Gail Carriger On Author Identity ~ Genre Bending Non-conformity For All! (Special Extras) Important for Writers

This post is the result of the spontaneous AMA I ran recently. Thanks to all who asked questions and gave me ideas for future blog posts. You, Gentle Reader, are the best!

Do you consider yourself a romance author or a YA author? 

Yes! All the things!

I generally introduce myself as a “commercial genre writer.” Partly because I want to own those three labels. I want to take commercial back from all this odd negativity around writers being nothing but artists who shouldn’t be paid well, and battle against genre not being considered proper literature. Viva la revolution!

I write fun stuff that makes people happy and they pay me enough for me to make it my living… and I’m ridiculously proud of that fact!

Cover art range you can see that they are targeting different markets with my cover art from Soulless‘s pink slashes (romance) to the Japaneses cover for E&E (young enough to be mid grade), to Imprudence‘s bright yellow aggressive look (suspense meets urban fantasy) to C&C which has a definite secretive spy YA look.

What Does Your Genre’s Theme Promise to Readers?

Are you over labels? 

Sort of. I’m enough of a social scientist to believe in some form of categorization. I like things organized and I like spreadsheets. To a certain extent, expectations and managing them are important to working real world relationships (that is, in the end, the social function of labels). I guess I’m more over the negative side effect of labels. I can be a feminist and read romance. I can be girly and tough and a nerd. I believe in categorization with allowance for nuance and complexity. It’s a tough balance, but it is possible.

How do you feel about stereotypes of romance and YA authors and readers?

They’re silly, most stereotypes are. I don’t feel like I fit them and that’s what I read. I also read military sci-fi, and historical fiction. The danger comes from those who believe the labels whole hardheartedly. One of the reasons I dodge labels as much as they’ll let me, is I can then subvert stereotypes.

A dude SF friend of mine likes to rant about Soulless and how he was “tricked by Gail into reading romance.”

“Did you like it?” I asked.

“Loved it!”

“Well then, perhaps you should try reading more romance.”

Getting hung up on labels limits the person doing the labeling far more than the one being labeled, if you ask me. It prevents you from enjoyment: whether that is trying a new book, a new food, or talking to a new person. You could miss out on something wonderful! Why do that to yourself? But then Rue’s attitude of “let’s try that thing!” comes directly from me.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Powers That Be by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1873, France via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
How Female Computers Mapped the Universe and Brought America to the Moon

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
The Basic Author Platform

Book News:
7 Young Adult Series That Deserve the TV Treatment (Finishing School made the list)

Quote of the Day:
“She seems to have been able to conceal much of her fear of Schofield since learning of my betrothal. Indeed, she wished me happy in a very affecting way, and then spent a merry quarter hour cutting up his character with me.”
~ Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, Sorcery & Cecelia

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Posted by Gail Carriger

One Response

  1. Susan Pola Staples said:

    I also categorise and organise books type & author by alphabet, clothes by colour and tea by type. Must be all the history and art history I read at uni.
    I am excited about Poison or Protect and Romancing the Inventor. I expect the ladder to join my collection of Mercedes Lackey Vanyel trilogy (one of my favourites), Laurie R King's Kate Martinelli mysteries.

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