11.30.2009

Tart Talk with Alexia & Jane (Vol. 1): Tempest in a Teapot

Nicole and I are doing a coblog today! Or I should say, our characters are. So exciting! The first of the Tart Talks . . .

Today you are party to a conversation between Jane True, star of Nicole Peeler's Tempest Rising, and Alexia Tarabotti, star of Soulless. Because Jane's very new to the publishing world, and her author is a bit distracted with finals, the good people at Orbit Books thought it a good idea if Alexia mentored Jane on the finer points of being an urban fantasy heroine. This is their first meeting and Jane is very nervous. She looks up to Alexia terribly, you see. And we all know what happens when Jane gets nervous . . .

Jane: Hi Alexia! Thanks for agreeing to speak with me. I know you’ve been super busy, and all. First off, can you tell me a bit about your world? I loved your book and I want to hear about it straight from you.

Alexia: That's very direct, my dear. Shouldn't we introduce ourselves? Then, perhaps, you can offer me tea. Then some social pleasantries, and after a short spate of time and familiarity we can discuss more indelicate matters, like the state of the world.

Jane: Ummmm . . . tea? Sorry . . . we’re more coffee drinks around here. How about coffee?

Alexia: Goodness gracious, are you Italian? You don't look Italian, and I should know. Thank you kindly but I hear coffee is very bad for the constitution.

Jane: Um, sure. Right. I’ll get tea for next time . . . In the meantime, no soul? Really?

Alexia: And how did you find about that, young lady? I thought the Bureau of Unnatural Registry had classified my preternatural status on a need to know basis. Do you have contacts in the British government? Well, I am under the impression, if you are aware of my soulless state that perhaps you should reveal a big dark secret to me. I've heard, although I hardly can believe it is true (true, oh dear, how droll) that you have some kind of mixed seal transformation capacity. I should never have believed such a thing possible. Is it like being a werewolf? What's the scientific basis for this body dimorphic dual form skill? And why a seal, it's not very, well, threatening, now is it?

Jane: Dude, you do know we share the same editor, right? So, like, I just asked her for your book and she gave it to me . . . so no need to go through your Bureau of Unnatural Acts with Sheep, or whatever you call it. And, my mom is the shape shifter. I’m just a halfling . . . but seals are totally tough! Have you seen one clap? Well they can crack a walnut between those flippers . . . think what they could do to a human skull! If it’s been weakened in some capacity, first . . .*shifts uncomfortably* Okay, let's start over. Umm . . . can you tell me what’s up with all the underwear?

Alexia: *sputters* Pardon? WHAT did you just ask? I shall entirely ignore that question, as it quite rightly deserves.

Jane: *shrugs* It’s just that you’re wearing a LOT of underwear. I mean, how do you pee?

Alexia: *silence*

Jane: Ohhh-kay . . . um . . . tea? Only tea? Really?

Alexia: You can think of a superior beverage? I highly doubt it. Have you ever had a really well prepared cup of tea? You'll forgive me if I suspect your dietary preferences, you are, after all, an American.

Jane: If, by “American,” you mean a preference for something other than jellied eels and fried Mars bars, than yes. I have American tastes. And speaking of tastes: Lord Macon. Hot. What is it about were-puppies that really get our petticoats in a twist?

Alexia: Hot? What is the implication of the term? Are we discussing the same Lord Maccon of my acquaintance? He is a loud, uncouth Scotsman, that is what he is. I fail to see the appeal, and I resent the implication.

Jane: *narrows her eyes, contemplating Alexia. Suddenly she smiles* Ohhhhh, I get it. You “resent” his “implication.” Yeah, you're totally not into him. Right. Let me guess . . . you just love him for his doggy style? *snickers*

Alexia: Pardon?

Jane: Come on, Allie! Werewolf? Doggy style? You HAVE to make lots of “doggy style” jokes? How could you resist?

Alexia: I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, Miss True. Are you quite certain you are still speaking the English language?

Jane: Okay, I get it, I get it! You’re at that stage where you aren’t comfortable talking about how you’re humping that puppy right back. It’s fine. But can I just ask you . . . how does Lord Maccon feel about “doggy style” jokes?

Alexia: I am beginning to suspect, young lady, that you are a rather impossible person. Have you met my friend, Lord Akeldama? I think you two would get along famously.

Jane: Dude, hook us up! I loved his . . . are those called codpieces? Whatever, they were saucy! In the mean time, I can hook you up with . . . um . . . how you do you feel about Snoop Dogg? *giggles*

Alexia: We are back to this language barrier, I'm afraid. Is it because you are an American, or do you ordinarily slip into a foreign tongue without warning?

Jane: Slipping the foreign tongue! I get it! You’re so crazy! Oh, and that parasol rocks. Where can I get one?

Alexia: You're a very forthright young woman, aren't you, Miss True? Yes, well, I believe I will soon be introduced to the source of all things parasol. Perhaps, I could send you a missive on the subject at a more apropos time? Not to be too d̩class̩ but, given your current Рhow do I put this? Рlimited mode of dress, you may not have the necessary funds to afford such an Item. I do not mean any insult by this but, really, my dear, you appear to be wearing rather inadequate masculine attire. It's very odd. I can only suppose it is out of desperation, for which you are, of course, to be pitied.

Jane: *blinks down at herself* Oh, crap! There's a hole in my jeans! And they're not even that old. *sighs* Girl, I carry all my weight in my thighs, and seriously, I could start a fire with the chafing. That’s why I never wear corduroy. Talk about kindling! Not like you . . . your skirts would put that shit out before you even started smoking. Seriously, what’s up with all the underwear?

Alexia: Oh for goodness sake, next time we meet, I get to ask the questions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jane and Alexia will continue their discussions about tea, proper underclothing, and whether all werewolves need to be greeted with obligatory “doggy style” jokes in further posts on www.orbitbooks.net.

In the meantime, if you’d like to win a copy of BOTH Soulless and Tempest Rising, please dash over to Nicole's blog and answer the following question there: Tea? Or coffee?



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Words cannot describe how much I want this ridiculously overpriced chair. It's supposed to be super comfortable, but even better, jut look at it! This may be true love. This also may be my next advance purchase ~ after all, I spend a lot of time sitting in my office chair. . .

Your Tisane of Smart:
Website with a listing of the Jane Austen adaptations and links to youtubes of them!
Your Writerly Tinctures:
In which a new generation of writers actually talk about royalty statements. I genuinely thing this has something to do with my generation (the Xers) coming to the fore, who have a different take on the etiquette of talking about money and finances.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
John is a sucker for a woman wielding a parasol. "I've read a lot of urban fantasy. Soulless is easily, hands down one of the most original books that I've read in the genre."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book! PW for November 16, 2009 has a cover shot of Changeless and mentions my series in conjunction with the steampunk trend on pg. 20. "Steampunk titles are on the rise, especially given the buzz surrounding debut author Gail Carriger's recent fantasy, Soulless (Orbit, Oct.), billed as a "novel of werewolves, vampires, and parasols," which has tapped into a happy crossover audience of paranormal romance readers. Adn the publisher's Parasol Protectorate series continues in April with Changeless."
Blameless: Back from editor with edits still to do.

Quote of the Day:
"Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof."
~ James Russell Lowell

11.23.2009

Cover Awards, Interview, & New Release Date for Blameless

CHANGELESS Book CoverAll sorts of excitement afoot, Gentle Reader. My cover designer informed me over the weekend that Soulless won a NY Book Show best of 2009 cover award, as did Nichole Peeler. Go Orbit, go, rah rah rah! I so happy for Lauren, she is amazing.

You can read all about how my cover came into existence (from my point of view) in this blog entry. The post for Orbit where Lauren talks about the Soulless cover launch is no longer available but here is my original response, and here she discusses Changeless. (Because I'm now paranoid I'm going to ghost this entry on my blog for posterity.)

Speaking of Changeless, here's a shot of the Orbit catalog layout for this second book in my series.
Taken (and tweeted at me) by the oh so lovely RobWillReview.

I haven't seen the final ARC yet, and I think we are going with a Lev Grosseman cover quote, but there it is.

I got my copy of said Orbit Spring/Summer catalog and in addition to a lovely spread, it looks like they've bumped the release of Blameless up a few months to September of 2010. Which means you'll get both books next year: Changeless in March and Blameless only a few short months later. Fun fun. You're excited, right? I know I am.

Lastly I have an extensive interview wherein I answer some reader questions over on RomCon. There's a pretty fun little discussion going there. Here's a sample . . .
Oo, this is fun. Michele ~ The umbrella/parasol on the cover of the first book is all artifice (so far as content is concerned), however, it did inspire a kind of steampunk 007 parasol in future books.



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Victoria's Secret Goes All Steampunk courtesy of [info]donnaricci

Your Tisane of Smart:
Evidence Alexander the Great Wasn't First at Alexandria
Your Writerly Tinctures:
BBC Woman's Hour recent segment on what's so alluring about vampires.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
An appropriately silly review won Amazon. "Begin with one generous portion of rigorous byzantine Victorian social mores. Whisk in a refreshingly unique heroine. Carefully add one irascible Scottish werewolf. Pepper with flamboyant undead, mad science and a hell of a mystery. Garnish with parasol. Serve at tea time."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Back from editor with edits still to do.

Quote of the Day:
"I've been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt."
~ Molly Ivins
Tags:

11.20.2009

Sexy Steampunk

I've been voted Best Dressed in the First Novels Club's first blogger superlatives.

I have a guest blog up at Tee Morris's site all about the sexiness of steampunk. Please excuse the typos, I was late, it was tired. Or something.

Obviously, first and foremost, one word: corsets. There are a number of fine corsets (on the outside and underneath, worn by men and women) bumming about the steampunk scene. But as scrumptious as they are, there’s also . . .



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:

Your Tisane of Smart:
Remains of Minoan-style painting discovered during excavations of Canaanite palace (Assaf is an old prof of mine, how cool is that?)
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Lauren talks about author branding.


CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
Speaking of sexy, Lord Akeldama makes a brief, though of course colorful, appearance on the Out of the Coffin Podcast #51.
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Back from editor with edits to do.

Quote of the Day:
"What is not good for the hive is not good for the bee."
~ Marcus Aurelius

11.19.2009

Gail's Dos & Don'ts of Writing Conferences


Miss Manners

How to act at a con . . .
  • Do: Wear deodorant.
  • Don't: Wear cologne or any perfume that costs less than $30. Better nothing than cheap.
  • Do: Wear nice clothing and possibly a "talking point" peace of jewelry, pair of shoes, or T-shirt.
  • Don't: Wear shorts or anything so old it's pilling, has holes, or is threadbare.
  • Do: Ask people questions about themselves, it's everyone's favorite topic.
  • Don't: Talk politics, religion, relationships, or medical problems.
  • Do: Check your teeth for lipstick and food, your nails for dirt, and your glasses for smudging.
  • Don't: Forget breath mints.
  • Do: Smile.
  • Don't: Hunch over into yourself and mumble.
  • Do: Obey the 1 - 3 - 5 rule (1 shower a day, 3 square meals, and at least 5 hours sleep)
  • Don't: Dance or sing unless you're a professional.
One final word of warning.
When asked the question, "How are you?" An honest answer is NEVER appropriate.



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Some seriously fabulous teapots

Your Tisane of Smart:
Geologic podcast talked squirrels taking out power lines. Fuzzy terrorists!
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Someone elses dos & don'ts at writers conferences.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
Apparently the cover isn't vital! My first ebook review. "The romance was believable and did not offend my X chromosome, yet made my Y chromosome beg for more."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Back from editor with edits to do.

Quote of the Day:
"Writers seldom write the things they think. They simply write the things they think other folks think they think."
~ Elbert Hubbard

11.16.2009

Interview & Contest at Suburban Vampire, YA Review

Mysterious - NoirI'm being interviewed over at Suburban Vampire also there is also a contest to win a copy of Soulless. Here's a sample.

CK: Were you a vampire and werewolf fan before embarking upon your own tales of creatures of the night?

GC: Not as such. I came at vampires via the appeal of the modern aesthetic (I do own my own pair of very nice fangs) combined with a literary interest in 1800s gothic fiction (unwisely nurtured in high school by a succession of deluded teachers): The Castle of Otranto, The Vampyre, The Monk, Fall of the House of Usher, and, of course, spoofs like Northanger Abby. I suppose you could say I found my bloody path the old-fashioned way.

Also, and I don't often do reviews in this section, but I thought this one was significant as it is a specifically YA focused review. Zombie Girl gives Soulless a PG13 rating, with which I entirely agree and has this to say: "I especially loved Alexia and Lord Maccon's bickering and Alexia's relationship with her best friend, Miss Hisselpenny."



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Thank you David Malki.

Your Tisane of Smart:
Shout out for the paper doll.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
How not to get an agent

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
One of my lovely twitter friends the young librarian says "I really loved it. I liked the multiple storytelling points of view, the mix of comedy, fantasy elements, steampunk elements, and romance."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Back from editor with edits to do.

Quote of the Day:
"It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them."
~ Isabel Colegate

11.13.2009

It's All Go at Goodreads

Research - Tea and BooksToday I'm being featured in the debut corner of the Goodreads newsletter. We had a lovely little interview. Here's a sample:

Goodreads: Prudish Victorian society labels protagonist Alexia a "spinster" at age 26. Why this chaste time period for a feisty heroine like Alexia?

Gail Carriger: I think Alexia, given her stalwart character and undeniably acerbic wit, needs something to struggle against, and an entire societal framework is a good start.

And in more good Goodreads news, Felicia Day liked my book. How awesome is that?

There are 130 other reviews up as well. Yes, 130. Wow. Goodreads is kicking Amazon 67's proverbial arse.



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
And more parasol art.

Your Tisane of Smart:
Emergency Tea Units.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
My dear friend Blake's very first author interview, he has a high concept fantasy coming out through Tor next February, and he is a total hoot.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
Smexy Book review is all about the relationship. "The cast of characters in Soulless will have you smiling throughout. Add in a tender romance and a clever mystery, and Soulless has made its way to my keeper shelf."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Back from editor with edits to do.

Quote of the Day:
"I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this."
~ Cormac McCarthy

11.11.2009

Vampire Interview & Other Quandary

Octopus Logo
Being interviewed today over on Vampire Film Fest. Here's a sample:

VF: Any favorite vampires from lit, film, or TV?

GC: I don't think he really counts, but I love Dorian Gray. I have a real soft spot for Mina Murray in The League of Extraordinary Gentleman graphic novel series and I adore the character of Drusilla on Buffy. Not to sneak in werewolves, but I was turned to the furry side by Klause's brilliant YA novel Blood and Chocolate.

And, in leau of a proper blog (life, my dears, is hitting me hard) I give you one of my favorite recent blogs, all about how urban fantasy and paranormal books have headless people on their covers. The Curious Case of the Headless Heroine, Or the Torso Rides at Midnight



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Octopus keds.

Your Tisane of Smart:
Scots Aim Lasers at Landmarks
Your Writerly Tinctures:
All about attitude in query letters

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
Book Buyer Anonymous has become obsessed. "Hijinx of the best kind ensue: espionage, flamboyant vampires, uninvited advances, and streetside groping, oh my!" And more from Goodreads & Powells.
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
"I never want to see anyone, and I never want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to write."
~ P. G. Wodehouse

Alexia's London: Supper Nov 9, 1876

Supper for Today, 1876, in a London Townhouse
  • Chicken soup ~ with vermicelli, bacon, and soaked bread
  • Devonshire squab pie ~ made of pippins, mutton steaks, and onion
  • Corner dish ~ of pickled beatroot
  • Lemon Turnovers ~ made with lemon rind, sugar, and milk


Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Via my dear friend Bob.

Your Tisane of Smart:
Short film about the UK steampunk exhibition.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
The power of giving books away.

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
It's official I've been pirated and also here.
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage."
~ Catherine Douzel

11.06.2009

World Fantasy Day 4: Sunday November 1, 2009 The End

The last day of World Fantasy was rather a recovery period. I tried, unsuccessfully, to kidnap my editor but we ended up eating breakfast at the hotel and mostly staring at each other dumbly with hangovers. After that, I double-checked the suite to make sure it was nice and clean (or as clean as possible after that kind of party), changed, and attended the World Fantasy Awards Banquet on Ken Scholes's arm. The food was delicious, the company excellent, and the speeches, blessedly, short. Can't ask for a nicer way to end a weekend. Except that I returned home to find the car unpacked and my darling mum vacuuming the living room. Best mum evah!

One last thing, the boys have begun calling me the Princess of Steampunk, I accept this accolade with all the pink frilliness it deserves, and will attempt to come up with an appropriate steampunk costume homage to She-ra as a result. But, I demand a tiara!

Now, just in case you don't trust my opinion here are some others blogging about World Fantasy:
Donwong Song ~ editor at Orbit
Devi Pillai ~ my editor at Orbit
Lucienne Diver ~ agent extraordinaire and author fabulouso



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Sunday World Fantasy Awards Outfit

Your Tisane of Smart:
Roman-era cemetery uncovered near Hebron
Your Writerly Tinctures:
How Does an Author Gain Trust of His/Her Work?

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don't have time for it.
Kind thoughts from Pure Imagination Blog. "Gail Carriger has created new series that will have everyone hooked."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon has posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book!
Blameless: Handed in!

Quote of the Day:
"I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite."
~ G. K. Chesterton