Tagged Interview

Interview with Adam Christopher

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Adam Christopher and I met some time ago and for reasons to do with a now defunked podcast. He has rapidly become one of my favoritest peeps, and a is a rising star author to boot. Adam is a charming mild-mannered kiwi, transplanted to London, who can make me laugh like nobody’s business. It’s well worth your time to follow him on twitter for this reason if no other.

One of my favorite pictures from the 2014 Hugos taken by the fab John O’Halloran via Facebook

So when I heard he had a new book coming out, I invited him to drop by the blog for an interview. I know we’ve had a quite a few interviews lately, but I feel the need to pay forward and tell you all about these amazing authors. Also Adam will be our first tie-in author. He’s a super cool guy, if you have a question about writing tie-in, I’m sure he’d be happy to answer it.

Adam (@ghostfinder) tweeted this obligatory selfie at the Hugos, with the awesome Mur (@mightymur) as well.

Notice how I am always grinning like a mad woman around him?

So, without further ado please welcome (back ~ I interviewed him in 2011) to the blog, Adam Christopher…

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea. Preferably—and I will admit, quite scandalously—a bag, steeped just so. Just remember to add the milk after the bag is out or we will have to exchange some very strong words while in the standing position.*

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

I have two author jackets, one dark, one light. They are very nice jackets. Erm… I do wear other clothes as well, of course. This year I have a set of comic-related T-shirts on rotation (with bonus author points for any Archie-related).

But I think it’s good to have author clothes. When I put them on, I’m on. Like magic!

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?

People keep telling me my desk is too tidy to be an author’s desk, but I can’t stand clutter.* So while it is covered with stuff—I have a Dalek, a Batman, another Dalek, a Superman, a Hawkgirl, a complete set of Wayne Casino poker chips, a vintage wind-up robot and a US $2 bill—they are all in exactly the right place.

Above my desk are three original pieces of comic art and a giant Superman picture. To my right are my bookcases of precious things, housing all my comics and graphic novels, Doctor Who books, and crime/mystery novels.

And then there is Lego. Lots of Lego. And I’m talking the big stuff. Because I love Lego!

Is any of that a surprise? Perhaps not. Then again, there is a banjo in here too. I’m teaching myself, mostly because I play guitar and I felt like learning something new and different, and partly because I have an undying urge to play the car chase music from The Dukes of Hazzard.

If you drive, what do you drive?

A black Peugeot 308. I make a habit of owning black cars because black cars are cool. Batman has a black car, you see, and Batman is pretty cool.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

Vanilla, sugar cone. I like chocolate but I’ve never been convinced it works as anything other than just chocolate, and I prefer cones that don’t have the taste of texture of cardboard. But maybe that’s just me. 

(Gail pronounces Adam slightly sane over a coating of well hidden weirdness.)  

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

An episode of Seinfeld.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?

Most likely prosecco.* The cheaper the better. I’m not fussy. Or classy.

Adam Christopher is novelist, comic writer, and award-winning editor. Adam is the author of The Burning Dark and the forthcoming LA Trilogy, as well as co-writer of The Shield for Dark Circle Comics. His debut novel, Empire State, was SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year for 2012. Born in New Zealand, he has lived in Great Britain since 2006.

* Do you see? It is possible that Adam is my long lost twin.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

I’d suggested Mongolian barbeque as that makes an appearance, but it sounds a little sticky. Best stick to tea and biscuits until the last chapter.

What form does evil take within its pages?

A vast, nebulous South American drug cartel with an enigmatic new leader and a rather interesting plan to top up their coffers.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?

Sherlock Holmes, mostly because Jonny Lee Miller’s portrayal of him is so extraordinary. I mean, who wouldn’t want to kiss him?

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?

New York, 1930s to the 1960s. I was lucky with Elementary as the show is set in that city and I got to indulge in a fair amount of historical research. I found out a few surprising things too!

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?

Sherlock Holmes, mostly because he’s an ass a lot of time. Sure, he’s a genius, and an eccentric one at that, but come on! He’d be fine in small doses but put me in a room with him for an hour and it would end in fisticuffs. Or kissing.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?

Writing an Elementary story is about the most fun I’ve had as an author, because I was given these amazing characters to work with and told that I could do whatever I liked with them (well, within reason—it would be a little hard to fit the novel within the continuity of the TV show if I killed off Watson or Captain Gregson, and I’d have to go into hiding if I’d done anything to Clyde the turtle). Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes and Lucy Liu’s Watson are so perfectly balanced that every scene with them together was a joy to write, but the funniest bit has to be when the case opens and Holmes insists Watson tastes the crime scene, and we discover the shocking secret of what Watson has inadvertently been putting in the lasagne back at the brownstone…

This is what makes Elementary a great show and a great world to write in. The chemistry of the leads, the interplay of the characters, and the very nature of Sherlock Holmes and his methods means you can move from comedy to drama in an instant, and it really works.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?

Camomile tea, pork, subway dust. Possibly lasagne.

Elementary: The Ghost Line

A summons to a bullet-riddled body in a Hell’s Kitchen apartment marks the start of a new case for consulting detectives Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson. The victim is a subway train driver with a hidden stash of money and a strange Colombian connection, but why would someone kill him and leave a fortune behind?

The search for the truth will lead the sleuths deep into the hidden underground tunnels beneath New York City, where answers—and more bodies—may well await them…

Elementary: The Ghost Line is out on February 24th in the US and February 27th in the UK.

On Saturday, February 28th, Adam is launching the book at Forbidden Planet’s Sherlock Holmes Celebration, which runs from 1-2pm at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for February? Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1893 park parasol fashionplatesandephemera tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

via gentlemansessentials tumblr

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

via fuckyeahmatcha tumblr

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Podcasts for Indie Authors

Book News:
Chrissy on Goodreads says of Prudence,
“This book was awesome! … Rue and Prim are great characters. I really loved them. The book really sucked me in. I devoured the last half with much alacrity 🙂 If you’re on the fence at all you should go ahead and check it out when it comes out. I 100% recommend it.”

Quote of the Day:
“Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

Author Gail Carriger interviews Author Kate Elliott

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Hello, Gentle Reader, today please welcome the truly marvelous Kate Elliott to the blog. Kate has a collection, The Very Best of Kate Elliott, that has recently released that I think is a great way to sample her writing style. (Prepare yourselves if you are in the book group for Kate will be back.) If you aren’t one for shorts or can’t get hold of this particular book, I’m thinking my readers might also enjoy her Spiritwalker series and that is widely available.

Court of FIves Kate Elliott

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Tea. English Breakfast or Chai, with milk and one teaspoon of sugar.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
I would like to say sporty chic but I think that is an oxymoron. I aim for neat and presentable in clean, attractive, well-cut clothing that, in the event of a sudden zombie attack or alien invasion, would not impede my mobility.

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
This was the hardest question to answer. I’m fortunate to have a fabulous office, a small room downstairs with the crucially important big window and French doors, thus giving me the intense amount of LIGHT I need to function best creatively. The French doors look out over the back lanai (deck) and our minuscule back yard (this is Hawaii–lots are tiny).
The surfaces of both my desks are covered with papers, “world-building” notebooks, and large drawing pads covered with post-it notes. Bookshelves take up one entire wall. The closet contains supplies and older world-notebooks in one of those elaborate installed closet systems that was here when we bought the house (organizational heaven). A couple of whiteboards sit propped up against available wall space. Tiny post-it notes circle my computer screen, each with a brief inspiration saying or personal reminder like “We have to press on” and “Every chapter contains a new cat!” and “Make the significant OBVIOUS” and “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us (Pablo Neruda).” All my little talismans sit either on one of the desks or on the window sill: a few childhood trinkets and treasured gifts from friends and family, including numerous pigs and schnauzers (not actual pigs and schnauzers–that would be both crowded and noisy).
On the walls (besides the bookshelves): A framed print of the fantastic Julie Dillon illustration that graces the cover of THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT, a small framed original sketch by Jody Lee which is an early version of the KING’S DRAGON cover (she did all seven of the Crown of Stars covers for DAW Books), and the piece de resistance: The original Jim Burns painting used as the cover for HIS CONQUERING SWORD.
I’m not sure any of that is surprising though.

If you drive, what do you drive?
The spouse and I have two cars, which we use interchangeably (one isn’t “mine” or “his”): A Toyota Sienna minivan (bought used from a neighbor because they were leaving the island and we needed something to replace our battered and rusting-out Ford Aerostar, the car of our heart), and a Honda Fit Sport, manual transmission, which I love even though it is a boring silver color rather than something awesome like Mystic Yellow or Aegean Blue.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
Vanilla on a sugar cone.
(Gail’s analysis: basically sane with some inclinations toward wacky.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
Absurdity, dry wit, and affectionate teasing.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Riesling.


Kate Elliott has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She is the author of several epic fantasy series including the Crossroads Trilogy, and most recently, the Spiritwalker series. Forthcoming in 2015 are her novels Court of Fives (Little, Brown) and Black Wolves (Orbit). Elliott lives with her family in Mililani, Hawaii, where she enjoys outrigger canoe paddling.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your book?
Anything they want.

What form does evil take within its pages?
The evil that people do to each other.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
This is a particularly interesting question because there is a difference between the “me” who channels a character as I write them (and who therefore wants to kiss all the people the character wants to kiss) and the “me” who is the me right here typing this whose views are rather different from those of my infatuated characters.
Answering it is made doubly difficult because this is a short fiction collection, not a novel. I do think I emphasize love stories in my novels more than in my short fiction. In the case of this story collection I will choose two: A motherly kiss for the traumatized children in “The Memory of Peace,” and a very different sort of kiss for the husband of the main character, Anna, in the story “Leaf and Branch and Grass and Vine,” because it is clear he is the kind of man who knows how to expression his appreciation and love.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
The reason I write so few short stories and so many multi-volume novels is that I love history to pieces and keep stealing from numerous different eras every time I become infatuated with a new one.
I adore the Silk Road and its multi-century, continent-spanning, culture-hopping glory (my love for Central Asia influences the Jaran novels, the Crossroads trilogy, bits and pieces of Crown of Stars, and the story “Riding the Shore of the River of Death” in this collection).
I love Regency novels and the Napoleonic Wars (a Napoleon-like character appears in Spiritwalker), and I’m very fond of the Regency romance dynamic in love stories, which I have used as an inspiration in the Spiritwalker Trilogy and the Jaran books.
I did intensive research into early medieval Europe (especially Ottonian Germany) for Crown of Stars; it was such a pleasure to dig into that era. I recently read several books on 15th and 16th century South East Asia and Indonesia (inspired by a trip to the Angkor complex ruins in Cambodia), which research heavily influenced the story “The Queen’s Garden” in this collection.
For my forthcoming YA fantasy I am currently reading tons of fascinating material on Ptolemaic Egypt and the Hellenistic Period, aided by my spouse’s archaeological work in the Greco-Roman era Egyptian Delta city of Tell Timai. Court of Fives debuts in August (with the same publisher as Gail’s fabulous Finishing School series!).
(Gail’s note: Court of Fives will be our September book pick this year, it’s bloody genius.)

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Andevai from the Spiritwalker Trilogy. Slap, then kiss. Or kiss, then slap. I’m not sure which order works best.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
“To Be A Man,” whose main character is a sabertooth cat from the spirit world who can change into the form of a man and really likes to be petted, is the funniest story in the collection having (as it does) something of a slapstick flavor.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
I wish I knew why the term “vanilla” has come to mean “bland” or “plain” because not only is vanilla a derivative of an orchid (how exotic is that!) but vanilla oil is claimed to be an antioxidant that promotes health, an anti-depressant, a relaxant that lifts anxiety and stress, AND an aphrodisiac. Vanilla has a rich and multi-faceted aroma, and I would hope all my stories have a similarly addictive scent.
(Gail’s note: I love to smell of vanilla and usually do. This is quite interesting, as I can tell a lot about people’s backgrounds when they start to name what they think I smell like: ice cream, sugar cookies, cotton candy, flan, Bird’s custard, etc…)

The Very Best of Kate Elliott

A pair of princesses convene in the Queen’s Garden to plot against their scheming father. A mischievous saber-tooth cat from the spirit world uses his shape-shifting magic to right a wrong. The warrior Kereka tries to prove herself as a man, else live in the shadow of the hero to whom she’s betrothed. War-hardened Mai, in self-imposed exile, artfully shields her family from the spies of her jealous former husband, King Anji.

This career retrospective from bestselling author Kate Elliott showcases twenty years of her finest work. Collected here are many of Elliott’s previously unavailable tales, as well as a brand new Crossroads story. With her strong heroines, diverse worlds, and riveting storytelling, Elliott continues to inspire readers and push the boundaries of fantasy and science fiction.

SF Signal’s review of this book.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for February? Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1874-1875  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

via private message on FB

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Ganksin Project FB

 

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

the-vortexx-tumblr Victorian slang terms you never knew existed

Book News:

ottedmelonart- tumblr Fanart- Miss Ivy Hisselpenny and the case of the Taxidermied Octopus

Quote of the Day:
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

Gail Carriger Interviews Elizabeth Bear about Karen Memory

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today, Gentle Reader, we are talking to  Elizabeth Bear about her steampunk novel Karen Memory. Without further ado…

About you, the Author! Elizabeth Bear

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Yes! I like coffee in nearly all of its forms, except anything that might be adequately described by the word “Joe.” I own a French press, a Moka pot, a drip machine, and I’m eyeing a vacuum coffeemaker. And I have a well-known tea addiction, and a small teacup collection that I enjoy using photos of to decorate my blog.
I drink tea by the potful while working–and by tea, I mean, inclusively but inaccurately, plant material infused in hot water. Everything from yerba mate to sakura blossoms, with a strong showing by everyone’s favorite species of Camellia. My current favorite is Upton Tea’s genmaicha.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
I’ve been trying to kick it up a notch lately, from “schlub” to somewhere between geek chic and corporate goth. (I had a strong if subtle corpgoth aesthetic when I had to dress for work, and I still have the clothes.)
I’d never pass for a hard butch, but I’m definitely more on the chapstick than the lipstick end of the gender performance spectrum!

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
People always remark on the plants. I have a little forest of begonias and citrus and orchids and a jade plant (var. “Smeagol”, for fantasy writer street cred) around my desks. (I have a standing and a seated desk. The standing one doubles as a book case, so it’s pretty space efficient.)
Begonias are great because they put up with almost as much abuse as philodendrons, and are prettier. (Apologies to any philodendron partisans in the audience.)
{Gail would like to point out that her mum would most certainly approve of this environment.}

If you drive, what do you drive?
I currently own a 1998 Honda Civic 4-door with several dents. I’m thinking of upgrading to something from the current millennium.
All it needs is a “Don’t laugh, it’s paid for,” bumper sticker.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
I love really good vanilla, but if it’s only so-so vanilla, I’ll take chocolate. Sugar cone.
{Gail pronounces sanity with levels of strct logic tempered by occasional bouts of wackiness.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
Clever appositions, verbal irony, cat memes, and Scott Lynch.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Whisk(e)y. Preferably good bourbon or single-malt scotch, though I won’t say no to a rye Manhattan. I like the buttery brown sugar and vanilla flavors, and the smoke and peat as well.

Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy

Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. When coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, this led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, and the writing of speculative fiction. She is the Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, and Campbell Award winning author of 26 novels and over a hundred short stories. Her dog lives in Massachusetts; her partner, writer Scott Lynch, lives in Wisconsin. She spends a lot of time on planes.

About your book! Karen Memory

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
Oh. Well. I imagine this book is likely to make people crave breakfast, as it seems that the protagonists are always staggering home bone-weary and starved just in time for somebody to slide a plate of French toast in front of them. I expect if this book does well, we may see a world uptick in streaky bacon sales.

What form does evil take within its pages?
Disaster capitalists!

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
Miss Francina. Because I rather imagine she knows what she’s doing.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
Oh, favorite. That’s hard. My favorite to live in is right now, with the painless dentistry and at least the illusion of equal protection under the law and all.
I happen to know a lot about Elizabethan England, and it’s a fascinating time period. It did reveal to me that police states are not a new idea, as that’s basically what the Tudor court ran. I’ve also done a pile of research on the Mongol empires, which were, by the standards of their day, radically progressive. (Still not exactly utopian, mind!) Probably between those two, you might find my influences balanced.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Spoiler! But I bet by the end of the book, you’ll want to slap him too, that slick son of a bitch.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
There’s a steampunk sewing machine converted to a battle mech by a group of enterprising prostitutes. *rubs hands together*
Yeah, that’ll do.
{Gail LOVES this idea and wants to steal it.}

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
French perfume and burning upholstery.

Karen Memory

Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, lives in Rapid City in the late 19th century—when airships plied the trade routes bringing would-be miners heading up to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront.

Karen is a “soiled dove,” a young woman on her own who is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts into her world one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, seeking sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Elizabeth Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper-type story of the old west with the light touch of Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

Want more?

Here’s Elizabeth Bear on “Strong Female Characters”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

 sydneyflapper tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Planetary Chocolates via fuckyeahrandomstupidity tumblr

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Suffragette that knew Jujitsu

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Women in Cover Art

Book News:
Morgan of Gone With The Words says of Waistcoats & Weaponry:

“This is such a great series, I love Gail Carriger’s writing so much. It’s humorous and silly and heartfelt and proper and irreverent all at once. Plus the mixture of Victorian with humorous paranormal elements is such an unusual yet perfect match.”

Quote of the Day:

Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

Guest Interview with Myke Cole

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today, Gentle Reader, please join me in welcoming the most wonderful Myke Cole to the blog for one of my silly interviews. He has a new book out in his military fantasy series, Gemini Cell. (You do NOT have to have read the other 3 in this world, despite what Amazon says this is a tie-in, not a series continuation.)

I have known Myke for years now, we met at Balticon (many of the cool authors in my life I seem to have met at Balticon). Myke is a true gentleman and one of the worlds only living paladins. He is also a pretty darn fabulous author, so without further ado…

About Myke

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Coffee, intravenously if available. If not, a simple bucket will suffice.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
I favor tactical gear that can double for both on and off-duty wear. I’ve never liked maintaining two sets of gloves, hats, backpacks, watches, belts, jackets and boots. It’s expensive and impractical when you like in a shoebox-sized New York City apartment. Fortunately, there are plenty of vendors that make understated clothing that’s suitable for duty wear but doesn’t stand out when you’re out shopping or walking the dog. 5.11 Tactical for jackets and t-shirts. Mechanix for gloves. Camelbak for bags. WileyX for shades.
The trick is to avoid ridiculously up-armored stuff that has no practical application. Let me give you an example. Simple and understated gloves. Wear them on a cold day, they just look like black gloves, but they’re suitable for patrol work. Now, take a look at these. If there’s a practical application for having a La-Z-Boy Recliner attached to your knuckles, I don’t know what it is. It just makes you look like a Transformer.

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
You could be amazed by the ridiculous proportion of expense to square footage. My apartment is the size of one of your more generous shoes, and costs about the same as one of your more generous aircraft carriers.

It’s interesting. When I think about the major genre authors I know, only three of them (Peter V. Brett, Naomi Novik, and Nora K. Jemisin) actually live in New York City. You’re in San Francisco. John Scalzi is in rural Ohio, Scott Lynch is in rural Michigan, Pat Rothfuss is in rural Wisconsin, Elizabeth Bear is in rural Massachusetts, George R.R. Martin is in rural New Mexico . . . you see the pattern, I assume?
Gail: Yerp, Paolo is in rural Colorado, Cherie in Tennessee. It makes sense, if you’re able to live anywhere as an author, that you live in a place with a lower cost of living. I would do the same myself, if love didn’t keep me in the SF Bay Area. But the AB is just so darn cute.

If you drive, what do you drive?
My niece, to drink. A shame for one so young (she’s 10). Every year she gets older and I get more annoying.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
Vanilla on a plain cone. It’s the closest I can come to dispensing with frivolity in frozen confections.
Gail: Congratulations, you are certifiably insane.

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
An order to do so from my duly authorized chain-of-command.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Laphroig single malt. I’ve always been an Islay man, and prefer the more peaty scotches to the smoother varieties. Laphroig is unique in that the maturation process involves exposure to sea water. With most Islays, you’re drinking a tumbler full of BBQ smoke. With Laphroig, you’re drinking a tumbler full of BBQ smoke mixed with brine.
Gail: I would also like to add the Myke has been known to proudly swill some of the pinkest most girly drinks, a character trait I find irrepressibly charming.

As a security contractor, government civilian and military officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Counterterrorism to Cyber Warfare to Federal Law Enforcement. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All that conflict can wear a guy out. Thank goodness for fantasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dungeons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing.

About Myke’s book: Gemini Cell!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
Something bland and unlikely to taste bad coming back up. I’m rather graphic with the eviscerations, and there’s an awful of them.

What form does evil take within its pages?
I don’t believe in evil. I believe in bad action taken due to fear, or confusion, or sickness. I believe in flailing and lashing out, I believe in misguidedness, but I think “evil” is far too simplistic a word. Every villain in my novel is the hero of their own story. They all have motivations that make sense. They could tell you why they are doing what they do, and if I’m doing my job right, they could even convince you. Modern readers are sophisticated. They don’t want moustache-twirling evil. They want antagonists who make sense.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
Sarah Schweitzer, the badass wife of Gemini Cell’s protagonist. Sarah is my dream girl: a successful artist who charts her own course through life. She’s got dyed hair and sleeve tattoos, is read deeply in the classics and speaks three languages. She can dance, she can fight, she can show her son how to grow up to be the kind of man a woman like her could one day come to love.
And she’s also married to one of the hardest operators in Navy SEALs. Which means, if I ever did kiss her, I’d better find a way to disappear.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
My favorite period is the Dark Ages. I actually studied to be a medievalist (I was about to attempt to become the world’s leading expert on Paul the Deacon and the Lombard Laws before I came to my senses). The period itself doesn’t influence my worldbuilding, but being a historian did. It taught me how to research, and it steeped me in mythology and the relationship of man to symbols that I draw heavily upon for my magic systems and the monsters that inhabit my world. Gemini Cell features creatures called jinn, which are the souls of ancient heroes twisted by aeons of twisting in the “soul storm” of the afterlife. If not for my brief foray into medievalism, I’d never have known how to get their stories right.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Jawid Rahimi, the Gemini Cell’s Lead Sorcerer. Life with magic makes you a valuable commodity for the government, and it’s hard to swim upstream against that, but it doesn’t absolve you from your obligation to try.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
When Gemini Cell’s protagonist isn’t on an op, he’s kept in “cold storage.” The dead don’t sleep, so there’s a lot of downtime where he’s trapped in his own corpse with a demon as his only companion. They read together to pass the time, and his choice of book isn’t precisely to the demon’s liking.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
Cordite, burning diesel and the coppery tang of freshly spilled blood.

Gemini Cell

Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…

Here’s a review from The Qwillery.

Thank you Myke for stopping by!

You can visit Myke’s website for some amazing cover art, or find him on facebook. However I highly recommend you follow him on Twitter, her is one of the funniest tweeters I know.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for January? Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis. Next up is Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1872 Lace Silk Parasol, French, c. 1872.  (MFA.org)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

odditymall-tumblr The Nessie Ladle is a kitchen ladle made to look like the Loch Ness Monster!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

via Kate Holloway on FB

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

the-vortexx-tumblr Victorian slang terms you never knew existed

PROJECT ROUND UP 

Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last Releases November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First Release date March 17, 2015 available for pre-order!


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:

via writers write FB

Quote of the Day:
“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Gail Carriger Interviews Stephanie Burgis about Kat Incorrigible

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The book read along for this month is Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis. I hope many of you are enjoy it. It’s a new one for me too, so fingers crossed. Stephanie very kindly agreed to stop by the blog for an interview, and I though it would be fun to start off with that fro a change. Without further ado, plesae welcome Stephanie to the blog.

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Both, enthusiastically! And both very milky. I love Earl Grey (including the decaf version, which I drink at night) and I also drink one strong, frothy latte every day.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
Casual-dressy. Or should that be dressy-casual? Unlike normal days (when I’m at home with my toddler), I actually brush my hair, put on a dress, and even occasionally wear make-up. Shocking!

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
When I was writing Kat, Incorrigible, I had a Jane Austen action figure standing on my desk for inspiration. Right now, I have a glittering dragon figurine instead. And you might be surprised by just how much dark chocolate is involved in the writing process…

If you drive, what do you drive?
Alas, I don’t!

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
Chocolate, of course, in a sugar cone!
Gail interjects: she is entirely and perfectly wonderfully sane.

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
Episodes of the TV show Black Books.
Gail interjects: the first episode of Black Books may be the funniest thing ever put on the TV.  I actually lay on the couch laughing for about 20 minutes after it ended. The AB thought there was something seriously wrong with me. 

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
White wine, prosecco, or Bailey’s. (Ah, chocolate!)

Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, but now lives in Wales, surrounded by castles, mountains, and coffee shops. Her first book, Kat, Incorrigible (a.k.a., in the UK, A Most Improper Magick) won the Waverton Good Read Award 2011 for Best Début Novel by a British Children’s Writer. Along with the Kat, Incorrigible trilogy, she’s published a YA novella (Kat all grown-up and getting a romance of her own!), and her first adult historical fantasy novel is forthcoming from Pyr Books. http://www.stephanieburgis.com You can also follow Stephanie on Twitter.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
Dark chocolate. This can also be consumed in the form of rich, dark hot chocolate!

What form does evil take within its pages?
Murderous, aristocratic snobbery.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
Ooh, that’s actually kind of a spoiler. But I’ll say that it’s a man who seems very unlikely at the beginning of the novel but changes dramatically by the end of it!

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
I looooove Regency England as a playground, as evidenced by Kat’s setting! And I based a lot of the details of Kat’s family on Jane Austen’s own family, because I am Austen-obsessed.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Lady Fotherington, no question.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
It definitely involves a highwayman!

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
Raspberries and chocolate!

In Kat Stephenson’s Regency England, magic is the greatest scandal of all. But that won’t stop twelve-year-old Kat when she has highwaymen to battle, magical schemes to combat, and true loves to catch for both of her older sisters.

I hope we all enjoy this book, as Stephanie is clearly fabulous. If you’d like to join the book discussion on goodreads please feel free, or you my always leave comment here in the blog.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for January? Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1915-1929  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Michigan-Based Artist Susan McLeary creates living jewelry

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
A Little About Tarts

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
The Line Forms Where? Knowing Where to Start Your Novel

Book News:
Sci-Fi Fan Letter says of Waistcoats & Weaponry, “As with the other books, the girls are all quirky and fun to read about. We see them apply their talents in different ways as they rise to the challenges they face.”

Quote of the Day:
“Children should not be brought to table till they are able to feed themselves, first with a spoon, and next with a fork. And not then, unless they can be depended on to keep quiet, and not talk. The chattering of children all dinner-time is a great annoyance to grown people.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

7 Answers From Gail’s Goodreads AMA ~ The Occasional FAQ

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I had an AMA recently over on Goodreads and here are the eight most frequent questions that I got. I thought I’d give them to you as well, just in case you also wanted to know…

Gail Carriger Visits Goodreads Oct 2016

  1. Will there be another Parasol Protectorate book?
    The Parasol Protectorate series ends with Timeless. I have no plans to write any further stories staring Alexia and Conall. Frankly, Alexia would appreciate it if I left her in peace for a while. However, many favorite characters show up in the Finishing School books. Prudence launches the new Custard Protocol series (March 2015), a spin off from the Parasol Protectorate that takes place 20 years (or so) later.
  2. Will you write a book featuring Lyall/Biffy? Or the Finishing School characters grown up? Or Alessandro Tarabotti?
    I have some short stories/novellas/novels in my brain featuring some favorite side characters. They are a few years away while I work on the novels, but I really hope they happen. The best way to keep track of me and my side projects is via my newsletter, The Chirrup. It’s only once a month with important information about releases. I also use it for give-aways and such.
  3. Will there be another manga?
    The graphic novels include only Soulless Vol. 1 (aka, Soulless), Soulless Vol. 2 (aka Changeless), and Soulless Vol. 3 (aka Blameless). You can read my post about the release of Vol. 3 and why it’s likely to be the last.
  4. Explain your crazy character names.
    On a few occasion the character will choose his/her own name (Soap, Dimity), but most of the time my names are cookies, that is: a reward for the careful reader. The name either tells readers something about the character, where he came from, her real identity, his true purpose (Tunstell), or relate to someone historical (Tarabotti), or are some kind of hint or foreshadow (Akeldama). I love names so I always play with them if possible. Some just have a great “mouth feel” like Barnaclegoose. Some are real, actual names of British aristocrats!
  5. Why did you decide to write YA?
    I adore young adult literature. Since a librarian passed me Alanna by Tamora Pierce I’ve been hooked. To this day it’s my favorite genre to read. There’s something breezy and tidy about the best YA novels. I find them comfortably immersive and I can finish one in a single afternoon. I’ve always been fascinated by all girls boarding schools since reading A Little Princess when I was a child. And I love spy novels. So I just wrapped them all up together.
  6. What was it like to transition from Adult to Young Adult?
    I have a whole article on this subject that I wrote for Fiction University ~ if you don’t mind me pointing you in that direction?
  7. Tell us more about all the crazy interrelating threads between all your series. Friendships, foreshadows, and backshadows! Oh, my.
    Backshadows, I like it! Well I started planning the Custard Protocol series in Soulless, and the Finishing School series in Changeless. But only loosely. My technique was to drop a lot of threads and pick them up in different books as the series dictates. Sometimes this does backfire on me. Sometimes it is pure serendipity. Lord Akeldama, I’ve learned, is an instrument of my subconscious and he knows what is going on usually better than I do. These days, I have a master timeline on my wall: two sheets of legal size graph paper. I use that to keep track of everything, and so I don’t forget if I already killed a character. Someday I’ll have to crowd-source a wiki because it’s getting too much for my poor old brain.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for December? Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1897 Day Dress  1897  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Massive but actually not very tasty macaron.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Modern London, 1888

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Rising to the Bookplate Challenge (Flickr Album)

Book News:

Quote of the Day:
“I pressed down the mental accelerator. The old lemon throbbed fiercely. I got an idea.”
~ PG Wodehouse – Jeeves Takes Charge ( My Man Jeeves is available for free download on kindle)


Interview with Liva Day (AKA Tansy Rayner Roberts)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today, Gentle Reader, I am branching out of my comfort zone and have invited a real live Mystery Author over for a spot of virtual tea-time conversation. I thought maybe you’d like something different from my normal run of steampunk piffle. That said there is FOOD involved, so this isn’t too far outside my comfort zone.

Please welcome Liva Day to the blog!

 

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea first thing in the morning, made for me by my partner, hot and strong and plenty of milk – what the Brits call builder’s tea! Throughout the day, tea and coffee if needed, but usually socially. I’ll so rarely think to make a cup for myself if I’m busy. I like the ritual of drinking a latté in a glass in public but I’ll usually order a cappuccino because sometimes I just NEED that little hit of chocolate from the top.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

Since having my second child and learning to wear jeans, both of which happened in my early 30’s, my personal style for going out in public can be summed up as ‘is this top clean?’ I tend to go a bit dressier when Being an Author in Public but whereas that used to mean a lot of velvet, these days it’s a slightly fancier top than usual, and a pretty necklace and/or bracelet. I’ve actually been trying to collect some “Livia Day” jewellery to distinguish myself (at least in my own head) from being “Tansy Rayner Roberts” now there are two author identities in my head, but it hasn’t entirely come together yet. I also have a growing collection of formal frocks for awards ceremonies, because having to go to multiple awards ceremonies a year is one of those bizarre author things I never thought would happen. For Worldcon this year I bought a space-themed handbag. Livia doesn’t have a murder-themed handbag yet. Where can you even get murder-themed handbags?

Original Fabulous Tommy Gun Purse $24


If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?

This week you’d see me writing one-handed with a wilted five year old attached to my lap. Ah, parenthood. My environment generally looks like a bomb has hit it – a bomb of children’s drawings and glitter and craft supplies and leftover toast. I write at the far end of a long dining table which is also our kitchen table, or at my laptop in a comfy green armchair, and frankly you’re probably surprised that I don’t have RSI by now.

I do pilates to keep it at bay.

If you drive, what do you drive?

I do drive, though that is also a ‘didn’t happen until my 30’s’ thing that I finally achieved in the same year I acquired my second daughter and my jeans-wearing skills. I drive a white Magna family car because I am literally a soccer mum. It is shortly to acquire a bike rack.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

Hahaha this is bizarrely relevant to my new book Drowned Vanilla, because the main character Tabitha runs a café and makes her own ice cream and keeps demanding to know people’s favourite ice cream flavor and being disappointed when it’s vanilla – she thinks it’s boring!

I don’t mind vanilla but I wouldn’t choose it for a cone – I’d definitely pick chocolate (though honestly it would be pineapple, liquorice, coffee or rum and raisin unless I was desperately in the mood for chocolate). Not a plain cone – is a sugar cone what we Australians call a waffle cone? Where it’s a very thin crispy waffle turned into a hard cone? I would have one of those.

Here in Australia we take our icecream seriously and no one ever has to choose between just two flavours. Unless you’re making affogato, in which case it’s vanilla all the way.

(Gail pronounces you entirely sane.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Banter. I love witty dialogue, particularly when I know the characters involved. Also, snark. Anything except physical comedy or humiliation/embarrassment.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?

Dry white wine, draught cider, and pretty cocktails that are super sweet.  I used to be a hardened Classics student who could down two bottles of champagne and still be on my feet, but my lifestyle of more recent years means I can barely hold one drink and thus the thing I’m mostly likely to order in the bar with other writers is a lemon lime and bitters, which is non-alcoholic. I am a little worried this might just be an Aussie thing, though, because I tried it in London and got a ‘I’m sorry lemon what now?’ and then I sighed and said lemonade please, and they brought me one with all the calories removed. That was a very demoralizing experience.

Liva’s Bio

Livia Day is a stylish, murder-obsessed fashionista who lives inside the head of someone else entirely. Tansy Rayner Roberts is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster, a Hugo-award winning critic and a feminist. Together they WRITE CRIME. And sometimes they invent ice cream recipes. Livia is the author of the Café La Femme series of cozy mystery novels, including A Trifle Dead and new release Drowned Vanilla. Warning: reading these books will make you crave dessert.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Affogato, which is the beautiful thing that happens when you pour a shot of good espresso over a scoop of good vanilla icecream. Readers may also wish to stock up on custard, their favourite icecream, their favourite coffee, something butterscotch flavoured, and the makings for a fabulous pancake breakfast. I’d apologise, but I’m not sorry at all about this. It’s better than the first book in the series, at least, which will force you to make your own trifle from scratch.

What form does evil take within its pages?

Murder, manipulation, domestic abuse, and people being overly judgy about other people’s love lives.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?

Tabitha is constantly caught between wanting to kiss Bishop, her tall dark and handsome policeman she’s been crushing on forever, and Stewart, the slightly grungey best friend type who writes romance novels and has an adorable Scottish accent. Personally I would ditch them both to snog Tabitha’s friend Xanthippe, who is basically a 21st century Mrs Emma Peel. I am declaring it canon that she is better at kissing than either of the blokes.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?

Ancient Rome is my favourite and my best! I have a PhD in Classics and spent years researching and writing about the public image of imperial Roman women. It is hugely influential on most of my writing, though more of the fantasy and science fiction work than my crime writing. For this book, the 1940’s detective fiction/film noir period is quite influential,  with particular reference to The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler, and the film made in 1947 featuring Robert Mongomery. Tabitha and Xanthippe are both style-influenced by various decades of the 20th century, especially the 1960’s but with some definite 30’s, 40’s and 50’s action sneaking in. Sometimes they like to pretend they are actually in a screwball comedy featuring Diana Rigg and Audrey Hepburn.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?

Oh that’s a hard one! Tabitha definitely has her slapworthy moments, especially when she’s sabotaging her own romantic relationships, which happens far too often. There’s actually several characters in this book that I want to slap by the end, but it’s mostly too spoilery to say why! There’s a strong thread of people manipulating other people in the story, though, which gets my blood boiling.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?

There is a sequence in which the characters are taking part in a kind of flashmob film noir project in a small town, which means crowds of people in 1940’s costume improvising really terrible clichés from detective movies and filming each other on their smartphones. It’s the sort of bizarre thing that tends to happen to Tabitha and her friends, and it was so much fun to write – especially a scene in which Tabitha and Stewart are in an alleyway trying to outdo each other with quotes from The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and other classic movies.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?

VANILLA, oh that’s such an easy one it’s not even funny. Though of course it would be affogato again – the scent of freshly brewed coffee and vanilla icecream.

Drowned Vanilla by Livia Day
Cafe La Femme, Book 2
Sequel to A Trifle Dead
ISBN 978-1-9221010-1-3

It’s the beginning of a hot, hot summer in Hobart. Tabitha Darling is in love with the wrong man, and determined to perfect the art of ice cream. Playing amateur detective again is definitely not on the cards—not even when her friends try to lure her into an arty film noir project in the historical town of Flynn.

But when a young woman goes missing from a house full of live webcams, and is found drowned in the lake outside Flynn, Tabitha is dragged into the whole mess— film crew, murder victim, love life and all.

There were two girls using the internet pseudonym French Vanilla, and only one is dead. So where is the other one? Why is everyone suddenly behaving like they’re in a (quite specific) Raymond Chandler novel? And how the hell did the best kiss of Tabitha’s life end up on YouTube?
Even ice cream isn’t going to get them out of this one.
Reviews of Drowned Vanilla

“Food and crime, together at last. This warm, funny book is murder  á la mode.” – Kim Wilkins (Kimberley Freeman)

“A delicious, frothy confection, full of vintage frocks, murder, heart, and fun. Tabitha Day is my favorite mystery heroine in years…and she is anything but vanilla!” – Stephanie Burgis

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ensemble  Gustave Beer, 1904-1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

fashionsfromhistory-tumblr Hair 18th Century Spain MET

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Working from home while Lilliput supervises

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
I am, Indeed says of E&E, “Gail Garriger manages to create a cute and whimsical story that is laden with wordplay and outrageous adventures, JUST for the fun of it.”

Quote of the Day:
“Bicky rocked, like a jelly in a high wind.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Gail Carriger Interviews steampunk author Dru Pagliassotti

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Dru Pagliassotti, the author of Clockwork Heart, kindly dropped by for an interview today. Clockwork Heart, is followed byClockwork Lies and Clockwork Secrets.

So, Gentle Reader, please give a polite gloves clapping welcome to the brilliant …

About you Author Dru Pagliassotti!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Just between you and me, I go both ways … and I prefer them medium-bodied and naked.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
I usually show up in a parachute skirt and corset or a frock coat and cravat — my choice of gender display rather depends on my mood that morning. Have I mentioned that Madame Lefoux is one of my favorite characters in The Parasol Protectorate series?

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
I’m a bit of a mad social scientist who keeps using herself as an experiment — a few years ago I experimented with writing standing up, my laptop sitting on an old-fashioned iron crank-up bistro table next to a whiteboard ringed with Edison filament bulbs. Writing on my feet works out well for a few hours, at least, and if Lewis Carroll did it, how can it be wrong?

If you drive, what do you drive?
I drive a 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup — like me, it’s sturdy, has a few dents and rattles, isn’t very expensive, and will stay on the road until it falls apart.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
A scoop or two of rich, creamy French vanilla ice cream cupped lovingly by a crisp, old-fashioned sugar cone, of course! (Did I pass?)
Gail’s verdict: deviant with a flair for the unusual, but otherwise sane.

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
Concocting maniacal plans for world domination with my colleagues over drinks. If we were in charge ….!

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Most days I prefer a crisp and dry prosecco to match Cristof’s personality, but when I need to get away from it all, I choose a gin and tonic as bitter and exacting as Alister.


Fantastic duds!

Dru aspires to achieving a mindset of Zen-like calm and loving compassion for all creatures, which would be a lot easier if she didn’t like alcohol, meat, martial arts, and playing sneaky characters in tabletop RPGs so much, or if she simply liked other people a whole lot more.

About your book! Clockwork Secrets

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
For Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire, I recommend spicy Indian cuisine, since spicy food is Taya’s favorite and Heavy Fire finally takes her to Cabiel. If you have Cristof’s delicate stomach, I’m afraid you’ll just have to pick around the edges of the plate.

What form does evil take within its pages?
No monsters or mad scientists here — the villains of the Clockwork Heart trilogy are just a bunch of selfish bastards.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
Kiss? My characters are my children! And writing while standing up is the only such eccentricity I share with Lewis Carroll….

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
While I was writing the Clockwork Heart trilogy, I was inspired by the Industrial Revolution — that chaotic period in which tradition clashed with progress and people had to struggle to figure out where they stood in the world. Ondinium is a socially conservative, hierarchical society being threatened by the technological progress of other countries. Actually, in some ways Ondinium is like the United States today, a world power that’s slowly losing its influence and is trying to figure out how to adapt to changing circumstances.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
You must think me such a terrible parent! Still I’d have to vote for slapping Cristof, because he’s the most like me — he needs to stop feeling out of place and worrying about everything and simply enjoy life for a change.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
I love the Horatio Hornblower and Aubrey-Maturin novels, so the best part about writing Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire was finally getting to write a tall ship novel myself — even though my ships fly in the air instead of sail over the water.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
Heavy Fire carries the unmistakable scent of gunpowder and engine oil.

 

Framed for regicide and trapped on a ship crippled by enemy fire, Taya and Ondinium’s diplomatic contingent seem helpless to prevent the well-engineered war their enemies have put into motion. While Alzanan and Demican armies march across Ondinium’s borders, Taya and her husband fight airborne battles from the tropical islands of the Cabisi Thassalocracy to the war-ravaged mountains of Alzana. When Taya falls into her enemy’s hands, will anybody save Ondinium from the devastating weapon about to be plunged into its mechanically ticking heart?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1860 Bonnet and Parasol  1860s  Musée Galliera de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

I tried these: crescent roll wrapped around a marshmallow that has been coated in butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
Make sure to use salted butter, lots of cinnamon, and not very much sugar.
Seal the roll around the mallow very very well and line the baking pan with parchment.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Deadly Victorian fashions

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
The Best Apps for Any Kind of Writing

Book News:
The Ranting Dragon says of Soulless,

“A witty foray into the more humorous side of steampunk, this novel features vampires, werewolves, air ships, impeccable fashion sense, and lots of tea drinking.”

Quote of the Day:

via FB
Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

Gail Carriger interviews Rachel Bach about Fortune’s Pawn

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Rachel Bach is author of our book group’s first read along, Fortune’s Pawn. She has been kind enough to stop by the blog today and submit herself to my very silly questions. Please feel free to ask her something yourself as well.  I will attempt to ensure the question gets to her…

 

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Coffee, black and in large cups. We are hardcore here at Casa de Aaron-Bach.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
I tend to hover somewhere between “Bohemian” and “Hobo” for my working attire. When I do have to go out in public as my author self (opposed to my usual “mother of a small child”), I generally trend more toward the “The panel was when?! OMG OMG THROW ON CLOTHES GO GO GO” end of the fashion spectrum.
In short, you’re lucky if I’m wearing pants.

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
These days, I do almost all of my writing curled over like a shrimp in my recliner with a laptop. The lack of a desk helps me focus, and the inclined angle of the laptop propped up on my knees has pretty much eliminated pain in my hands from Carpel Tunnel (a big deal when you spend the vast majority of your day typing). I have a small side table where I keep my notebooks, pens, and my eternal pyramid of Diet Coke cans, but otherwise I try to keep everything focused on my laptop so that the monkey brain doesn’t run off with all my writing time. I use a program called Freedom to turn off the internet during work hours for the same reason.
The only exception to this set up is when I’m plotting. Then I take over the entire dining room table with maps, note cards, and timelines. I also make it a point to walk and stretch in between scenes. Writers have to take care of their spines! There is no elegant way to write around a bad back.

If you drive, what do you drive?
A black 2005 Honda Civic LX which we call the “Swift Black War Honda.” I bought it in 2006, but it’s still “my new car.” These things happen when you get old.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
*starts sweating bullets* Um….Chocolate with a sugar cone! Did I pass?
Gail pronounces you entirely sane and probubly someone she would like to eat ice cream with.

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
A truly ridiculous situation, preferably involving someone who deserved it.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Devi drinks her whiskey on the rocks. I am significantly less badass and prefer it in the whiskey sour variety. Devi has no idea why anyone would do such a thing to perfectly good whiskey.

Rachel Bach’s Bio

Rachel Bach is the author of nine novels, including the action packed Science Fiction Romance, Fortune’s Pawn! She also writes Fantasy under the name Rachel Aaron, starting with the Legend of Eli Monpress, a rollicking fun series about a charming wizard thief and the poor bastards who have to try and stop him. Her bestselling nonfiction writing book, 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, has helped thousands of authors double their daily word counts.
When she’s not holed up in her writing cave, Rachel lives a nerdy, bookish life in Athens, GA with her perpetual motion son, long suffering husband, and obese wiener dog.

 

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
Something you can consume at a constant pace over long periods using only one hand. I don’t want to brag overmuch, but many of my readers agree: if you have to put the book down to eat it, it ain’t getting et. 😉

What form does evil take within its pages?
That’s a complicated question. The original raison d’être for Fortune’s Pawn was that I desperately wanted to read a love story in space, and when I couldn’t find one I liked, I wrote it myself. Past that most fundamental of writing drives, however, the series quickly turned into a writing challenge of a different nature. Namely, I wanted to write a story that had no villain.
In my experience, true evil is as rare as true good. Most people do what they do thinking (or at least rationalizing) that it’s a good and right thing. This is especially true of people doing very hard things. After all, why would anyone put up with that level of personal suffering for a cause they didn’t consider worthy? To this end, everyone in the Devi Morris books thinks that they are the hero. They’re all very good people doing what they believe needs to be done for the greater good. The catch, of course, is that all characters have very different ideas about what needs to be done and why, and a large part of Devi’s story is figuring out who is actually in the right while under great duress and with incomplete information.
All of this is a very complicated way of saying there’s no clear sides in the books. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, but of good intentions gone horribly awry. That said, it’s still a novel about a powered armor wearing space mercenary, and there are plenty of shootouts with less morally ambiguous parties–carnivorous aliens, mercenary crash teams, etc.–to keep the adrenaline pumping. Devi Morris is a woman of action!*

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
Probably Rupert, but Devi would shoot me if I kissed him, so I’m going to go with Caldswell. Poor grumpy captain really could use a kiss.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
I’m very fond of the Industrial Revolution. It was a time of such enormous change and juxtaposition of the old and new. A time of great hope and innovation, and yet also extreme callousness and disregard for human life in the pursuit of progress. The entire era is a bold-faced reminder that whenever the world changes, there are winners and losers and those who take things way too far. No one remains unaffected. These are lessons from history I try to represent in all my books: that every action and change has a consequence, and that one person’s glorious revolution means the loss of another’s historic way of life. These conflicts don’t even have to be related to the plot, but they are an eternal part of the background in any reality, and including them always makes things more interesting.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Rupert, definitely. Good thing Devi’s already on the ball in that department!

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
Anytime Hyrek or Nova says anything. Devi is my darling, but those two have the most fun dialogue of anyone else on the ship. I would totally hang out with them.**

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
Oiled steel and the faint ozone reek of burned plasma. Even in the quieter bits, there’s a lot of shooting.

Fortune’s Pawn cover blurb

“If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you’d get Deviana Morris.”
Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.
That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

* Gail would like to add that as she is continuing the series this is SO TRUE. And so well done.
** And Basil. I LOVE Basil. He’s so delightfully grumpy all the time. Reminds me of various friends of mine. And Dimity’s brother Pillover in the Finishing School series.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for June? Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach ~ Book One in the Paradox series}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

2013 Elle-Giovanni

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Willow Ware Robot by Don Moyer

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Sculptural Rotating Lounge Chair Bringing Unique Contemplation Moments _ Freshome.com – Interior Design & Architecture Magazine

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Ten Things I’d Like to Say to Young Writers

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.”

~ Alfred E. Newman

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

Gail Carriger Interviews Pip & Tee and Waxes Poetical About Podcasting

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

A long time ago before I was an author-beast, when I trudged the globe in pursuit of tiny fragments of pottery, I listened to even more podcasts than I do now. It’s a surreal thing to sit atop a mountain in Peru looking at mini Inca offering jars while listening to a Kiwi in one ear. (Even weirder when that Kiwi later ends up portraying a character based on you in a piece of sci-fi horror.)

One of my favorite podcasts was Tee Morris’ The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy (now long defunked). I also listened to Philippa Ballantine’s Erotica a la Carte (which seems to have faded away into the mists of sounds and time as well). Those of us who have been devoted to podcasting since the very beginning know the names of the first titans: Scott Sigler, Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, Mur Lafferty, Steve Eley, Dan Sawyer and more ~ enough to fill a tarot deck. Oh there are young gods now, the Zeus that is Welcome to Nightvale, not to mention his comedian cup bearers with millions of listeners. Be we remember the titans.

Tee & Pip at the Souless Booklaunch party, WOrld Fantasy 2009

If you turned over the Tarot cards of podcasting Pip & Tee would be The Lovers. Forged into a long distance union, not to be separated by seas and continents, they podcast first as fictional voices, then married, then coauthored a steampunk series, and now, perhaps most important to those of us who waited, bated breath, for the non-fictional Tee-of-extremes to return to our sad survivor-less ears, they podcast together once more. (See The Shared Desk.)

I’m lucky enough to have meet then both several times throughout the course of this great drama. Often I wish my life were as exciting and romantic as theirs. And hilarious. Throughout the course of our interactions whether via iPod, internet, book, or in person they have never led me astray ~ although they have, occasionally, led me to drink. They have a new book, Dawn’s Early Light, the third in their Steampunk Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series on shelves right now. So I invited them by for the silly interview dejour. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into their madness as much as I do.

 

Tee Morris and  Pip Ballantine are the mad minds behind the steampunk romp that is The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Their first title in the series, Phoenix Rising, won the 2011 Airship Award for Best in Steampunk Literature, while both Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair were finalists in Goodreads Best in Science Fiction of 2011 and 2012. In 2013 Tee and Pip released Ministry Protocol, an original anthology of short stories set in the Ministry universe. Now in 2014, following a Parsec win for their companion podcast, Tales from the Archives, Tee and Pip celebrate the arrival of their third book, Dawn’s Early Light. Pip and Tee are often thought as one person — Pippin Teah — but their appearances debunk that. They enjoy their family time with their daughter watching Cosmos and Marvel Studios offerings, tea times at the Madison Tea Room, and shopping for shoes, corsets, and steampunk gadgetry from Brute Force Studios.

 About you, the Authors!

GAIL: Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
PIP: I prefer a lovely Darjeeling. The setting should involve a scone with proper clotted cream and lemon curd.
TEE: When I’m in a tea mood, I enjoy a Prince of Wales which is a blend of China black. I also prefer it with scones (heated) and clotted cream, but I prefer raspberry jam. We have a place here in Warrenton called the Madison Tea Room we will take you to sometime. As far as my coffee, I like it very creamy with slight chocolate overtones.

Art deco-style Form tea set by Tom Dixon

GAIL: Describe your personal style for author appearances.
PIP: When it comes to author appearances, it depends on the venue. This week we will be in Richmond for The Writer Show and we have been requested to wear our steampunk best, so we shall. A good corset is a beautiful thing. Even for Tee who looks quite stunning in his. When we attend conferences and signings, we try to look our best in professional wear.
TEE: There’s a lot to be said for pressed slacks and a nice button up shirt. At cons, we do go casual, but that is primarily on account of the go-go-go nature of conventions. Pip’s got a talk coming up in April with the Library of Congress. I’m thinking Pip will be doing the jacket and sharp blouse pro look for that. I went with office formal for that talk when I was there.

 

GAIL: If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
TEE: I’ve been posting photographs of my environment which could be described as an ADD Circle of Hell between the three monitors, the podcasting gear, and the cats stepping in and out of my sight lines. What you might be surprised by are the collection of books I’ve got surrounding me. Sure, I’ve got steampunk, but I also have movie scripts, graphic novels, historical references, and plenty of books on writing. Then I’ve got the inspirational texts, ranging from Shakespeare to the writings of Einstein, Hawking, and Tesla.
PIP: And now we’re watching COSMOS so Tee needs to add that to the library. I think if you were to be surprised by me in my writing environment, it would be the documentaries I tend to have playing when I’m either researching or writing. I feed on documentaries. The odder, the better.

GAIL: If you were to go fan addlepated over someone, who and what form would the addlepation take?
TEE: I hate to sound trendy, but I think I would do all fanboi over Tom Hiddleston. What pushed me into the black with him wasn’t his work in the Marvel, but in a little short film he did for his production of Coriolanus. He was preparing for the role, physically and mentally, and it took me back to my days in the threatre. Tom Hiddleston just comes across as extremely genuine and I dig that about actors who hit it big with the geeks. He “gets it” when it come to that popularity, but it was that connection with Shakespeare that tipped me over the edge. If I were to have the opportunity, I would want to talk Shakespeare with him. The dream: just kicking back and performing scenes off the top of the head. That is, if I weren’t slobbering allover him while basking in his awesome.
PIP: Two words — Idris Elba. He is a fine looking man with a commanding presence on screen, but in the casual photos and behind the scenes, he looks like a good bloke. I would probably be dumbstruck by him if we ever met. It would be like that moment when Kate Middleton met him. I would be thinking “OMG, I’m shaking the hand of John Luther and Stacker Pentacost, and you’re so crash hot Please, Luther, don’t — let — go.” A restraining order from the Elba estate may ensue.

GAIL: No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
PIP: Chocolate on a sugar cone. (I gave up chocolate for Lent. What was I thinking?!)
TEE: Vanilla on a sugar cone. Vanilla and sugar, when balanced right, is a thing of beauty.
GAIL: Pip is pronounced perfectly sane, Tee slightly bonkers.

GAIL: What’s most likely to make you laugh?
PIP: The antics of cats, or my daughter, or both.
TEE: Silly things writers do on the Internet. I mean, they know we can hear them, right?

GAIL: Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
PIP: Vodka. Chilled. The best I’ve had was in New York at the Firebird Restaurant where they made their own infused vodka. Most delightful.
TEE: Scotch, single malt, preferably 12 years or older. My favorite is the Highland Park 12 or the Balvennine Doublewood from the Sherry Cask.

 

Dawn’s Early Light It’s airships, hypersteams, and motorcars in this cross-country adventure in a race against time, mad science, and automatons. After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

About your book!

GAIL: What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
PIP: As it is set in America, I think there should be sweet pies like lemon meringue or pecan pie. These are uniquely American to me.
TEE: I think a cookout would be in order. Hamburger and hot dogs. And beer. American-crafted beer. And as this is steampunk, it’s got to be slightly off-kilter, so Dogfish Head Beer…which I gave up for Lent. (DAMMIT!)

GAIL: What form does evil take within its pages?
TEE: Evil scientists. Death rays. And automatons. Let the party begin!!!

GAIL: Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
PIP: I think I’m partial to Wellington. Let’s face it — it’s always the quiet ones that are the most exciting. (Granted, this means it’s a strange thing that I married Tee, but maybe he was an exception to the rule.)

GAIL: What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
TEE: When you look at our writing, you see a lot of historic influences, even when you go back to our earlier works. I think it is less of a period that influences us and history on a whole. The stories of the past are almost too unbelievable to be true; but history is history and fact is fact. For example, we just found out on Cosmos that the Royal Society almost didn’t publish Newton’s groundbreaking theories on physics and mathematics on account of disappoint sales over their comprehensive history of fish. You can’t write up wackiness like this! History rocks our world!!!

GAIL: Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
PIP: There were several times I really wanted to slap Felicity Lovelace. She could turn on “the bitch” when she wanted to, and her manipulation bothered me to no end. Then again, Eliza was due for a slapping or two as she needed to open her eyes with Wellington.
The difference between the two slaps — I could walk away from slapping Felicity. Eliza? I don’t know so much about that.

GAIL: Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
PIP: Speaking of the two of them, the relationship between Eliza and Felicity was always a delight for me to write. They made me laugh and laugh often.
TEE: I think it was what unfolded in the Arizona Territories. From shootouts to talking about feelings, my face hurt from the amount of smiling.

GAIL: If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
PIP: The sharp tang of electricity. I mean, Edison and Tesla? Come on.
TEE: The sea, as we go from sea to shining sea in this adventure.

Dawn’s Early Light and the two prior Ministry books are available wherever fine books are sold. The Qwillery, one of my favorite review sources, has much to say about this new book from Pip & Tee. If you are still in doubts about it, I suggest you read the review.

April 2nd, I’ll be hopping on to play at Pip & Tee’s Facebook event party.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

From the 2009 Launch Party

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Cat vrs. Octopu, via the Twitter

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:
High Aspirations says of C&C, “Carriger weaves the character-arc into the plot so seamlessly that it’s difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. And even though the action and pacing are reminiscent of classic genre novels, the style and voice bring to mind classic literature in a way that only an expert can manage.”

Quote of the Day:
“I first take a dive into the index, a second dive into the preface, a third dive into the four hundredth page, the fourth dive into the seventieth page, and then seize my pen and do up the whole job in fifteen minutes. I make up my mind to like the book or not to like it, according as I admire or despise the author.”
Around the Tea Table, by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)


Gail Interviews the Infamous Mur Lafferty

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today, Gentle Reader, I welcome the brilliant Mur to my blog for a visit. Mur and I are old chums, she gave me one of my first interviews on her popular podcast, I Should Be Writing. I’m still a devout listener and heard recently she has a new book out so I invited her round for one of my silly interviews.

About you, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Both. Although I usually prefer coffee. I like my tea untouched, coffee with sugar and cream. Unless you’re talking cold drinks, and then I am a card carrying Southerner with my love for sweet iced tea.

Describe your personal style for author appearances. 
 I prefer to dress up (dress up for me, that is) with a cardigan or jacket, geeky tshirt, jeans (Sorry, Gail) and boots.

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like? 
I work at a standing desk attached to a closet door in my office. The door is covered in post-it notes. I have plants on either side in various states of death. Although strangely my carnivorous plants are doing quite well these days. Also a mug warmer for my coffee because I drink very slowly.

If you were to go fan addlepated over someone, who and what form would the addlepation take?
The only living author who influenced my childhood is Robin McKinley. (The other two are Madeline L’Engle and Anne McCaffrey, RIP) I would probably be struck dumb and not able to talk to her. It’s embarrassing really. I never want to be a screaming fangirl, so I’m the silent fangirl to the side, screaming on the inside. Which possibly makes me creepy. Uh oh.
I’ve gushed at China Mieville on the phone (thankfully after an interview, not during).

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
Vanilla. I like most things chocolate except ice cream and fudge. Go figure.
Gail suggests, (as Mur forgot her cone preference) this indicates Mur is absentminded with possible psychotic tenancies.

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
That’s a very hard question, because the obvious answer is “funny things.” But to go deeper I’ve found myself laughing out loud at smart humor that doesn’t punch down. I’m a huge fan of Brooklyn Nine-Nine because they have black, Latina, and gay characters, but the humor on the show rarely goes the “easy way” and punches down.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison? 
 It used to be gin, but gin and I broke up about a year ago. These days it’s red wine (I like it dry and spicy) or dark rum. I won’t deny, I got a special thrill when I discovered that the drink of rum and ginger beer is called a dark and stormy. “I’m drinking a WRITER’S drink!” Which made me feel better because I can’t stomach scotch or whiskey or absinthe, which is a writer’s stereotypical drink.

Photo by JR Blackwell

Mur is a podcaster and author living in Durham, NC with her husband and daughter. She plays too many video games, not enough board games, and someday will bake a good batch of croissants. But not today. She wants to run a half marathon in Disney World.

Her books include
The Shambling Guide to New York City, nominated for the RT Best Urban Fantasy of 2013 award, and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She is the recipient of the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

You can find her at www.murverse.com or on Twitter @mightymur

Gail blogged a bit about Mur winning the Campbell last year.

From my trip to ALA in New Orleans

 

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
Either the souls of the dead, or gumbo. Get that NOLA taste in their mouths, yah?

What form does evil take within its pages?
That would be telling. But there’s a vampire with a grudge, an old witch woman who should be dead but isn’t, and a cowardly assassin.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why? 
That’s tough. There is an incubus in the book who is by nature to be the best kisser (and more), but the hangover is epic. I’d probably kiss either Christian the incubus or Bertie the dragon – the later simply out of curiosity.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
Actually I’m learning a lot about ancient Rome right now specifically for worldbuilding in my new novel, and it was a fascinating time/place.
Gail pops in to say: I did some excavating in that time period so if you have any odd questions about food or pottery…

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Kevin the vampire is too full of angst and anger and desire to get our heroine fired. He needs a good slap.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
During their ride on the ghost bullet train, our heroes are robbed by cowboys. Ghost cowboys. And they find out they’re not real ghost cowboys, but just some unfortunate souls who died during a corporate team building exercise on a dude ranch. But their guns are real.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
This book would smell like a very strong tea, but not one you’d want to drink. Even though the nice old lady is encouraging you to.

Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides)

Ghost Train to New Orleans

Zoe Norris writes travel guides for the undead. And she’s good at it too — her new-found ability to talk to cities seems to help. After the success of The Shambling Guide to New York City, Zoe and her team are sent to New Orleans to write the sequel.

Work isn’t all that brings Zoe to the Big Easy. The only person who can save her boyfriend from zombism is rumored to live in the city’s swamps, but Zoe’s out of her element in the wilderness. With her supernatural colleagues waiting to see her fail, and rumors of a new threat hunting city talkers, can Zoe stay alive long enough to finish her next book?

Self in New Orleans for ALA

 

Gail’s Final Thoughts:

  • Mur is awesome!
  • She and I share an editor at Orbit. (Devi who picked up Soulless, she has excellent taste.)
  • Mur’s first book is currently on sale for $2 in ebook form. I recommend giving it a try because it revels in the silly.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

2014 LWren Scott

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Tipsy Vase, Clear

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
7 Simple Improvements That Perfected Everyday Products

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Fore-Edge Paintings: The Secret Works of Art Hidden Inside Book Pages

PROJECT ROUND UP 

Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second. Out now!  
Soulless Vol. 3 (AKA Blameless the manga) ~ Out now! 

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. I honestly do not yet know the exact release date. Probably early November 2014.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Working. Working.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Delayed. Why? Rewrite begins soon.

 

The Books! 

The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies

 

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt
Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:
The Bookwryrm’s Hoard says of Curtsies & Conspiracies: “Curtsies & Conspiracies is almost as much fun as the first book in the series, Etiquette & Espionage — and that’s saying a lot, because E&E was terrific.”

Quote of the Day:
“I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”
~ Oscar Wilde


Reddit AMA Ketchup ~ 5 Silly Questions, 14 Recommendations, 8 Bits, 2 Confessions

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

 

5 Silly Questions, 14 Recommendations, 8 Bits, & 2 Confessions

I had a crazy fun time doing an Ask Me Anything on the Fantasy Reddit. I had a few questions I was expecting, one or two that I wasn’t.

I realized, I’ve never done anything like it here. I’m hoping you, Gentle Reader, feel free to ask me anything anytime. But just in case you don’t, or wanted to participate in the AMA yesterday and were unable, please comment bellow with any questions you may still have. Silliness encouraged.

A curated selection of Q&As:

1. Myke Cole friend and fellow author asked the most popular question of the day:
Madam:
I request clarification on a point of etiquette.
A gentleman, after escorting a lady across a busy thoroughfare, is invited to kiss her cheek. While moving to comply, the gentleman notices that the brim of his hat is too wide for him to complete the task without causing the lady undue discomfort.
Does he:
a.) Remove his hat, even though he is out of doors, proving himself a churl,
or
b.) Demure from the requested kiss, risking offense?
Any guidance you can provide is most appreciated.
Your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Michael H. Cole

Would it be possible to push the hat back, to rest at a more recessed location (as it were) during the course of the kiss? Otherwise, I suggest lifting the hat slightly off and back or to the side with the free hand, as if to provide shade to the lady, or shield prying eyes from the kiss. This, one hopes, turns an awkward situation into an opportunity for further gallantry.

Myke & Self at our first meeting

For the record, Myke has never been anything less than a gentleman at any time in our association. Although certain antics at my book launch party in 2009 did earn him the moniker: the Shortbread Fiancee

2. Have you ever spent any time in Egypt? (via teamskim13)

I’ve never been to Egypt. I tried three times and something awful happened to prevent me from going each time. I finally decided I would be happier and the world a better place if I gave up. I worked in an Egyptian Museum for several years, even helped curate an exhibit, but have never done any archaeology work with Egyptian artifacts.

3. How do you take your tea? (via bluemeep)

Strong enough for a mouse to run across with a generous dollop of whole milk.

via Syringa Lyes on FB

4. If you could sit down to tea with any character you’ve created, who would you choose? What if you had to have tea with them everyday for a year? (via ReadtoRelax)

If it could be any character once, definitely Lord Akeldama. If I had to do it every day, Lady Linette. I think she has a lot to teach me.

5. If you had to fight Devi Pillai to the death, what weapon would you choose and why? (via BrianMcClellan)
(For those of you wondering, Devi is my editor, evil mastermind behind Orbit buying Soulless.)

Feather dusters! With martini breaks. And pauses for cheese platters. Thus lulling her into a false sense of security. 

(I’d have to use every advantage afforded, she could totally take me.)

Devi being evil.

 

Things I recommended:

  1. Girl Genius
  2. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  3. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (via 2D Goggles)
  4. The League of S.T.E.A.M.
  5. Twinings 1706 Strong Breakfast
  6. Amelia B Edwards
  7. The Cambridge Five
  8. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  9. Emma Peel
  10. Customizable Tea Cozies (warning, I’ve never actually used this site)
  11. Vintage tea caddies
  12. OXO Good Grips Twisting Tea Ball & geeky takes, like the robot infuser
  13. For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History by Sarah Rose. Non-fiction book on the great espionage endeavor that was the British theft of the first tea plants from China.
  14. Eating octopus: I like it best done (what I think of as) the Greek way: slapped, stretched on the clothesline, marinated forever, and grilled to perfection. Oh so good. Htapothi sti Skhara ~ Flame-Grilled Octopus

 

Ryan MacDicken

 

Other bits we talked about:

  1. The Finishing School Series (AKA Sophronia)
  2. The Parasol Protectorate Series (AKA Alexia)
  3. Crudrat
  4. The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Series (AKA Prudence)
  5. Fanfiction
  6. Visiting Britain in 2012, and possibly in 2014
  7. Book of the Dead short story featuring Alessandro Tarabotti out at the end of this month.
  8. Shelves with all my gifties on display

 

 

Confessions:

1. I’m terrible at being subtle or cagey. I think that’s why I like writing about spies.
2. Milk before tea. I was raised by plebs.

Here’s a list of all things Gail Carriger on Reddit

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

The Lawn Tennis Season – Mary Hayllar 1881

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
New Trends in YA: The Agents’ Perspective

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Almost done!
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date Nov. 5, 2013. 
Etiquette & Espionage
~ trade paperback will be available in the US October 13, 2013

Manga
~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013. 
Prudence
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.

 

The Books!

 

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series!
Please DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Parasol Protectorate omnibus hardback editions
Volume 1 (Books 1-3), Volume 2 (Books 4-5)
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
The Finishing School Series: Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies (Nov. 5, 2013)
 $0.99 ebook only short stories: Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, and Fairy Debt

 

Crudrat Kickstarter going on October 1 ~ 31, 2013

Book News:
LadyBlueJay Reads says of Soulless, “Full of elegance…Ladies are ladies and gentlemen are gentlemen. But adding werewolves and stylish vampires to the mix makes for a very interesting take on the era.”

Quote of the Day:

“Every now and then I like to do as I’m told, just to confuse people.”

~ Tamora Pierce, Melting Stones


© 2021 Gail Carriger | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Site built by Todd Jackson