Gibson

How do you make your writing funny?

Mostly I take ridiculous characters and put them into absurd situations. I don’t know about you, but the times I find myself laughing the most are when I’m chatting with my friends. So, I use friends ruthlessly as inspiration. My other tactic is when something comes up in the plot, I ask myself not “what would my character do next?” but “what is the most bizarre solution to this problem?” Sometimes this backfires on me in a “Douglas Adams kind of way” in which case I have to switch tactics and ask myself “what would PG Wodehouse do?”

Other ways to add humor?

There are intrinsically funny words, situations, and characters – so throwing any one of those into a scene always helps. I watch and read a lot of comedy, and I’m always alert to funny things around me. I’ve developed an inconvenient tendency to step back while reading, watching, or talking to ask myself, “Why was that funny?” I don’t necessarily copy the occurrence, but I do file it away as technique. I have an addiction to bad puns and ludicrous analogies, so sometimes I go overboard.

Here’s a great article on ways to write humor.

Three Tips for Collecting a Wealth of Humorous Material from Almost An Author

“My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.”
~ Elmore Leonard

That’s all I have for now. Enjoy writing dear NoNoWriMo-ers, and rememebr my old adage?

Don’t forget the funny!

{Gail’s monthly read along for November is Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger. Oh don’t look so shocked.}

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1878, England via shewhosorshipscarlin tumnblr

Fashion plate, 1878, England via shewhosorshipscarlin tumnblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Victorian Printing Press, New Zealand

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Gail Carriger's Office Writing SAS

Gail Carriger’s Office Writing SAS

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“Tea has been one of saviors of mankind. I verily believe that, but for the introduction of tea and coffee, Europe might have drunk itself to death.”
~ Sir James Crichton-Browne

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


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