I'm crazy busy this week with copy edits for the third Parasol Protectorate book, Blameless. So here is a repost of a guest blog I did for varkat on the Sillier Side of Vampires.
Vampires & Werewolves: Around the World in 8 Absurdities
Gentle Reader, since I write comedy and alternate history, I spend a good deal of time investigating historical quirks. One of my favorite things to do is take vampires and werewolves and make them responsible for the most unexplainable facts and ridiculous minutia of the ancient world.
Why? Because werewolves and vampires are intrinsically absurd. For example: Have you ever worn fangs? Well I have, and there's quite the adjustment period resulting in a tender lower lip and a pronounced lisp. Thus, newly minted vampires are obviously going to lisp. Those with longer fangs may even drool a bit. You see? Comedy gold. And werewolves? My warped little mind always jumps to other types of were-creature. How about a weresheep, a weredachshund, or a wereplatypus? A weregoat? Bahahaha! Skulks about under the full moon, viciously breaking into a girl's closet to eat all her shoes! I don't know about you, but I'm trembling in my...oh wait.
What I ended up doing for the Parasol Protectorate series was divide up world history into different camps. For some cultures this is easier than others. The Vikings, with all that hair and Fenrir and everything, were definitely werewolf oriented. The Romans, being decadent, incestuous, and obsessed with luxury goods, certainly trafficking with the vampires. I'm inclined to think the ancient Greeks were altogether anti-supernatural because of their obsession with human perfection and generally xenophobic attitude. The ancient Egyptians had animal headed gods, so I come right back to werewolves. Catholic Inquisition? Now we can all guess what that was really about!
And then I sally forth into the unexplainable: how did tiny Britain manage to conquer an empire? Because they were the first culture to integrate vampires (as political advisors) and werewolves (as military agents) fully into their society. This, coincidentally, also explains King Henry VIII's break with the Catholic Church (the marriage thing was just a cover up) and the British Regimental system (which makes absolutely no sense until you realize it's based on werewolf pack dynamics).
But what about that minutia you mentioned, Ms. Carriger? Well, Gentle Reader, here are some quick thoughts.
1. Russian folk dancing = squarely at the werewolf door.
2. Bet I can guess who started the whole "quenching a sword in blood" rumor.
3. Retsina, metaxa and ouzo = cruel tricks played on the Greeks by the vampires.
4. Absurdly high cravats, well, they hide neck bites now don't they?
6. That phrase "born with a silver spoon in his mouth" takes on a whole new meaning if there are werewolves running around.
7. And what about the term "Dark Ages?"
8. I shall leave you with one final thought: Scottish haggis and blood pudding.
Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
New blog of awesomeness. Today In Tentacles
Your Tisane of Smart:
The Old Operating Theatre Museum lists some of its collection on line. Cool yet creepy old Victorian gadgetry.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Ruth says, "The cast of supporting characters are more than just likable and I feel that everyone has at least one friend that fits into their mold. Not to say that they are cliche or static just that the overarching personality traits are recognizable."
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon and Powell's have 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: Working copy edits.
Super Secret Project H: Treatment submitted to agent. Paused.
Super Secret Project F: Consulted betas, good to go. Hope to write first two chapters next week.
CAKE in Space: Trunked for the moment.
Non-fiction short: (can go up to 3000) Turning in today.
Not so secret fiction short: (can go up to 13,000) Working this week. Yes, it's true. This is for the Mammouth Book of Paranormal Romance 2. For once, my British fans will get something first. I'm warning you now, it may not be what you expect.
Quote of the Day:
"Can I have your door jam on door toast?"
~ The Iz (re. Gail's misspelling of doorjamb)