Gail Carriger Interviews P.N. Elrod about The Hanged Man

I talked about how much I enjoyed this book recently and to follow up I invited the lovely author round for one of my silly interviews. Please welcome P.N. Elrod to the blog!

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea in the winter straight and very strong, coffee (the same) in the summer but only in the morning. Both should be accompanied by a cherry turnover. A proper one.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

What I wear or how I behave? If the former I try to dress so as to not frighten adults. Comfortable shoes are a must. I have a fun pair of pink leopard-spotted basketball sneakers. If the latter I’m still working on my indoor voice.

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

My writing space evolved from a messy desk amid walls of books, nick-knacks, reams of loose paper, maps, and other forms of homey chaos to a clean orderly space that’s easy to dust. I’ve a case full of Man From U.N.C.L.E. books, a swing out shelf to hold my laptop while I sit in a recliner. I don’t do well sitting at a desk any more. Though I am subject to attacks from nap ninjas after lunch, I get more work done when I don’t have to argue with gravity. Hanging over the love seat is a painting I did myself. It’s abstract expressionism, which is artsy-fartsy-speak for “I can’t paint but I’ll do it anyway ’cause it’s fun.”

If you drive, what do you drive?

A paid-for red two-door of American descent.

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

All of them, in all combinations is not deviation, it’s divine.
(Gail’s assessment: Mad, absolutely mad.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Visually, old-fashioned pie in the face slapstick. The Three Stooges still get the job done for me and anything to do with Monty Python or the Marx Brothers. Reading, I like P.G. Wodehouse and the Lucia books by E.F. Benson.

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

I like a really cold, COLD draft beer, preferably a local micro brew, though my agent put me on to chocolate martinis, otherwise ice tea, no sweetener.


P.N. Elrod’s written a lot of books, mostly urban fantasy, edited a lot of books and stories (all kinds) and would like to be a beach bum, but her Irish genes have issues with sunshine, whole subscriptions, in fact. She lives in a dull alternate universe from that of the people in her books and has an incurable addiction to chocolate and UK accents.


About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Anything they like, though getting jam on the pages or reading device would be unfortunate.

What form does evil take within its pages?

The kind that thinks it knows what’s best for others.

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

I should like to smooch Dr. Hamish because he looks like Martin Freeman. Whether he’d like to smooch me is another matter entirely.

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

Too many to choose from! I like the Victorian times because the clothes are pretty, and many people then were gadget geeks, same as we are today. This book needed an alternate history from our own, and after getting into the research I decided that Victoria never meeting Albert would change everything. She does have a successful love match and four brilliant children. I base much of what’s in the book on real things that were in our history, but taken a step farther. For instance, there was a huge interest in America for developing airships for fast transport after the Civil War and several start up companies. If they hadn’t failed for lack of funding, we’d have a somewhat different world now, I think.

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

Teddy. He’s such a prig and doesn’t know it.

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

When Miss Pendlebury bucks up her shocked male escort with the observation, “It’s only an orgy.”

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


Her name is Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the queen) and she’s your typical scone-nibbling, pistol-packing, martial arts practicing, tea-sipping forensic Reader on her majesty’s Psychic Service. Expect alternate history, masked assassins, Victorian Special Forces, gun battles just steps from Downing Street, several gallants with a keen interest in Miss Pendlebury’s welfare, shocking betrayals, stout-hearted defenders, impeccably dressed upper class family drama raised to toxic levels, and a really good, strong, hot cup of tea.


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Anamorphic Tea Cups Illusion

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
This is why I try to pay it forward, go Tee! Ten Years of Family: Ravencon 2015

Book News:

The Compulsive Reader says of Waistcoats & Weaponry: “Gail Carriger may be known for her lovably ridiculous characters and their outrageous antics, but what I really love about her books is the character growth.”

Quote of the Day:
“folded former bank where the Brotherhood of the Protective Order of the Sasquatch met.”
~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

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  1. Patricia Elrod said:

    OMG– How did I miss this?? I'm absolutely awful, but I didn't know this was up! Had some idea it would be out weeks later. Belated and sincere thanks, and now I'll post a link on my FB page. Yikes. Just call me Miss Oblivious!

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