Tagged thog the cover

The Range of Cover Art ~ Gail Carriger’s Changeless

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good morning, Gentle Reader.

Today I thought it might be fun for you to see the range of cover art that my book Changeless got over the course of its publication. Changeless originally released on this date 7 years ago.

Here’s a picture of Changeless (original mass market) in my office with a thistle teacup, because it takes place in Scotland.

The Cover of Changeless

Here we go…

First off, on the left is the original mass market paperback as produced April 4, 2010. Next to it I have the Polish version so you can see how a foreign publisher might tweak the cover for their market.

Here on left is the Japanese translation version, this is the smallest of my books. It’s about the size of a 3X5 card. Next to it is the manga adaptation of Changeless, called Soulless Vol. 2.

Here are the two German versions. The first was a limited run collectable hardcover, the second is the original paperback translation.

Aside from Germany (and the pocket edition in France, which re-uses the German cover art) and Japan, every other foreign publisher chose to do a take on the original cover image for their translations. This is pretty unusual and rather flattering.

The first three Parasol Protectorate audiobooks were produced by Recorded Books (not Hachette Audio) so they got different covers too.

There it is. What do you think of the different covers? Anything surprise you? Any one you really love?

Praise for Changeless

  • Talk Supe says: “Carriger’s wit is incomparable, the books have a sheen of silliness to it, but the characters deliver their crazy lines in straight faces (I’d imagine) and in such a matter-of-fact way, I have to double back several times just to make sure they’re serious. I mean Ivy’s hats and outfits alone turns haute couture on its head!”
  • Bookish Things and More says: “I think this one may be one of my favorite in the series.”
  • Keep Calm with Coffee & Books says: “It continues to impress me how integrated the supernatural and Victorian customs are. I continue to enjoy that aspect of the story. The writing is fabulous and some of the lines had me in stitches.”
  • The Infinite Curio says: “Gail Carriger has a talent for creating intriguing lore and weaving it into the plot.”
  • Ramblings on Readings says: “Gail Carriger writes some of the wittiest dialogue, and she has very clever ideas about the supernatural. I will never tire of her writing, and I so look forward to reading the rest of the series.”
  • My Thoughts…Literally says: “I love the way this series effortlessly combines steampunk and supernatural elements into a historical setting and that’s exactly how I felt here. In particular, the steampunk elements were turned way up. There was much more talk about technology and inventions here (hello, Vieve was there) which was really cool.”

Elizabeth Tyree has a book chat:

“Gail Carriger’s writing style is just amazing. I love the sass and the way sentences are put together. It’s a great deal of fun.”

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}


  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Copy Editor
    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.


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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Office Book Nook Shelf

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

UK’s First Sci-fi and Fantasy Centre Opens in Cambridge

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

SDCC 2017 Special Guest Announcement (including yours truly)

Quote of the Day:

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

Cover Art & Its Purpose in Life

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello, Gentle Reader!

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about cover art recently.

It came up unexpectedly (for me) on a podcast interview over on SF & F Marketing. I’ve also been embroiled in the back-and-forth of creating the cover for Secret Project SAS (which is also the start of a new series and a new identity as G.L. Carriger so it needs to be LOTS OF THINGS) and then re-doing Marine Biology to match.

More on that later.

So Cover Art…

My new saying? The pretty is the enemy of the correct.

Covers are like a visual elevator pitch for a book, they don’t need to say exactly what’s in it so much as what’s it’s about. The point of the cover is not to find AN audience for that book but to find the RIGHT audience. I think a lot of indie authors forget this, and get embroiled in trying to make it look too much like what’s inside and not enough like packaging that represents the book’s theme. That last statement may have made some of you angry, because it smacks of manipulation. But stick with me, okay?

Goodreads put up a ton of books on sale today and three interesting things happened.

  1. I wasn’t interested in a single one of them. (I’d either read it already, or it’s not to my current reading taste.)
  2. The range of art as meets genre was fascinating, and many of the covers did catch my eye.
  3. I really wanted to blog about it.

So let’s run a little test?

Here are 10 covers that stood out for me:

So without knowing anything else but having those small images…

Which one might you click on to read the blurb. Or pick up in the store and flip to the back?
  • Smoke & Bone 19%, 50 votes
    50 votes 19%
    50 votes - 19% of all votes
  • Heirs of Empire 17%, 45 votes
    45 votes 17%
    45 votes - 17% of all votes
  • Dragon Bound 14%, 37 votes
    37 votes 14%
    37 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Under Different Stars 11%, 29 votes
    29 votes 11%
    29 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Imitation 11%, 28 votes
    28 votes 11%
    28 votes - 11% of all votes
  • The Last Girl 8%, 21 vote
    21 vote 8%
    21 vote - 8% of all votes
  • Skewed 7%, 19 votes
    19 votes 7%
    19 votes - 7% of all votes
  • Whisper 7%, 19 votes
    19 votes 7%
    19 votes - 7% of all votes
  • The Curse Keepers 3%, 9 votes
    9 votes 3%
    9 votes - 3% of all votes
  • A Taste of Magic 3%, 7 votes
    7 votes 3%
    7 votes - 3% of all votes
Total Votes: 264
March 20, 2017 - March 27, 2017
Voting is closed

Now, without reading anything about each book, I’m gonna tell you what I thought when I saw its thumbnail, let’s see if you agree with me?

What I like: Clear indication of romance given the swirly font and large female author name. Horses indicate old west or plantation setting. Red and cream is a tasteful color match.
Issues: Can’t read whole title, cover is very generic.
What do I think this book is about? Heterosexual romance in a historical setting. Demure pose and the fact that she is alone in the picture with a horse in the background suggests sweet romance (little sex).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes

 Smoke & Bone
What I like: The color pallet, the starkness of the lighting, the slash nature of the mask and the title.
Issues: Didn’t realize the title was Daughter of Smoke & Bone until I really squinted, can’t read author name at all. Not sure how I feel about three different fonts on the same cover.
What do I think the book is about? I’m going with suspense of some kind, in the Gone Girl oeuvre maybe? Because of the mask, perhaps it’s either historical or set in a theater, makes me think Phantom of the Opera.
Was I right given the blurb? Sort of. Suspense but also urban fantasy?

 The Curse Keepers
What I like:
KILLER title! The shadow box to make the title pop while still over the figures is a neat trick, centered text.
Issues: Author name is not legible, weird tattoo stuff on left not necessary, whole thing is generic.
What do I think this book is about? Without a doubt this is in the Cassandra Clare, Beautiful Creatures, etc. YA angst show knock off. This one will be witches and warlocks and stuff like that, no vampires (because of the sunlight and lack of blood red color).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

 A Taste of Magic
What I like: Very easy to read title and author name, bold color choices.
Issues: Not a lot, actually, while this might not be my kind of book, I think it reads as a near perfect cover for the kind of book it is. Let’s see if I’m right.
What do I think this book is about? Romance, chick lit version of Practical Magic. Contemporary set urban fantasy but with a very light touch and gentle upbeat text, probably involves food. Beach read.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

What I like: Fantastically striking cover, retro feel, very basic but impactful, color choices. Title and author are clear and easy to read.
Issues: Absolutely no idea what it is about. Could be anything from a quirky adult version of Awkward (that MTV show) or a non-fiction tell all about the music/photo/modeling industry.
What do I think this book is about? Really, no clue. If I HAD to guess I’m going with quirky mock-tell-all of a photojournalist’s crazy hi-jinx. Possibly set in the 1960s.
Was I right given the blurb? Turns out it is about photography, but also celebrity, and crime, modern setting.

 The Last Girl
What I like: As with the romance one above, I think I know exactly what I am in for with this book. Title and author name are clearly visible.
Issues: I really strain to see the figure, I wish it were just big enough for me to make out something about her clothes as that would give me a bit more to go on for setting.
What do I think this book is about? Gone Girl type thing again, maybe post apocalyptic, but could also be country western setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. Turns out to be an epidemic crisis book. Looks like that movie Children of Men.

 Under Different Stars
What I like: Striking image for the main photo, stark and atmospheric feel. This gives a slightly uncomfortable and weird feeling.
Issues: The title and author name are kinda hard to make out.
What do I think this book is about? Lit fic, just because of the contrast between the watery image but “Stars” in the title. I’m very wary because it could be a “Cancer Mom” type story. Read: depressing as hell.
Was I right given the blurb? Not at all. Turns out to be a sci fi YA romance.

 Dragon Bound
What I like: Again this is one of those that tells me exactly what I’m in for. I like a cover that uses blues and pinks for contrast, and I tend to gravitate towards centered lettering.
Issues: No idea what she is holding, hard to make out author name. Quite generic.
What do I think this book is about? Straight up no frills female main character urban fantasy. Probably heterosexual and featuring dragons as the hook. Modern setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. It’s fantasy not UF, and historical-ish. (I did wonder since she’s in a dress and not leather pants, but the white t-shirt underneath threw me off).

 Heirs of Empire
What I like: Strong female central figure, power pose, can read both title and author name. Interesting choice on both serif and sans serif fonts.
Issues: Generic title, cover comes off as old fashioned. Makes me think author and text may be old guard out of touch. Male author with female protagonist is a red flag for me, personally.
What do I think this book is about? At first I thought epic fantasy because of her armor and the title and serif font, but then I noticed the spaceship in the background and the author name is sans serif, so I’m going with space opera.
Was I right given the blurb? You know what, I still don’t know if this is fantasy or space opera. I think maybe something like Dune? But the blurb doesn’t make this clear.

What I like: This cover is everything. I really adore it. I think it is stunning and beautiful and stark and so much more.
Issues: None. I like it a lot.
What do I think this book is about? Future, possibly far future, something to do with genetic manipulation or cloning. It reminds me of Orphan Black. This is the only one on this list I’m tempted to investigate further, read the blurb and possibly pick up. I’ve not been into SciFi recently, but I might buy this just because I like the cover so much.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes. Only thing I missed was that this is YA. Which actually turns me off (I love YA but struggle with YA scifi like Cinder). Blurb reminds me of the movie Never Let Me Go.

Right then, what do you think?

Cover art, yes or no?

Do you agree with my predictions?

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


  • 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.


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?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1887 Albert Aublet (French artist, 1851-1938) Sur La Plage, Le Treport

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My office sitting area

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Historical Look at Why Science Fiction Always Gets Screwed at the Oscars

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read

Book News:

Pinterest inspiration board for Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series. Characters Spoo & Virgil. Spoo is head deckling, Virgil is a valet and sometime helmsman.

Quote of the Day:

“A bookstore is a good place to go to be brave.”

~ Kate DiCamillo

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

The Story Behind the Cover Art of Poison or Protect

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello Gentle Reader,

Today I have for you the story behind the cover of Poison or Protect! Which you can now Preorder from:




Barnes & Noble

Quick reference (from my RWA chapter presentation on Saturday)


And now more on the cover art of my first self-published novella…  

POISON OR PROTECT: A Delightfully Deadly Novella

Out June 21, 2016!



I had a good idea of what Preshea looked like, and frankly, Autumn is a friend of mine and I always thought of Preshea as looking a little bit like her. Not that Autumn is cold or liable to poison you (in fact she is one of the warmest, nicest, most generous people I know), but she does have the right LOOK.

Autumn and I have worked together (once, long ago in a different life I actually did some modeling for her, but I digress) so I pinged about her professional images and turned up this gem.


Why did it attract me?

I wanted something confrontational, with Preshea staring out of the cover directly at the reader. (She’s an assassin after all. It needed to feel almost aggressive.) I liked the contrast of the white dress/underthings with this pose. (This was from a wedding shoot. Dark Garden does some truly amazing bridal couture.) Also the cover MUST say romance, I can’t have readers deluded by the cover into thinking this is any other kind of story. I work very hard never to leave my readers feeling betrayed and that starts with cover art. I feel like this image hit all the right notes. So I reached out to Autumn and she gave me the photographer’s contact info. A short while later the lovely Perry Gallagher had licensed me the image.

Image in hand I went to Starla Huchton for the cover design.

How did I find Starla?

Starla is a friend of mine via the podcasting world. However, that alone would not have been enough, if the quality of her work weren’t stellar. She’s a particularly adaptable cover art designer, who can change her style drastically given the type of story. Take a look at her gallery if you don’t believe me.

So we talked fonts, putting paint slashes behind my name and title, arrangements, layout, and so forth. The idea was to draw on the slashing-behind-the-words style of my first series, but keep the coloration and lay out style of my second series, since the Delightful Deadly Novellas feature characters from the Finishing School books. At the same time, this cover had to be different enough to show that this was a new series, adult, and romantic.



The first and second passes.  You can see that after the first pass I asked to see the font as white over black, and shifted down, also I wanted to see what a more vibrant background looked like. I found that blue too vibrant. So Starla tweaked it one final time and…. MAGIC



You can see how the purple is more vibrant but not as overwhelming as the blue? The text is balanced at the bottom, and Preshea looks out at you, calm, coy, and ever so slightly threatening.


Why the purple and not pink like the other first books in your series?

Well, Poison or Protect is NOT the first in a series. It’s a stand alone. I wanted to make that very clear. I felt pink might be misleading. Also Preshea is not a pink person. She is cool and calm and very icy. She wears blues, greens, greys, and whites in all her appearances in this book and I wanted to stick with that for her character.


Print 1Prudence 1Etiquette&Espionage


{Gail’s monthly read along for June is Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan}


  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second.
    Out July 19, 2016 in print and eBook to US.
  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella.
    Status: Developmental edit. Cover reveal and release date to come.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor who is too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1861 La Belle Assemblee
Wednesday, May 1, 1861 Item ID-  v. 41, plate 123


Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Afternoon dress, 1855-65. via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
10 Tea Mugs & Sets Perfect for an Afternoon Break

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Harvard Loses Copyright Infringement Case Against Steve Elmo

Book News:
Gail Carriger Made the 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels By Female Authors list by BookRiot

Quote of the Day:
“Everyone’s mysterious before you know them.” “But w-when you know me, I won’t be mysterious anymore.” “Yeah, you’ll be you, and that’ll be better.”
~ Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall


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

Cover Art Reveal: Poison or Protect

Posted by Gail Carriger


Gentle Reader, I am DELIGHTED to finally show you the long awaited cover for my first self published novella…


A Delightfully Deadly Novella

By Gail Carriger 

Out June 21, 2016!

Chirrup subscribers got an early look and some of you have already seen it on Amazon, but here it is in full high impact glory!

This cover was assembled by the amazing Starla Huchton (I love her!). The photo was taken by the brilliant Perry Gallagher (all rights reserved). It features the indomitable Autumn as Preshea wearing her own Dark Garden corset creation.

Stay tuned on how the cover art came to be and some behind the scenes footage! But for now, here it is, I hope you love it as much as I do.

About this book! 

Poison or Protect: A Delightfully Deadly Novella by Gail Carriger

Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt? 

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a stand-alone romance novella set in her popular steampunk universe full of manners, spies, and dainty sandwiches.

Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment. 

It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

Warning: Contains men pleasing women and ladies who know what they want and ask for it, sometimes in detail. May also contain plaid, appearances from favorite characters, and the strategic application of leather gloves.

Buy Poison or Protect today to find out whether it’s heartbreak or haggis at this high tea.

Right now Poison or Protect is only available for preorder via Amazon. However, it will be widely distributed to other platforms including Kobo, iBooks, and Nook.

{Gail’s monthly read along for June is Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan}


  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second.
    Out July 19, 2016 in print and eBook to US.
  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella.
    Status: Developmental edit. Cover reveal and release date to come.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on
    seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor who is too brokenhearted to
    notice. Or is she?

Poison or Protect ~ A Delightfully Deadly Novella
 Romance featuring a several-times widowed Preshea and the gentle Scottish captain who could change everything. (Gail’s first foray into hybrid land.)


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Follet  Sunday, September 1, 1861 v. 42, plate 29

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Swarms of Octopus Are Taking Over the Ocean

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .

Amazon.com Announces the Most Read Cities in America

Book News:
Gail talks about the Finishing School series at the International Spy Museum

Quote of the Day:

“He did have one fine looking butt, though. Too bad it was attached to another planet.”

~ Prophecy by Lea Kirk

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

Random Moment of Erm ~ The Terrible Dangers of Stock Art

Posted by Gail Carriger


Been thinking a great deal about cover art recently, Gentle Reader. I feel I have been generally lucky with mine over the years. Even when I griped about it, it was never too serious. But as hard as it is to be at the whims of a publishing house’s choice, it is equally difficult to find and come up with something original of ones own.

I give you a prime example:

If you like that piece of stock art, chances are everyone else does too.

Morgan Mandel Interviews Popular Male Romance Cover Model, Jason Aaron Baca

And now it’s back to copy edits with me.

{Gail’s monthly read along for February is Terrier: The Legend of Beka Cooper Book 1 by Tamora Pierce.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Nadja Tiller, 1952 via hollyhocksandtulips-tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Check Out This Epic Souvenir Fan

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Story of Victorian Funeral Cookies

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
The E-Publishing Revolution is Definitely Not Over


  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Copy Edits. Releases July 19, 2016 in print & eBook to US.
  • Poison or Protect ~ A Delightfully Deadly Novella. Reworking & trimming. Release date to come. Gail’s first foray into hybrid land, featuring a grown up and several-times widowed Preshea and the gentle Scottish captain who could change everything.

Gail Carriger’s Scribbles! 

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

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

Book News:
Fangirl Nation says: “Manners & Mutiny has all the mystery, the spy work, and humor of the previous entries in the series. As things are drawing to a close, the book is somewhat darker: the stakes are higher, and now that they are all older, hearts are more easily broken, but there are still plenty of moments where I laughed out loud, and clever turns of phrase that I read out loud.”

Quote of the Day:
Genevieve was tall and blonde, a destroyer of masculine peace of mind.
~ The Man with Two Left Feet And Other Stories by P. G. Wodehouse

Want Gail in you inbox once a month? Get the Chirrup!
Gail on Facebook & Twitter & Goodreads & Tumblr.
Gail’s fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

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

Cover Art Twinzies

Posted by Gail Carriger


Inspired by a recent article on twin cover art, Gentle Reader, I decided to hunt down some that are similar to my own. This is done without criticism or rancor. For one thing, I didn’t design my covers, my publishing houses did. For another, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? I simply find it interesting.

 I really adore the cover for All the Paths of Shadow. I think it’s quite stunning. I guess I am picking up on the body pose and position more than anything else.

I really wonder if that is the same model and the same photo shoot… even the same dress. So similar to my hard cover Sci Fi Book Club Omnibus editions of the Parasol Protectorate (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2).

{Gail’s monthly read along for July is: Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via arsenicinshell tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Paper Mache Octopus Hat Tutorial

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
“Increasingly as time went on Alice James and Katherine Loring lived in a Boston marriage, a recognized form of companionship in America in the nineteenth century, whereby two women settled down together in a long-term emotional and financial partnership which, before Freud sexualized all aspects of life, was considered beneficial to unmarried women. What Boston marriages implied sexually probably varied from couple to couple.”
~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Dear Guy Who is Mad Because I Wrote A Gay Character in a Book


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! In production.
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.

The Books! 

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

Book News:
Mylene Ancel says of Jupons & Poisons, “Les pages se tournent toutes seules, tout comme Sophronia on se pose des questions, on essaye de comprendre avec les élèments dont on dispose ce qui se passe et on participe à un voyage qui au départ ne devait être qu’un simple mariage mais qui très vite dégénère….”

Quote of the Day:
“An ingenious mechanic of San Francisco, according to the Chronicle of that city, has just invented a baby carriage which seems well calculated to delight the hearts for mothers. It is said to be so much of an improvement upon the clumsy vehicle now in use that it is capable of being folded into a piece of baggage no larger than an ordinary-sized portfolio. The object of the inventor was to produce an article that might be packed almost instantaneously by a nurse, and placed upon the front platform of a street car. Go a-head, and introduce it in this city as soon as possible. It will be a blessing to mothers.”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine November 1872

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

7 Covers Gail Loves

Posted by Gail Carriger


I’ve been thinking a great deal about cover art recently. For no particular reason, Gentle Reader, just because. It’s no secret that, no matter what the words within, cover art counts for a large majority of sales in my business.

All too often you see authors complaining about cover art, I actually really like most of mine. Even those that initially disappointed me I learned to appreciate eventually. So this is not going to be a blog about that.

As I noodle about my daily toils, I encounter any number of books the large variety of which have covers that, frankly, turn me off. I don’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t buy because of the cover. My favorite author of all time, Tamora Pierce, seems to have generated some kind of vendetta against her on behalf of her marketing house because her recent covers really are horrendous. But, like I said, I don’t really want to go there.

What I want to do is simply show you a few covers that I love. These aren’t books I have necessarily read, but I might simply because the covers are so fantastic.

Sunset Rising


The Shivered Sky (which is also a great title)


Way better than her US cover



Crown of Midnight


The Palace Job

I’m no art director to render decisions on design and marketing. But I do think of myself as an aestheticist. I like pretty things and I’m attracted to images and balance that looks good, to colors that jive, to images that hint at story without simply being an almost photographic rendering of a fantasy scene in the book (yawn). I also prefer the woman look tough and covered, not out of prudishness, just in a lust for cosmic balance. If I never see another tramp stamp cover, headless torso female, I’ll be all too happy.

So there it is a glimpse into my particular taste in covers.

How about you, any favorite covers?

Books you picked up just because of the cover?

Thoughts on the evolution of cover art?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Contest entry from ladyceleste via LJ

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

via British Paintings tumblr: The Eternal Dream – William Shackleton 1924

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

via oldtimeystjohnsscifi-tumblr: Evacuation of Duckworth Street during The Great Atari Invasion of 1890

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
5 minute bookbinding


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

The Books! 

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

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


The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt
Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:

Tea with the French Cover

Quote of the Day:
“The word recipe belongs to pharmacy, and is only used with reference to medical prescriptions. The cook uses receipts, the apothecary recipes.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

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

Flashback: Some Fun Interview Bits From Just After Soulless

Posted by Gail Carriger

Around when Soulless released four years ago, Gentle Reader, I did a bunch of interviews. Here are a few of my favorite Q&As from that time.
1. What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer? Did they help you in any way as a writer? (HidingSpot)
I’ve been everything from a bartender to a tour guide, but I think my career as an archaeologist/academic has helped my writing the most. It gave me great research skills, familiarity with a variety of cultures both around the world now and in the past, good self-discipline, and a paranoia over making deadlines. Oh, and the ability to subsist entirely on a diet of Top Ramen and tea.

via FB

2. Writing is said to be something that people are afflicted with rather than gifted and that it’s something you have to do rather than want. What is your opinion of this statement and how true is it to you? (Gareth Wilson)
I suspect writing is more of a curse for those around me. I get distracted and spacey at the beginning of a project, frustrated in the middle, briefly euphoric at the end, and grumpy when I’m not writing at all. I imagine it’s like living with someone who has a six-month rotation of some bizarre kind of pregnancy – all the time, over and over again.

3. How would you react if you were you attacked by a vampire without even a proper introduction?  (Fantasy Cafe)
Oh, I have no pride or gumption. I would run to the nearest public area yelling for the constabulary.

via FB
4. Give us one embarrassing author moment: (Jacqueline Cook)
I arrived for my very first in-person meeting with my agent with the back of my dress unzipped. Sigh. The moral of this story? Always travel with a lady’s maid. The moral of the moral? Sell enough books to afford a lady’s maid.

5. Do you carry a parasol for defense? (Jeff VanderMeer)
Sadly, no, I’m an unparalleled wimp. There was once an entirely unsuccessful attempt at karate, wherein I kept fretting about actually having to kick people and trying to convince the class to break for tea. Sometimes, however, I’ve been seen carrying a parasol for protection against the sun. I know, I know, crazy talk.

6. Given that your biography states that you are “fond of teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit,” would you please describe your favored method for combining the two, and the conditions under which said combination would occur? (John Glover)
How about a teeny tiny hat decorated with tropical fruit? Or wearing a teeny tiny hat and eating tropical fruit? Or cutting tropical fruit into the shape of teeny tiny hats!

7. Why parasols? (Jonathan Moeller)
You would prefer, perhaps, octopuses?

8. Did you ever find yourself writing a bit of dialog and reading it back to yourself thinking “Wow. That’s just TOO over the top…”? (Nick)
Wait, have you read my book? Uh. No. I did get the reign-in from my editor on a certain bit of dialogue in the second book. I neatly avoided the issue through judicious application of laudanum. (To the character speaking, mind you, not my editor.)

9. CK: Any favorite vampires from lit, film, or TV? (Vampire Film)
I don’t think he really counts, but I love Dorian Gray. I have a real soft spot for Mina Murray in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel series and I adore the character of Drusilla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not to sneak in werewolves, but I was turned to the furry side by Klause’s brilliant YA novel Blood and Chocolate.

10. Have you reached the point at which you realized that you had “made it” as a writer and author? (Travis)
When I walked into a bookstore store and saw Soulless on a shelf for the first time, there was sputtering.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1897  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

PB Teen Desk Chair $129

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

(Image source I Like Historical Clothing. Music WARNING.)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

via PJ Dominicis FB

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third:
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date Nov. 5, 2013. 
Etiquette & Espionage
~ trade paperback will be available in the US October 13, 2013

~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013. 
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.

The Books!

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

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

Crudrat Kickstarter going on October 1 ~ 31, 2013

Book News:
Love the characters of Lyall and Biffy? You might try my contemporary paranormal romance ebook short story Marine Biology.

Quote of the Day:
“Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do – not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.”
~ Stephen King

Heartless Cover Release

Posted by Gail Carriger


The cover for Heartless has dropped and here it is . . .

Orbit’s coverage of the occasion.

This is possibly my favorite cover, I like how light-hearted it is. Alexia looks almost coy. I think that ties into the comedy of manners side of things more strongly than some of the previous covers, of course it is also less steampunk. Now the fact that Alexia has her back to the camera and that Woolsey castle is in the background ties beautifully into the story. And of course, how can I frown when they put her in a teeny tiny puce colored bowler?

Lastly I draw your attention to a previous diatribe I had on The Curious Case of the Headless Woman in Urban Fantasy cover art, and how I really wanted my “Baby Got Bustle” tramp stamp shot. Well, Gentle Reader, I do believe I may have gotten it!

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Writerly Tinctures:

Weird Mage names Soulless a reading highlight of 2010.
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first.
Lindsey says, “I absolutely LOVE these books. I loved the last one even though it progressed at a different pace for me, and I loved the first book even though it took some getting used to, but wow- I devoured this book.”

Copy edits done. Available for preorder on Amazon.
Timeless: Back at it.
Secret Project F: We’re waiting. We’re waiting.

Quote of the Day:
“Never be seen in the street without gloves; and never let your gloves be of any material that is not kid or calf. Worsted of cotton gloves are unutterably vulgar.”
~ Routledge’s Etiquette for Gentlemen (c. 1850)

More Ketchup

Posted by Gail Carriger


Ketchup seems to be my life right now, Gentle Reader. I’m sorry I have nothing more witty to say. Soon I hope to be back to blogging norm but right now anniversaries, writing, negotiations, publishers, rain, broken car, and a whole host of other niggling details are interfering in this, obviously, the most important part of my day. Here’s a fun little bookmark that turned up on Facebook:

Changeless is nominated for a 2010 Goodreads Choice Award for Paranormal Fantasy. According to the missive I received: The polls are open to all readers throughout the month of December, and the winners will be announced in the January 2011 newsletter.
So do please vote of me if you feel like it.

Someone posted this image to Facebook recently of both the German and English cover art. It’s rather lovely, I feel.

takes on yet another language!

Lastly, victory is mine, I have finished Daft 8 of Heartless, and I *think* that’s it until copy edits, Gentle Reader. I can but hope. I’m really pleased with it, this one is my quazi-Sherlock Holmes ode. It was fun to write, but a real pain to edit for some reason. Funny how each book has it’s own set of quirks for the writer. I wonder what Timeless will be like. I guess there is only one way to find out . . .

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Loved Jasper Conran’s Spring Summer 2011 retro inspired collection, very Dirty Dancing. And just a tip off, I’m seeing white lace dresses all over the Spring/Summer 2011 runways. Retro, floaty, structured, tight, full skirts, you name it.
Your Tisane of Smart:
Cute idea for a gift when you can’t think of anything else.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
A fan recently asked whether cons were “worth it”. The answer depends on many factors, the cost of the con, the kind of con, the stage you are in your career. I passed the buck on to my dear (tolerant and game) friend J. Daniel Sawyer who posed an excellent blog on the subject. If you want a little more meat on the cost of promotion as an author, you can try Tee’s Price of Publicity. I may do my own blog on this subject if there is enough interest. At my particular career stage (different from both of hte above two gentlemen) convention appearances have different repercussions. I will hint that there are many reasons I am cutting back on conventions next year, and leaning more and more in favor of solo signings ~ something most authors oppose.

The eclectic-eccentric says, “I have re-read very few books this year, much less than normal, but I could not resist re-reading this one.” teeny tiny
SPOILER ALERT! In which Changeless (the red-headed stepchild of my series so far) makes a Best Of 2010 list!
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first. Faded Hat’s review.

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in!
Timeless: Just an outline, making sure I pick up cookies and threads.
Secret Project F: Axed down and back with the agent.

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is out.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 is out.

Quote of the Day:
“No tale tells all.”
~ Alexei Panshin

© 2017 Gail Carriger | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Site built by Todd Jackson