7.21.2014

If I Were an Actual Celebrity Interview


Gentle Reader, I am always fascinated by those interviews they have at the back of glossy magazines. The ones that are kind of Inside the Actors Studio style. I'm a terrible judgy person (I know, like you're surprised) and I always judge the person being interviewed by his or her answers.

So I thought I would give myself one of those interviews and you could judge me.


20 Questions from Marie Claire Magazine


  1. What food is on your kitchen counter?
    The partial carcass of a papaya. The AB hates them and they are one of my favorite fruits. I buy one every week that they are in season and eat the whole thing myself.
  2. What is the best gift you've ever received?
    My first car: a 1982 Ford Courier (with a Mazda engine) and 200,000 miles on her. My mom's old work truck, Bluebell, became mine on my 16th birthday (so I could commute to high-school myself). She represented so much joy and liberty. Old Bluebell went 300,000 on the original clutch. I loved that truck.
  3. What is your fantasy vacation itinerary?
    Somewhere with good food, tropical fruit, and lots of swimming.
  4. What can you not miss on TV?
    Bob's Burgers. It's the only thing we actually try to watch regularly. Still, we usually forget and have to catch it in reruns.
  5. What is the best advice you've ever been given?
    Success is largely a matter of holding on when everyone else has given up. 
  6. What movie do you think has the greatest ending?
    Later Days. I can watch him drop that tray over and over again. It's not exactly the last scene but it's the ending. SO GOOD.
  7. What is on your perennial to-do list?
    Vacuum. There is never a time when our apartment doesn't need it.
  8. What is on your bookshelf?
    Science fiction and fantasy baby, all the way.
  9. What is on your feet right now?
    Nothing. 
  10. What is you go-to karaoke song?
    I don't sing, but I make a killer back-up dancer. If you want to catch me embarrassing myself by singing out loud? Firewater by Chome Johnson gets me every single time. 
  11. What is your beauty secret?
    Soaking my feet in hot water and baking soda every night I wear high heels. Nothing is right with the world if ones feet are sore.
  12. What should every woman try at least once in her lifetime?
    Asking for exactly what she wants in bed. And vibrating sex toys. Yeah, I said it, someone has to. Sheesh, ladies. 
  13. Do you have a secret talent? I can cut a perfectly straight even slice of bread, even those super fresh crusty round loafs ~ so long as I have a good knife.
  14. What makes you laugh?
    My friends when drunk and also: wit, absurdity, folly, mimicry, and the occasional bad pun.
  15. What makes you mad?
    Inefficiency, passive aggression, and slovenliness. 
  16. What charities do you support?
    My local Animal Shelter, Kiva, Worldbuilders, and a selection that advocate literacy, health, and education for girls and women. 
  17. What splurge is well worth it?
    Anything to do with health, safety, or natural fibers. More consumerist? Shoes, fresh fruit and vegetables, and good books. 
  18. Do you have an pet peeves?
    So many. People who can't sit still (jiggly leg ARGHHHH). Ill-disciplined children in public. Weak tea and weak handshakes. Skim milk. Anything smelly.
  19. How did you make your first dollar?
    Aside from the tooth fairy? I was a page at my local library. 
  20. What's the one thing you wish you'd known when you were younger?
    Self defense.

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Red Yellow Cluster Art Bouquet to Art 2014

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Meet The Three Female Medical Students Who Destroyed Gender Norms A Century Ago

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Recollect that to a woman who gets her living by her pen, "time is money," as it is to an artist. Therefore, encroaching on her time is lessening her income.”
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)


PROJECT ROUND UP  



Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming 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
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt


Book News:


Quote of the Day:
“A horse who invariably preferred his own opinion to that of his rider.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards

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.

7.18.2014

On the Heartbreak of an Unfinished Series


In addition to the Paradox series I read another book last month,  To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane. (I also finished More Usefully Employed by Brenda Moon, the Amelia B. Edwards biography. But that is not germain to this post.)

Finishing To Play the Lady was both a euphoric experienced and utterly soul crushing. Particularly after the Paradox series, which was such beautifully tidy three book deliciousness.

Here's why.

You may think, I hated it. Or I loved it but it was so badly edited that my enjoyment was thwarted. That's not it at all.

Did I like it?
Yes! It was YA with a strong magical warrior heroine. Many of my favorite tropes were hit. It felt a bit like Tamora Pierce meets Sherwood Smith, how could I not love it? There were some flaws, mostly in length and editing, some repetition, some errors in overuse of cliche phrases, but 90% of the time my immersion in the story was unaffected. Trust me, that's really good.

Do I recommend you pick it up?
Yes but...

The book was released in 2011, it is a completed work but unmistakably the start of a series. It's self published. (I have nothing against self-published books but it does mean the author has only a self-imposed deadline. There are exceptions, but authors are notoriously ill-disciplined.) The most recent update from the author indicates a certain lack of optimism over a release timeline for Book 2.

Health, life, money, tragedy: there are many reasons an author stops writing. Being an author myself, I completely understand ~ projects derail. You saw it happen to me with Prudence. However, as a reader, I would rather have not read this book, then be left without knowing what happens next. Now I fear I never shall. It's too good and yet too sad. I reached out to Naoimi and she immediately emailed me back to say she was trying but couldn't make any promises. I'm hoping that she keeps her head high and fights the good fight and I wish her the best of luck. Selfishly, for my own sake.

This has happened to me before


My first experience was with Claudia J. Edwards. She began her Bastard Princess series with Eldrie the Healer in 1988 and I loved it. And then, nothing. She never wrote another book. I've no idea what happened to her or why she stopped writing. She died in 2010, having published nothing at all (under that name) for over 20 years.

I kind of want to sing a song: Whatever happened to Claudia J. Edwards?

My second experience was with Sharon Green. A prolific writer known, perhaps best, for her incredibly complicated world-building and fantastic nookie scenes. Her best magical system, if you ask me, was in The Far Side of Forever series. It was working up to feature a pretty fab romance too, and then... oh, and then... She left a romantic cliff hanger at the end of the second book in 1989. She went on to write hundreds of books but never finished that series. I must assume it did not sell well enough.

I was crushed and never read her again. Although, now, I see she has some stand-alones and I might try a few of those. Cautiously. Carefully. A burned child near open flame.

Confession time


As I write this, I am struck with the horror of realizing I have done this myself. To you, Gentle Reader. I think Crudrat stands alone but it certainly isn't a finished series. I too am a sinner. I am mortified. I can only apologize profoundly and make amends. And so, you read it here first. I will finish the second Tinkered Stars book, and I will make it as complete a story as possible, within the next five years. This I vow. I will carve out the time from my other series for those few who loved my little sci fi audio offering. I will NOT be that author. I will not give up because of life, like Claudia. I will not sacrifice a lesser loved series for a more popular run, like Sharon.

And I will write more stand alones. I promise. Because I love them, and their aren't enough out there.

Now, you tell me: Any lost or abandoned series that trouble you at night, Gentle Reader? 


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1860  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Purse Gold Coin Lilli

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming 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:
Reading in Winter says (after reading Soulless), “Gail Carriger, where have you been all my life?...This is a fast-paced book that will have you laughing and swooning — and maybe wanting to talk in a proper British accent for a while after finishing. There’s romance and vampires and werewolves and just so many things to keep readers interested.”

Quote of the Day:
“From thence we sallied forth to see the clean, quaint village of Stratford. It was built just to have Shakspeare born in.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

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.

7.16.2014

Reading Guide for Etiquette & Espionage Now Available


A little while ago, Gentle Reader, I had an inquiry from a librarian about a study/reading guide for Etiquette & Espionage. I am ashamed to say I didn't even know such things existed. When I was a girl we read a book and, sometimes, did a book report. That was pretty much it. These days, teachers, librarians, and parents expect books for young readers to come with guides.

Apparently, this is kind of like a press kit meets discussion syllabus, including:
  • cover art
  • author photo/bio
  • about the book/pre and/or post reading activities
  • vocabulary words
  • timelines (real and/or fictional)
  • questions for discussion/essays
  • links to other websites of interest
  • suggested additional reading
  • common core standards tie in
  • character lists

"Isn't that basically Gail's website?" you say. I know, that's what I thought too. Finishing School Section of my website.

Nevertheless, I know that most teachers and librarians out there work brutally hard at their jobs. And there is a certain appeal in a guide for schools featuring a book about a school. Circularity! So I did the only thing I could, given my current deadlines and time constraints: I crowd sourced. I threw out the question to my readers (knowing many of them are librarians) to see if any has written a guide.

Reads 4 Tweens: "Not exactly a study guide, but my review points out things adults might want to talk with kids about."

So then I asked if anyone was interested in doing one for me. Ray & Elizabeth stepped to the plate. (Thanks guys!) And then I, because I am a perfectionist, reviewed and tinkered a bit.

So now, on my website in several places you will find the following:

Etiquette & Espionage Reading Guide and Vocabulary List

Here are two free printable pdfs for teachers, librarians, parents, and other interested parties.

* Reading Guide ~ includes fun activities, discussion questions, Common Core details
* Extensive Vocabulary List


Please feel free to spread the word to your local education establishments. We did our best to make it clear, easy to print, and entertaining.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1857  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Willow Ware Poodle Don Moyer

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Tea blood via Fb

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Boys Will Be Boys, and Girls Will Be Accommodating


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming 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:


Quote of the Day:
“The history of England is the history of progressive refinement.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards

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.