Tidbits & Behind the Scenes Research for Reticence

So here’s some bits and bobs I researched for Reticence! I don’t think these are very spoiler-y but if you are super worried you might want to save this to read after you’ve finished the book.

These are things, Gentle Reader, that may assist with comprehension but are not at all necessary.

Party Inspiration

For the big event at the beginning:

This is what Vauxhall looked like in 1751.

Of course my “Vauxhall Bob” doesn’t look like this at all, but it might not hurt to have a baseline…

A favorite moment from the first section:

He overheard Quesnel say, “Oh yes, because werewolves are so full of esprit de corps.”
To which Rue replied, “Oh, I see what you did there, how droll.”
Then one of the Kingair werewolves was pulled into the argument, his fellows backing him up. Whatever was said to him clearly caused offence, because the Scotsman looked like he was about to drop kilt and get furry.

Off to Japan!

Here’s some of the background research I did….

In order to construct my Japanese steampunk city I wanted to understand Japanese gardens and their historical evolution and philosophy of construction, so I watched this interesting documentary film Japan – Philosophical Landscapes.

I also watched the movie Silence. Wrong time period, 1600s, but I wanted to see how Hollywood would handle the set dressing and location shoots. Honestly, I think this is Scorsese trying to remake The Mission. Some of the settings were beautiful but I found the acting (I’m looking at you, white dudes) and story (yawn) regrettable. (I don’t know, is this Scorsese taking us on his own emotional journey equivalent of Bildungsroman in movie form? I was just as much interested as I was in Thomas Mann. Which is to say, not at all. Will women be represented as anything but plot devices? No. Will they be represented at all? Perhaps if you’re going to delve into a spiritual journey, you shouldn’t ignore half the population, Scorsese.)

I read Thomas Cook’s Guide to Japan (from 1910). A little late because it’s after the Russo–Japanese War but it gave be some basic insight in the lay out of Tokyo and the attitude of European tourists. Practicalities of transport, money changing, perceived safety, and so forth.

Had a Japanese Meiji Restoration expert sensitivity read this second half of the book, to make certain I wasn’t getting anything horribly wrong in ways I didn’t intend as part of the steampunk rewrite of history.

And, before you ask, yes there are hot tubs.

Whatcha take me for?

Occasionally in one’s life, it turns out, one ends up in a large round wooden cistern of hot water, with a fox spirit and the woman one hopes to marry.
Or one does if one is Percy.

Food References

Pikelet ~ A free-form crumpet or crumpet-like bread in areas of Great Britain (sometimes more like a small pancake).

Clootie Dumpling ~ A traditional dessert pudding made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit (sultanas and currants), suet, sugar, and spice with some milk to bind it, and sometimes golden syrup. (A big one looks remarkably like haggis.)


Lotus root ~ actually, technically not roots but rhizomes have a crunchy texture with sweet-tangy flavor and are used extensively in many Asian dishes. I adore them, but have never had them fresh. Apparently fresh lotus root slices are limited by a fast browning rate (like apple slices).


Rutabaga ~ rutabaga is actually the North American English word for a swede, but I loved it so much I just had to have Percy use it in the book. Incidentally, this root vegetable is also known as a neep (Scotland and North England) or sometimes white turnip. It is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and pretty much tastes that way.

Final teeser:

Yes, Lady Manami is EXACTLY who you think she is.

What, you doubted me?

Yours in coils,

Miss Gail

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The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

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.



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3 Responses

  1. Rhiannon Lynn said:

    By the way, if there are Japanese fox shifters — why not Ainu bear shifters? And so the discrimination against the Ainu was something shifter-related as well as all the other factors?

      1. Rhiannon Lynn said:

        YAYYY! (sorry, it’s late at night waiting for Reticence to drop; I can get a leetle overenthusiastic)
        Knew you’d never let such an interesting thought go by without examination.

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