With Reticence coming out soon, and it being Percy’s book, I thought I might do a bit on men’s fashion for a change, Fashionable Reader.
Here’s a quote from Reticence on the subject of Percy’s appearance…
“The others looked interested, surprised, and resigned according to their natures. Except Percy, who looked like none of those things, but just like Percy.”
I know the power of my prose (dum dum dum) in the Custard Protocol books ought to cast into your mind exactly the image of what men looked like in the 1890s, but frankly pictures are better.
The eagle eyes and costume-minded among you will have already noticed that Percy is NOT dressed appropriately to the 1890s in either of his covers…
Yes that’s regency wear he has on, around 1840s NOT 1890s. (Actually when I asked you to judge the covers I was expecting a bit more outrage on this matter). Suffice it to say, there is a VERY GOOD reason for his cover outfit. But no, what’s on the cover is absolutely NOT what a Victorian gentleman would ordinarily wear in the mid 1890s.
So shall we talk about what Percy should be wearing?
Here is a sample of 1890s clothing for gentlemen of the kind the Percy & Quesnel are oft described as wearing throughout the series.
Fashion plate, 1880s-90s via shewhosorshipscarlin tumblr
Hats have begun to get smaller and more refined than the earlier parts of the Victorian era.
The cravat is tied more simply, leans towards muted colors, and is beginning to look more like a tie. In fact we start to see the word “tie” being used for this piece of clothing, or something similar but cut of a thicker fabric and shaped more precisely and thinly around the neck. Also the bow tie becomes the rage for evening.
Higher collars, narrow lapels, and vests (singled breasted) instead of waistcoats (double breasted) are more fashion forward. Trousers are draped and tapered but not tight. Shoes have become more uniformly black, shiny and laced. Rarely boots outside of the countryside and sporting events.
“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'”
“The mood will pass, sir.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters
J.W. Losse Tailoring, 1897 via dandyads-tumblr
Adjusted for inflation, one of these spring overcoats would run you $400-720 today.
This advert is an example of something it’s important to know about the late Victorian era, that professional garb is becoming ever more important, i.e the idea that you wear a specific kind of clothing for your specific job (as opposed to your station in society, although the two are linked). This is a concept in fashion that often collates historically to a rise in the middle class.
This next image is a little more modern but I imagine, given the prevalence of dirigibles in the Parasolverse, that something like this driving outfit would have been around earlier in the Parasolverse as a gentleman’s floating outfit. I can see Madame Lefoux rocking it.
1906-1908 Driving Coat The Victoria & Albert Museum
‘Jeeves,’ I said coldly. ‘How many suits of evening clothes have we?’
‘We have three suits full of evening dress, sir; two dinner jackets—’
‘For practical purposes two only, sir. If you remember, we cannot wear the third. We have also seven white waistcoats.’
‘Four dozen, sir.’
‘And white ties?’
‘The first two shallow shelves in the chest of drawers are completely filled with our white ties, sir.’
So why is Percy on the cover of Reticence in REGENCY garb?
“…the jacket was of the kind one’s grandfather wore in the 1820s. It was blue with puffy shoulders and large collar, and cropped in such a manner as to exaggerate certain frontal sectors of a chap’s anatomy, sectors Percy was tolerably certain a respectable gentleman ought to be exaggerating. Which was to say, he had received compliments in the past, but only from ladies who were monetarily encouraged to be positive on the subject.”
So, Fashionable Reader, I have concocted a pictorial guide to possible outfits that a young lady of Prim’s rank might wear during this time period.
The images run with what she would need to put on, in order. Ready? Here we go…
On the bottom half:
1. 1890 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
2. 1890s Stockings The Metropolitan Museum of Art
3. 1899 Garters 1899 The Chicago History Museum
4. 1895-1905 Oxfords The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Note that shoes have to go on early? Well before the corset and also the rest of the dress for bending and hemming reasons.
Combination 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Ar
Combinations are a hard one for me, as an author.
Because they were ubiquitous undergarments at the time of the Custard Protocol books. They were the most common form of underwear.
However, the name and the concept is entirely lost to the modern mind set. Most of my readers would have no basis for comparison should I drop the word “combination” into, for example, a shape change or a nookie scene. I must, therefore, use the word in correct context so as to make it clear that is what the character is wearing. Or have it described to a foreign character. And yet, it’s not something that would be described. Sigh. Challenging.
On the upper half:
Bust Improvers 1890s Whitaker Auction
Prim wouldn’t need these, but I include them because I think its fun that they exist at all!
5. Camisol 1895-1905 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
7. Sleeve Supports 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Art
And over the top:
8. 1895 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
9. 1894 Evening Dress Charles Fredrick Worth, 1894 The Kyoto Costume Institute
10. 1890s The Goldstein Museum of Design
11. 1895-1905 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
12. Muff and Hat 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Alternatively, here’s a look at more sporty options…
Stockings 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Combinations undergarment, England, 1875 – 1900
Corset 1890s Summer Corset The Victoria & Albert Museu
Corset Cover 1895-1900 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
And sportswear on the outside:
Shirtwaist 1894 The Museum at FIT _ OMG that dress!
1890s Under The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Travel Suit Jacques Doucet, 1895 The Victoria & Albert Museum
You don’t have to take the pictures as proof. Here’s some research to back it up…
Gwen Raverat at the end of the century describes the modest dress of a respectable female.
“Women were incredibly modest . . . even with each other. You could see a friend in her petticoat, but nothing below that was considered decent. At school, the sidht of a person in her white frilly drawers caused shrieks of outraged virtue; and I should have thought it impossible to be seen downstairs in my dressing-gown.”
~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 269)
americangothgirl-tumblr Catalog Photographs, Front and Back Views of Woman In Corset, c. 1880s. Albumen Prints
“This is what a young lady wore, with whom I shared a room one night…
Thick, long-legged woolen combinations.
Over them, white cotton combinations, with plenty of buttons and frills.
Very serious, bony, grey stays, with suspenders.
Black woolen stockings.
White cotton drawers, with buttons and frills.
White cotton ‘petticoat-bodice’, with embroidery, buttons and frills.
Rather short, white flannel, petticoat.
Long alpaca petticoat, with a flounce round the bottom.
Pink flannel blouse.
High, starched, white collar, fastened on with studs.
Navy blue tie.
Blue skirt, touching the ground, and fastened tightly to the blouse with a safety-pin behind.
Leather belt, very tight.
High button boots.”
~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 269)
Undergarments ca. 1900-03 From the FIDM Museum
1898 Walking Suit, House of Worth, French, Made of silk and lace
For the Boudoir!
How about an alternate more sexy arrangement of underthings layer…
Here’s the first layer:
Brassiere 1910s The Metropolitan Museum of Art copy
Drawers 1900s The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Garter 1875-1825 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Stocking 1860 Les Arts Décoratifs
Over that would go the next layer of these items:
Corset 1900 The Metropolitan Museum of Art copy
Corset Cover 1910s Antique Dress
Chemisette, Undersleeves, and Handkerchief 1860s The Metropolitan Museum of Art copy
Over all of this she might wear this:
Negligee, 1908 From the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Dressing Gown 1897-1900 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
I am trying to get them linked but Amazon is fighting me, assume it will never happen.
The USA & Canada should get this book in audio around the same time as it releases. Everyone else? We’ve been fighting for almost a year to get the final Custard Protocol books distributed to you. The publisher has been stonewalling. Please write to them about it.
You do have an alternate. You can get an audio CD shipped to you from Borderlands. Use the SIGNED button under the book’s image on my website: Reticence & Competence. Just clearly explain that you want the AUDIOBOOK on CD.
That is the only way I know that you can get it.
We’re trying to negotiate to have Moira’s narration distributed to you. It’s NOT going well. Write to my publisher and ask them for it. No really, try. Hachette Audio. They aren’t listening to me.
To do this myself I would have to rerecord with a different reader. Then you’ll complain that it’s a different narrator.
It costs thousands of dollars to make an audiobook, and I don’t have the funds right now and the market overseas for English audio isn’t big enough to support the expense.
Finally, the distribution mechanism isn’t in place. Audible doesn’t offer the option of ONLY distributing overseas, yet I’m contractually obliged to do that.
In other words: Right now, convincing my US audio publisher to strike an overseas distribution deal is our best option.
Why 2 covers for Reticence & Competence?
Because I am publishing the these two Custard Protocol books to the UK and other non-North American territories myself.
If you’re overseas and able to get any of my novellas then you should be able to get Reticence. I do my absolute best for you. I could not be working harder to make sure it gets to as many of you as possible, but that might mean it’s not in the version you prefer.
Is there any substantial difference in content?
The UK edition is EXACTLY how I want it in every way, including a full list of my published works as of publication, some minor grammar and sentence structure differences. It also has British spelling and uses the word ladybird instead of ladybug. But the story is the same.
Here’s the bit in the Live from February where I explain the different book sizes:
I explain a lot on the different cover sizes. I go into a bit of a show and tell using Imprudence as a model (backwards because I’m using my phone’s flip camera) but you get the idea. At Time Stamp 39:00.
But Miss Gail, I like both & want to own both!
You’re a darling and I love you!
Generally speaking (aside from second party sellers and illicit means) USA readers shouldn’t be able to get the UK edition, and visa versa. (Gail cocks an eyebrow at you thoughtfully.)
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.
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.
Competence was an Amazon, Borderlands, and Locus bestseller.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
‘Bring my shaving things.’ A gleam of hope shone in the man’s eye, mixed with doubt. ‘You mean, sir?’ ‘And shave off my moustache.’ There was a moment’s silence. I could see the fellow was deeply moved. ‘Thank you very much indeed, sir,’ he said, in a low voice.
Spring Morning by James Tissot c. 1875 (@metmuseum)
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
“The bottle rules the sensual world, but the tea-cup is queen in all the fair dominions.”
~ Around the Tea Table, by T. De Witt Talmage (c.1895)
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
~ Madeleine L’Engle
“Someone was trying to kill Lady Alexia Maccon. It was most inconvenient, as she was in a dreadful hurry. Given her previous familiarity with near-death experiences and their comparative frequency with regards to her good self, Alexia should probably have allowed extra time for such a predictable happenstance.”
Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book, researching Egypt & Africa during the 1890s, among other things. I love this book because it’s my “let’s find the source of the Nile” story. (Or in this case, the source of the werecats!)
Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community.
Imprudence was a Barnes & Noble B. Dalton and Locus bestseller. It was the first of Gail’s books since Changeless not to hit the New York Times. Buy me a drink some time and I’ll tell you more. In the end I used it to parlaying never having to do a book tour again, as they sent me on a 2 week tour-from-hell and didn’t get what they wanted (the LIST).
1893 General Gordans Last Stand Kartoum, occurred just before the events in the Imprudence.
Mid 1850’s Fern Fad: “Women collected and classified ferns, the cultivated and bred ferns, the made outdoor ferneries, the dried, pressed, mounted and framed ferns. They made splatter pictures of them.” ~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders
Floote’s tank is often described as looking a bit like those ones for ladies who collected ferns or Wardian cases (a forerunner of the terrarium). I discovered this when researching Pteridomania or Fern-Fever, a craze for ferns that reached its height in the 1890s.
1867 Fashion Plate from Le Follet showing a small fern display case
“Milk is the great difficulty in travelling tea-making. It cannot always be easily obtained, and milk carried about with one in a bottle does not long retain its freshness in hot weather. Some people do not object to the condensed or Swiss milk one buys in small tins. It has the advantage of being extremely portable, but I must confess, personally, to finding its effect detestable in tea or coffee.”
The discovery of oxygen. I think there is a word for when multiple scientists discover the same important thing at (basically) the same time in disconnected locals (Kuhn would mutter something about dominant paradigms and the structure of scientific revolutions but that’s neither here nor there, unless you’re an entomologist, in which case it’s both) but I can’t remember what that word is.
“Ultimately Imprudence offers an interesting mix of silliness, real danger, and character development. Best of all is the resolution of longtime issues for Lord Maccon and Alexia, dating back to the last book in the Parasol Protectorate series, Timeless. Many authors stop a series, or slow down the time process, not wanting to age their characters. That’s simply not the case here. Ms. Carriger does go there, and she does it marvelously.”
“Imprudence firmly cemented the Custard Protocol series as a worthy successor to Parasol Protectorate. Filled with adventure, friendship and romance, this is an immensely fun ride, in a wonderfully amusing world.”
Every author has a process, after 10 years of careful honing mine seems to be:
Stare into empty teapot, frantically type 12 different sub genres at once, make myself sick on seaweed popcorn and sour gummies. Make fresh cuppa to recuperate.
So I took Rue to India in the first Custard Protocol book, Prudence. (Which the Read Along is tackling right now.) It was a lot of fun for the both of us. And, since it’s me, I also kept an eye open to the fashion world. India was an occupied territory during the Victorian times, and fabrics and fashion moved from there across the world and into the lives of Victorians in a myriad of ways. Here are some of the influential images, fashion items, and styles that come up in my books when India is involved.
1885 Visite Les Arts Décoratifs
Not all of the images I collected are strictly Indian. Some are from surrounding occupied territories or highlight other Silk Road influences. Nevertheless, they struck me as quite interesting, so I have presented them for you here.
Fancy Dress Costume Charles Fredrick Worth, 1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
I dithered on how to show these. I went with some original historical clothing items, along with some Victorian and later takes on the same theme and, where possible, a modern fashion look. Also there’s jewelry! So it’s kinda a mess, but I still hope you enjoy it.
Pendant 1860 Bonham’s
17th-18th century The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
1867 Les Arts Décoratifs
Pietro Yantorny, 1920 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Evening Dress late 1910s The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
19th Radhakrishna pendant India, 19th century Christie’s
1855 via fashionsfromhistory-tumblr Dressing Gown MFA
Court Ensemble India (Lucknow), 19th century The Victoria & Albert Museum
1820 Turban The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Evening Dress 1893 The Museum of London
“This evening dress is decorated with net panels embroidered with gold thread and beetle wing cases from a species of jewel beetle. The panels were probably made in India where Madras and Calcutta were centres for beetle-wing embroidery made for the European market. The iridescent blue-green beetle wing cases reflect the light like sequins. This type of embroidery is found in British museum collections on dress, textiles and accessories dating from the 1780s until about 1930. Although Indian embroiderers introduced the technique, using it to decorate dress and domestic textiles, Europeans copied them, sometimes using the wing cases of a species of South American jewel beetle. This style of embroidery was also thought to be a suitable pastime for ladies of leisure, who were advised to use a Walker’s number eight needle and green silk thread.”
Dress Weeks, 1910 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Shirt India (Bikaner), 1850s The Victoria & Albert Museum
Opal Bracelet 1900 Christie’s
Fancy Dress Costumes Paul Poiret, 1913-1914 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Necklace India, 19th century Sotheby’s
Jama India, 17th century The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Court Robe India, 18th century The Victoria & Albert Museum
Necklace India (Rajasthan), 19th century Christie’s
Choga India, late 19th century The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book, like researching India.
Prudence was probably the hardest book I ever had to write, it hit the NYT through dint of being on special offer (I think) in both ebook and hardcover when it launched. This was the first time Orbit released me in hardcover and this series got confused (by bookstores) with my YA series as a result.
Introducing the Custard Protocol series, in which Prudence travels to India for Queen, country…and the perfect pot of tea.
Prudence was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, an Amazon Best Book Pick in Romance and Sci-Fi/Fantasy categories, and Library Reads pick.
When I started this new series I had to not only go back a see where I left things in the world, after Timeless (plus 20 years) I also hard to research what was going on around the world at the time. So there was a lot of background work to do before I even started the story.
Here’s what my desk looked like when I was doing that…
As I started actually writing Prudence, I realized it was not going to be possible for me to write this story while I was still writing the final Finishing School books.
This meant I had to ask my publisher for a delay. I talk all about this creative crisis in this blog post…
“It took just minutes to realize that Moira Quirk is the perfect narrator for this book, bringing the right sense of humor and tone to every character. Yes, indeed, some are rather over the top – Lord Akeldama most notably – but that’s exactly how Ms. Carriger writes the characters.”
Note: This resource is on going and updated, if a link doesn’t work or if you have other resources to offer (remember this is for fiction writers) please leave a comment.
I’ll be honest, Gentle Reader, I wrote The 5th Gender, basically, in the space of one week without internet. So while I was writing it. I just let it come…
So to speak.
In it, I’m dealing heavily with a completely alien culture.
I wanted to represent Tris and his people as very different from humans in every way. That includes modern approaches to gender identity, but isn’t limited to them. I should add it’s not a utopia either. Like any culture the galoi have some positives and some negatives about their society.
Part of my reasons for doing this is the profound neglect early science fiction writers (particularly those of my youth) had for social structure.
SF is eager to embrace a future with advanced technology but frankly poor at conceiving how culture might change. When, in fact, social structure, languages, identities, syntax, and definitions shift almost as quickly (if not more so) than technology.
Before you jump down my throat:
Yes there are good examples of this kind of sci-fi, but statistically they’re the outliers not the norm.
You’ll have to read The 5th Gender to find out the complexities in biology, identity, personality, socialization, and restrictions that surround Tris and his people, the galoi. It’s part of the story. Tristol’s human lover, Drey, has a journey of discovery throughout the book that ties the murder mystery to the galoi social structure.
I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m not going into detail as to how I am playing with these concepts in the context of an alien culture. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do research into modern human society in order to be aware of the now when dabbling in the future.
I’ve dated, loved, and grown up with gender fluid lovelies. But I don’t identify as gender fluid myself, and I’m an academic so… research!
A quick word on gender and sexual fluidity in the historical record:
Without question historically verified presence of homosexual and gender fluid individuals exists in the past (and this archaeologists will FIGHT YOU WITH SCIENCE on this matter), but pan, bi, ace, grey, and queer+ are really hard to trace in the distant past and archaeology-only record. No doubt they were there, but it’s difficult to see given the imposition of researcher bias, physical preservation, nationalist agendas, and so forth. (I’m looking at you, Egypt. “Tomb of Two Brothers” my arse.)
Timeless and a 1930s Egyptian Revival teacup from my collection.
In the Parasolverse
I’ve blogged about Madame Lefoux extensively elsewhere, which is why I’m not addressing her in depth here. If you want a modern definition for her, I would call her a gender fluid butch lesbian. Her preference is for women, and she identifies as a woman, with a performative aspect to her masculine attire, so perhaps she might also identify with drag king on occasion?
Here be spoilers for Custard Protocol, skip to next section if you aren’t caught up on Competence.
Anitra is first introduced as a child in Timeless.
Anitra’s drifter parents refer to her as female. She’s gender identified as female by Alexia, but remember that Victorian children during this time period are already dressed and thought of with a kind-of gender amorphia.
Later Anitra is identified by Rodrigo as aravani. This is a word he picked up on his travels, probably on a mission to kill someone, it sort-of correlates to third gender.
However, Anitra identifies herself as a woman. She was raised within Drifter culture – that culture is essentially binary but in an opt-in way. (Remember Ay from Imprudence who tried to marry Primrose had a male identity. And yes, Ay’s brief appearance was absolutely a foreshadow for Anitra’s reveal in Competence.)
Anitra eventually ends up marrying (and reforming) Rodrigo Tarabotti. As is often the case, questions pour in about Rodrigo and his sexual identity as a result.
Under modern terminology: Rodrigo would likely identify as pan.
A brief segue into sexual fluidity (I KNOW it’s not the same thing as gender fluidity, but I’m forestalling questions). It is cannon in the Parasolverse that preternaturals are all pan, or at least bisexual. Alexia, Alessandro, Rodrigo, and… others. Why? Because it’s my universe and I WANNA. So there.
Seriously though? It ties into my thoughts on the fluidity and adaptive state of being soulless. Preternaturals are simultaneously very stiff and ridged in their emotions – practical and pragmatic, but also fluid in their morality and ability to adapt and change, not just in what they think is wrong or right, but what they think is hot. They are… flexible. It is the nature of their bond with the universe. They’re born this way.
(And for those of you who are wondering, at this juncture, if my use of the term progressive to define the political parties who accept the supernatural element in British society as a reference to the acceptance of queers… OF COURSE that’s what I’m doing. Sheesh.)
In the San Andreas Shifter books
Mana, of course, required a bit of both the present and the past. (Mana = Manifest Destiny is a long lived kitsune drag queen in the San Andreas Shifter series.) She is trapped in an immortal body that repairs itself and cannot be changed. For someone born with male biological sex characteristics who identifies as female, that’s an intense burden. I believe, however, at this stage in her long life, Mana is comfortable in her own skin, even if it’s not the one she’d choose if she had the option.
You see Mana is very old and has lived in many places and times which has given her iron backbone and the ability resist perception while accepting what she cannot change.
Mana owns to the moniker drag queen because she feels an affinity to that identity in this time and place. I think her drag queen name, Manifest Destiny, is one one of irony and sublime confidence. She’s also sexually active and a dominant who is comfortable with her birth anatomy. Her lover, who identifies as a straight male, sees her as wholly female.
I’ve had a bit of a confusion from readers in how to reconcile this.
I’ll put it graphically.
Is a woman who happens to have a cock and use it (whether biological or strap on) any less a woman?
Is a straight man who likes to be pegged by his girlfriend any less straight?
Perception is a tricky beast.
Humans are complex, and complicated, and wonderful.
Kitsune are tricksters and meddlers, wise but not entirely to be trusted. I’ve always written my immortals as capricious, possibly because I grew up with an over abundance of Greek mythology.
It is interesting to think about what immortality would ACTUALLY do to the psyche.
To watch everyone you love die?
To watch humans make the same mistakes over and over again?
To know humans as prey and to think of them as inferior?
This too effects identity, gender, sexuality, and beyond.
Mana is MANY things as well as gender fluid. She is power and unity and grace. She is the grey space and she embodies it. She embraces all parts of herself without care to what others may think. Especially not what piddly humans might think.
“She’d managed to shift from fox to human without anyone the wiser and was back to being fully clothed and entirely made up in a way that Isaac suspected had something to do with savage mage-craft because no one could just shift into false eyelashes like that. No one.”
~ The Omega Objection
Also, here’s a fun little hint… pay werry werry close attention to Mana’s 3rd Form. For Kitsune, it’s all about the tails.
Before you ask, yes, I had Mana, Anitra & all of The 5th Gender read for sensitivity by self-identified gender fluid delicacy readers. Everyone, however, experiences gender differently whether now, in the past, or in the future. Time is, after all, also fluid.
My characters are written as individual examples unique to themselves, not as judgmental models of behavior.
I’m hoping they broaden readers minds, optimism, and willingness to accept all the glorious possibilities life has to offer us without constraint. I want to offer possibilities, not dictate certainties. Fluidity in all things… if you would.
I’m weirdly excited by my new collapsible tote. It’s cute, lightweight, durable, packs wee, AND has a zipper along the top. I need something for when they take my carry-on away from me on small planes & I can’t let them have the corsets!
I was recently in Seattle at University Bookstore. They were gracious enough to organize something rather last minute for me. (All their stock is now signed, so if you missed me, you can still get something special for yourself.)
I was there visiting and staying with my author friend and podcast co-host Piper J. Drake. (We do 20 Minute Delay together.) She and Producer Matt came along to this event, and being capable sweethearts, recorded it for you! (Say “Thank you Piper and Producer Matt.”)
Producer Matt, Piper J. Drake, Gail Carriger of 20 Minute Delay Podcast
Live broadcasting an event is not something I normally do, because if the store or the convention has paid for me to visit, I want to reward them with exclusivity. But since I was up in Seattle on my own dime for PodCon (and University bookstore was sweetly amenable), here it is…
Takes a bit for me to figure out the sound (which isn’t awesome) but it’s live with a large crowd done on an old iPhone so you know… SUFFER!
Here Are Show Notes!
I talk author carrier secrets, up coming books, plus take a few pot shots and compare myself to a dominatrix. As you do.