Tagged Important For Authors

Webinar Announcement: The Heroine’s Journey – The Other Ancient Story Structure

Dear gentle reader, this the the official announcement for my up coming seminar on the heroine’s journey. Those who know me well know that I very very rarely do online teaching courses, so this is a rare opportunity.

Heroine's Journey Online Seminar Webinar

We’ve all heard about the Hero’s Journey, but how often do we hear about the Heroine’s Journey, Western culture’s other prominent story structure?

In this webinar, New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger provides a full break down of what aspects of the heroine’s journey make for compelling narratives and voracious readers, where these elements originate, why they’re successful, and how to write them. She’ll help you take control of story structure by delving behind the scenes for hidden messages and gain insight into under-studied narrative conventions and modern publishing markets.

HJ Seminar Header

After this webinar you’ll have the tools to craft narrative beats, steps to write a compelling journey, and an understanding of why these are appealing based on history and mythology. You’ll also gain an understanding of why genre fiction (and romance in particular) is dismissed, vilified, and disregarded, and how to combat this negative stereotyping.

You’ll leave with a solid and powerful alternate model to the overused and chronically discussed Hero’s Journey that is guaranteed to have you looking at and discussing plot structure in pop culture differently for the rest of your life.

When: September 11 | 10AM – 5PM Pacific
Where: Online via Zoom
Price: $50 (Video Only) and $75 (Live)
There Are Scholarships!


All About The Craft of Writing with a NYT Bestselling Author (Q&A Video)

Posted by Gail Carriger


In which I go into how the sausage is made for #NaNoWriMo, Gentle Reader. I take writer’s questions and reveal all my deep dark secrets. You know I don’t talk craft often, so this is your chance.

And here is the video!


Questions Answered At the Beginning

Jules: What do you find most challenging in the writing process? What techniques do you use to overcome writing difficulties or blocks? More tips for getting over writer’s block.

Lauren: What do you wish you’d known when you set out to write your first novel?

Ai: What’s the most bonkers story idea you’ve enjoyed noodling in your brain but never put to paper?
The one I actually wrote: THE 5TH GENDER

Robin: What’s the most filling snack to eat while writing?

Jameson: What is the biggest pitfall that is the most difficult to overcome when writing and publishing?
More? 12 Things About Publishing This Author Wishes Everyone Knew

Karen: Do you use a traditional outline, the “post-its on a wall” method, or a synopsis to organize while writing? Do you do main character profiles, or a list of character traits per character? 
The index card technique.

Gail Carriger Roost Home Table Computer Setup Edits writing write


Tools used necessity and recommends with reservations:

Jessica: How do you hold yourself back from sharing all the cool Easter eggs and awesome references? 

Ali: How much does the story change while you are writing, and does it ever come out completely different from what you planned?

Dawn: With the popularity of audiobooks, do you find yourself making adjustments with book narration in mind? For example : not using character names that could be confused phonetically or messing around with accents and speech quirks.

Belle Monde Chocolates Nikki

Links of Great Import!

Yours, fighting with Audible,

Miss Gail

  • Did you miss my latest release announcement? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
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The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download


Direct from me?

My first non-fiction book! How to use ancient story structure to understand and crack bestselling genre fiction.

The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger is a game changer for genre fiction. Using dozens of examples from books and movies, Ms Carriger carefully and convincingly divides these into two distinct story camps based on the character arc of their protagonists: the lone wolf and the team player.”

~ The Blood-Red Pencil

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Victorian Thanksgiving Dinner 1899

From The WikiVictorian (@wikivictorian on Twitter) Thanksgiving dinner held by C. & N. W. Passenger Station, Chicago, 1899

Writerly Tincture 

Why Authors Should Know Their Target Audience

Book Nibble 

All Custard Protocol Books USA Prudence Imprudence Competence Reticence Teacups Nook Bedding Free

Quote to Sip 

DD Defy or Defend Quote Walk Like Kill

Heroine’s Journey Cover Art

Posted by Gail Carriger


Something different today, Gentle Reader!

A little while ago I released the Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture for preorder.

Shall we talk about the cover? This time nonfiction?

The thing about covers is they need to do a ton of work for a book.

A fiction cover needs to signal genre, tone, voice, and author brand, as well as be appealing to the right reader. I talk a lot about fiction covers here.

Nonfiction covers need to do something different. They need to indicate what question they are answering, mood, style of approach, and subject matter.

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

Despite the fact that Starla doesn’t normally do nonfiction, she agreed to work with me on this one, partly for the challenge of it.

Prior to reaching out to her I did a TON of research looking at comparative titles and trends in non-fiction in all the nonfiction categories I though this book would satisfy. Here’s a sample of three of those categories:

Okay, while I was doing that I also looked at price points and color profiles and other exciting things (spreadsheet time!)

Starla and I came up with two possible images for the covers and put those to a private vote on various different private online forums, this one was by far the winner:

The Image

I wanted an image that was evocative of both ancient, feminine, and journey. I’ve been collecting inspirational images on Pinterest for a while now. (Starla and I usually start of with a shared private Pinterest board.)

We started with a path instead of stairs, but that looked a bit too snake-like (and I don’t talk about Medusa in this book) so we went to a spiral staircase instead.

I’m generally a big fan of the spiral stair. I had one in my old office, and I always take pictures of them when I encounter them in the wild.

Starla applied and ancient stone treatment to the stair and the face.

In the final cover, I had the image shifted up and around in order to accommodate and centralize the title treatment and to show the neck and collar bone – as an indication of openness.

The Title Treatment

I chose a sans serif soft rounded font for the title.

  • San serif because this is nonfiction and for visual clarity when in thumbnail view.
  • Rounded for the circularity of the journey.

Also this kind of font and treatment is common in older pop culture posters and comic books. I wanted to indicate the pop-y nature of my discussions, subject matter, as well as the lightness of tone in the writing style. (Read: NOT academic or dry.)

Heroine's Journey Box Ad 1 Shadow Yellow

The Color

The yellow color was the most contentious part of this cover.

Some of my dearest friends strongly objected to the yellow. Frankly, I don’t consider myself a yellow person either.

However, it was the best option by far. Why?

  • Yellow on black is very popular in How To books and writing guides.
  • I liked the cheerfulness of yellow juxtaposed against the moodiness of the image.
  • Orange looked too Halloween.
  • Red on black is hard on the eyes, and kinda “bloody.”
  • Pink made this look too much like women’s fiction.
  • Green is uncommon in any of the non-fiction topics/subjects/categories I wanted to hit.
  • Blue made this look too much like a memoir.
  • Purple almost won, but again it’s really uncommon in nonfiction of the type, and it didn’t carry the happy/upbeat aspect I wanted.

HJ Heroines Journey ARC Couch

So there it is, that’s how we ended up with this cover. Lots of other things were considered like how it looks in black and white. Also the spacing of the fonts on the cover, the font of the sub-headers, and the placement of all the different elements on the page.

Starla was very patient with me it took about 3x longer than normal.

Luckily, I love this kinda thing and I think we ended up with a pretty fantastic cover.


Miss Gail

  • Did you miss the release announcement and exclusive pre-order deal for this book? This kind of thing goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
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The Enforcer Enigma, third the in San Andreas Shifters series.

TEE Enforcer Enigma SAS3 eBook


Direct from me?

A werewolf without rank or hope and an enforcer who has lived too long go up against the selkie mob.

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Tissot Picnic Teatime

Book Nibble 

15 Paranormal Mystery Books To Read Right Now – Soulless on this list

Quote to Sip 

“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

~ Ray Bradbury

Heroine’s Journey is Up for Preorder

Posted by Gail Carriger


Something different today, Gentle Reader!

A little while ago I released the Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture to my newsletter, the Chirrup. And then quietly posted it online for preorder.


Since I was already working on getting The Enforcer Enigma published, I was pretty quiet about this.

Anyway so here it is, officially coming out into the world.

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

Cover by Starla of Designed by Starla.

Preorder digital from you vendor of choice!


Or buy directly from me:

.mobi (Amazon Kindle) | .epub (everyone else)

Will there be PRINT? YES! Where is it?

Will there be AUDIO? YES! Where is it?

Here’s the listing description:


  • Tired of the hero’s journey?
  • Frustrated that funny, romantic, and comforting stories aren’t taken seriously?
  • Sad that the books and movies you love never seem to be critically acclaimed, even when they sell like crazy?

The heroine’s journey is here to help.

Multiple New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a clear, concise analysis of the heroine’s journey, how it differs from the hero’s journey, and how you can use it to improve your writing and your life.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How to spot the heroine’s journey in popular books, movies, and the world around you.
  • The source myths and basic characters, tropes, and archetypes of this narrative.
  • A step-by-step break down of how to successfully write this journey.
  • What do Agatha Christie, JK Rowling, and Nora Roberts all have in common?
    They all write the heroine’s journey. Read this book to learn all about it.

From Harry Potter to Twilight, from Wonder Woman to Star Wars, you’ll never look at pop culture the same way again.

With over a dozen NYT and USA Today bestsellers, and over a million books in print, popular genre author and former archaeologist Gail Carriger brings her cheeky comedic tone and over a decade of making her living as a fiction author to this fascinating look at one of the most popular yet neglected narratives of our time. The presentation she does on this subject sells for hundreds of dollars.

“I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heroine’s journey like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages.”
~ Author Beta Reader

Gail Carriger uses the heroine’s journey to produce bestselling, critically-acclaimed books that genre blend science fiction, cozy mystery, young adult, urban fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and alternate history. In this non-fiction book she uses her academic background and creative writing skills to bring to life the archetypes, tropes, story beats, themes, and messages inherent in the heroine’s journey. Part treatise on authorship, part feminist literary criticism, part how to write guide, Carriger uses mythology, legend, and Gothic victorian 19th century literature to explore movies, screenwriting, books, and audience desires.

This is an excellent reference guide for genre fiction authors seeking to improve their craft or for readers and pop culture enthusiasts interested in understanding their own taste. It is the perfect counterpoint to The Hero with a Thousand Faces not to mention Save the Cat, Women Who Run With The Wolves, and The Breakout Novelist.


Here’s the working back cover copy for the eventual print edition:

What is the heroine’s journey? How is it different from the hero’s journey? What makes Harry Potter different from Star WarsTwilight from Wonder Woman?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gail Carriger uses her comedic style to explore the mythological foundation of one of the most joyful and powerful narrative structures we have access to as storytellers. She teaches you to identify, write, and utilize the heroine’s journey to recover from writer’s block.


Explore hidden messages. Learn hacks and tips to improve your writing and make it more commercially viable. Gain insight into under-studied story arcs, tropes, characters, archetypes, and modern market desires.


Guaranteed to make you look at plot structure in books, video games, movies, and TV differently for the rest of your life.

Take control of narrative while redefining notions of strength and identity. This book will change how you write, read, watch, interact, and think about genre fiction and the world around you.

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

I’ll talk more in an upcoming blog post about how we came up with this cover. It was a fun and fascinating process.


And finally here are some early pull quotes from my first readers.

“The first book on writing structure that’s ever truly resonated for me and made sense of the way my favorite stories work. I’ve thought back to this book so many times since reading it, and I know I’ll be reading it again!”

~ Stephanie Burgis
Author of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

“A lot of educators are going to be very interested in this. The heroine’s journey narrative structure aligns with positive parenting and the anti-bullying programs’ goals and techniques. Their preferred stories emphasize team building and non violent conflict resolution. Understanding that this is a long standing historical and culturally relevant narrative structure will help them find more stories that resonate with their programs, and help defend the programs from more patriarchal critics. ”

~ Janis Wright

“Okay, look…I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heorine’s jouney like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages, but I guess that’s what I’m going to do. ”

~ Author Beta Reader

“I knew that my stories didn’t neatly fit the mold of the Hero’s Journey, but it wasn’t until I read this excellent resource on the Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger that I finally understood why. Now I understand not only how to reliably write in this form, but also how to better position my stories for readers and agents. ”

~ Ethan Freckleton
Author & Host of The Fearless Storyteller podcast

Righty’o, that’s all for now!


Miss Gail

  • Did you miss my latest release announcement? Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This 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!


The Enforcer Enigma, third the in San Andreas Shifters series.

TEE Enforcer Enigma SAS3 eBook


Direct from me?

A werewolf without rank or hope and an enforcer who has lived too long go up against the selkie mob.

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Tissot Gail Famous Black Dress Yellow Parasol

Tissot Famous Parasol Black Dress White Ruffles Yellow

Book Nibble 

Hidden Pages says of How to Marry A Werewolf:

“Overall this is a must read for fans of the Parasol Protectorate universe. I would especially recommend this if you enjoyed Major Channing as a character in those books and would like to learn more about him. Carriger writes wonderful steampunk romance that is full of quirky humor and is an absolute joy to read. I can’t wait for more books in this series!”

Quote to Sip 

AB: A town in Oregon has voted to name a park “Exploding Whale Park.”

Gail: Have we learned nothing from Boaty McBoatface?

Oh no, here we go again.

An Author’s Relationship with Goodreads

Posted by Gail Carriger

I realized, while I was poking about cleaning up my blog recently, that I’ve never really talked about Goodreads, Gentle Reader. So shall I?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author in want of good ratings does not look on Goodreads.

Did you know that the very first rating that my very first book, Soulless, ever got was on Goodreads?

* It was one star.

The dude had written the following review:

Got this book free at BEA. Not the kind of book I read. So I didn’t. One star.

At the time I was sad and crushed. But now? Now I am so so so GRATEFUL.

Gail Carriger Silly Pink tilt excited smile

That one star review on Goodreads did so many good things for me:

  • It taught me not to take one star reviews seriously.
  • It taught me out the gate that reviews are entirely subjective and that my book wasn’t for everyone, and it was never going to be.
  • It taught me that a book review, most of the time, says more about the reviewer than the book.
  • It taught me that giving a book away for free indiscriminately was a dumb idea.
  • It taught me that Goodreads wasn’t for authors, it was for readers.

I’m going to say that again, louder.

Goodreads Logo

Goodreads is NOT for authors

Later I was to learn that Goodreads ratings are generally lower than on any other platform. Often this is because the end users are using the platform to organize their books, so they apply their own rating system. But also it’s because the stars themselves are labeled as follows:

* did not like it

** it was ok

*** liked it

**** really liked it

***** it was amazing

I had a fascinating discussion with some heavy users after hours once. I was part of a focus group at Goodreads Actual. One of them explained that she only marked books with 4 or 5 stars if she reread them. Even if she really loved a book, if she couldn’t see herself rereading it, it didn’t get over 3 stars. She gave 2 stars to books she couldn’t remember.

She’d made the rating system her own. And that’s the way it should be. Because…

Goodreads is for readers

It was started by readers, and it’s still mainly staffed by readers. Yes, it’s been sold to Amazon, but so far as I can tell, it’s not changed much under the Umbrella of Doom. Seems to be tottering along as per normal. Yes, the UI is quirky and rather sloppy, but it is still basically functional if rather old-fashioned.

Quote Reading Gail Carriger reader alcoholic drinker

The fact that Goodreads is designed entirely with readers in mind can hurt authors, because readers can mark a book one star as a place holder before it comes out. Many users started doing this early on until Goodreads introduced the “Want to read” shelf, and they still do so because it makes it easy for them to sort their lists.

Goodreads is one of the few platforms that allows readers to rate a book before the book has ever gone out.

That one star review Soulless got?

That was months before it released into the world.

Incidentally BookBub also allows users to review early. If you follow an author there, you will get new release notifications as well as notifications when that author reviews a book.

Why allow early reviews?

This is for those readers who get ARCs (early review copies) or bloggers etc…

Gail Carriger's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (mine-mine-mine shelf)

How should authors cope?

Use Goodreads as a reader.

No, seriously.

I hope if you’re a writer that you’re also a reader. You should use Goodreads to keep track of the books you’re reading, want to read, and the reviews you write. Consider following some of your favorite authors. You should also post reviews to BookBub and to your blog (you can use the same review, if you like).


Because it gives you a basic understanding of Goodreads from a reader perspective which in turn helps you to understand why the platform is the way it is and how readers approach it differently.

Goodreads forced me to change my author behavior

As an author, Goodreads has had a profound effect on me. But not because of the reviews I get.

For my self published books, I stopped suggesting tentative release dates before I had it ironed down. I found that the moment I named a date, someone would list the book on Goodreads and then it was absolute HELL to get it corrected. Now I don’t officially announce a book release date until it is available for preorder, ISBN linked, and my Presskit updated. All because I need to keep Goodreads under control.

But Goodreads has some wonderful aspects too.

Flowers at teslacon Boot Gail Carriger pink purple white

Things for Authors to Love About Goodreads

I use Goodreads as both a reader and an author, and while I love it as a reader, I’ve learned to like it as an author too.


I adore Goodreads lists. As online book vendors turn more towards advertising to generate revenue, their recommendations to readers are getting worse. Even before pay-to-play, I never trusted the algorithms that suggested books to me, because they only see what authors I’ve bought, not whether I liked that author. Enter Lists.

I use Goodreads Lists to find a new book or author to try. I look for the “books that are also like” lists. I also use it as an author to see what people who like my stuff also vote for.


Back in the day when it was regularly pushed out to end users, the AMAs were really fun too. Readers always have the best questions for us authors, and if you do an AMA on Goodreads it’s all readers. So the questions are great.

My Goodreads questions (down the bottom of an Author’s page) have generated blog posts, story ideas, and new ways of thinking about character and plot.


I love seeing what quotes people pull from my books, and I collect many of them. I wait to see which ones get voted up. They I make fun graphic images out of them to share on social media.

Quote Changeless Fish Tunstell


Goodreads allows me to feed over my blog posts. And while the framing and settings are a bit naff, I occasionally still get comments on my blog posts on Goodreads which lets me know that I still have followers there who are reading this, possibly right now.



I like to write reviews of other people’s books, because I read a lot, and if I enjoy a book I want to crow about it. Other platforms frown on authors writing reviews (outside of sanctioned blurbs or professional capacities) because we might be friends with each other (GASP!) and therefore lie about the books we like. Goodreads actually really likes it when authors post reviews. It humanizes us. Shows that we are readers too, with thoughts and opinions.

I only ever review books I genuinely LOVE (well, except non-fiction). But I do try to review pretty regularly, because I would want to know what an author I enjoy reading, reads. So I figure others might as well.

To Marry an English Lord Teacups Flowers lilac mauce green white cream office

Anyway, there it is.

Goodreads, still my friend. If perhaps one of those friends who can be a bit too brutally honest at times.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail


As of writing this blog post (Spring 2020) Gail Carriger on Goodreads has given:

464 ratings | 174 reviews | avg rating: 3.92

I have 13,955 followers and 3,973 friends (you too can follow/friend me)

This is a large enough base to have been invited to visit Goodreads headquarters and participate in a focus group with a select number of other authors, readers, librarians, and group mods. It was actually A LOT of fun and I am really glad I did it. I would do it again in a heartbeat for pretty much any tech or social media platform I’m active on. I think seeing the culture of a company up close and personal (even if it is mostly for show) gives great insight. I did this with a huge corporate meet-and-great for Kobo (AKA Rakutan) and it was fascinating.


Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

DoD Defy Print Teacup Pillows Promo


Direct from me?

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Karen McCoy Interviews Gail Carriger about Defy or Defend

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Green Gail Carriger Multiple Outfits Square

Writerly Tincture 

Mind-Boggling Book Sculptures You Can Own

Book Nibble 

Rally the Readers says:

Defy or Defend was perfect from beginning to end: the romance, the mission to save the hive, the friends from other Parasolverse stories, and as always with Gail Carriger’s books, the humor!”

Quote to Sip 

quote defy She hated it when men got complicated. They were so very bad at it. Dimity

10 Tips on Writing Victorian Garb from Gail Carriger (Important for Authors)

Posted by Gail Carriger


10 Facts Gail Wishes Other Authors Knew About Writing Upper Class Victorian Clothes

1. Gown = Bodice + Skirt

Ball Gown  1900-1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Most gowns and dresses were in two or more parts:

  1. the top (or bodice)
  2. the bottom (or skirt/overskirt/underskirt+overskirt)

The two were sewn (yes on the wearer), tied, or hooked together. (This continued into the Edwardian era.)


Ball gown and day dress, 1865 Robe à Transformation The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This lead to transformation outfits (AKA Robe à Transformation):

Same skirt, different bodice, dictating different occasions and allowing for double use.

Very practical.

 Godeys July 1872 Fig. 12 Low muslin bodice for a white French muslin dress, trimmed with lace and colored ribbon brows. Fig. 14 Pink silk bodice far an evening dress, made with plaited bertha, edged by points bound with satin; a ruche of illusion inside of neck and sleeves. Fig. 15 Ladies drawers, made of muslin or linen, trimmed with tucks, tatting insertion, and tape trimming. Fig. 16 Piece to wear over a surprise dress of black grenadine, made of blue China crape, trimmed with white lace.

2. Lots of Layers

There is usually an article of clothing both under the corset and over the corset.


Chemise 1876 and Combination 1890s both via The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Slip 1900-1908 and Petticoat 1909-1911 both via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Under, depending on time and class, was called a…

  • chemise
  • petticoat (which, as the name “small coat”  implies had a top part like a slip as well as a bottom part)
  • slip
  • combination
  • camisole

 Corset Cover  1864-1868 and Camisol 1895-1905 both via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Corset Cover  1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Over was usually called a camisole (yes called same thing as above) or a corset cover.

Then the bodice of the dress, that’s so long as there wasn’t also a chemisette/collarette (which is a little like a Dickey) required for day (see next section #3). Agatha refers to her collarette as her “lace tuck.”

 Godeys July 1872 Ladies’ corset, made of fine linen, and edged with a narrow Valenciennes lace around the neck. Ladies’ chemise, made tightly gored, with puffs set in the front from the neck down, insertion and edging around the neck and sleeves.

Godeys Nov 1872 Corset cover for lady, made of fine linen, and trimmed with medallions of embroidery and lace. The sleeves are trimmed to correspond.

3. Detachable Sleeves

Sleeves could be detachable (like those worn by bakers to protect the bottom of their sleeves from flour) and were called undersleeves.

Chemisette, Undersleeves, and Handkerchief  1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


 Godeys Oct 1872 Open habit shirt and sleeves, made of fine muslin ruffles plaited, and embroidered insertion; and Undersleeves and collarette, made of muslin, embroidered and trimmed with Valenciennes lace; Godeys Sept 1872 Collar and under sleeve, made of linen tucks and narrow ruffles; the collar is to be worn with a surplice dress.

In the 1890s there was a brief fad for cage sleeve supports as well.

Sleeve Supports  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

4. Colorful Stockings


 Stockings  1870 and 1880-1899 both via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Stockings could be very colorful and were held up with garters (not a garter belt), or garter straps which were attached to the corset and went down over the drawers and bottom part of the chemise often causing them to bunch up.


 Garter 1875-1825 and Waist Cincher 1908 both via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Stockings  1860s  The Victoria & Albert Museum

5. Drawers: To Split or Not to Split?

Split drawers appear in the late 1840s and continue through the 1910s but drawers were also sewn closed during the Victorian Era.

During the Regency Era evidence suggests drawers were not split, but then, corsets were so short drawers didn’t need to be split as the waistband rarely tucked tightly under the corset.

 Godeys Sept 1872 Ladies drawers trimmed with rows of insertion and tucks, finished by a lace edging.

Split Drawers 1900s  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Split Underwear 1916  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A further note on drawers:

In England, even during their surge in popularity in Europe, women did not wear pantalettes (ankle length drawers) only young girls.

Later period knickerbockers were shorter and more practical than drawers but did not entirely replace them.

Bloomers is a term not really used in England until after 1910 (Amelia was American).

6. They Stuffed

Bust Improvers  1890s  Whitaker Auctions

Bust improvers were introduced in the 1880s, so yes, the Victorians stuffed.

7. Leather Undies

In the 1860s some undergarments were made of chamois leather, for added support, and layered over cloth.

I had a hard time finding a picture of this, although written evidence abounds, but here are some leather stays from the time.

8. Stays Please!


1876 Corset “Queen Bess” The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1890s Summer Corset  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Corset  1897-1899  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Speaking of which, corsets were never talked about in public. If for some reason they had to be mentioned (between ladies of the same age, or in written form), they would be referred to as stays or (better) foundation garments.

The word corset appears to be mainly used in late period advertisements. Whether there was a recognized difference between the two terms at the time is unclear.

8 From the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog

Godeys Nov 1872 Waist for child of a year old, to button skirts on, made of white muslin, trimmed with worked edging. Ladies chemise yoke and sleeves, made of insertion and tucks edged with lace.


 Knitted waist for a child.

9. Maid Required

With the exception of some tea gowns and carriage dresses worn, if a lady was daring enough, without stays, it was actually very hard for an upperclass woman to dress herself (or undress, for that matter).

(Yes, I’m aware of the recreationest YouTubes out there claiming this isn’t true (but note her dresses button up the FRONT and she is very relax laced). Frankly, I can get into my own full Victorian (hooks and eyes up the back), but I’m never laced tight, I’m never sewn in, and I’m never fully period accurate, because… I’d need a maid!)


 Not how to lace; going at it alone

Yes, if you are flexible you can button up the back of your own bodice, or even lace your own corset, but most gowns were custom designed to go over a tighter lacing and that requires a dresser or lady’s maid (unless you’re wicked strong and flexible).

Speaking of which, corset laces are pulled tight to either side, not straight back. Images like the one above are a joke and the technique would not be effective. And yes it is entirely possible to lace your own corset.

10. Occasion Dressing

Gowns had designated times and places they could be worn: from sportswear specific to event specific to occasion specific to time of day.

This changed throughout the Victorian era.


Dressing Gown early 1870s versus Tea Gown 1898-1901 both via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dressing gown intended to be seen only by a lady’s maid and possibly husband. Tea gown worn informally about the house seen by staff and family but not visitors unless very intimate.

Here’s a short list from Gail’s memory (a lady did not need to actually have one of each!):

nightgown, peignoir, wrapper, negligée, night-rail, dressing gown, morning dress, tea gown, day dress, walking dress, promenade ensemble, visiting gown, afternoon dress, dinner dress, evening dress, ball gown, reception gown, court dress, wedding dress, opera dress, fancy dress, masquerade costume, swimwear, ice skating ensemble, tennis wear, riding habit, bicycling ensemble, croquet dress, hunting outfit, shooting outfit, country dress (the tweeds), picnic ensemble, travel gown, carriage dress.


Shocking Lady Cricters Punch 1892 (via Project Gutenberg) and Walking Ensemble 1865 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Plus outerwear.

Plus many of the same in various shades of mourning (full mourning, half mourning, and mauves for extended mourning for the pious).


 Evening Dress and matched Shoes 1889  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The lower classes usually had about three dresses: a working dress (sometimes this could be a uniform or livery), a day dress (for home activities usually worn covered with a pinafore or apron), and Sunday Best.

Much of the same holds true for a man

Which is to say:

  • He had lots of clothing in multiple parts some of which hooked together so it wouldn’t shift around.
  • He wore many layers.
  • There were such things as chest and calf improvers (padding).
  • He might have had chamois leather undergarments.
  • Men’s undergarments were not talked about in public.
  • He needed someone to dress him, which is why even bachelors kept a “man” (AKA valet). What Jeeves calls a “gentleman’s personal gentleman.”
Leather Underwear For Men

This post originally appeared in Retro Rack.

Yours with a new clothing rack for the new office…

Miss Gail

Main Room Clothing Rack New Office


Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!


USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1920 ClassicPics @History_Pics Young Maiko japan parasol kimono

via ClassicPics @History_Pics Young Maiko from the 1920s

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Ten years of steampunk outfits…

Gail Carriger first 5 years steampunk outfits

Gail Carriger second 5 years steampunk outfits

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Hidden Brain Podcast: Rebel With A Cause (very interesting for artists, authors and other creatives).

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

How to use dashes in fiction: UK and US style

I love me some dashes, but I have SERIOUS opinions on them. If I see a flipping closed-up em dash, I lose my tiny mind. It is horrible for both spacing on a printed page & ebook formatting. It is a convention that needs to DIE.

6 Dashing Em Dash Examples in Literature

Book News:

Alexia by Jessica Maggie Lake 2015 fanart

Alexia by Jessica Maggie Lake 2015 fanart

Quote of the Day:

I was once chatting with author friend Alex White in a cafe about a new ridiculous story idea.
A gentleman at the next table said, “I couldn’t help but overhear, that sounds like something Gail Carriger would write. Have you heard of her?”
And I was like, “Well this is awkward.”

Your Moment of Gail


“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Tell Someone You’re an Author and… A Coping Guide (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger


So Gentle Reader, nothing is worse (for an author) than being at an event where no one knows you and you are faced with the inevitable question…

So, what is it do you do?


Do I lie?

Do I tell the truth?

So many possible ways this could go badly badly wrong.

But you take a deep breath and you tell the truth.

I’m an author.

Oh noes… here it comes!

The Responses:

OPTION ONE: The Idea Pimp

What they say:

I have this great idea, what if I tell it to you, you write it, and then we can split the proceeds 50/50?

What I say:

I am sure that your idea is absolutely brilliant and utterly unique, but there is no way I could possibly do your idea justice. You simply must write it yourself.

What I’m thinking:

  1. There are no unique ideas left in this world.
  2. Funny that you think 50/50 is fair, when all the work is actually writing and we’re lucking if we get 25% on the final product.
  3. Do you know what ideas are? Really really cheap.

OPTION TWO: The Dreaded Memoirist

What they say:

My life story is so interesting, it would make a wonderful book, you should write it for me.

What I say:

How could anybody possibly tell your story for you? You simply must write it yourself, and I’m sure any such memoir would sell beautifully.

What I’m thinking:

  • No one buys everyman memoirs. The only people who can sell a memoir are humorists or famous.
  • It’s charming that you didn’t even ask me what kind of books I write because I wouldn’t touch a memoir with 1000 foot pole.

OPTION THREE: The Buddy Writer

What they say:

I’m writing a book myself.

What I say:

Oh that is great! Have you finished it? How many books have you published?

What I’m thinking:

Oh no, here we go again.

What I will never say:

That sounds awesome, I’d love to read it.

What I might say:

Can I get your card?

And that card better have the book’s cover and title and your author name on it. If I have to do any work to find that book, I’m never going to do it.

OPTION FOUR: The Terrifying Reader

What they say:

What kind of books do you write? Will I have heard of you?

What I say:

I write commercial genre fiction. Maybe you know me, any idea what steampunk is?

What I’m thinking:

Not a chance in hell.

OPTION FIVE: The Prove Yourself, Fellow Author

What they say:

Oh really, who’s your agent?

What I say:

Kristin Nelson of an NLA.

What I’m thinking:

Interesting that you knew to ask that question and no I will not recommend you to her having only met you at a cocktail party. Because you know that’s the next question or we gonna start that lovely subtle jockeying to find out which author “ranks” higher than the other.

And there you have it.

The reason why, when asked what I do, nine times out of ten I say:

“I’m in communications and marketing.”

Because, you know, I kinda am.

Yours in introvert suffering,

Miss Gail

  • Want more behind the scenes gossip? This 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!


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.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Revue de la Mode 1880 Gazette de la famille.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Actress Alice Delysia sporting a very fashionable Easter Bonnet. 1918.⁣

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“Haven’t you ever noticed that people who win say it’s because the gods know they are in the right, but if they lose, it wasn’t the gods who declared them wrong? Their opponent cheated, or their equipment was bad.”

~ Tamora Pierce, Squire

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“We are the public intelligence service.”

~ Pat Morrison on Journalists at LA Times Book Fest

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“My cat must be very well educated – considering how many times I’ve practiced presentations on her. Then again, she always falls asleep in class.”

~ Gail Carriger

Your Moment of Gail


“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Why Write Sexy? High Heat in Genre Fiction (Important for Authors)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I’ve written books that fall all across the spectrum.

No, not that spectrum.

I’m talking about sex scenes here.

The 5th Gender, is sexy, Gentle Reader. It has a high heat level. Not all of my books do. They range with regards to how explicit they are. The Finishing School is at one end with a tiny bit of smooching, while the San Andreas books are at the other, in which everything is blue, including language and (occasionally) balls.

Most of my stuff falls somewhere in the middle. I enjoy writing a delicate sex scenes, ones where I challenge myself else not to name any parts but to simply allude to the the act euphemistically (many of the adult Parasolverse books) as much as a dirty one.

Here’s the thing.

I’m never asked why I don’t include sex in a book, but I sure am asked (or complained at) every time I do put it in.

How much? How sexy is this one? Is it appropriate for…. X?

Since I’ve made no bones (or should I say boners?) about the fact that I find the nookie parts challenging to scribble, the real question is…

Why write sexy books?

I write kissing books. I also write more-than-just kissing books. I write hot sexy explicit sexy AF books.

Want to know why?

Get ready, it’s flouncing time.

Imma gonna flounce all over this!

Gail Commences A Major Flounce!

  1. I write sexy because I believe fiction writers have a responsibility to culture. I consider it my duty to glorify different types of healthy adult sexual interaction.
  2. I write sexy because violence in fiction is lauded, revered, awarded, and magnified while sensuality, pleasure, joy, and humor are not and that’s wrong.
  3. I write sexy because conversation between characters about sex is hot and needs representation in fiction. Because we should all talk about desire with our lovers and learn what we want and how to articulate it.
  4. I write sexy because most of my readers are women, and women need models of female characters knowing, asking, and communicating their sexual needs.
  5. I write sexy because I want to show lovers in heterosexual relationships that the man should not be expected to read the woman’s mind about what she wants. That’s profoundly unfair.
  6. I write sexy because I want to show lovers in homosexual and queer relationships that they don’t have to model their dynamic of sex or love on heterosexual norms.
  7. I write sexy because someone has to write love scenes where who’s in charge and who’s in control and who’s the dominant partner defies cultural expectations.
  8. I write sexy because fiction has the power to show that passion can be the big guy on the bottom, or the femme on top, or the extrovert being emphatic, or a desire being voiced without mockery.
  9. I write sexy because to do any of this I have to write (at least some) explicit sex. Because it’s hot. Oh yeah, and because I want to. So there.

I dare you to try it.

No seriously. You know what’s easy to write? Fighting. Violence. Action. It’s easy and it’s lazy. Try writing a hot, unpredictable, emotion-packed, sex scene. Try writing a funny poignant one. Go on. I dare you. Every writer reading this right now. I. Dare. You.

(Flouncing done now.)

If you want me to talk more explicitly about writing sexy and how why I chose it for my own books, it do that in this video at TS 39.16 in.

The four books I reference in this Video:

images of YA versus not YA

Crudrat (YA no sex at all) vs 5th Gender (explicit gay-ish); Finishing School (YA bit of kissing) vs Poison or Protect (explicit het femme domme) 

A Breakdown of My Books By Heat Level

Is this a kissing book?

Crudrat (YA) ~ Nothing sexy at all, probably kissing in the (eventual) second book.

The Finishing School series (YA) ~ Some kissing in the later books, interracial het relationship, no marriage.

Wait, am I reading a romance novel?

The Parasol Protectorate series ~ Sex is discussed but not in detail, we follow characters into bedroom but no parts are named, het main relationship with some bisexual and homosexual flirtation.

Supernatural Society ~ Sex is discussed and alluded to exactly as in the Parasol Protectorate above, but the relationships are all queer.

The Custard Protocol ~ Sex is discussed somewhat in detail using Victorian terms, characters are flirty and followed into the bedroom both heterosexual and homosexual and in between.

Getting jiggy with it.

Claw & Courtship ~ Heat levels range, but mostly similar to Custard Protocol, slightly explicit with parts named. Relationships are heterosexual but emphasis is on female sexual agency and choice, slightly kinky twists on a vanilla dynamic.

Delightfully Deadly ~ Mostly heterosexual relationships, sex act is described, female character has agency and choice. Some have little to no explicit sex, or the door is “closed on the couple.” Intended to explore feminist approaches to traditional romance writing (from a true Domme, to a self aware woman who actually just wants to marry, to an older/plump woman finding love).

All the things! As G. L. CARRIGER

The 5th Gender ~ Explicit queer sex, gentle relationships, humor, a bit of hentai (just a bit), complex notions of gender and sexuality and self-definition.

San Andreas Shifters ~ Explicit queer sex and bad language involving complicated sometimes broken men. Mostly gay, includes models of healthy poly, BDSM, bisexual, and other queer sexualities. Explores flipped dynamics such as true switches, gay verse, big guy bottoms, alpha subs, power play, etc…

Which book does Gail think is sexiest?

Want someone analyzing my sex scenes?

Poison or Protect: or Doing Sex Scenes Correctly by Robert Mitchell Evans

As always, you don’t have to take my word for it…

Weekly Book Recs?

If you want regular book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I often call out favorites on Twitter & Facebook.

Yes I often suggest sexy stuff. You can too. It’s OK.

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Yours in sexy-times,

Miss Gail

  • Did you want more book recs and behind the scenes info? This 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!

Book de Jour!

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.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

The Queen Date August, 1873

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Allusionist podcasts about Polari (the coded languages of the queer community)
Also covers some of the history of queer culture, including that in the Victorian era.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Each morning my characters greet me with misty faces willing, though chilled, to muster for another day’s progress through the dazzling quicksand the marsh of blank paper.”

~ John Updike

Quote of the Day:

The Author’s Contentious Relationship with Mothers & Motherhood (Gail Carriger Confessions)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Dear Gentle Reader,

I was recently reflecting on motherhood in my books.

It might appear, from my stuff, that I have a contentious relationship to moms and motherhood. I must state up front that this is not because of my own mum, who is awesome, but more likely because I’m not a mother myself. I mother my friends (too much, they might say) but I myself have refrained from producing offspring.

I have never wanted children even slightly. I never played with dolls. I didn’t even like children when I was a child. I’ve never wavered or changed my mind or felt even slightly inclined to procreate. I’ve lost lovers and friends because of this choice. I’m still confident that it was the right one for me.

But that does mean I seem to have a bit of a problem with motherhood in my books. And, occasionally, fatherhood. (My Dad is also pretty fantastic, so yeah…)

Good Mothers

I will say that my favorite mother I’ve ever written is (drum roll please)…

Mrs Iftercast

in How to Marry a Werewolf

After this book came out, people started to think she might be Dimity. I wish I had had that kind of perspicaciousness because yes, she is rather Dimity-esk. But she isn’t Dimity.

(Don’t you worry Dimity is going to have a wonderful man and charming children in her future. But this isn’t her.)

There’s Madame Lefoux and Angelique to consider as well. Lefoux is almost obsessive and overbearing in her loving, yet she unquestionably adores her adopted son. Angelique abandoned him. This representation ties into my love of found family, and it’s an allegory for queer neglect, that it is the mother who wants Quesnel but is not a blood relation who fights for him, while the blood mother abandoned him and put his life at risk. It’s a testament to Lefoux’s upbringing that Quesnel is so well balanced out the other side.

Complicated Mothers

I intentionally wrote Rue and Alexia’s relationship as a bit contentious, because Alexia is good at many many things, but given her personality (which isn’t changing anytime soon) I could never imagine that she would be a very involved mom.

Loving, but probably a tad remote, authoritarian, and autocratic is more honest to her character, I think. But then Rue has a balance of two pretty awesome fathers, not to mention all the drones.

Why Shifting Attitudes?

So I guess that is where I’ve headed (over the years) is towards a more honest portrayal of motherhood. It’s my former main characters I’m now writing as side character parents. That changes things.

They can’t be as one dimensional as Mrs Loontwill (Alexia’s mother in the Parasol Protectorate) or as checked-out as Mrs Temmineck (Sophronia’s mother in the Finishing School series). Sympathetic characters, and even unsympathetic ones, appearing later in life, already have a background of complexity and familiarity to my readers. I can’t betray that. I have to seriously consider and understand whether they have children, and how they behave towards them must (from the sake of my own integrity) be honest to their growing arc in life.

Sophronia and Soap, for example, don’t have kids. They can’t physically do so (although they might adopt) but I don’t think it’s in Sophronia’s nature. She would find it limiting and confining and frustrating, and Soap, of course, will do whatever she needs.

Mothers in YA

That said, I made a very conscious choice to give Sophronia in the Finishing School series a living breathing mother and family, since that’s so uncommon in YA literature. It’s not that she is forced into becoming a heroine, it’s that Sophronia wants to be one.

Her family and still be there, in tact, in the background, and yet she makes the choice to go her own way and have her own path. It’s a model I needed to show younger readers.

Mothering Forward

It’s easy for me to imagine wanting kids, as Primrose does in Competence. And also having kids but not being sure about it, as Rue has happen.

These two are new angles to explore motherhood, that I now have access too because of my complex established universe.

Not that I couldn’t before, but you know what I mean.

Other Mothers

Sidheag’s sense of pack responsibility is a kind of mothering. Gruff though it may be.

And Preshea’s complex relationship with parenthood can and will shift, because of Gavin’s influence. With Preshea, I’m exploring the idea of a character who, the first time we meet her, should never be a mother, but later might give it a try. Although even then, she’s likely not going to be the best at it.

Baby Gail and her own mother.

So I don’t really have a purpose to these rambling thoughts. It’s just, you know, Mother’s Day so I decided to put this out there.

Mostly so you see that yes, I am thinking about these things as a writer, writing about motherhood, even thought I don’t have first hand experience.

I kind of feel this way about my books.

Yours, no kidding,

Miss Gail

You don’t have to take my word for it…

The Worst Mothers in Literature

  • Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This 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!


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

Preorder on 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.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

The Queen July 5, 1879

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Ranking 8 of the Best Bookish TV Shows

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

An Annoyed Librarian’s Rebuttal

Book News:

Ransom Reviews says of Soulless:

“Even when the chips are down, the tension runs high, and the situation is hopeless, Carriger manages to maintain that tension without sacrificing Miss Tarabotti’s wit which is no small trick.”

Quote of the Day:

Gail: This is a fun book.
Author: Arbitrarily capitalizes random Nouns.
Gail: Wait what century am I in?
Author: No Oxford comma.
Gail: You’re dead to me.

~ Self on Twitter

Your Moment of Gail


“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

What the Book Publishing Process is Like + Fan Service Behind the Scenes (Important for Writers) Video

Posted by Gail Carriger


I’m hoping you’ll enjoy my latest video, Gentle Reader.

This one is less Q&A and more a bit of storytelling from yours truly.

For the first half I talk about how a book is birthed into the world from a traditionally established author perspective using Fan Service as a model. The second half is a regular Q&A.

FIY I misspoke when I say “no oxford comma.” I, of course, meant the opposite.


After the book is written, what next?

  1. The options cause: What does it mean? How do authors act because of it and their contract?
    Meaning of “under option” “not activating option” etc.. and why a broad/open/wide option is bad and a tight/narrow/restricted option is good.
  2. How authors are paid by a publisher: in 3 installments on signing, delivery & acceptance (D&A), and on publication (on-pub)
  3. What happens after the manuscript is delivered to an editor.
  4. Difference between an editor at a traditional publishing house and a developmental editor (or dev edit) as hired by an indie/self published author.
  5. How the language around editors is different between traditional and self publishers.
  6. How a dev edit difference from other types of editing. (Why we moved to Word at this juncture. UGH.)
  7. When a book “goes into production” or is “put into production.”
  8. What the copy edit process is like. (AKA line edit) And do they have a sense of humor?
    Style sheets. House rules.
  9. What a proof pass is like.
  10. What is an ARC? Why produce one? How is it different from the finished product? Using Fan Service as a demo.

Questions answered pertaining to the traditional publishing process:

  • How do beta (and alpha) readers fit into this? Can a good beta take the place of a developmental editor?
  • How to separate yourself from your work, so you can better edit yourself. Using tech and using emotions. Gail offers tips: audio pass, changing fonts etc…
  • Does Gail have advice for new authors? Try her Resources page
  • Quick chat about author copies of published print books.

Here is what the ARC of Prudence looked like.

Prudence finished hard cover on the left and the ARC on the right.

The actual release was a hard cover.


Other Fun Stuff

Gail shows you difference between a numbered Limited hard cover editions from Subterranean and a Lettered boxed edition.

Gail shows you exactly how long the Meat Cute (AKA The Hedgehog Incident) is…

Gail shouts out her local RWA chapter (San Francisco RWA)

Hints at future video.

Brief chat on poly characters and covers

Does Gail ever hate her characters?

Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse Wikia (AKA world bible)

Possibly Meat Cute at the very end of the year. Only maybe. We will see how I feel. (Big leak on who’s reading it.) How long will it be? It’s a little over 9,000 words so the same length as The Curious Case

The turban Gail is wearing can be found here: (the broach is her own)

Gail ends with her mind being BLOWN by how the German’s treat titles.

Audiobooks Coming Out This Year

The Omega Objection

The 5th Gender

Competence to the UK… maybe?

Reticence to the USA, yes in August. To the UK? Who knows.


If you have things you’d like Gail to cover in depth (as she did with trad publishing) please leave a comment with the subject you’d like covered. Already on the list: Gail’s self publishing book birth journey.


I hope you enjoyed this video!

Yours, live and in color,

Miss Gail


  • Did you miss my latest release announcement? This 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!

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

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

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print and audio are coming, but will not be available for preorder. 

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.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine Date May, 1877

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

How to Throw a Fabulous Book Party

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Surprising Reading Habits of Millennials

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

What are the Romance Subgenres? (And How to Pick One)

Book News:

Mayor of Baltimore Resigns After City Vendors Spent Hundreds of Thousands Buying Her Books, And Then Were Awarded Contracts Worth Millions

Quote of the Day:

Writing a book is like making stock:

  1. Boil carcass until something useful comes out.
  2. Skim the fat.
  3. Freeze.
  4. Forget about it for months.
  5. Turn into something edible or throw it away.

~ Self on Twitter

Your Moment of Gail


“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

6 Most Exciting Things To Happen To A Career Author in 2018 from Gail Carriger (Important For Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The end of 2018 is soon upon us, Gentle Reader. Here are the 6 most interesting and exciting things that happened to me this year.

  1. I officially earned more from my self published stuff than my traditionally published stuff, partly because I was very late turning in my last book and so I haven’t been paid for that yet. But still, it’s a pivot point.

  2. I discovered I can sign 150 pages an hour.

  3. I learned how to run a Facebook ad. Not a particularly successful one, but still I learned how to do it.

  4. Mercedes Lackey agreed to be part of my parasolverse anthology! Then the anthology never happened. But still the fact that she even considered it was an honor.

  5. I attended my first RWA Nationals. It was fun, my teapot purse was MUCH admired. I might try to go again next year. I will definitely be at the one the year after, cause it’s in my hometown.

  6. I learned if I manage my travel better: less over all and more retreats, I’m way more productive and happy as an authorbeast. So I will pursue that going forward.

All in all rather a subdued year for me, but that’s OK. I’d sooner that than a ton of personal and career drama. The rest of the world is bad enough. Fingers crossed for another calm year in 2019. But actually it’s already looked a bit more chaotic.

2019 is, however, my 10 year Book-a-versery!

Which is to say, Soulless released in October of 2009. So there will be lots of stuff to do with that, and lots of fun giveaways in the Chirrup to coincide.

Happy 2019 my darlings!

Miss Gail


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?


  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi under the G. L. Carriger pen name). No links as yet, wait for it…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 2019
  • 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.


Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Self-Pouring Teapot

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

5 Techniques to Make Your Readers Laugh

Book News:

Delightful fan art!

Quote of the Day:

“I WASN’T lying. I was just making sh*t up.”

~ Overheard in Borderlands Books, from their awesome occasional blog

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Here Is How To Make Sure The Chirrup Doesn’t Go To Spam ~ Whitelist An Email

Posted by Gail Carriger


Thank you so much for signing up for my newsletter, The Chirrup. Did your email handler send it to spam? Bad emailer! No tea for you!

Here’s how to whitelist me.

Find your email handler from the list, then follow the instructions.

The Chirrup comes from [email protected]

Set up AOL mail. AOL Mail
1. Click Contacts in the right toolbar.
2. Click Add Contact.
3. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + any additional info.
4. Click Add Contact button in the popup.
How to set up Comcast mail. Comcast
1. Click Preferences from the menu.
2. Click Restrict Incoming Email.
3. Click Yes to Enable Email Controls.
4. Click Allow email from addresses listed below.
5. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] .
6. Click Add.
7. Click Update.
How to set up Earthlink mail. Earthlink
1. Click Address Book.
2. Click Add Contact.
4. Save Chirrup as a contact.
5. Click save.
How to set up Gmail. Gmail
1. Open an email from the sender that you want to whitelist.
2. Click on the little down-pointing-triangle-arrow next to “reply.”
3. Click Add Chirrup [[email protected]] to contacts list.
Set up Mobile Me. Apple Mail
1. Click [[email protected]] in header of Chirrup message.
2. Click Add.
Set up Netzero. NetZero
1. Click the Address Book tab on the top menu bar.
2. Click Contacts.
3. Click Add Contact.
4. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click Save.
Set up Yahoo. Yahoo! Mail
1. Open the email message from the sender you want to add to your address book.
2. Click Add to contacts next to Chirrup [[email protected]].
3. On the Add Contact popup + additional information.
4. Click Save.
Set up Windows Live. Windows Live Hotmail
1. Open an email from the sender that you want to whitelist.
2. Click Add to contacts next to Chirrup [[email protected]].
Set up Microsoft Office. Microsoft Outlook 2003
1. Open the email message from the Chirrup.
2. Right-click Click here to download images in gray bar at top of message.
3. Click Add Sender to Senders Safe List.
Set up Microsoft Outlook. Outlook 2007
1. Right-click on the Chirrup email (in your list of emails).
2. Click Junk E-mail.
3. Click Add Sender to Safe Senders List.
Set up Microsoft Outlook. Outlook 2010
1. Click the Home tab.
2. Click Junk.
3. Click Junk E-mail Options.
4. Click Safe Senders.
5. Click Add.
6. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
7. Click OK.
Set up Mac Mail. Mac Mail
1. Click Address Book .
2. Click File.
3. Click New Card.
4. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info. .
5. Click Edit
Set up Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac. Mozilla Thunderbird for PC
1. Click Address Book.
2. Make sure Personal Address Book is highlighted.
3. Click New Card. This will launch a New Card window that has 3 tabs: Contact, Address & Other.
4. Under Contact, enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click OK.Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac
1. Click Address Book.
2. Make sure Personal Address Book is highlighted.
3. Click New Card. This will launch a New Card window that has 3 tabs: Contact, Address & Other.
4. Under Contact, enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click OK

Sending you much gratitude for becoming a Chirrup member. I do hope you enjoy the silliness. Until next time…

More useful info?

How to Send Email Newsletters to Instapaper

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