Research, Favorite Covers, & Invertebrate (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

I did a spontaneous “I need blog posts AMA thing recently.” Thanks to all who participated and here are some of your answers! I’m hoping since someone wanted to know, others will too.

What are some of your favorite novel covers? 

I did a blog post about that!

Covenant’s End


What is the hardest part about writing steampunk/reimagining the past? 

The research. And figuring out the right balance between the reality of what was and the absurdity of what might have been and the (sometimes mundane) needs of plot and story.

How much research do you typically do to get the history right? 

Way more than I use. For every hour I write I’ve done at least an hour of research.

How do you do your research? What kinds of materials?

Online, secondary, and primary sources. Baedeker is my God! My 26 tips on research here. 

My Baedeker’s Travel Guides

Where do you find inspiration? 

My arse, if I sit on it long enough. Honestly? 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 or the middle of the night.

What is the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you get through it? 

The rough draft, by far. Just sitting down and squeezing the words out, sometimes I feel like a desiccated lemon.

Has your research of the past changed how you live today?

If anything it’s made me more appreciative of modern conveniences. I’ve tried some pretty experimental cooking. And I interpret actions and behaviors differently, I think, because of my own academic background as well as my more recent research. But I don’t think it’s changed how I actually live all that much.

“People who prefer squids, what’s up with that?” And “How much time do you spend rolling your eyes at silly fans?”

Paul, Paul, Paul. I’m rolling my eyes at you right now. And I do prefer squid… in my mouth! Nom nom nom.

How many pieces of octopus decor have you acquired for your home? (And do you ever want to get an octopus for a pet?)

At least 100 by now and yes. But they are very shy. Most of the octopus related decorative items live at my office, actually. They just work better there. Here’s a sample of gifts I received…






If you could turn a favorite something (book, comic, historical event, historical person, whatever) into a musical what would it be, and what would the show stopping number be about (bonus points if you give the song a name)? 

Rat Queens? Something from Betty about flirting with girls.

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Magasin des Demoiselles Wednesday, June 1, 1859 Item ID-  v. 40, plate 78

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Leaping Ladies on the Loose

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Who is my Audience? Age Categories for Children’s Books


  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. In production. Releases July 19, 2016 in print & eBook to US.
  • Poison or Protect ~ A Delightfully Deadly Novella.
    Status: With beta reader. Release date to come.
    Gail’s first foray into hybrid land, romance featuring a several-times widowed Preshea and the gentle Scottish captain who could change everything.
  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella.
    Status: Awaiting first pass edit. Chasing cover art photo.
    Gail’s second foray into hybrid land, LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor whose too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


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:

ace-artemis-fanartist-      I’m glad that Alexia shipped them too

Quote of the Day:
“Among other things, he insists he will perish if he cannot take me to Venice and watch me fall into a canal.”
~ Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, Sorcery & Cecelia

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!

Posted by Gail Carriger

One Response

© 2023 Gail Carriger
Site built by Todd Jackson