What’s Inside the New Gail Carriger Novellas?

I ran a bit of an AMA on the novellas a little while ago, here are answers to your questions, Gentle Reader! And if they spark more questions, please, ask away.

Are these novellas more on the young adult or the adult side of the spectrum?

Adult. Specifically romance. I love reading romance and I wanted to challenge myself to write it, because that scares me. And I respond to fear with efficiency.


Are there going to be any characters we recognize besides Preshea (first novella) and Madame Lefoux (second novella)?

Oh yes. All over. In Poison or Protect a certain person who always shows up, has shown up. (Are we surprised? No.) And I had an unexpected visit from an old favorite in the second novella as well. I think you’ll be very pleased to see her.

When are the first novellas set?

Poison or Protect is 1867, basically half way between Finishing School and Parasol Protectorate. The second novella, however, will be set after the Parasol Protectorate, and the one after that will likely fill a gap between Imprudence and the third Custard Protocol book (although not involving any of those characters). In truth? It’s pretty much where I think things work for the story and the greater character arcs and life-cycle of my whole parasolverse.

Les Modes Parisiennes Monday, April 1, 1867 v. 46, plate 36

Why did you choose Preshea for your first indie, rather than a more “fan-favorite” character?

Many reasons. The most important being that, hers was the first story that really sang in my head. And my main purpose in going hybrid is the opportunity to write whatever moves me, when it moves me.

The questions then is, why push Preshea out to production first?

Partly because she isn’t a fan favorite. I can take more risks with Preshea ~ with her story, with the genres it straddles, with everything. Also, I can make mistakes on the other side of production, formatting, uploading, distribution, and so forth with fewer angry emails (I hope). Can you imagine if I wrote about Biffy and Lyall, and then it didn’t download properly to all Amazon.uk customers? Or I couldn’t figure out how to get it into print production fast enough? Or…

So much anger.

And I would have no familiarity at all with what could be done to solve any given problem. Just typing about it gives me that stress stretched feeling between my eyes.

I’ve always been risk averse by nature, and hybrid is a very risky proposition, so I figured I should learn to swim before I jump in the deep end. Of course, I’m a pretty good swimmer, but you know what they say: it is always the best swimmers who drown.

Now I’m losing the analogy.

Anyway, those are my honest reasons: inspiration, caution, and, frankly, fear. Nothing ruins my day faster than an email from someone who wants to read my book and can’t get it. As things stand now there is usually nothing I can do about it. But as my own publisher? I need to make sure I know what I’m doing before I push a fan favorite out into the world.


Are you planning a whole series of novellas related to the characters we already know (and adore)?

Yes. You can find little teasers of information here on my website: Delightfully Deadly, Supernatural Society, and Claw & Courtship. Right now it looks like the first is a Delightfully Deadly Novella, the second two will be Supernatural Society, and next year will see the first Claw & Courtship.

Would you accept suggestions for the protagonists of future novellas?

No. As I said above, my main reason for going hybrid is the opportunity to write about the character I find inspiring. That said, I did run a poll at the beginning of last year and I am taking some cues from there. Trust me, I go out and talk to my readers so often I have a pretty good idea who you’re interested in seeing more of. However, that may not be what I want to write first. Don’t worry, I think you’ll like the results either way.


Was the cover influenced by your recent cover poll?

Sort of. That poll was mainly for my own interest and to see what kinds of options I have. Sadly what people like, or say they like, is not necessarily what will sell a book. And I do need these novellas to earn enough money to at least cover their costs or I really can’t afford to produce them. (That said, I was pleased to see Waistcoats and Weaponry do so well in the poll because of its influence on the design of Poison or Protect. Which I think you can kind of see.)


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


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 Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Tea Gowns

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

What an Author Reading is and Why You Should Go to One

Book News:

Gail makes an appearance in this documentary: Vintage Tomorrows

Quote of the Day:

“Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures.  It is not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life.”
~ Lionel Poilane


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



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