8.06.2014

Gail is in England


My dear Gentle Reader, I am in England from August 7th through August 26th.

Paddington Station, London by Toni Frissell, 1951 via 20th-century-man-tumblr

Here are the events at which you may catch me...

UK Events

Nine Worlds


FRIDAY August 8

I may make it down to the bar to socialize, depends on the jet lag.

SATURDAY August 9

11:45 AM ~ 1:00 PM Dragons vs Werewolves vs Vampires vs Warlocks
County C&D
Four monsters enter, one monster leaves. Zombies, dragons, werewolves or warlocks? It all gets decided here.

1:30 ~ 2:45 PM Food in Fantasy
Room 32
So you've made a world. You've designed people (or other beings) to inhabit it and you've given them art, culture, history,language. What about food? Food is a central part of most cultures: societies are structured by the need to grow and distribute it, and families are structured around cooking and eating it. How will your food reflect the cultures which you create? Our panel discuss the role of food in fantasy: both their own, and favourites.

5:00 ~ 6:15 PM Looking Backwards
County C&D
From Victorians to Egyptians, what's the appeal of past worlds? What can we learn from them, and how do they inform our work today?

SUNDAY August 10

11:45 AM ~ 1:00 PM Female Characters in Steampunk
Room 12
In most genres the main characters are male. Steampunk has a whole bevvy of sassy women who do not let petticoats get in the way of puzzles or fun.

2:45 PM Signing at Forbidden Planet
Dealer's Room

Nottingham


6:30 ~ 9:00 PM Event at Waterstones
1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham NG1 2GR, United Kingdom
Tel. 011 + 44 + 115 947 0069 for Tickets (3 quid)



From @HorzaEdeo via Twitter


WorldCon 2014 AKA LonCon 3


FRIDAY August 15
  
3:00 ~ 4:30 PM Decontextualising Steampunk
Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL)
Is steampunk historically specific, or could any genre story benefit from a few more cogs and zeppelins? Pros and cons of exporting the aesthetic to other times and places? Can you have steampunk without empire, and all that implies?

6:00 ~ 7:00 PM Writing Costume and Clothing in Fiction
London Suite 2 (ExCeL)
Some stories focus on the hardware of science fiction, but many writers paint a rich and full picture of their created worlds, including what people wear. What makes it work? Who does it particularly well? Writers and costumers share their views and reviews on fictional fashion.

I am most likely to be found in a bar after this panel.

SATURDAY August 16

Noon ~ 1:30 PM Where is the YA Humour?
Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
Much of what we see in the YA shelves is dour, grimy and deadly. Where can we find the lighter side of young adult fiction? Which authors should we look to?

3:00 ~ 4:30 PM The Big Playthrough
Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)
Card game in which players strive to kill their horrid, horrid families in as gristly and grotty ways possible, whilst trying to keep the families of other players alive.

7:00 ~ 8:00 PM The Education and Training of a Young Protagonist
Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)
How is education treated in SF? What might a futuristic classroom look like? What are some great examples of how education and training have been used by authors?

I am most likely to be found in a bar after this panel.

SUNDAY August 17

Noon ~ 1:00 PM Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 4 (ExCeL)

1:30 ~ 3:00 PM Autographing Session
Big Autographing Space (ExCeL)

8:00 ~ 11:00 PM Hugo Awards

LonCon should be a blast. It is looking to be the largest WorldCon ever! How's that for the death of sci-fi conventions?

I will not be doing any other public events in the UK, just those listed above. The rest of my time will be spent visiting with old friends and family and drinking vast amounts of tea. If you want concentrated Gail time the Nottingham event or the Kaffeeklatsch at Worldcon are your best bet. I have more spare time at 9 Worlds but I am going to be (in the immortal words of my CA youth) hella jet lagged.

I repeat, I have no other events planned in London. You need to come to Heathrow or the Docklands to see me. I know, but I came all the way across a continent and an ocean, and you lot have some excellent public transport, so... Can't catch my programming items? I am often to be found in the bar chatting with other authors of an evening.

For those of you traveling to London and staying around to enjoy the city, here's The Parasol Protectorate's Must Do List When Visiting London and here's 14 Beautiful Independent Bookshops In London.

This blog will not be updated while I am away. However, I am monitoring incoming calling cards, email, and social media. Unfortunately, I will not be able to respond to anything that isn't extremely urgent. And there may be days when I am entirely off the grid.

"In going to England, take with you no American reprints of English books, unless you intend leaving them on board the ship. If you attempt to land them, they will be seized at the custom-house."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for August? Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti. Next month is Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey}

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1878 Summer, 1878 Tissot, James Etching and drypoint on laid paper Overall- 42 x 26.9 cm Gift of Allan and Sondra Gotlieb, 1994 © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario

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

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Rubik’s Cube Fridge at ThinkGeek

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
"You only knew that the stream of literature had passed over her mind by the fertility it left behind it."
~ 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:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Edits handed in, awaiting copy edits.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished first draft. Out with Beta readers. Release date 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:
Parasol Protectorate Fancast Sebastian Stan as Biffy Chiwetel Ejiofor as Professor Randolph Lyall via woolseypack tumblr


Quote of the Day:
“We wish them all success, although we would have more confidence in the movement if so many of the delegates had not worn bloomer dress.”
~ 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.

8.04.2014

Interview with This Month's Book's Author ~ Dru Pagliassotti


Dru Pagliassotti, the author of this month's book, Clockwork Heart, kindly dropped by for an interview today. While we are reading Clockwork Heart, her third book, Clockwork Secrets is due out at the end of next month on September 28, 2014. She will be talking with us about that novel. (The middle one is Clockwork Lies.)

So, Gentle Reader, please give a polite gloves clapping welcome to the brilliant Dru Pagliassotti...

About you!


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!


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?


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for August? Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti}


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


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:
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
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

8.01.2014

This Month's Book Pick ~ Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti


This month, those of us in the book group, will be reading Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti. So far the book group has read some space opera and some YA paranormal, I thought it was about time we delved into steampunk. I chose Clockwork Heart for several reasons:

  • It's different from my own work in that it's not alt-history steampunk, but alternative planet steampunk. I  feel like this style of steampunk is underrepresented and offers a very rich tapestry to explore.
  • It starts out with a woman flying. How cool is that?
  • The third volume in the series comes out at the end of next month and I figured this would give me enough time to maybe the second and then, hopefully, buy the third when it comes out.
  • It seems very well regarded among bloggers who also like my books, so I'm hoping you like it.

I'll be in England for most of this read along. I will have the book with me. I have an interview with Dru to post before I leave, but the blog will be holding my programming schedule for the duration of my trip As always, if you want an active discussion Skye moderates my fab Gooodreads group and you can talk about it there or on the Parasol Protectorate Books Group on FB. Of course, as always, please do feel free to leave a comment here as well, I simply won't be able to respond until I get back.

{What is Gail's Book Group reading for August? Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti. Next month is Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
The Club Hotel by Ministry of Design

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
The rejection letters: how publishers snubbed 11 great authors


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Edits handed in, awaiting copy edits.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished first draft. Out with Beta readers. Release date 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:
AnneArundel Library reviews Etiquette & Espionage in a YouTube video.

Quote of the Day:
“The genuine Bostonian is satisfied. He rises moderately early, goes to business without any especial haste, dresses comfortably, talks deliberately, lunches freely, and goes home to his family at plausible hours. He would like to have the world made better, but is not going to make himself sick trying to cure the moral ailments of others.”
~ 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.