Tagged important for authors

Gail Carriger on Motivating to Write, Some Tough Love (Important for Authors) NaNoWriMo

Posted by Gail Carriger

Via Goodreads I got a certain question, Gentle Reader.

I hope, as you read the following, you can see my virtual eyebrow arching.

I’m an aspiring writer, but I’m dealing with two things:

  1. I get discouraged every single day because 96% of manuscripts are rejected, and I haven’t had an idea for years. 
  2. There’s too many people wanting to be writers, and knowing there’s so much competition just kills me a little every day. When I get motivated, immediately something appears about the industry that kills it.

Any tips on how to deal with this?

Look, here’s the truth…

If you get published or publish yourself. It only gets worse.

Being a full time freelancer (artist, author, etc…) is all about self motivation against nearly overwhelming odds.

I find blind optimism works well, not to mention willful disregard for the opinions of other.

I use shameless self-bribery to get my word count, usually chocolate and tea. I’m also a social writer, so I take myself off to cafes a lot. Finding what works to keep me writing is my most important ongoing quest.

The the simple fact is, if I don’t finish the book I have nothing. And since I’m an author, that also means I am nothing.

William Feather said, “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”

You want my secret?

Stubbornness.

Yes, there are a ton of people who want to be authors. Very few actually finish anything. Fewer still take the steps necessary to revise and edit their work properly.

What should you do? Be better then that.

There is no major secret beyond hard work and getting over your own hang-ups. Coincidentally that’s also basically how life works.

Specific instructions?

Arse in chair.

Fingers on keyboard.

Finish.

Your.

Book.

End of discussion.

Oh and listen to I Should Be Writing.

Mur is a hell of a lot nicer than I am.

Or if you like tough love then listen to Ditch Diggers instead, because Matt is almost as mean.

Yours in crabbiness,

Miss G

P.S.  If you want tips on writer’s block, that’s here. If you want motivational speakers, there’s an industry for that. If you want emotional deep dives into your own psyche? May I suggest a good therapist?

P.P.S. This is the reason that I am one of those authors who supports NaNoWriMo. I think it’s a great training program for the reality of being a professional author, full time or not. Honestly, stop getting all up in your head about it, just flipping write. Sheeseh.

OUT NOW!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
Direct from Gail

He is hiding because everyone knows that there are no werewolves in San Francisco.
Until one walks into his bar.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a tinkered stars sci-fi under the G. L. Carriger pen name). No links as yet, wait for it…
  • Secret Project Ommm, coming October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know more about what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Pursuant to recent heated discussions online concerning the relative merits (and similarities) of a British Scone versus American Biscuit, I present unto you, this podcast from Savor: Mind Your Own Biscuits

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

The Fine Black Men of Historical Romance – E&E gets an honorable mention

Quote of the Day:

Pinterest knows me too well…

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Author Fears in 4 Words (Important for Authors)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I did a silly four word author fear thing recently, thought you might like the see some of the ones I came up with, Gentle Reader.

Gail’s Author Fears in Four Words

  • Two day turn around.
  • Stock art cover design.
  • Not getting copy edit.
  • Document recovery has failed.
  • Typo on first page.
  • Editor is moving houses.
  • Do your own marketing.
  • No Oxford commas allowed.
  • Editor is moving houses.
  • No rights revert clause.
  • Amazon is changing algorithms.
  • Your release pushed back.
  • Your agent is retiring.
  • e-book price is $13.99
  • Typo in viral Tweet.
  • Amazon sent wrong preorder.
  • They decided no reviews.
  • Your deadline moved up.
  • Brutal non compete clause.
  • They want basket accounting.

And fears from others…

  • Writing on spec forever.
  • Pirated on release day.
  • No one at signing .
  • The movie was better.
  • How is your platform?
  • Someone else wrote it.
  • NaNo is next month.
  • No moderator for panels.
  • Not sure it’s marketable.

from Jamie “Pajamazombie” Wyman @Pajamazon

Ran out of tea.
from Joline ScottRoller @JScottroller

Document did not save.
from suzanne lazear @suzannelazear

No payment, good exposure.
from Suna Dasi‏ @Suna_Dasi

Need short story tomorrow.
from Maria E. Schneider‏ @BearMntBooks

Running out of ink.
from Piper J. Drake‏ @PiperJDrake

What genre is this?
from Leanna Renee Hieber‏ @Leannarenee

I’ve forgotten character’s haircolor.
from EddieLouise‏ @EddieLouise

Your book is remaindered.
from Adam Rakunas‏ @rakdaddy

My laptop just died.
from Mike Headley‏ @BowTieWriter

Author photo: tooth spinach.
from Isabel Cooper @ICooperAuthor

Please write a synopsis.
from Asa Maria Bradley‏ @AsaMariaBradley

Please critique my manuscript.
from Aaron Corpsewin @CapnCorwin

Error: document not found.
from Cass Morris‏ @CassRMorris

Accidentally clicked “Replace All”.
from Aaron Corpsewin @CapnCorwin

Awesome. Now rewrite it.
from Jess Scare-a-day‏ @jessfaraday

Keyboards with sticky keys.
from Nick Thames‏ @ThamesWriting

Coincidentally, these are all fine funny authors to follow on Twitter, if you were interested in such things.

Many hugs,

Your,

Miss Gail

P.S. If you’re a new author who’d like any of these fears explained please leave a comment at my blog and I’d be happy to explain. Or, there’s google.

OUT NOV 4, 2018!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
Direct from Gail

Can a gentle giant with a trampled heart
show a man who’s been running all his life that
sometimes there are monsters worth running towards?

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a tinkered stars sci-fi under the G. L. Carriger pen name). No links as yet, wait for it…
  • Secret Project Ommm, coming October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know more about what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Quiz: Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?

I got Anne Elliott, my least favorite Austen protag and I object most strenuously.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

50+ Puntastic And Fun Book Club Names

Book News:

Spotted by a fan in Florence!

Quote of the Day:

You can now sign up for the Chirrup with your code name!

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Average Day In the Life of a Full Time Author (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

For you Gentle Reader. I present a day in the life of the Authorbeast…

7am

Up & Make Tea

Check email for emergency situations. Respond as needed.

Post to blog, either Author or Retro Rack.

Share to social media (schedule if needed).

8am

Open Feedly and check the morning news via curated blogs:

Share interesting ones, keep others for bottom of blog posts, send important ones to Evernote of review and processing (once a month task).

Meanwhile, listen to daily news podcasts.

9am

Feed cat & self (still listening to podcasts).

9:30am

More tea.

Get on stairmaster.

Check up on social media. In order:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Tumblr
  4. Pinterest
  5. Facebook Pages
  6. Instagram

Switch to listening to book business podcasts, send myself notes on anything to follow up on.

10:00am

Shower.

Back to email.

Process everything that happened that morning. Things I emailed to myself and any lingering tasks that are in inbox and can be taken care of. Respond to any correspondences for friends, fans, agent, or editor.

Check in with various professional author forums and mastermind groups.

10:30am

Bike to office. Treat self to fun podcasts while getting exercise (as a reward).

11:00am

Arrive office. Process mail.

Book business, any larger task that has been waiting for a concentrated hour of work. Usually social media maintenance, bio update, book description or metadata updates, uploading, blog post writing, or Evernote production checklist item.

Noon

Lunch

Review any spreadsheet related work, pre-order tracking, AMS ad data, that kind of thing. This kind of thing is restful for me, I like data.

1:00pm

Research or any kind of prep related to my current writing project to get me in the mood. Any last emails answered.

2:00pm

Tea. Social Media.

2:30pm

Review previous day’s word count, get back into flow.

Write 2,000 words on whatever rough draft I’m working on.

Type type type type.

Around 6:00pm

Stop and bike home.

Prep for any event, interview, or podcast recording that I have that evening.

Self & Lilliput

7:00pm

Eat dinner.

7:30pm

Collapse on couch with cat on lap.

8:00pm

AB comes home. Smooches!

8:30pm

Reading, any lingering work, video or audio research. Play with cat.

9:00pm

Sudden spate of inspiration to amend blog post or book review. Or… read.

9:30pm

Check one last time on social media, make sure everything is OK.

10:00pm

Bed.

There it is! Very exciting I’m sure.

Yours in habitual business,

Miss Gail

OUT NOV 4, 2018!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
Direct from Gail

Can a gentle giant with a trampled heart
show a man who’s been running all his life that
sometimes there are monsters worth running towards?

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a tinkered stars sci-fi under the G. L. Carriger brand). No links as yet, wait for it…
  • Secret Project Ommm, coming October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know more about what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

You Shall Not Write

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A civilization based on tea

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Moral Poison”: The Evils of Reading Novels, 1864

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


How to Request A Book at Your Library! (Important for Authors)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Gentle Reader,

Did you know you can get your local library or school or university library to get my books? ANY of my books? Even the digital versions?

I love the library and I adore librarians, I know there are a handful of you lovelies out there reading this blog. *waves*

I pretty much grew up in my local tiny library and because it was so small I learned pretty quickly to request books. Well, you can do that with new books, print books AND these days electronic books too through a handy dandy thing called Overdrive (also Bibliotheca).

I want anyone who needs the comfort food of my books to be able to get ahold of them.

You can help me spread the love.

You see an actual request from a library card-carrying patron has an immense impact on library stock. In fact, there is pretty much NOTHING I can do to get my books into libraries if you don’t ask for them, especially my independent stuff like the Parasolverse novellas and the San Andreas Shifter series.

Even if I donate books, if they haven’t been requested, the library usually just sells them, without even bothering to put them into their collection.*

How to request your library carry my books…

On your library’s website (or in person) there is usually a form where you can request a book be purchased.

The link could be called anything from “suggest a title” to “ask us to purchase.”

Request the digital version?

Hopefully your library is connected to OverDrive…

  1. Log in to your library’s OverDrive site. Use your library card number and pin.
  2. Search for the book by title.
  3. Add titles you can recommend.
  4. Hover over the cover, Recommend
  5. You can choose either to be notified or to be placed on hold & enter your email addy.
  6. Recommend this title.

It’s pretty self explanatory but a librarian can guide you through it.

You can do this for all of my books and for books from many other authors you love. Mine are also available for Bibliotheca, but I am not familiar with the step-by-step process.

I work hard to make certain everything I can make available to libraries, is made available. So please, spread the love!

In case you didn’t know or haven’t been able to read them. Here’s my independently produced books that are less likely to be readily available at your library. But you can request them!

  • How To Marry A Werewolf (Channing’s novella) 9781944751142
  • Poison or Protect (Preshea’s novella) 9781944751043
  • Romancing the Werewolf (Biffy & Lyall’s novella) 9781944751104
  • Romancing the Inventor (Genevieve Lefoux’s novella) 9781944751067
  • The Sumage Solution 9781944751081

Also if you want to teach with the Finishing School books, there are FREE downloads to help on my website:

Want more on libraries from the author perspective?

So there it is, I hope this post has been helpful. A remember it doesn’t have to just be my books.

Yours (in the library),

Miss Gail

OUT IN SEPTEMBER!

Amazon | B&N  

All books in the first print run of 10,000 are SIGNED.
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.

NOT USA?

Borderlands Books will ship to you.
Order 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.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Officer of the Day, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Octopuses from Space!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Weirdest Things Done In The Name Of Books

Book News:

booooOOOOOooooks

Quote of the Day:

“How did we go from tea to death so quickly?”

~ Gail Carriger, Prudence

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


10 Best Packing Tips For Authors (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

This blog originally written for and posted at Fiction University. If you are an author or a soon to be author, it’s a great blog to follow. I highly recommend it.

10 Best Packing Tips For Authors

I used to be an archaeologist. Now I write fiction for a living.

Biggest surprise when I switched careers?

I travel more as an author than I ever did as an archaeologist.

These days I have one event a month, mostly long weekends at conventions, writers conferences, book fairs, or comic cons. I also do several longer writing retreats and the occasional book tour.


No matter what the event, if attending as an author there are the ten things I always pack!

Professional Author Packing List

1. Business Cards

  • Front, glossy: A picture the 1st books (up to 3) in my most popular series.
  • Back, matte: Name & contact information (I believe website & email are sufficient).
  • Plenty of white space on the back so people can write notes.

2. Bookmarks and Other Swag

Swag is a contentious subject. I don’t use mine for promo (not intentionally). Instead I see swag as something special to give devoted readers. So I usually have exclusive in-person bookmarks, postcards, badge ribbons, or pins.

3. Name Tent

I recommend making your own name tent. You might need your own for signings or panels, especially for an easily misspelled name. I printed mine in my preferred font, on good card stock, and then laminated it.

4. Book Cover Art

The hardcover dust jackets, or a publisher’s sample paperback cover art, make great standees. I suggest packing the first books in a series, only. It isn’t always done to “prop a book up” on panels or other speaking engagements, but it’s best to be prepared in case it is done, without having to lug around actual books.

5. Signing Pens

Whatever your preferred pen is, pack several. Since I get strange signing requests (parasols, anyone?) I travel with different kinds of pens: black and gold sharpies, a highlighter, and my preferred gel signing pens (loaded into a vintage-looking necklace).

6. Tiny Notebook

I always find myself thinking of something to jot down while in a meeting or on a panel, so I like to carry something with me for notes (lately I settled on these waterproof grid paper ones). Otherwise I end up using my phone, which comes off as rude.

7. Newsletter Sign Up Sheet

I always pack a stack of print outs for the Chirrup. It gives shy readers something to do while I’m signing their books, and reaches those who aren’t on social media.

8. Professional Attire

Whether attending an event for the purposes of promotion, education, or networking it’s best to dress up rather than down. You don’t have to go to my lengths, but at least attempt proper attire.

9. Layers and Folding Tote

Convention centers and hotels have notoriously tricky atmospheres. It’s usually worth lugging around a light jacket, cardigan, or shawl. I find a folding tote also works wonders, as it’s also good for all the extra bits that I shed or accumulate throughout the day.

10. Save Yourself, Save Others

Someone will love you for one or all of the following:

  • Individually wrapped toothpicks
  • Tissues
  • Breath mints (If someone offers you a breath mint ALWAYS take it. They’re trying to tell you something.)
  • Pain killers and other useful over-the-counter meds (like activated charcoal)
  • Snacks

Further Reading for Authors!

Further Reading for Travellers

Further Listening!

Gail travels so much she started a podcast, 20 Minute Delay, about it.

Coop de Book for August is A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole. This couple reminds me of a contemporary Conall & Alexia. (Discussion here.

——————–

  • Did you miss my latest release? Stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!
  • Coop de Book for July is Competence, of course. (Discussion here.

OUT NOW!

Amazon (hardcover) (audio) | B&N (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

 KoboiBooks | Audible

SIGNED edition, use the SIGNED button

NOT USA?

 Amazon.uk (paperback)| Book Depository (paperback) Kobo

Direct from Gail for Kindle .mobi | non-Amazon digital readers .epub

 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1911-1914 Longchamp, France via antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My fountain pen collection.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Recommended Podcast!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

~ Mark Twain

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Books Sizes – Custard Protocol Models (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Miss Gail!

You cry, the distress coloring your tone, tears in your eyes, lips trembling…

Why can’t I get the print book in the size I desire most?

or

Why is this book slightly bigger/smaller than this other book of yours?

I know honey, I’m a little anal too. I get your pain. I do.

Here have a handkerchief… Cuppa?

Feeling better?

OK, let me explain…

People have very strong opinions on books sizes and formats. We aren’t going to get into a debate about that here – no we aren’t. Instead, I am going to talk about about the very wide range of book sizes that there are in the world and why you can’t always get what you want. (Sing it with me!)

Would you like a sample?

Here is Soulless (and Etiquette & Espionage for scale) in a wide range of sizes. From Left to Right:

  • Hardcover USA
  • Trade Paperback large
  • Trade Paperback medium
  • Mass Market Paperback USA
  • Japanese wee

Shall I make it even more confusing?

A small sample of just trade paperback sizes

the leaning tower of Soulless

Yeah there are different hard covers sizes too. I know, right?

Honestly it’s a mess.

So that’s what the world of publishing is like. (You can carry that same level of illogical chaos into the business side of the industry too.)

Book sizes are further complicated by metric versus not metric. (For reasons of me being a former archaeologist, I tend to blog in metric.)

Different books sizes: USA Hardcover, USA trade paperback, UK b-format trade paperback

See above, that’s just the English language new releases!

Still with me?

The Custard Protocol books release to the USA in hardcover, then about six months after the USA trade paperback releases.

  • We aren’t going to talk about hard cover because I can’t control that. Or, more precisely, at the moment I don’t want to.
  • We aren’t going to talk about mass market. That’s my favorite size and my books don’t come out in it anymore. I’m a bitter sad resentful old bitty about it.

Instead we will talk…

TRADE PAPERBACK

USA Trade (non-standardized)

For Gail Carriger (that’s me), that size in the USA is:

20.85 cm X 13.80 cm

This is the exact same size of the Finishing School and Parasol Protectorate trade paperbacks. These are the ones that are still available new.  So if you wanted all my novels in EXACTLY the same size, then you’d need the USA trade paperback size.

However…

In the UK the most common (although there is a wide range) trade paperback size is something called b-format.

B-Format (UK standard)

That size is:

19.80 cm X 12.60

These are all stupid measurements. It bugs the donkey’s butt out of me.

So B format is smaller than USA trade (for me).

Guess what else, I can’t print exactly that size myself for my self published projects.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Why?

When self publishing, especially in order to distribute as widely as possible and in as many different parts of the world, I’m much more limited in options similar to either of my USA or UK trade – that still allow me to cover costs. (I already make little to no money on print editions of my indie books, going custom is simply not an option.)

So I chose…

20.20 cm X 12.50 cm

That’s taller but about the same width as the UK’s B-format.

Why use that size?

Well that’s billed as 8 X 5 inches on most publishing platforms. It actually isn’t, it’s slightly smaller, but it’s good enough, and it’s easiest to work with. This size has been standardized as the smallest option for self pub, easily accessible, on both Ingram and Createspace. I prefer smaller books and I need to stay smaller for my novellas so I get some kind of spine to work with. (It needs to be thinker.)

So that’s what you get.

So yeah, If you’re upset that Competence for the UK is about 4 mm taller than Prudence and Imprudence. I tried, I really did. But at least this matches to my novellas. And the Custard Protocol series is interrupted by novellas, if you want to stack them that way on your shelf at least so all the later ones will match.

Wait, what?

Written & in-world chronological reading order of my recent books should go something like:

  1. Prudence (Custard Protocol Book 1)
  2. Imprudence (Custard Protocol Book 2)
  3. Romancing the Werewolf (Supernatural Society Novella)
  4. Competence (Custard Protocol Book 3)
  5. How to Marry a Werewolf (Claw & Courtship Novella)
  6. Reticence (Custard Protocol Book 4)
  7. More Claw & Courtship novellas possibly set before/during, or after Reticence.

Make sense?

No it doesn’t. But then again the fricken sizes of books makes no sense to me, why shouldn’t I pass along the pain?

The suffering.

Oh, publishing.

Yours etc,

Miss Gail

You Don’t Have To Take My Word For It

Having A Preference On The Shape Of Books

Meanwhile over on 20 Minute Delay I tell a HORROR story about a Lyft experience and Piper and I go deep on how we get around on the ground, from Public Transport to the gig economy to Car Rentals.

Secondary Travel; How to get around Once you’ve arrived at your destination”

We also get into extended stay suites, how to stay safe while using ride-share services, stopping for cannolis in New York, and tracking progress when someone else drives. Piper talks about choosing between rental cars and ride-shares, positive car-service experiences and rental car apps. Listen to the podcast on our:

Website | via RSS | on iTunes

COMING JULY 17!

Amazon (hardcover) (audio) | B&N (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

 KoboiBooks | Audible

SIGNED edition, use the SIGNED button

NOT USA?

 Amazon.uk (paperback)| Book Depository (paperback) Kobo

Direct from Gail for Kindle .mobi | non-Amazon digital readers .epub

 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ensemble 1913 The Philadelphia Museum of Art _ OMG that dress!

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Too shy cards...

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Aggie by Ace Artemis Fan Artist

Quote of the Day:

“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”

~ James Bryce

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


10 Authors Who Helped My Career Early On (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good day Gentle Reader,

I decided to join in a bit of fun and spread the love by sharing ten authors who have helped me in my career.

Whether it was blurbing my very first book or for on-going counsel and friendship, read on to find out who!

Since I have had (and accumulated) so many over my decade as a pro, I decided to go with only those specifically from very early on in my career who maybe didn’t realize how important they were to me.

10 Authors Who Helped Miss Gail Early On

  1. Mike Shepherd
    Mike invited me to sit with him during lunch at a con when I was a wide-eyed wannabe impressionable young writer. He gave me good advice and, most importantly, was kind and generous with his time. He modeled for me how an author ought to behave with new unknown writers. I’ve tried to do him justice by paying it forward, now that I’m a grizzled old warrior myself.
  2. Mur Lafferty
    Mur’s I Should Be Writing podcast gave me hope in dark times and was a voice of reason for years before I ever met her in person. Being interviewed for this podcast was a personal goal of mine and possibly a greater honor than being nominated for the Campbell (sorry SFWA). I’m delighted to call her a friend and peer, and couldn’t be more thrilled by her continued success.

    Howard Tayler, Mur Lafferty, Gail Carriger at WorldCon in Melbourne

  3. Howard Tayler
    I met Howard because I recognized his voice at a con party from his podcast Writing Excuses. (I trotted across the room at him waving an accusatory finger and saying, “You’re 15 minutes long!” To which he replied, deadpan, “And not that smart.” We’ve been great friends ever since. I’ve always enjoyed his very different perspective on being a creative, having come out of the world of online comics.
  4. Angie Fox
    Angie gave me my very first cover blurb. And very very kind she was too.
  5. Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    Kris holds the starring roll as the first time I encountered an established author who had read and enjoyed my books. She was almost giddy when she met me at a con party. From such an icon of the field, I was utterly overwhelmed by her enthusiasm and approval. I’ve watched her career evolve to being entirely indie, and I read her business blog with great interest. I don’t always agree with her, but I utterly respect her.
  6. Mercedes Lackey
    So important as an inspiration, and then to get to meet her in person and learn she read my books and enjoyed them. I’m still get giddy thinking about it. I have a whole blog about her importance to my queer characters (and identity).
  7. Peter V Brett
    Initially we met at World Fantasy 2009, Soulless’s launch weekend. But it was a few months later, when Peat came trundling up to a small East Coast con to say hi and hang out, that we became thick as thieves. We’ve been devoted author chums ever since. Right up to and including the part where he (and the lovely Wesley Chu) consoled my sobbing drunk arse at World Fantasy in 2012 after B&N lost 500 signed books. It was Peat who came up with the solution, and it’s Peat who I still go to at those times when the author and business sides of my life conflict in painful ways.
  8. Ken Scholes
    From the very beginning Ken and I were clearly kindred spirits. He was at a World Con new author meet & greet, I sat down next to him, and neither of us ever looked back.
  9. Mike Perschon
    In the arena of steampunk Mike (and Kevin, of course) have always been my foundation. Mike brought with him an entirely new perspective and academic way of looking at genre which I love and always find valuable. He also has the most wonderful voice. Someday I will write a Canadian werewolf character in honor of Mike.
  10. J Daniel Sawyer
    Dan is my rock, there’s no other way of putting it. We’ve written together, argued, driven around the country, consoled each other, and bolstered each other up. Our lives have taken us in different directions but we still try to Skype regularly and I know he’s always at the end of a phone line if I need him. He’s written me into his books, and I’ve written him into mine. We still work on projects together, as he is the audio genius behind Crudrat and now 20 Minute Delay.

So there you have it. Bet you didn’t know a lot of these Gail intimates, because as important as we are to each other, we don’t really talk about it publicly that much.

Anyway, show them a little joy if you can, try a book or two, tell them Gail sent you along with her love.

And in the immortal words of Dan, “be good to yourself” (and to the people who support you).

Yours,

Miss Gail

(Inspired by a Facebook Post from Piper J Drake.)

COMING JULY 17!

Amazon (hardcover) (audio) | B&N (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

 KoboiBooks | Audible

SIGNED edition, use the SIGNED button

NOT USA?

 Amazon.uk (paperback)| Book Depository (paperback) Kobo

Direct from Gail for Kindle .mobi | non-Amazon digital readers .epub

 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Guy Rose – The Green Parasol 1911 (Source- my-museum-of-art.blogspot.com)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“You know you’re a writer when…

You meet someone who’s a jerk and the first thing you think is, “Dammit, now that perfectly good name is ruined for future characters.”

~ Gail Carriger

Book News:

Outfits for Tash from Ace Artemis

Quote of the Day:

“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


How to Review a Podcast on Apple iTunes, Step-by-Step Instructions (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I make no bones about my love of podcasts, Gentle Reader, in fact I have one of my own (20 Minute Delay) all about travel hacks.

One of the things that really helps podcasts (in much the same way that it helps books) is reviews. For Podcasts the best place to put those reviews is on Apple, because they kind of own the ecosystem. (For books, it’s Amazon.) Whether you consume using that platform is kinda irrelevant.

However, it is HARD to review a podcast on Apple! Especially on a desktop.

Well the amazing Kelly recently showed me how much easier it is to do on the phone, so I thought I would also tell you all.

How to Review a Podcast on Apple/iTunes

In 5 Easy Steps

You need to have Apple’s native “Podcasts” app installed on your mobile device. You don’t have to use it to consume podcasts (in fact I recommend Overcast myself).

Open the app and get started.

1. Click on the “Search” option at the bottom.

2. Type in the name of the podcast you are looking to review:

For example “20 Minute Delay” click on “search” or the name of the podcast if it came up.

3. Click on the podcast image (AKA it’s card).

4. Scroll to the very bottom to the Ratings & Reviews section.

5. There you can give it a rating and write a review. It’s easy to just do a star rating if that’s all you want to do, but adding a nice few sentences is always better.

And there you have it, one kind way to give back that doesn’t cost money.

OUT NOW!

Amazon (print) | Kobo | B&N (print) | iBooks 

Direct from Gail (Optional Signed Edition) 

How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger features a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him).

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

Bookshelf Fantasies says:

“This is a charming novella that works as a stand-alone, although prior experience with Gail Carriger’s steampunk/supernatural world certainly is helpful (and possibly even essential). I love everything about her books, and this piece fits nicely into the world she’s created…”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1911 via Ephemeral Elegance @drapedinhistory 1911 dress

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Poc Queer Romance Authors Community Page

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Two concepts every professional author should understand when applied to the publishing industry (both indie and trad) and marketing:

Book News:

Fan Art Conall lord_maccon_in_anubis_form_by_mommyspike-d4al8wa

Quote of the Day:

“No one is prepared for a crochet penis.”

~ Drunk Pip on retreat (still true tho)

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Have You Considered Making It Funny? The Power of Humor as Subversion (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Humor is POWER

Comedy in writing is an interesting thing, Gentle Reader. I talk about it a lot in person, but I don’t really write about it that much here on the interwebs. Whatcha know, this is special.

Writing about comedy is a little like watching one of those cooking shows, a frustrating tease. It destroys the magic, knowing how it gets made and you still don’t get to enjoy it when it’s finished.

So instead of writing about what humor is in literature, I’d going to talk about what it can do.

The Semantics of Funny Business

Can I get something out of the way first?

By humor I mean a great deal more than a sassy angst-driven pixie dream girl vomiting forth her quirky first-person perspective on life’s current tragedy. Humor is not just wit and treading the dark line between horror and slapstick.

Comedy can be anything from puns, to twisted sentences, interjected narration, complex word building, ludicrous situations, absurd exaggeration, contrast, oddball perspective, and so much more.

What humor really is, and what many more serious writers (and readers and critics) forget is that it is also a tool.

A very powerful tool.

Inbox Cat Licks Her Lips At You

 

Humor & Narrative Structure

From a purely mechanical perspective comedic moments in prose are instruments of pace. A reader will forgive many things if you make them laugh. For example, a long drawn out description is easy to digest when there are a two points of connected titillation in the beginning and middle that yields up a laugh at the end.

Comedy is part of the heartbeat of a book, as much as any action sequence. It can be used to relax a reader right before delivering a strong narrative punch, thus making that punch more powerful. It can also be used to intentionally break tension, giving the reader some breathing room.

Many authors develop a sing-song voice to their narration (sentence and paragraph structure, even length of words and the order they follow each other). This can lull readers into listlessness, wake them up with a shake of laughter, and suddenly they are once more paying very close attention to the text.

Comedy Long Form

My favorite moments of comedy are the long interwoven ones that come with plot, world-building and character.

I imagine my reader laughing out loud and a friend asking, “What’s so funny?”  The reader would have to describe the whole book, or the entire world, or a character’s background for the hilarity to be understood.

I call these “you had to be there” jokes.

This kind of humor is interwoven with fabric of the story and is, usually, instrumental in defining a book as comedic.

Most authors use some form of humor at some point, even if only a bit of witty dialogue. Funny things can happen in suspense, mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. But these are usually high notes, unexpected bright points, that give the reader a point of uplift, a chance to catch their breath.

Comedy authors tend to run the opposite pattern, the story runs brighter and lighter so that the readers pause for breath is in the moments of sadness, and poignancy. But much as the humor is more stark in a generally darker book, that moment of sadness can be more striking and impactful in a funny book.

Did you read that? I’ll say it again. If you write mostly comedy when you have something important, emotionally wrenching, or vital to say it will stick out and stick in reader’s minds by contrast.

Characters & Silences

Comedy has an interesting effect of characterization. I’ve found over the years that it is often my most humorless characters that readers gravitate towards. The grouchy ones, and the glum ones, and the ones who have very little to say draw attention by contrast. With all these crazy hilarious dramatic stars twinkling about, it is the quiet darkness the reader ends up focusing on.

Dancers have a saying that the moment you are still on a stage is as important (if not more so) than the movements before and after.

Whether the funny parts of a book are its movement, or whether they make up the silence in between, it is the difference that readers are picking upon, and it is the contrast that will leave the most lasting memories and have the most profound effect.

My Cat Thinks You’re Hilarious

Subversion

Which leads me to my point.

Oh yes, I have one.

If you take nothing else from this, please realize that comedy is a tool, and a powerful one that can have a profound impact on readers.

As a culture we are tempted to dismiss funny things, after all, it is hard to take funny seriously. Because comedy is so easily dismissed, it becomes all the more powerful. One has only to look at sitcoms on US TV and the way they have, over the years, altered the  perception of what it means to be an American family, from the Brady Bunch to the aptly titled Modern Family. Yes, in some ways these shows played catch-up to the real world, but in other ways they normalized those differences to generations who lived without alternate models.

Hidden behind laughter is possibility.

You see the secret is, what’s funny can become what’s normal.

Laughter and relaxation can become belief and hope and understanding in a way that slides around harshness, and anger, and resistance. As an author I want my books, first a foremost to leave readers smiling. But if the comedy has really done its job, it also leaves them more accepting of the differences in themselves and others.

This article originally written for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor.

As always, you don‘t have to take my word for it.

Do you want more behind the scenes info? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

LATEST RELEASE!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Japanese Parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Tea in the Office

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Harper’s Bazaar New York Sat June 13 1891

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Saying “Goodbye” Is Never Easy

Book News:

Fan Make Manga Doll

Quote of the Day:

“A lady must always be prepared. Snacks are an essential part of espionage.”

~ Gail Carriger, Manners & Mutiny

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


I Blame Jane Austen for 6 Popular Tropes in the Romance Genre & My First Story Bundle (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Before I start today’s blog, Gentle Reader, I’m DELIGHTED to announce that I am participating in my very first Story Bundle! It’s the Sorcery & Steam Bundle and it’s live for one month & one month only!

The Sorcery and Steam Bundle

Curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Sorcery. Steam. Ghosts. A touch of romance. Mythic creatures. Some truly violent bad guys. And one little black cat.

Now on to your regularly scheduled blog post!

There are a lot of tropes in genre fiction and romance in particular. This is a good thing for us readers because often what we are looking for is a new take on an old trope. There is comfort in that.

A while ago, I was thinking about Jane Austen under the context of romance tropes and identified what I have called, ever since…

The 6 Austens:

  1. Emma  ~ Friends to Lovers (or Consanguinity): close friendship blossoms into romance (this one is also May/December)
  2. Mansfield Park ~ Unrequited Love: X has loved Y forever, they finally get together
  3. Pride & Prejudice ~ Enemies to Lovers: X and Y dislike each other, sparks ensue
  4. Sense & Sensibility ~ Sweet Torture (AKA On the Rocks): X and Y are perfect for one another, circumstances tear them apart
  5. Northanger Abby ~ Mistaken identity: X willfully misunderstands Y and Y’s intentions
  6. Persuasion ~ Redemption (or Reunion): X and Y have a past, mistakes were made that must be rectified

Here is a long list of some other popular tropes.

I realized, as I was mucking about with this post that these are also some of the tropes in romance that I most gravitate towards as a reader.

I suspect I should blame too much Austen in my formative years.

This made me wonder how much I’m employing these tropes myself…

  1. Friends to Lovers: Finishing School Series
  2. Unrequited Love: Custard Protocol Series (so far)
  3. Enemies to Lovers: Soulless, Poison or Protect
  4. Sweet Torture: The Sumage Solution
  5. Mistaken Identity: Romancing the Inventor
  6. Redemption (or Reunion): Romancing the Werewolf

Funny that.

I could be shoe horning them in, though, because while I like to categorize things I kinda suck at categorizing my own stuff.

Makes me wonder where How to Marry a Werewolf and The Omega Objection are going to fit.

You probably can already guess on Competence knowing who the main character is!

Yours,

Miss Gail

Did you miss my latest cover art reveal? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

LATEST RELEASE

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1910 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Lady with the Sunshade

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Some of my favorite Dark Garden corsets

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Piper and I go deep into hotel loyalty & tipping on our latest 20 Minute Delay Episode, plus things people don’t know you can ask for from the front desk.
Also we pick the gadgets that we travel with because hotels don’t have them!
(Also on iTunes)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Chirrup members got the sneak peek of the cover art for Competence last weekend but now the art is everywhere!

Quote of the Day:

“Away we flew. The car, having such a light load, frisked and kicked, and made merry of a journey that to us was becoming very grave.”

~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


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