Tagged steampunk

7 Things Pinterest Just Doesn’t Understand

Posted by Gail Carriger

Here are 7 Things Pinterest simply fails to understand…

  1. All periods of historical clothing are NOT created equal.
  2. Just because I like Tom Hiddleston pictures does not mean I like Loki pictures.
  3. I don’t practice witchcraft.
  4. I’m never interested in dragons. Yes that’s a pretty dragon picture… still not interested.
  5. I don’t want tips on how to travel or how to write ~ funnily enough I’m pretty good at both.
  6. I’m not getting married. I’m not going to get married. Marriage is not for me. STOP with the marriage already. Oh, now you’re just judging my life choices.
  7. GOTH DOES NOT EQUAL STEAMPUNK

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

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for December is The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune.

OUT IN PRINT & DIGITAL!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

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

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

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Woman with a Parasol – Henri Matisse 1905

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Teapot in an Octopus Cameo Steampunk T-Shirt

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Dear Broke Reader: Your Sense of Entitlement is Killing Me

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

What Rene Penn learned from reading Soulless:

She makes an alternative world seem believable. The novel is set in London, 1800s, where werewolves and vampires are part of British society. An unbelievable concept, but she sold me on it. She provided lots of information and tidbits about this other society–sometimes repeating them to make sure the reader’s got it. It helped bridge the gap between a far-fetched idea and magical make-believe. Nicely done.”

Quote of the Day:

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


How to Throw a Book Launch Tea Party (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Dearest Gentle Reader, Romancing the Werewolf is right around the corner. And it lands on a Sunday.

Do you know what that means?

High Tea!

Here’s a sample of how to throw a high tea in honor of this or any other Parasolverse book (or any other book at all, I suppose)…

Invitation

You are cordially invited to a Parasolverse High Tea. There can be no more delightful way to enjoy the season than with delicious nibbles and a fabulous cup of tea.

Please attend {name of hostess/host} at {time} on the {day} of {month} at {venue} to enjoy good food, pleasant company, and scintillating conversation.

Guests are encouraged to wear hats in honor of Ivy or Biffy, carry parasols in honor of Alexia or Prudence, or even (gasp) cross-dress in honor of Madame Lefoux or Aggie. BYOI (Bring Your Own Inventions) if you are maker and would like to expose others to your scientific method in steampunk style. Vampires and werewolves welcome, with the understanding that the former will keep their fangs to themselves, and the later will dress accordingly.

We hope to enjoy the pleasure of your company.
Sincerely,
Lady/Lord/Countess/etc. {your name here}

RSVP by footman, pigeon, or aetherogram.

P.S. Do not trust the ladybugs.

1900s via steampunktendencies

Venue
If your own abode is undersized, a backyard garden is a lovely place to host tea or, barring that, a public park or lakeside aspect.

Suggested Savory Comestibles

Sandwiches

  • Cucumber Sandwiches liberally spread with butter are always popular – I like to add a dash of fresh dill.
  • Egg Salad
  • Watercress
  • Chicken Salad
  • Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Cheese & Chutney
  • It is never a good idea to prepare the sandwiches too far ahead of time but if you do a clean, lightly damp dishtowel spread over the arrangement will prevent them from drying out or being attacked by bugs

Other Savory Nibbles

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Scotch Eggs with Chutney
  • Sausage Rolls with English Mustard
  • Savory Scones
  • Pickled Onions
  • Crackers and Good English Cheddar

1925 Esther Borough Johnson (British artist, 1867-1949) Tea Table in the Garden

Suggested Sweets & Puddings

  • Brownie bites with a dollop of whip cream, a raspberry or a sprig of mint
  • Upgrade gingersnaps by spreading lemon curd between 2
  • Turkish Delight
  • Strawberry Tarts
  • Sweet Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam
  • Candied Lemon and Orange Peel
  • Trifle
  • Meringues (and their derivatives)
  • Macarons
  • Shortbread
  • Raspberry Mousse Cups with Cream
  • Mincemeat Tarts
  • Sugared Rose and Violet Petals
  • Treacle Tart

The All Important Tea

Teacups

Now, if you do not own enough teacups and saucers you can encourage guest to bring their own. Ones that express individuality. This has benefits:

  1. You do not have to store them all
  2. Each guest can always identify his/her own cup
  3. Conversational openers are provided

Tea

Twinings English Breakfast Gold Label is high quality, not bitter, and hard to over brew. But it is expensive. I sometimes, sometimes, stock Earl Grey.

Never Herbal, tisanes are for medicinal uses only.

Whole milk

Guests who require alternatives should bring such things as *shudder* skimmed milk or *double shudder* soy on their own.

Dietary Quirks

No hostess or host should ever have to suffer the peculiarities of diet in others that the modern world has foisted upon us. Eccentricity is one thing, pickiness another thing entirely. Medical dietary restrictions of an un-tea-party-like nature dictate the guest see to her own health through self-care or absence.

More on parties?

Book Party Tips

Speaking of tea parties, here’s the original Parasolverse tea, the Soulless Book Launch Party back at World Fantasy in San Jose 8 years ago on October 31, 2009.

Baked Apples from Jane Austen’s Emma

Do you want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info, release announcements? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for October is Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.}

COMING NOV 5th!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger will be available in digital form on Nov 5th (print & audio to follow).

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy werewolf with a powerful crush. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1904 EnsembleGustave Beer, 1904-1905The Metropolitan Museum of Art _ OMG that dress!

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Tea Masters: Jasmine tea’s many secrets

Alsace traditions and tea

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

A Bibliophile’s Guide to Finding Your Park

Book News:

Biffy YES!!!! Thank you! My victorian werewolf baby! via ace-artimis-fanartist tumblr

Quote of the Day:

“‘Yes, sir,’ said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten in the leg by a personal friend.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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

Save


Sample That Tasty Book! Romancing the Werewolf (Behind the Magic)

Posted by Gail Carriger

In early September, Twitter went a little crazy over #RuinABookTitleInOneLetter, Gentle Reader. I must say I followed the hashtag with no little amusement myself.

Anywho, Jared Tidwell‏ @CloudAdmin posted the following submission:

The Drapes of Wrath

Which I loved so so hard. I wish I had thought of it several months earlier, because it would have made the perfect opening chapter title for Romancing the Werwolf.

Here, you judge for yourself…

CHAPTER ONE

The Problem with Purple

“But Alpha, purple is simply not appropriate.” Quinn’s growly voice somehow edged into whining.

The rest of the werewolf pack tried to shush him, but the damage was done.

“I beg your pardon!” Sandalio de Rabiffano, newly minted Lord Falmouth, better known to the rarified fuzz and fang of the supernatural set as Biffy, Alpha of the London Pack, nearly leapt to his feet… at the dinner table. He was that offended. Of course, he remembered himself long before he could commit such a profound breach of etiquette. He was, after all, still Biffy.

He narrowed his eyes instead. “I assure you, purple is a perfectly delightful color and is more than appropriate to all venues, ages, genders, and species!”

“It doesn’t hearken to nature,” Phelan came to his pack mate’s defense with an intellectual argument. He cocked his head socratically, his studied air rather defeated by the fact that he had to stop stuffing his face with steak and kidney pie in order to talk. Biffy swung his discerning glare onto him, judging his manner, his decision to speak against his Alpha, his choice of argument, and his ill-judged belief that Quinn had opened the floodgates of objection.

This anti-purple rhetoric would be nipped, most sharply, in the bud. “Plenty of lovely natural things are purple: sunsets, sunrises for that matter, iris, aubergines, oysters.” Nip nip nip! “Although” – he frowned, and then remembered he didn’t like the way this wrinkled his forehead, so stopped – “these are all different shades of purple. Is that the true objection? Should I choose a different shade?”

A chorus of groans met that. They’d already been at this for an hour, Biffy finally settling on this particular deep, rich, dark plum velvet. Ordinarily, the pack didn’t care about interior decorations and would rather he choose without involving them. Ordinarily, he would have. But this was a communal curtain situation and they were his pack. Curtains should matter to his pack. And now, it seemed, of a sudden they did matter.

Biffy pursed his lips. He knew this was the correct color. Knew it in his very bones. Bones that moved and shifted and broke every full moon, so possibly not as reliable as they might once have been, but still… “Why are you arguing with me on this particular detail? Purple would suit the room best. You never usually care two tail shakes for this sort of thing.” Why object now about something I know is right?

Adelphus, who was at that moment wearing a purple evening jacket (not plum, more violet, but still), looked monumentally uncomfortable. He fiddled with one of the fabric samples set out before them. Biffy suppressed the instinct to slap the man’s hand away – Adelphus might leave a grease stain. But no, it was fine, Adelphus was mostly tame. “I simply feel the green…”

“In that room? Are you mad?” Biffy tried not to let the frustration color his voice. He knew what he was talking about. This was what he did. He made rooms beautiful. He made people beautiful. Or he used to, before he lost most of his soul and creativity.

Doubt, his old friend, shook him then. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the purple is unpleasant. Maybe I’ve lost my eye for color as well as everything else. No. Stop second-guessing. It’s the purple or nothing. And nothing was not an option in a house full of werewolves. Sunlight being rather more of an issue when one was allergic to it.

He took a breath. I’m the Alpha, for goodness’ sake. Aren’t they supposed to listen to me? Instinctively obey me?

“God’s teeth, it’s only curtains!” Even Rafe, the most easygoing of the pack, was getting annoyed.

Biffy huffed. “Curtains,” he explained slowly as though to a very thick child (which, to be fair, rather defined Rafe’s character), “are a serious business.”

“Don’t you think they’ll be too dark for the room?” Hemming was clearly not at all sure of himself. It sounded as if he were trying to come up with an excuse. As if he really had some other reason for objecting. As if they all did.

What is going on here?

Biffy swept a critical gaze over his nervous pack. “All right, chaps, what’s the truth here? What’s actually wrong with purple?”

His pack all looked collectively guilty. They exchanged glances. Finally, they all turned to Adelphus as if he were the one best at calming their new, young, purple-minded Alpha.

Poor Adelphus. He isn’t my Beta, but he keeps getting cast in that role. Biffy winced away from that thought, like touching a sore tooth. He didn’t want to think about his Beta. He didn’t want to miss him.

He’d agree with me about the purple.

A nice dark plum, ideal to show off the daring ash furniture and sumptuous cream brocades he’d chosen for the rest of the drawing room. With some luscious ferns scattered about, and a few other plants, shelves of books, and other knickknacks. It would look rich and striking yet bright and welcoming and…

Adelphus looked uncomfortable. But at least he’s stylish. Perhaps I should listen to him. We have something in common.

Biffy paused to think a little on that. It took a great deal of effort for a werewolf to have style. Getting naked once a month, ripping clothes constantly, and turning into a slavering beast was only the start of the afterlife’s many dandy challenges.

Something for me to be proud of. Biffy had come a long way from the lonely, scruffy want-to-be vampire of his first few years as a werewolf pup. My hair alone was a complete shambles. Certainly, he still wasn’t a very good Alpha. He’d no idea how to run a pack. He’d never successfully metamorphosed a claviger, and he was still looked down upon by other Alphas. In fact, the litany of his failings over the past twenty years since his metamorphosis filled his brain, but… At least I am a werewolf with style. And I can bloody well pick out curtains!

He fully glared at Adelphus, putting Alpha will behind the look.

Adelphus crumpled. “See here, Alpha. I mean no disrespect and no insult to your former life.” His eyes were wary.

“Go on,” said Biffy, trying not to let his voice sink into a growl.

“But, sir…”

Now that felt weird. Adelphus was at least a hundred years his senior, possibly twice that, and sir was an honorific Biffy did not feel he deserved.

“Yes?”

“Purple is a vampire color.”

Biffy let out a long sighing kind of snort. “Oh, for goodness’ sake! We have colors now?”

Quinn tried to help. “It’s accepted all ‘round as standard practice for spaces and coaches and cushions and that sort of thing.” He failed the dismount.

“That sort of thing?” Biffy let his outrage show.

“It’s only, Alpha, this is a big step, us moving away from Himself next door. We don’t want any reminders of previous intimacies.” Hemming was trying to be kind.

What he was saying was actually: We don’t want you to have any reminders.

Biffy suddenly understood. They were worried he was pining for lost futures. How sweet of them.

“How many times do I have to tell you I’m not upset about being a werewolf instead of a vampire?”

Incredulous looks all ‘round.

“Fine, I’m not upset anymore. Honestly.”

All the werewolves were displaying varying degrees of disbelief. Biffy had made no secret, at first, that werewolf was not what he wanted for an afterlife. Back then, it had been hard to hide, he was so wounded, knowing he could have made it. To have enough excess soul to become a werewolf meant he might have become a vampire instead. Vampire would have suited him so much better – his personality, his plans, his future, his soul (or what was left of it). But that wasn’t what happened, and he’d had twenty years to come to terms with that. Purple curtains were not going to sway him into flights of his former melancholy.

I assure you, he wanted to say again, I’m not pining! Except that he was. Only it wasn’t for a state of undead – it was for a person. It wasn’t so much an ache, a void at the edge of his consciousness, as a missing piece. The same piece that was missing from his pack, the balance point that they all yearned for. The one who could, so easily and gently, have settled the matter of purple curtains.

Biffy told himself for the millionth time that it was nothing more than an Alpha’s need for his Beta. He refused to believe that after twenty years, his heart hurt for a connection it had had so long ago, for such a short space of time. He forced his mind not to go in that direction. There were too many other things, too many important things that he must deal with, and pining for his Beta (non-sexually or otherwise) wouldn’t solve anything.

With a sigh, he capitulated. Which likely wasn’t a good decision. Alphas were supposed to be strong, commanding, hold to their point of view. Or something like that.

He went with his second option. “I suppose blood red is out, too.”

The pack all looked at one another.

“We werewolves customarily get outdoor colors like browns and greens and such.” Phelan was trying to help.

Biffy glared. “I am attempting to give us an aura of sophistication! It’s 1895. We live in London. Earth tones are so very last decade!”

The werewolves now looked as though they were trying not to laugh. At least a few of them did.

“Why do vampires get to have purple? Is it a rule? Something to do with royalty?” Biffy had learned there were lots of unwritten rules to immortality. The werewolves called them protocols, but really they were traditionally codified rules.

Adelphus smiled. “Not officially. It’s more to do with Rome.”

Biffy grinned back. “Oh, yes, ancient history, is it?”

Biffy knew he had a bit of a lax attitude about tradition. But then again, wasn’t that part of his role? In his lucid days, before the previous Alpha went mad with Alpha’s curse, Lord Maccon would say, This is your time, Biffy. Bring us into the modern age. We have to learn to accommodate the present, or we are going to become obsolete. You’re important to all werewolves – you represent a new kind of Alpha.

I’m failing. I’m failing him. And I’m failing them. Well, us, I suppose I should say. He looked at his pack sitting around the dinner table, worried, uncomfortable.

Biffy stood. He wasn’t particularly tall, but he had good form and excellent posture. He was a practiced gentleman and he called upon that sophistication (in lieu of arrogance) so that he could put his beautifully shod foot very firmly down.

“Purple curtains. End of discussion.”

Adelphus opened his mouth. Biffy glared. “End. Of. Discussion.”

Adelphus snapped his mouth closed and tilted his head quickly to show his neck. “Yes, Alpha.”

With a start, the others followed suit.

Biffy marched from the room. Feeling a little faint. Which he attributed to not having had time to eat ­­– too busy arguing about curtains.

ace-artemis-fanartist biffy & lyall

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

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for October is Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.}

COMING NOV 5th!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger will be available in digital form on Nov 5th (print & audio to follow).

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

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy werewolf with a powerful crush. The pack’s started a business called Heavy Lifting. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1903 France Fashion plate via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Why Dressing Nicely for a Flight Is Worth the Effort

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Fantasy Openings To Avoid

Book News:

Becca Dupont & Nina Rice – Professor Lyall, Alexia Tarabotti and Madame Lefoux out at DragconCon

Quote of the Day:

“Beware of the person of one book.”

~ Thomas Aquinas

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


Steampunk Worlds Fair

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I branched out from my normal color profiles at Steampunk World’s Fair this year. (As ever you can find out more about my outfits over on Retro Rack.)

For now, Gentle Reader, sufficient to say I dressed for heat, or tried to with corsets involved, and it ended up being cold. Then I added layers. So the outfits were odd meldings of attire I normally wouldn’t put together. Also I went for lighter colors, because, why not?

The Embassy Suites hotel has the most amazing atrium, a perfect setting for steampunk. Most of the time I hung out there or walked between the two hotels just watching the remarkable costumes go by and saying hello to familiar faces.

Also, one of my book covers turned up… in the flesh!

 

Pretty flipping amazing, no?

Had a truly remarkable panel on women in steampunk and the arts with Leanna Renee Hieber, Ashley Rodgers, and Nikki Woolfolk. One of the highlights of the convention for me.

But my favorite thing? Ashley’s AMAZING one woman show, Pass Fail. It was so so good. I belly laughed and then sobbed in equal measure. It’s kind of stand up, meets spoken word, meets heart-wrenching confessional. If you have the opportunity, you owe it to yourself to experience this phenomenal piece.

All in all a great convention and a joy to return. I do hope I get to go back again in a few years. Such a great con.

Want more?

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Formatting
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

UP NEXT

Poison or Protect audiobook coming soon! Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Twelve Victorian Era Tips on the Etiquette of Ladylike Letter Writing

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Writers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions

Book News:

A reminder Imprudence Goodreads giveaway is still going on.

Quote of the Day:

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Gail Is At Steampunk Worlds Fair

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I am off to the Steampunk World’s Fair in New Jersey this weekend!

This will be my first steampunk event as a returning guest. I am very honored and quite looking forward to it. It’s so so nice to go off to an event with a good idea of what to expect. I am a creature of habit (I attended my local con as a faithful fan girl for 15 years) so you can imagine how appealing this is.

Familiar faces! Old friends and new acquaintances.

It’s a great event. I hope it’s not quite as hot as it was last time. (Hilariously in the photos from my first year you can see my outfits get smaller and smaller and less and less layered. This year I’m bringing only lightweight stuff. I’ll have a number of outfits you’ve never seen on me before, because HEAT.)

I might just have some super fun swag to give away if you run into me at the convention, just ask!

Want more?

Can’t Make It?

I’ve a Goodreads giveaway for Imprudence going on right now. You can enter if you’d like.

 

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Formatting
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

UP NEXT

Poison or Protect audiobook. Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Longchamp, France Antique-Royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

What My Birthday Looked Like

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

From Teaspoons to Tea-sots: The Language of Tea

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Women in SF&F Month: Gail Carriger

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“If the police are the Government’s right arm suppressing crime, then the Protectorate is its very powerful left arm.”

~ Roland St. J. Braddell 1921

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Gail Steampunking Around Anchorage

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

There were some fun moments of steampunk and general Gail appeal around the town of Anchorage. I thought I’d share a few with you, Gentle Reader.

I found myself at the Red Chair Cafe, for example…

And I also tracked down the local tea house…

Yes, I did contemplate just staying in that tea house forever.

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Proofreader
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 fuckyeahmodernflapper- Walking dress (Les Modes, french magazine, 1900s)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Passion for Passionfruit

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

3 Amazon Reader Review Myths

Book News:

The French blog Mes Nouvelles Lectures says of Etiquette & Espionage:

“J’ai vraiment apprécié cet univers steampunk, je le trouve assez complet et je dois dire que je suis contente de retrouver l’ambiance et l’univers du protectorat de l’ombrelle, j’avais vraiment aimé le premier tome que j’avais lu : Sans âme.”

While J.L. Gribble says:

“Gail Carriger’s foray into young adult fiction is set in the familiar world of her Parasol Protectorate series, but with a bit more…everything. Which is funny, because her adult series is pretty awesomely extreme all on its own. This novel drew much more from the steampunk genre than on the supernatural in regards to plot, with more focus on fantastical mechanical creations and devices and less on the political relationships between the worlds of humans, vampires, and werewolves.”

Quote of the Day:

“The English are denonominated by the Chinese (âng-mô, red-haired people); they also dwell in the north-west corner of the ocean, very near the Dutch, whom they very much resemble in person and dress but their language and writing re different. English manufactures are very superior, while their swords and guns, and other implements, are the best in all countries to the north-west.”

~ Ong Tae Hae, A Chinaman Abroad, 1849

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Alaska Steamposium Report ~ Steampunk Outfits & More

Posted by Gail Carriger

So the Alaska Steamposium in Anchorage was a tiny but enthusiastic little con, well worth a visit if you are in the area. They treated me like royalty and I had a lovely time.

One of the things that they did was challenge the con com to dress as a Gail Carriger cover. Beatrix took this literally…

Beatrix & Gail

If you want to see more of her costume I’ll be posting a bunch of details to Retro Rack and more pictures will soon appear in the cosplay gallery on the wikia and my cosplay pinterest board.

Yes that is real dandelion fluff on a spoon. The hat was full of little inside jokes like that.

I wore my black simple outfit with the circus corset.

As you might imagine it was cold so I have undershirt and sweater on. Smaller hat (easier to pack) and so forth for a generally rather simple look. Just wait until you see what I wear to World’s Fair next month. Last time I was there it was SO HOT, that this time I am packing super light. You’ll see me in some steampunk outfits that have never debuted before.

This isn’t one of them…

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Proofreader
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Full mourning dress for the elderly

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Five Ways Reading Fiction Makes You Better at Your Job

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

A Writing Group that Works

Book News:

Barnes & Noble bringing all the books to the con.

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Gail is in Alaska

Posted by Gail Carriger

My dear Gentle Reader I am in Alaska for the next week at the Alaska Steamposium steampunk event.

I do hope to see some of you at the event. (I can promise it’s unlikely I’ll visit Alaska again anytime soon.) The Steamposium is at the The Alaska Experience Theater in Anchorage, April 15~16.

After that, the AB and I are having a mini vacay so I won’t be online much until the end of next week. Unless the internet in the hotel is a great deal better than internet in hotels is wont to be. (And the AB is a great deal less persuasive than normal in actually getting me to stop working.)

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Proofreader
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

See the Best Octopus Fossil Ever Found

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Writing Conferences and Festivals

Book News:

Me and my agent, Kristin Nelson‏ + 50 Teens at Colorado Teen Lit festival

Quote of the Day:

“He can hardly keep clock-work in his throat, but from the sounds one might suppose that about ten main springs had all broken at once, and he was doing his best not to swallow any of them.”

~ J.H.M. Robson 1894

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

 


Occasional FAQ: When Gail Was An Archaeologist

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

One of the things that often comes up on Facebook Lives (one tomorrow, March 14, 4:30pm PST on my Author Page) and in person events, is my past as an archaeologist. So here, for your edification Gentle Reader, is me answering some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

What’s the 411 on Gail Carriger prior to becoming the author we all know now?

I was born in small town California to a British expat gardener with a tea habit and a woodworking Dane who sidelined as a philosophical scribbler. I spent summers in a small town in Devonshire with my grandparents, and matured with a burning need to investigate the past and escape to other small towns all around the world. Hence archaeology. I ended up back in California with too many advanced degrees, a tea habit inherited from my mother, a scribbling habit inherited from my father, and a dreadful penchant for gadding off to foreign countries in hot pursuit of fascinating ancient artifacts – dragging both habits ruthlessly in my wake.

What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer?

Let me see, the order would go something like: library page, nursery plant waterer, nanny, PA, telecommunications specialist, software QA, book reviewer, museum docent, bartender, teacher, archaeologist, university lecturer, adjunct faculty, and now author.

What is your university degree in?

I have a BA in Archaeology (with minors in Anthropology, Classics, Theology, Geology, and Philosophy), a MS in Archaeological Materials with a focus on inorganics, and a MA in Anthropology with a focus on ceramic artifact analysis. I got a book contract and left academia 2 years before completing my PhD. Oddly enough, I have few regrets.

Can you tell me a bit about your archeology work?

While I have some field experience I’ve spent most of my time in the laboratory sticking artifacts into very expensive instruments that go “beep” (XRD, SEM with EDX attachment, and finally an ISP-MS acid prep). I’ve worked on artifacts from Egypt, Italy, Greece, Britain, Italy, North America, South America, and the Islamic Empire (North West Syria). The last excavation I was connected to was in Peru, and I did work at a field lab there. You can find out more about my archaeological interests on my Archaeology Pinterest board.

Chokepukio, Peru, my last archaeology site

How has your background in archeology influenced your writing?

It’s made me very concerned with details, and very conscious of how material objects reflect culture and can be used to bring setting and characters to life. Readers may notice that what people wear and own is almost as important as what they do and say in my books. A career as an archaeologist and academic has also given me good research skills, a respect for deadlines, a fascination with historical cultures, and, most importantly, the ability to subsist entirely on instant soup.

How does your background in archaeology influenced your steampunk?

Archaeology has its provenance in the Victorian era, so I’ve studied the time period in an effort to understand my own discipline. This has helped me grasp the mindset of the scientists of the day. Archeology has also led me to approach the entire genre differently. Steampunk is, by its very nature, alternative history, but we archaeologists work by interpreting existing facts. I went with the premise that all the strange and absurd facts of real history could be explained away as the meddling of vampires and werewolves. This included the weirdest historical event of all: the expansion of the British Empire.

Self holding a sml Aribalo pot from Chokepukio

Have the locations you visited for digs inspired any scenes or details in the books?

The Etruscan excavation site the Templars take Alexia and Madame Lefoux to visit for a tomb picnic in Blameless is based on the first site I ever excavated in Northern Italy. Similarly, the descriptions of Florence are from my own memory. I drew on a lot of my research from when I was connected to an Egyptian museum for Timeless and Imprudence and The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn’t. Neither my Syrian site nor my Peruvian site have appeared in my books… yet.

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 cgmfindings- Art Nouveau Advertising Parasol „Fiumaner Reisstärke“ 1900 Austria

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Gail Carriger’s cat, Lilliput the Bean, versus a very beat-up paper bag, and a slightly smaller less beat-up paper bag. An ode in two parts, featuring co-star Zanie rattling mouse. (Her favorite toy.)

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Clothes as Historical Sources: What Bloomers Reveal About the Women Who Wore Them

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Authors Fear Accusations of Cultural Appropriation

Book News:

Sidheag wins!

Quote of the Day:

“I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.”

~ Mark Haddon

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


It Means Something Different in Romance (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Terminology for Romance Readers & Authors

In 2016 I shifted (slightly), Gentle Reader, and began writing more romance.

All my books have romance threads, but in my first two novellas (Poison or Protect and Romancing the Inventor) I brought those threads to the forefront.

Romancing the Inventor

Delving into not just the writing but also the production end of the romance equation has been extremely enlightening, especially given my particular background (both personal and professional). Conversational lingo in the Bay Area on the subject of such things, let us just say, is a whole lot different from what a girl plops in her book description on Amazon.

For example, in conversation ’round a cafe in the Castro I’d call Poison or Protect het, or breeder, with kink lite, but that sure ain’t the correct way to go about it on Amazon.

We are talking book descriptions here people

What follows is going to be me prattling on about romance novel book descriptions, particularly those that appear on websites like Amazon, Kobo, B&N, etc… (As opposed to book cover copy, which appears in print on book jackets and is usually slightly different.)

Let me say that again, I’m talking about vocabulary and semantics in ROMANCE NOVEL BOOK DESCRIPTIONS. This means… marketing! Hooray! I’m NOT dealing with how greater society would describe the relationships presented in said books, nor the choices/terms various communities would prefer used, nor the political correctness of this situation.

What I find fascinating is the marketing aspect, not the truth. (Ain’t that how the world works these days, anyway?)

I don’t know… warning?

Look, I think this is interesting and educational and fascinating. I’m not gonna describe any acts or what-have-you. But if you’re easily offended by anything beyond plain-old heterosexual intercourse, then you might wanna not read this. Okay? Bye bye now.

Still with me?

Here we go… Bum chicha baow.

On the surface?

Romance means the emotional tenors of the relationship are front and center to the plot of the story. Pacing is going to rely on feelings. Feeeeeeeeelings, nothing more than, feeeeelllingggs…

Sweet romance probably won’t have much (if any) sex details and it’ll likely end on a wedding (or at least an engagement).

Clean romance means that it really won’t have any nookie.

Erotica means it’s all about the sexitimes. Pace is going to be driven by physical encounters and those will be described in detail.

You Probably Know This But…

A stand alone means the whole story arc finishes in one book.

Cross-over characters means there will be side and background characters shared in other books by this author, or (in some rare cases) books by other authors too.

If you come at romance having read anything else first, here’s a shocker:

The word series. The traditional definition of series means linked books with the same main character(s) and over-arching plot that are meant to be read one after another (like my Finishing School books). In romance, series is far more likely to mean a shared world with stand alone books and cross over characters that can be read in any order (like my Supernatural Society novellas).

The exception is urban fantasy and paranormal romance, which are more likely to be set up as traditional series not linked stand-alones.

Frankly, I wish there were a better word than series deployed in romance, but it seems there is no going back now.

Lets Get Deep Here: Initialisms

HEA means happily ever after.

MLM means men loving men. WLW means women loving women. These come out of personal ads from, oh hell, the 1980s or whatevs. More common these days in marketing is f/f (means female female) and m/m (means male male) romance or sex (but likely both). These terms come out of slash fan fiction.*

These sets of initialisms used in descriptions quickly let readers know exactly what kind of relationship will be taking place in the book. There are cover art markers too, but these aren’t as specific. For example, there is a lot of cross over in cover art style (see: tattooed naked male torso + dark shadows + bold title) between contemporary m/m erotica (usually two muscled alpha males, often using the “gay for you” trope) and new adult bad boy romances (het, college age, fixed by snatch trope**).

LGBTQ means Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer. An all encompassing series of letters that, when used in a romance book description, usually implies that not only the main characters will be in a queer coupling (or more) but that there will be queer supporting characters and, probably, a level of understanding about real world queer communities.

More than you ever needed to know about multiples

Menagé. OK this term can get complicated (yeah yeah). In the strictest sense of the word, menagé should mean all three are getting it on together. However, I’ve found that in romance menagé often means two dudes getting it on with one girl (and NOT the other dude). Everything stays heterosexual. (Yep, there is a whole sub-genre of brothers who share.) This kind of menagé will almost invariably involve DP (double penetration).

As opposed to: m/f/m or m/m/m or f/f/f etc… the use of a slash to describe a menagé relationship usually means all parties involved are sexually together with each other, as a proper threesome.

Poly (from polyamorous) means three or more individuals romantically involved with each other. This term is not often used in book descriptions, and when it is, it implies that emotional connections between characters will be emphasized over sexual ones.

May/December describes a large age difference between the central romantic pairing. As age difference is also a power imbalance, this can edge into either disturbing or hot (but then, most things can when romance and/or sex are involved). Of course, it is always the power struggle in romance that is truly titillating to readers.

mPreg. Oh yes. Did you know this one? It’s getting more and more common in m/m shifter romances. And yeah, it means one of the dudes gets pregnant. Don’t ask.

 

OK there you have it. Signal marker terms in the romance genre. I’m sure there are a ton more but these are the ones I found interesting and surprising.

 

* MLM versus m/m, WLW versus f/f additional thoughts. As an anthropologist, I find the use of the word women (or men) as a opposed to female (or male) interesting. Women has implications of societal role, while female is more clinical. In anthropology, these words are all tied up in concepts of gender versus biological sex.

** “fixed by snatch” I’m not a big fan of the idea that a douchnozzle dude can be reformed by penetrating the perfect pussy. Oh, I’m sorry, was that crass? Then stop writing/buying it. New Adult romance has a lot to answer for.

{Gail’s monthly read along for January 2017 is A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer.}

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via Oᒪᗪ ᑭᕼOTOᔕ & ᙖᗩᙅOᑎ @photosandbacon Lila Lee at the Beach

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

“I hate the treadmill.”
“I thought you hated the elliptical.”
“I hate them equally. I can’t have one thinking it’s the favourite.”

~ The Weight Of It All by N.R. Walker

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“Truth often sounds like insolence to those unprepared to hear it.”

~ Starstruck Holidays by Lia Davis, Kerry Adrienne, Jennifer Loring, Merryn Dexter, B. Leslie Tirrell

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Do Some Writers Choose to Go “Indie”?

Book News:

Women Write About Comics says:

“The magic of Romancing the Inventor is not only that it takes what should be an agonizingly taboo situation and plays it out like your average romance, but also that any reader can come and experience Gail Carriger’s world without needing to ask too many questions. Carriger is fantastic at worldbuilding; and when there are questions, she has a brief glossary in the back for terms that have not been explained.”

Quote of the Day:

“Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


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