The Great Parasolverse read along continues with Competence, the third book in my Parasol Protectorate spin off Custard Protocol series. This is the first time I switch main characters mid series, and the first time I wrote a queer central love story for a major NY publisher. This was also my first truly hybrid book, with me publishing it overseas myself, while a traditional publisher handled the USA and Canada.
A lot of firsts.
Competence released in July of 2018
There was a year gap between this book and the one prior because I was in contract negotiations for the final two books in this series. During that time, I published several novellas and focused on my indie career. Because I wasn’t sure if Competence and Reticence would even happen, the first two books in this series are designed to stand together as a duology.
Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book, includes that fact that I have visited both Singapore and Peru, plus my struggles with bringing out a UK overseas edition myself. (I declined my UK publisher’s offer because it was so low for such a large rights grab.)
All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.
Publisher’s Weekly said:
“Carriger excels at wry humor and clever phrasing, and her ensemble cast is thoroughly charming and satisfyingly diverse. There’s a genuine sense of whimsy and fun running throughout this story, making it a treat for fans of the series.”
Things Pertaining to This Book
- I Fantasy Cast Custard Protocol the Movie
- Primrose’s Packing List for Fashionable Victorian Dirigible Travel
- Researching 1890s Singapore & Peru
- Some of the other weird stuff I had to research for this book
- How Primrose Stocks an Airship Victorian Medicine Cabinet
- Why are there two different covers?
- How Does the Peerage Work in the Parasolverse?
- Chapter Titles & Percy’s POV
- Primrose character design board
- Tasherit character design board
- Rodrigo Tarabotti Character Study!
- Blog posts specific to Competence
Competence in Fashion on Retro Rack
- Dressing Primrose From the Corset Up: For Balls, Sports, and the Bedroom
- Some Silly 1890s Hats For Ivy & Primrose
- What I wore for the launch of Competence: A 1950s Style eShakti Gold Cocktail Dress for at Tattered Cover in Denver
- Singapore: 1880s Australian Lady, Fans, Parasols, and More
- All About Parasols, What Do Prim/Rue/Alexia’s Actually look like?
Book Loving Nut says of Competence:
“Percy’s POV is awkward and often unpleasant, just like the man himself. However, over time you can’t help but start to find him endearing despite his many faults. Somehow, even though he’s still insufferable, Carriger makes the guy surprisingly likable. HOW? I will never know.”
All Things Urban Fantasy says:
“I adored COMPETENCE and the story ends pretty neatly, or as neatly as this wonderfully quirky series can. Luckily this is not the end for the crew of the Spotted Custard since there are still some loose story threads that need to be tied up.”
“This was everything I’ve come to expect from Carriger……imaginative, with loads and loads of adventure, a little tastefully done romance, and a seamless blend of Steampunk and fantasy in a unified world.”
Carolyn Cushman says in Locus Magazine:
“Overall, though, this is less about thrilling adventures and new discoveries than about the highly entertaining Seduction of Primrose, nicely wrapped up with happy endings for much of the crew.”
The Furious Reader says:
There are so many great lines in this book, but I think what really just captures the spirit of Prim is, “Prim didn’t like guns, and she didn’t like to have to shoot them, but that didn’t stop her from being very, very good at it.”
Amanda J. McGee says:
“This story is a coming out story of the best kind. It deals with not only attraction, but with the broader implications of coming out – the costs, both perceived and actual, and how those are not always the same; the embrace of family, both found and otherwise; and the joy of finally being yourself and letting go of the ideas of who you should be.”
The Smut Report says:
“So, as I said, the real treat of this book is the opportunity to reconsider what’s important (while also enjoying a little lighthearted escapism).”
Sophril Reads says:
“I loved this book! There is just something about the life lessons in this series that just warms my heart.”
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The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).
Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.
“Carriger does such a fantastic job with her world building and this book is no exception. The world is richly described and interesting, but it’s the mystery/plot that really push this one forward.”
- Reticence, The 4th & final Custard Protocol book Aug 6, 2019
- Fan Service Omnibus (SOLD OUT) Oct 2019
- Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
That time when I did a live broadcast FROM Singapore (which is one of the reasons it ended up in a book. I’m more likely to write about a country if I have actually been there.
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
World Anvil Interview
In which I give some writing advice, worldbuilding thoughts, and talk integration of queer characters.
Mentioned in the video:
- Further Fiction Reading: Gender Fluidity & Varied Sexual Identities
- Suggestions for Queer SciFi
- Suggestions for Queer Fantasy
- Researching Gender Fluidity & Representing it in Fiction
- Beginnings of Heroine’s Journey is here
Quote of the Day:
“Cats liked to occupy liminal spaces: both inside and outside, both tame and wild, both yawn and meow.”
COMPETENCE, Coop de Book, Custard Protocol, Special Extras