Tagged shaving the beast

Gail Carriger Themed Goodie Box is Coming!

Posted by Gail Carriger

The Chirrup, is soon to go out, Gentle Reader!

This time I’m giving away a Blameless themed goodie box to members, full of lovely things, which one lucky Chirrup member will win. There is also a stack of books to the runner up.

Why Blameless? Because Romancing the Werewolf is coming and there’s some setup for that book in Blameless.

Here’s what’s in the goodie box…

  • book on teacups
  • the out of print mass market first edition of Blameless, signed
  • Red scarf & matched feather change purse,
  • assorted bookmarks & other swag
  • tea sample
  • mock victorian earrings
  • ladybug pin & octopus necklace

  

 

The stack of books includes…

You know what you need to do…

Meanwhile, my tea is getting cold… scandal!

Miss Gail

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

COMING NOV 5th!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger will be available in digital form on Nov 5th (print & audio to follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

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.
    There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy werewolf 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.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1903 Ring Class at the Richmond Cat Show from The Book of the Cat by Frances Simpson

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

On Display at the Ripped Bodice

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Over 100 Years Later, Photographer Alice Austen Is Finally Being Recognized as an LGBTQ Icon

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Writing Away From Home, c. 1780

Book News:

ace-artemis-fanartist Alexia Support

Quote of the Day:

 “Blair Eggleston was a man who wore side-whiskers and if the truth were known, was probably a secret beret-wearer as well.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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


Coop de Book Review ~ The Blue Sword

Posted by Gail Carriger

When people talk about The Blue Sword, Gentle Reader, they often feel compelled to mention The Hero and the Crown. These two books are intimately connected, although each stands alone (the one is a legend in the other).

There are many out there who think The Hero and the Crown the better book. I genuinely like them both, but I read The Blue Sword first and Hari is my one true love.

Alanna was my first girl with a sword and magic, Hari was the first one I felt was like me.

That’s part of it.

I also always liked the romance line better in The Blue Sword. There’s something remarkable in that, because for most of this book the two leads are separated. Yet I believe in their love unquestionably.

Also I find the story is closer, more character driven, and more intimate in Blue. Hero always felt a bit more like a legend being told around a fireplace ~ a little distanced, as if I were watching the characters from far above.

{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 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?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Behind the Scenes at The Costume Institute Conservation Laboratory: House of Worth Ball Gown

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Freelance Achievement Stickers

Book News:

Cover art pose similarity, the hip cock elbow

Stephanie of Cover2Cover Blog says of Curtsies & Conspiracies:

“I really love how the girls always get into a mess and have to work their way out of it – strong females are wonderful. I also loved the humor, there is always the comic relief of a mechanical wiener dog if nothing else. Bumbersnoot makes me giggle and I love it.”

Quote of the Day:

“Editing to do list today includes “organize & pain” as opposed to “organize & plan.” Same difference, I suppose.”

~ Self

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


Ketchup: Chirrup Changes, Goodreads & Fun Stuff

Posted by Gail Carriger

Through no fault of my own, August was a month of fixing and changing things. So here is a bit of a ketchup post for you, my dear Gentle Reader.

Newsletter Switcheroo

Many of you have been long time members of my newsletter, the Chirrup, as well as this blog (yes it’s different stuff). Well, I’m delighted to say that this month we jumped from one newsletter handler (MailChimp) to another (MailerLite).

You shouldn’t see any changes on your end when the September Chirrup goes out.

That said…

If you have had trouble signing up for the newsletter in the past, now is the time to try again.

Please remember check your spam filters and “Promotions” tabs if it’s not showing up. The next Chirrup I’ll have some audiobook codes for audible to give away.

Chirrup members will get Romancing the Werewolf cover art reveal soon as well as the option to win audiobook download codes (Poison or Protect).

What’s Else Is Up Right Now?

I’m putting Romancing the Werewolf into production (November 5th, everyone! You can add it on Goodreads), editing Competence, and writing the second San Andreas Shifters book. So if I’m a little quiet and absent, that’s why. Good excuses, no?

You can add Competence on Goodreads expected publication Summer 2018.

 

Meanwhile Check 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?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900s Golden Memories by CrouchEndTowen

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Call the Fashion Police! I’m Wearing an Illegal Hatpin!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

Book News:

Sample of my steampunk outfits

Quote of the Day:

“What’s the name you Poms have for that thing where you jump up and down and hit each other with sticks?”
“Sex?”
“Gardening?”
He snapped his fingers. “Morris dancing.”

~ Alexis Hall (For Real)

Following conversation recently occurred regarding this book:

R: OMG I loved For Real so much!
GC: I know, right? It’s soooo good.
R: But that cover!
GC: Argh.
R: And that blurb!
GC: Double argh.
R: Still, I should have just trusted you.
GC: Exactly. You should have. You doubted me?
R: I am so sorry.

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


The Sumage Solution: A Playlist for Max & Bryan & Ketchup

Posted by Gail Carriger

Let’s talk music, Gentle Reader!

It must be something about writing in a contemporary setting, but for the first time, with The Sumage Solution, I actually found myself thinking about the music I associate with my main characters.

As a sort of a teaser for this upcoming novel I present unto you a…

A Playlist for Bryan & Max

  • Ask the Magic 8 Ball by Less Than Jake
  • You Look So Fine by Garbage
  • The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage by Panic! At The Disco
  • Beyond the Invisible by Enigma
  • Absurd by Fluke
  • Sinner by Curve
  • Skin Against Skin by DJ Krush
  • Eyes, Lips, Body by Ramshackle
  • Pedestal by Portishead
  • Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want by Muse
  • Original Bedroom Rockers by Kruder & Dorfmeister
  • Thanks for the Memories by Fall Out Boy

A Poem for Max

One of the very favorite classical poems that I remember loving, and so very Max:

“On Aphrodite’s island all I found
was a token gallows where my image hung . . .
Lord give me strength and courage to behold
my body and my heart without disgust.”
~ Horusev

And in case that makes you think this book too serious (it isn’t, but Max can be rather over-dramatic in his self-recriminations) I give you: 15+ Tactics for Writing Humor

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of my life in social media:

What was the cat’s name? Hestia

Finally, join me on Reddit Tomorrow!

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

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

OUT THIS MONTH!

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

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Difference Between Professionals and Amateurs

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

50 Things I Learned about The Writing Life

Book News:

Meet & Greet @ BayCon 2017

Quote of the Day:

Save

Save


So Much Awesome ~ An Author & Her Team

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I’m so very lucky, Gentle Reader, to have a killer team behind me when I publish a new book.

I don’t talk about them much, and frankly the most they tend to get is a nod in the acknowledgements. I thought, perhaps, I would share a little insider trading on some of these fabulous people so you could appreciate them too.

My Photographer

I’ve used a number of different cover model photographers over the years, but whenever I can, I go to Evan Butterfield. (Do yourself a favor and check out his site. No, really, I’ll wait.)

When I say “my cover photographer” I’m generally talking about Evan, because I feel very personally connected to him (and the models I chose of his).

Quinn, my cover model, holding the book featuring himself.

Here is a picture of Quinn, the cover model for The Sumage Solution, holding The Sumage Solution ARC at a recent shoot. This is taken by Evan. How awesome is that? It’s the meta-ist of meta.

Who’s a lucky authorbeast? ME!

How’d I find Evan?

Evan and I (virtually) met because of The Airship Ambassador (a dear friend of mine via the Steampunk community). I pinged Evan to use his photo for Curious Case, and the rest, as they say, is history.

My Cover Art Designer

Starla of Designed By Starla does all my indie cover art. She is also an amazing author in her own right. I’m a particular fan of her Flipped Fairy Tale series. If you like fairy tale retellings, I recommend them. We are part of a private writer’s group, wherein she has the reputation (well deserved) for making me cry during readings (in a good way, because her prose is so beautiful and her voice is amazing).

How’d I find Starla?

Via the podcasting world. Below is my favorite of her covers (aside from my own, of course):

My Developmental Editor

Sue Brown-Moore of DavinciKittie is my developmental editor. DE is basically the same kind of editor as my acquiring editor at a traditional publishing house. I chose Sue because her specialty is romance and my novellas tend to lean that direction. I wanted someone who would have that focus in mind. She’s extremely helpful and I find if she and my beta’s agree on anything, then it needs to be altered in the story.

G.L. Carriger, Sue Brown-Moore, Lea Kirk

How’d I find Sue?

Sue is a member of my RWA chapter and a veteran romance blogger at GraveTells.com. She also edits an author friend of mine, Lea Kirk, who recommended her.

My Copy Editor

I use Richard Shealy (of SF/F Copyediting) for my copy editing. He edits for traditional publishing houses but also freelances. He specializes in SF/F but that specifically made me want to use him for my more romance-focused books because I’ve found CE’s catch more if they aren’t invested in the story. He’s excellent, fast, and efficient.

How’d I find Richard?

Via author forums and general pinging of author friends.

My Proof Editors

I use Flo Selfman (of Worlds a la Mode) and Shelley Bates (of Moonshell Books) for proof pass editing. This is like a second copy edit to make certain everything is PERFECT. Shelly has a particularly busy schedule but because she also writes steampunk (as Shelley Adina), her expertise on the Victorian era is not to be sneezed at. I will often beg to be fit into her schedule.

Flo is wonderfully meticulous. I tend to use her for my contemporary set stuff. She’s also a consummate spy, having infiltrated the Ripped Bodice to take a picture of my books on the shelf there.

How’d I find Shelley & Flo?

Shelley is a member of my RWA chapter and that’s how I met her. Flo came via recommendations.

 

My Audiobook Producer

AKA Producer Bryan is also a member of the sacred writer group (with Starla). His specialty is actually full cast audio work, but I needled him into doing single point narration for me. Occasionally I find the narrators (Romancing the Inventor and The Sumage Solution), occasionally he does (Poison or Protect), but he does all the leg work interfacing with them, adding in special sound effects, and cleaning up the files.

How’d I find Bryan?

Podcasting, of course. All good things come from podcasting.

Logos & Other Fun Stuff

Kim Killion of the Killion Group wears many many hats, but I use her for quick logo creation. She and her team can handle pretty much all an author’s design needs, including covers. If you want  a one stop shop, I suspect it’d be difficult to find better.

How’d I find Kim?

RWA forums.

My Formatter

Nina Pierce is my last line of defence. She comes along and makes everything pretty in print and digital. I’ve never had a single complaint, and I know my readers, they would say something. They’re polite, but they aren’t that polite.

How’d I find Nina?

Recommended by a friend.

Conclusion

So there you have it, a small sample of my team in action.

I usually do a blog post about book-specific team details around the announcement and launch of that book. For example, here’s a blog post all about Evan, Quinn, Starla, and the cover of The Sumage Solution.

I hope it goes without saying that I recommend every one of these people.

That said, not every author has the same kind of work style. The kind of team that works well for me may not be what you’re looking for. And for those of my blog readers who are just interested in behind the scenes… now you know.

Yours as ever,

Miss Gail

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

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

AVAILABLE SOON!

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 . . .

Greer Garson and Ann Rutherford in Pride and Prejudice directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1940

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Many Ways in Which We Are Wrong About Jane Austen ~ not sure I agree entirely but it makes for interesting reading.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Twelve Questions To Ask Yourself After That First Draft Is Done

Book News:

Shannan Bloom says of Romancing the Inventor:

“Imogene Hale is a great addition to the pantheon of Carriger characters. She’s different than anyone else in any of the books I’ve read by Gail Carriger, but her plucky attitude, intelligence, and passion make her a perfect fit.”

Quote of the Day:

“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


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

Posted by Gail Carriger

Well hello there, Gentle Reader.

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

 

Part of Miss Gail’s Occasional FAQ series.

1. Where do you get your ideas?

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

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

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

3. What are your least favorite parts to write?

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

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

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

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

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

I genuinely do not know the order of…

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

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

I don’t get any $ from…

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

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

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

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

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

Fan Art Conall by Matt Harrison via Twitter

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

You.

Hey, thanks for that.

Yours,

Miss Gail

Want more like this?

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

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

OUT THIS MONTH!

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

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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

Book News:

Parasol Protectorate in Thailand (thanks Pete)

Quote of the Day:

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


Werewolves & Tea or How Gail Handles The Sacred Leaf In A Modern Setting (Pu-erh)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So the werewolf love interest in my upcoming book, The Sumage Solution, has a bit of an obsession with tea. Which he takes very very seriously.

Unlike me, his obsession is with all different kinds of high quality tea (as opposed to just English breakfast with milk). His favorite is Puerh. Which, frankly, I never know how to spell, wikipedia has it as Pu-erh or Pu’er. (I went with Pu-erh in the book.)

Let’s be clear here, you know those bog people that come up in anoxic environment excavations?

“A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog.”

From wikipedia.

Puerh tastes pretty much exactly like eating one of those, if you ask me.

Bryan, however, loves it. Here’s a sneak peak where he’s making warm beverages for himself, his brother Alec (pack Alpha), and Alec’s merman boyfriend, Marvin.

He brought back three cups without having to be asked. Peppermint for Alec, because he was a putz, seaweed for Marvin, because he was a fish, and Pu-erh for himself. Because I’m a real man.

Find out more about Bryan and his tea habit in The Sumage Solution

Want to learn more about this particular tea variant?

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

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

OUT THIS MONTH!

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

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 vi antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

~ Tom Clancy

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Memorable Author Screw Ups

Book News:

Kitty G ays of Prudence on YouTube:

“Gail Carriger just thinks in a way that is so witty and so funny…”

Quote of the Day:

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

~ Voltaire

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


Marine Biology New Cover & Character Boards

Posted by Gail Carriger

So, Gentle Reader, for those of you who sign up for the Chirrup before the next one goes out Sunday morning (and for those who are already members) I’ll be offering a digital download of Marine Biology with new cover art and a sample chapter of The Sumage Solution. (You’ll have to sideload it onto your device of choice. Google sideload + your device.)

Wanna know more about the new cover?

Here you can take a look at the design board I handed off to Starla to make this cover. You can see it shifted quite a bit from my original idea, but I hope you still like it!

Here are the two covers side by side:

 Marine Biology

I thought you might be interested in the companion Pinterest boards. Here’s the one that is for Marine Biology. You can see how I imagine Alec and Marvin look:

In line with that, I also released two SAS character boards. (More to come after The Sumage Solution drops).

Here’s Alec’s board:

And here is Marvin’s board:

I hope you like exploring these two characters. Just wait until you get to meet Bryan and Max, the main characters in The Sumage Solution. They are soooooo adorable.

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

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Poison or Protect Audiobook.
    StatusOut now!
    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)
Eyes Front, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888
American,
Commercial color lithograph

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

“It is no secret in the circles in which he moves that Bertram Wooster, though as glamorous as one could wish when night has fallen and the revels get under way, is seldom a ball of fire at the breakfast table. Confronted with the eggs and b., he tends to pick cautiously at them, as if afraid they may leap from the plate and snap at him. Listless, about sums it up. Not much bounce to the ounce.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Some of my research books.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Even the most productive writers are expert dawdlers.”

~ Donald M. Murray

Book News:

Tumblr’s Through the Looking Glass says of Etiquette & Espionage:

“I have quite often thought that I was born in the wrong era, but upon reading the Finishing School series I have become quite convinced I live in the wrong universe altogether. Gail Carriger pens a Victorian world filled with romance, espionage and the supernatural, a sprinkling of Steampunk and a good dollop of comedy that delights and amuses with every turn of the page, serving to make me giggle aloud on several occasions in a highly undignified fashion.”

Quote of the Day:

“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.”

~ B.P. Skinner

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


Why G. L. Carriger? On Pen Names, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal

So let us talk a little bit about pen names, shall we Gentle Reader?

G. L. Carriger

My next book, The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1, is a big departure for me. OK, perhaps not that big. It’s still me, full of silliness and fun. It’s urban fantasy, but it’s set in contemporary times, in America. It’s not steampunk. It has more sex than my other writing has in the past. It’s certainly got worse language.


Preorder Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

I dithered for a while about what to do about this. You see, I worry about reader betrayal… a lot.

Reader Betrayal

Reader betrayal can take many forms. At its root, it is that sensation one gets if the book you’re reading does something totally unexpected in a bad way. Like if a book you picked up thinking it was romance suddenly doesn’t have a happy ending.

Now, why does this happen?

Well, it can be a flaw in story: you’re reading one thing when the author suddenly takes a dive and turns it into something else. That is the author’s fault. (This is what I call the “scream and hurl” scenario.) Or it can be a flaw in expectation, you thought it was one kind of book, despite the cover and blurb trying to tell you otherwise, and you read it anyway.

Far more common these days is visual marker caused betrayal. This means that you picked up the book expecting one thing because of the cover and then got something completely different from the words within. Controlling these expectations is a serious business. It’s done many ways: visually through cover art (image & text), but also via author name, and cover copy/blurb and description. (There are also things that can’t really be controlled like algorithms offering “similar books you might like.”)

For example, if I showed you this cover:

You’d expect one thing. Dark gritty urban fantasy. Possibly noir tropes in use. If that’s the kind of thing you like, you might then take a look at the book description and decide to buy it.

But if I gave you this one:

You’d expect something else. Upbeat, cheerful, youthful, pulp-ish.

Both covers are based off photos. Both are single person images, saturated color use. But the kind of image chosen, from dress to facial expression, and the tweaks then made to it, from color choice to the overlay of type and font in use, all tell you, the reader, something about what is inside.

You may not know exactly what you are being told, or how to control your own response, but trust me, you’re reacting. The thing that worries a savvy author the most is NOT “does this cover depict what’s inside my book” but “does this cover accurately portray the spirit of my book?”

If you picked up Fairy Debt and did not get a fun little light hearted read about a fairy in silly times, you would be angry with me as the author. You would feel betrayed.

Print edition proofs arrive in office.

Why talk about covers when I should be discussing pen names?

Because most of the time, covers come first. Covers are the single most important thing when selling a book or establishing a brand as an author. Initially. After that, of course, its up to the author to pull the reader in and make them want more.

Which brings us to author name recognition.

After a certain point, if lucky, an author starts to accrue loyal readers. These are the readers who write to say they love you. Who regularly leave book reviews. Who vow to buy “anything you write.” These readers follow an author’s newsletter (if really lucky) and get excited when a new book comes along.

These readers are you, eyeballs reading this blog post right now. I LOVE YOU.

You know what to expect from me as an author because I have tried to give you something quite consistent over the last few years. Yes, it jumped around from YA to adult to novella, from espionage to romance to adventure, but the spirit of the Parasolverse has been unchanged.

Cover art plays into this too, keeping a theme going is pretty darn important:

Here’s how I played with my own themes for my indie stuff:

Romancing the Inventor

Do you see the similarities, and to which books? Can you understand why I might want to make some of the changes I did between my novels and my novellas? (Perhaps that is a whole other discussion if you’re interested.)

One of the things I’d encourage you to notice is that I made my name bigger than the title for the first time when I produced my own stuff.

Why?

Because when self-pubbing I’m banking on name recognition. Because it’s more common in romance to do this for well known authors, and my novellas touch on romance more heavily. (And, because I have noticed over the years that male F/SF authors get this kind of name glorification treatment while the rest of us, erm, do not. That gets my goat because it smacks pretty darn strongly of sexism.)

So, why go through all this trouble to establish name recognition, only to change my name… slightly?

G. L. Carriger

Because we are back to the first part of this post: reader betrayal.

My new non-parasolverse m/m urban fantasy is just different enough for me to worry. Even knowing that I could give you a very different cover, which I have done, I worried that my name was now strong enough to sucker readers into expecting things: gentleness, steampunk, sweet romance, Victorian food & clothing.

I worried that if it says “by Gail Carriger” readers would expect exactly the kind of thing they had gotten from me before. The Sumage Solution is just different enough for readers to get mad at me. Not because I don’t write urban fantasy or paranormal romance well (This book is oodles of fun. It makes me so happy.) but because it’s not what readers expected from Gail Carriger going in. Which isn’t really my fault.

Except that it is. It is certainly my responsibility.

I have established Gail Carriger expectations with 17 or so books now. So it’s up to me to shift those expectations. So I’m publishing The Sumage Solution under G. L. Carriger. Still me. Just tweaked. This way, going in, readers pick up the book and perhaps go:

“Huh, I wonder if this is still Gail? I wonder why Gail is doing this? Perhaps it’s not quite the same thing as before.”

It wasn’t an easy decision, I’ll tell you that much.

And, I hope you like her.

Still and always yours,

Miss G

Want more?

{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 . . .

Longchamp, France. 1900 via Edwardian Time Machine tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Gail Carriger Sketched by Howard Tayler

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

~ Albert Einstein

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.”

~ Alain de Botton

Book News:

The Reading Chick says of Prudence:

“The style of the characters meld completely with the storyline, that it all seems completely believable, in a rather fantastic way.”

Quote of the Day:

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”

~ Logan Pearsall Smith

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


Secret Project Revealed ~ The Sumage Solution, Gail Carriger Writes Sexy M/M Paranormal Romance as G. L. Carriger

Finally, the big announcement!

If wishes were werewolves.

So a while ago, Gentle Reader, I started muttering about this stupid trashy-great story that kept waking me up in the middle of the night and bothering me with new characters. I called it SAS. Or occasionally Secret Project Smut.

It’s not steampunk.

It’s not in the Parasolverse.

Although there’s a way this could be the Parasolverse’s future, but you have to read it to find out how.

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifter #1

G.L. Carriger

Preorder: Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

So what is it?

It’s m/m paranormal romance set in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s raunchy and filthy. It’s hilarious and so much fun.

It’s the follow up story to Marine Biology.

I asked myself what happened after Alec moved with his merman boyfriend and his newly formed pack to San Francisco. Turns out he discovers that werewolves have a bad reputation, his brother has been in the closet his whole life, and there’s a snarky annoyed mage on their case.

The story is told with swapped POVs.

Whose story is it?

Start with a beefcake with a caregiver complex…

Bryan (AKA Biff) is Alec’s older brother and a Beta werewolf. Didn’t know he was a closet case, did you? A redneck jock type, overly muscled, overly gruff, and (as it turns out) overly sensitive.

Meets broken beautiful smart-ass with a heart of gold…

Max (Maximillian Barker) is a sumage (a mage who can’t actually do any magic) stuck in a crap government job with a mouth like a sailor and some serious relationship hang ups.

Max works at DURPS, the supernatural equivalent of the DMV. When Bryan goes in for processing, he discovers Max, and Max smells delicious. But mages are supposed to stink… to werewolves. It all goes downhill from there.

So I’m officially calling this the San Andreas Shiftier Series.

This series includes Marine Biology which is the prequel, and will now get a new cover. (And is, I guess, San Andreas Shifters Book #0.5? Although, Marine Biology shouldn’t really be San Andreas Shifters because it’s about the pack before it was a pack and moved to the Bay Area, but… I digress.)

Yeah. Series. This means there could be more. I suspect once you start reading about the San Andreas Pack that you will love them. I built myself a whole cast of fabulous gay biker werewolves to play with.

What, you doubted me?

What’s the first book called, then, Miss Gail?

The Sumage Solution

You gonna publish it?

Yep. It’s up for preorder right now. Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

I dithered a while, worried about silly things like “polluting the brand.” (There are pros and cons to writing in multiple genres.) And is m/m too smutty for Gail to scribble? And will I get in trouble for writing trash? (In Defense of Trash)

You know what?

I really flipping love this book.

And I think you guys can take it.

I slapped sexy cover art on it (more on that soon) and a big old warning in the blurb, and so I hope none of my readers are sideswiped by butt sex. (Sideswiped By Butt Sex incidentally, is the name of my all-drag-queen Smashing Pumpkins cover band.)

Speaking of drag queens, there’s also one of those in The Sumage Solution. Her name is Manifest Destiny, and the biker werewolves are house-sitting her apartment at the beginning of the book. Yes, there is a wall of rainbow feather boas and a werewolf in a kimono.

Oh stop it.

You know you want to read it. Or if you don’t, I bet you know someone who does.

Yes, proper descriptions, and cover art analysis, info about print & audio releases, and all that fancy stuff to come.

Heh… come.

You see what this is doing to me?!

You can leave questions in the comments.

But I’m only answering the indiscrete ones.

Want More?

On a serious note, Romance Novels for Feminists (one of my favorite blogs) talks about the problem inherent in writing the classic Alpha hero and also concerns around women writing m/m smut (yes I share her concerns, but not enough to stifle myself) in two incredibly erudite interviews for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS.

“Next time he’ll have me bummed by a big gay werewolf, I swear.”

~ Lesbian Vampire Killers

“When I say ‘spank me with a broomstick and call me Joseph Stalin’ I’m sure I speak for all of us.”

~ Hotel Babylon

“Can’t you tell from the hair and the cheekbones? Humans don’t grow that beautiful. Not outside of Denmark, anyway.”

~ Marine Biology (Alec talking about merfolk)

P.S. Don’t get me started in prostate wands because when you’re writing m/m with mages… comedy flipping gold.

{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 . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

“When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.”

~ Rita Mae Brown

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Mourning in the 1880s: U.S. vs Great Britainl

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“You ask me why I spend my life writing? Do I find entertainment? Is it worthwhile? Above all, does it pay? If not, then, is there a reason…I write only because there is a voice within me. That will not be still.”

~ Sylvia Plath

Book News:

Good Books & Good Wine says:

“Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage is a female-empowering steampunk read, best opened up if you are looking for a cracking good time.”

Quote of the Day:

“Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are’ is true enough, but I’d know better if you told me what you reread.”

~ Francois Mauriac

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


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