Upon the Third Birthday of Soulless (Behind the Magic of the Parasol Protectorate)

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

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



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


FrenchSoullessPaperback copy JapeneseSoullessCover

Soulless has now sold into 13 different territories for translation. There’s been a graphic novel manga version (which itself is now due for translation into German) and an omnibus. It’s been optioned for TV. It’s spawned a dress up doll, various videos, fan art, several tea parties, audio books, cosplay, and an iPhone app. There is even a fan site!


SoullessAUDIO SoullessFinalCover copy

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

In these last three years:

  • After getting my second masters degree I put my PhD on indefinite hiatus.
  • I gave up teaching archeology, discontinued my experimental work, and stopped my field visits.
  • Basically, I switched careers.
  • I relocated twice.
  • I visited 7 foreign countries promoting the books, 5 of which I’ve never traveled to before.
  • I made countless new friends and been blessed with a chance to visit old ones.
  • I watched the steampunk movement grow and expand.
  • I went to conventions and signings all over the world in various different capacities and learned valuable lessons from fellow authors.
  • I ate hundreds of foods, dishes, and sweets I’d never tried before.
  • I wrote 7 additional books: 4 followups to Soulless, 1 unpublished YA sci-fi, and 2 upcoming YA Finishing School books.
  • And, best of all, I got to meet my readers: some here on the blog, some on twitter, some on Facebook, some in person ~ all of you so warm and fun and strong and smart.



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

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

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

Thanks for three glorious years.

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Donna in the original cover image.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
The Cover That Wasn’t

Quote of the Day:
“Books are immortal sons deifying their sires.”
~ Plato

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Posted by Gail Carriger


No Responses

  1. Wendy L. Callahan said:

    I'm so glad everyone involved in "Soulless" took the chance!

    Thank you for a series I have enjoyed greatly, and still enjoy to this day (waiting impatiently for the next manga, as well as your next two series).

  2. JuLee said:

    No Gail, thank you! for the wonderful world of a Victorian England that never was but wish it could have been. I have spent many a hour visiting there.

  3. Amy said:

    I've tried to start writing this post numerous times, but I've repeatedly given up. Still, I felt the need to share.

    Back in October or November of 2009, a book on the new release shelf caught my eye because of an interesting looking parasol on the cover and an octopus on the spine. After reading the back cover, I knew I had to have that book. I tore through it in a day, then reread it again, anxiously awaiting the next.

    Another book or two later, I discovered the blog that changed my life. Your offered "Writerly Tinctures" have awakened something within me. I returned to college after a 12-year break with the dream of becoming an editor. This December, I finally finish off my Bachelor's degree and prepare for the possibility of grad school.

    You inspire me. Thank you for your writing, resources, and advice. They have meant the world to me over these past 3 years.

  4. Gail Carriger said:

    Amy, I can't tell how very touched I was by this. Sometimes it is tough to both blog and write, particularly on the days when I don't feel like anyone is out there reading the posts. Now I can confidently say that, if there were no other person out there reading this blog, I would keep doing it just for you. I am so so proud of you for finishing your education, and good luck with your literary pursuits, whatever direction they take you in.

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