Gail Carriger Interviews Diana Pharaoh Francis Talks Humor Writing!

Dearest Gentle Reader,

As you may have noticed September is a pretty busy month for me. I’ve had some unexpected family related travel among other things. In order to help me cope, I invited another author friend around for tea and a chat.

Please welcome the incomparable fantasist, Diana Pharaoh Francis, to the blog today!

About you, the Author! Diana PharaohFrancis

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea, sweet, and very hot, preferably black. Especially chai. Love chai. Gimme chai. MORE! Coffee only frozen in cartons of ice cream.

Please describe your personal style for author appearances.

Nervous. I generally wear black base with colorful accouterments. Love stone jewelry. And no high heels or you WILL find out why I’m called Clodzilla. It’s not pretty.

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

Crowded. My office is small and full of books, a giant oak desk, lots of rocks (I’m a rockhound), lots of fantasy art on the walls, a collection of sharp weapons on the walls, and a couple of glass witchballs hanging from the doorway. And hidden behind an open door in a place of great importance are my diplomas.

If you could travel in any type of conveyance, what would it be?

I soooooooo want to ride in a bullet train. I can’t even tell you why. But I kind of wish all travel could be done on Disney kiddie rides. I’m terrified of heights, so dirigibles and hot hair balloons are right now (and why kiddie rides, not giant roller coasters). I do fly in planes and I’m okay as long as I don’t look at the ground, and I wouldn’t mind riding in a space ship.

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

Sugar cone, chocolate. Preferably chocolate with chocolate in it and on it, maybe with a sprig of chocolate for decoration.
(Gail proclaims Diana utterly sane.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

I am so easily amused, I can’t begin to tell you how much. But right now, the thing that’s guaranteed to make me laugh are the two new puppies we have. One is a corgi, the other is a mini blue heeler, and they are both insanely cute and funny and silly.

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

I like sweeter drinks in general, but I had this amazing grapefruit mojito at a con in Texas once. It was made with vodka and was the best thing ever. I ever pursue finding another of these. Other than that, I tend to go for a fuzzy navel (hush, don’t laugh). I’m a really cheap drunk, too. Oh, but I do love a good screaming orgasm—drink and actual screaming orgasm. I mean, who doesn’t? The drink is made with Baileys, vodka, and Kahlua.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Gargantuan amounts of Oreos, or other chocolate. I will warn them, though, careful with drinking. You may be snorting stuff out your nose.

What form does evil take within its pages?

The past evil of a really awful mom (think Cersei Lannister only meaner) and has left Beck, the daughter and main character, with some issues. Luckily she has a sense of humor and good friends to help out with her recovery. The current evil in the book . . . well, that’s the mystery.

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

Of all the characters I’ve written? I’m going to say Leo (in my Diamond City Magic books) because he’s smart, snarky, and has a sense of humor. He’s also crazy handsome and will do anything for family.

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

The Victorian period. It contained so much angst, so much hypocrisy and rapid change. It was the height of the Raj, of the British Empire that has influenced so much of our world and continues to, mostly in bad ways. It definitely influences my world building. In fact, my Crosspointe Chronicles borrow heavily from the Victorian era. My interest in colonization and post-colonization greatly informs my understanding of power between people, in societies, and between societies.

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

But I have so many! I’m going to look at my latest book—Putting the Fun in Funeral—and say Ethan. He’s just all too self important. And he’s an ass.

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

Hmmm. It’s a tough. It’s between the banana buddha and the way in which mom dies, which is ridiculous and over-the-top and oh so wrong, but so very right.

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

Aztec hot chocolate—spicy hot and chocolate.

Putting the Fun in Funeral, Everyday Disasters book 1

Beck Wyatt has always hated her mother—enough to kill her. As luck would have it, someone beats her to murdering Mommy Dearest and now Beck gets to plan the tackiest funeral the world has ever seen for the worst woman she’s ever known.

But first, Beck has a few minor problems to deal with. First on the list? Avoid getting kidnapped. She also has to convince the police she didn’t kill her mother. And then there’s surviving a death curse ….

With the help of her three best friends, cheesecake, and a little magic, Beck figures she can handle anything, even the mysterious and irritating Damon Matroviani, whose sexy good-looks light her panties on fire.

All too soon, her life is turned inside out, and just when things are looking like they can’t get any worse … everything hits the fan.

You can check out the first chapter on Di’s website!

And there you have it, my darlings. I think Di’s humor might really appeal to many of you so you should definitely check her books out, if not this one than she has many other awesome universes to explore like her Victorian influenced Crosspointe Chronicles.

Yours in reading forever,

Miss Gail


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If you want it dedicated or are paranoid about ensuring it’s signed,
you can order it via Borderlands Books using the SIGNED button on my website.

This special edition of Soulless includes 10 stunning full page illustrations in Edward Gorey style by the talented Jensine Eckwall.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Galena – from my 2012 parasol photo competition

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Mur & I after she won the Hugo

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Romance Novels Are Not Your Junk Food

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

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Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Posted by Gail Carriger

3 Responses

  1. Michael said:

    Which of your respective characters most want to chat with each other? And would it go better than Alexia’s attempt to converse with a 21st Century bookstore clerk?

  2. Rhiannon Lynn said:

    The books sound even more fun (and ridiculous) than the Dresden Files – what does our trusty and well-beloved Gail Carrier think of the Dresden Files (and she is not hereby made a Major in the British Army by the Prince Regent as she’s much too intelligent for such a small role. Perhaps Queen and Lady of the Californians? Empress of America?
    Or would she prefer, perhaps: Supreme Mistress of the Universe? )
    And yes, I misspent my youth with Sharpe (the films, not the books) and Blackadder, and I have a near-perfect recall of just about everything silly that I ever read, heard or saw…including Pirates of the Caribbean..oh dear; perhaps I need to get out more?
    Apologies for waffling; it’s my mother’s birthday and my brain has cross-wired.

    1. Gail Carriger said:

      Ah, so Dresden files. I’m afraid I haven’t gotten into them, I’m very very VERY daunted by such long running series. And I don’t trust the author to stick the landing, especially if it’s a dude. Also I’ve heard a few things about queer rep in these books that concern me. So… yeah. Here’s my “stick the landing” post.

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