Hello Gentle Reader, I’ve been thinking about high tea a lot lately. Which made me think of scones…
What do I put on mine?
Salted butter, lemon or passion fruit curd, and clotted cream. In that order. I know, right? But you can’t take Devon out of a girl who spent her childhood there. It’s why I set the Finishing School series in that part of England.
Because of the the way they eat their scones? You may well ask.
Speaking of which…
Etiquette & Espionage turned 10 this Sunday!
You can find lots more behind the scenes, extras, and research for Etiquette & Espionage here.
I want to thank my amazing acquiring editor Kate, who sadly is no longer editing children’s books. It’s not my fault, I promise. Luckily, I landed with a fabulous second editor for the series, Deirdre, who is still in the publishing industry. Yay! Also thanks to my agent, Kristin, without her encouragement I may have never written young adult.
And I really want to thank my readers, who came out in full support of this book, and the series, and who’s still tell me that they love it or that they found steampunk because of it.
You are the best!
The hotel Wi-Fi was miraculously good last weekend at Stupid Cupid Steampunk Ball, so here’s footage from the gathering Q&A to celebrate baby’s 10th b-day.
I take questions from the fans assembled in the room for this august occasion. We talk about Finishing School, Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol, the ins and outs of the publishing industry, and much much more. I make reference to a number of exclusives and secret things revealed only to my newsletter, the Chirrup. I’m wearing a parasol skirt (it has pockets!), Miz Mooz button boots, and the infamous spoons corset (Dark Garden Corsetry).
I’m doing trixy things with audiobooks in the Chirrup for most of 2023, so if you are one of my audiobook readers it is an awfully good idea to join the Chirrup, at least for this year.
Here’s a sample of the kind of thing I mean.
Revisiting My Past
Recently I was down in Los Gatos for this slightly surreal TV event podcast thingy (I’m confused too), and I ended up cooling my stiletto heels at Great Bear Cafe (which has not changed AT ALL since I was last there a decade ago).
This is the cafe I was sitting in when a NYC publisher called offering my first book deal (over a decade ago, for Soulless). I was drinking a latte and I spit foam when I saw the 212 area code on my phone.
You probably know what happened next.
Needless to say, I have great affection for this cafe.
Although, this time around there was much less spitting of latte foam.
What made me happy last month?
- Eating: The chip report continues on social media. If you don’t follow me there, basically I went and spent far too much money on a collection of incredibly random flavored chips from Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan. I have been reporting on them, with mixed results. So far my favorite (by a landslide), and possibly one of my favorite crisps of all time, were the “salmon salad tapioca puffs” from Thailand. Amazing flavor of salmon, lime, scallion, and chili as delicious puffy crispy goodness. I found one place selling them online; Lay’s Tawan Tapioca Chips. Before you ask, I have no idea on the ingredients, because all of the packaging is in Thai.
- Drinking: I was given an unprecedented amount of homemade jam this year. I’ve taken to making myself evening hot toddies of jam + a cinnamon stick + boiling water. Sometimes I’ll put other spices in there, a little dollop of booze, a toasted nut or two, or a slice of fresh fruit, but mostly it doesn’t need anything more. So far, apricot and plum are my favorites.
- Listening: This NPR interview is with a very dear friend of mine from undergrad! Opera singer Tenor Limmie Pulliam We used to play waffle ball out on the quad and Limmie would act as umpire and sing all of his calls.
Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling pile of crazy flavored chips),
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- Vixen Ecology ~ Short story featuring Mana & Lovejoy, follow up to The Enforcer Enigma, is available to Chirrup members as a digital exclusive. That’s Gail’s newsletter. If you sign up you will get a link to buy and download as you go through the confirmation process. It’s a short story so in digital ONLY. Why?
BOOK DE JOUR!
Crudrat – The Tinkered Stars
PICK YOUR VENDOR!
Maura is doomed to starve. Her space station has no further use for her.
With only her crud-eating murmel and a fuzzy alien stranger to help, Maura must find a way to survive, before they catch her and blow what’s left of her life into space.
Gail’s Daily Tea Party
Tisane of Nifty
The Spun-Glass Dress That Made a Splash at the World’s Fair 1898
Adventures in Dictation
What Gail said: middle grade
What dictation typed: metal grade
What Gail thought: Well I do write steampunk, that clocks.
What Gail said: bumper sticker
What dictation typed: pumpernickel
What Gail thought: I forgot what a great word that is, also, bumper stickers on pumpernickel = objectively hilarious.
Quote to SipETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE