4.22.2014

06/2014How the Victorians Describe Italian Food


For Blameless, when Alexia and cohorts traveled to Florence, I utilized my 1891 Baedeker's Northern Italy extensively. Unfortunately, I don't have an earlier version, and a lot changed in Italy over the 20 years between Alexia's time and this edition of the travel guide (a complete rail system magically appeared, for example). Nevertheless, a 1891 Baedeker's is still better than my unreliable memories of the city (from when I was excavating near there some twenty years ago).

As I was reading along, in the wee hours of the night several years ago now, muttering to myself about all the things I would now have to go back and adjust in Blameless, I encountered an unintentionally hilarious section. Essentially, intended as a food guide, it was really Italian cuisine as defined by the Victorian British pallet. Well I encountered my notes on the subject recently, and thought you might find it entertaining.

Here are a few choice morsels for your amusement:
  • Antipasti: relishes taken as whets
  • Risotto: a kind of rice pudding (rich)
  • Salami: banger
  • Potaggio di pollo: chicken-fricassee
  • Funghi: mushrooms (often too rich)
  • Polenta: boiled maize
  • Gnocchi: small puddings
That last is my personal favorite. I can just see Alexia, wafting into some Italian cafe and demanding a dish of those "delightful green covered tiny puddings." You see how easily I amuse myself? This is one of the great pleasures of writing alternative history, I get to expound on the absurdity of the Victorian British abroad, but also use them as a vehicle through which I can expound on the absurdity of other cultures as well. As bad as Alexia can be about alien cuisine (she has much to say on the vileness of coffee, I must point out) you should see how she describes foreign mannerisms. The Italian language, for example, she cannot help but notice seems to be mainly comprised of "extravagant hand gestures." And, with that, I had best get back to it.


Body of Post


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


PROJECT ROUND UP  

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. November 4, 2014. Cover art to come.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins in July.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Rewriting now, release date March 17, 2015.


The Books! 

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

Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:


Quote of the Day:


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.
Quote of the Day:
"Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French, and it's all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, and it is all organized by the Italians."
~ An oldie but a goodie

4.21.2014

7 Covers Gail Loves


I've been thinking a great deal about cover art recently. For no particular reason, Gentle Reader, just because. It's no secret that, no matter what the words within, cover art counts for a large majority of sales in my business.

All too often you see authors complaining about cover art, I actually really like most of mine. Even those that initially disappointed me I learned to appreciate eventually. So this is not going to be a blog about that.


As I noodle about my daily toils, I encounter any number of books the large variety of which have covers that, frankly, turn me off. I don't want to be one of those people who doesn't buy because of the cover. My favorite author of all time, Tamora Pierce, seems to have generated some kind of vendetta against her on behalf of her marketing house because her recent covers really are horrendous. But, like I said, I don't really want to go there.

What I want to do is simply show you a few covers that I love. These aren't books I have necessarily read, but I might simply because the covers are so fantastic.

Sunset Rising

The Shivered Sky (which is also a great title)
 
Way better than her US cover




I'm no art director to render decisions on design and marketing. But I do think of myself as an anesthetist. I like pretty things and I'm attracted to images and balance that looks good, to colors that jive, to images that hint at story without simply being an almost photographic rendering of a fantasy scene in the book (yawn). I also prefer the woman look tough and covered, not out of prudishness, just in a lust for cosmic balance. If I never see another tramp stamp cover, headless torso female, I'll be all too happy.

So there it is a glimpse into my particular taste in covers.

How about you, any favorite covers?

Books you picked up just because of the cover?

Thoughts on the evolution of cover art?


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Contest entry from ladyceleste via LJ

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
via British Paintings tumblr: The Eternal Dream - William Shackleton 1924

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
via oldtimeystjohnsscifi-tumblr: Evacuation of Duckworth Street during The Great Atari Invasion of 1890

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
5 minute bookbinding


PROJECT ROUND UP  

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. November 4, 2014. Cover art to come.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins in July.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Rewriting now, release date March 17, 2015.


The Books! 

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

Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:
Tea with the French Cover


Quote of the Day:
“The word recipe belongs to pharmacy, and is only used with reference to medical prescriptions. The cook uses receipts, the apothecary recipes.”
~ 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
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

4.18.2014

Connecting with Gail ~ Insider Trading Information


It was brought home to me recently, Gentle Reader, that I have been remiss. The thing is (and there's always a thing) I reach out to you in all these different internet venues in all these different ways all the time. So from my end it feels to me like I 'm making everything known to the best of my abilities. And yet, it doesn't always work. I realized that's because I have specific methods of interaction that I know, but are a mystery to everyone else.

So I am going to break it down for you...

Do you want to know about my new releases, kickstarter projects, events, and short stories?
Then you probably want to join the Newsletter or follow my Official Facebook Author Page.
I use these venues specifically to relay only professional information. The Newsletter comes only once a month, so if you want things in a super timely manner than the Author Page on FB is for you. These two communication venues are for people who appreciate sparseness and abhor clutter. They are static, as in, you won't get much interaction from me, although I do try to make certain I check for questions regularly.


Do you want to know everything that interests me all the time, including fun images, quotes from my books, reviews and so forth as it happens?
Then you may want to follow me on Twitter or my personal Facebook Page. This is a lot of content that can be overwhelming to some people, and it moves quickly so you can miss stuff. The difference between the two is that my interactions over Twitter are faster and more consistent than on Facebook. Twitter is my mobile social media of choice, if you @gailcarriger on Twitter I will respond to you quickly. On Faebook things can go for days without my noticing, or disappear into the feed.

Do you want to contact me over a business matter? Invite me to a convention? Ask a long question? 
Please use the calling card feature on my website. Here on the blog works OK, but again my response time can be days (because I don't post every day). Facebook is the worst venue for conducting business of any kind (no easy way to track interactions) and if you use that, I'll send a form letter directing to use my contact page.


Do you want to stalk me (in a nice way, of course)?
Twitter is probably best. It's most likely to be real time me objecting to the world of airports and delayed flights, chatting about my current convention and stuff like that.
 
Do you want to be inspired by imagery?  
Then follow my Tumblr. It's lots of reblogs of pictures I like from paintings of period attire to fantasy future landscapes to custard recipes to steampunk and the occasional self image or photo of my office and my teatimes, and some of Lilliput. I love playing on Tumblr but it's just that, play time. 


Do you simply want to talk about my books (and other people's) with fellow enthusiasts? 
Then The Parasol Protectorate Facebook discussion group is best.

Are you interested in what I read and my book reviews? 
Then Goodreads is your spot. It shadows this blog and I do respond to messages and comments, but again it's slower than in other venues. However, I keep a reliable record of books I love there both genre and non-fiction and everything in between. 

Do you want to see pictures of me at events with readers and fellow authors?
Then follow my Flickr. I use it mainly for candids. The most recent 20 of which will appear on my website in the gallery section. My use of Flickr is entirely static, I don't follow back and I don't interact with anyone there.


Do you only care about the clothes I wear and the fashion that inspires me and my books?
I have a blog for that, Retro Rack. I post about what I wear to events, what people would have worn to events in the past, how to buy a corset, and soon there will be one all about the dress silhouettes in my three different series. Things like that.


Do you want cliff notes of everything?
That's what this blog is for. It may not be the best for your specific needs but it's kind of my catch all. I try to post here 3 times a week, and it is kept as up to date as possible with regards to events and releases. That said often others will break news first on Twitter since so many insiders in the Publishing Industry hang out there.


So there you have it, kind of overwhelming. But hopefully this gives you an idea of what you can expect from me in the different venues. I want to make it easy for you, so that I'm there when  you need me on the platform you find easiest. That said I think it unlikely I will be on any other platforms. This really is a lot to keep track of!


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Contestsmartbutsweet_BS

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

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Via FB

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Slinging Slang: The Case for Made-Up Words


PROJECT ROUND UP  

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. November 4, 2014. Cover art to come.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins in July.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Rewriting now, release date March 17, 2015.


The Books! 

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

Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:
All Things Rena says of Etiquette & Espionage, “Steampunk awesomesauce!... I look forward to reading a story that is original and I definitely got that here.”

Quote of the Day:
Water-Cure Journal, September 1855

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.