6.30.2011

Pronouncing Names and the Reasons Behind Them


A fun little conversation over on the new Parasol Protectorate Facebook group sparked this blog. So thank you, Gentle Facebooker, for the prod in the articulate direction.

Here are some tricks I use when choosing names:

  • Most of the names have google-able meaning. 
  • Sometimes they are foreshadows (Tunstell)
  • Occasionally they relate to a historical character or place (Tarabotti)
  • Often I just like the sound (Loontwill)
  • Once in a while the names was invented via a drunk friend (Hisselpenny). 
  • I'll looking at lists of old fashioned and Victorian names to make sure it is not modern.
  • I'm thinking about ensuring not too many characters in the same book/series have names that start with the same first letter (Dimity, Agatha, Sophronia).
  • My heroines need names that are different from each other between series (Sophronia, Alexia, Rue). Or I simply like the name for no good reason, as if that character told me what they wanted to be called (Alexia, Soap).

Here are a few specifics from the Parasol Protectorate:
  • Tarabotti ~ TARA-bot-tea (As in Scarlet O'Hara's home. It's an homage to a historical figure of the same name, the fascinating early early feminist, Archangelica Tarabotti. If you look up her story, you'll find cookies. Archangelica appears as an actual character in the Alessandro short story, or her namesake does.)
  • Maccon ~ Mack-CON (Not like Bacon, sadly. I chose it for the meaning.)
  • Akeldama ~ Ak-el-DA-ma (It's mispronounced in the first audiobook because they didn't consult with me until the second.) I don't know how it would be pronounced in the original language but is has to be pronounced DA-ma for reasons that become apparent in the Timeless.
  • Lefoux ~ Leh-FOO (I pronounce that way in my head, but I think it may rightly be pronounced differently. We all know how faux-pas is pronounce. The name is a inside joke amongst my friends.)
  • Sidheag ~ SHEE-ak alternatively pronounced SIDH-hey, just to make matters confusing. (Again, chosen for its meaning, all the pack names are.)
  • Dubh ~ Duv
  • Featherstonehaugh ~ FES-ten-hew (Chosen because I knew it was one of "those" British names and I just wanted to mess with people. Also, I'm a big fan of the movie adaptation of the EM Forster novel Maurice.) There's contention over this one and I think it is pronounced differently in different classes and parts of the UK.
  • Quesnel ~ Qui-NELL (I think, I'm bad with the French ones.)

Your moment of parasol . . .



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:

Your Tisane of Smart:

Your Writerly Tinctures:


Book News:
My publisher's official announcement about the release of Heartless.

Quote of the Day:
"A good book should leave you . . . slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it."
~ William Styron

6.28.2011

In Which We Officially Welcome Heartless Into The World

HEARTLESS Book Cover

Today, according to Amazon, we officially welcome Heartless into the world.

As you may already know, Gentle Reader, I tend to try to parody different types of Victorian literature with each Parasol Protectorate book. Soulless poked fun at the early romance novels, Changeless went back to the gothic roots of all my favorite genres, Blameless was intended to be an Alan-Quartermian-style Boy's Adventure novel, and now Heartless . . .

Heartless is a cozy Sherlock-Holmes-style mystery. I had a lot of fun researching this book: reading Conan Doyle and delving into his fascination with the occult. It's entertaining to take his perspective and place it into a world where the occult, in essence, really does exist and practically-minded scientists struggle to undersstand this, much as Sherlock does in many of Doyle's later adventures. Alexia hasn't Sherlock's mind but she has his practical approach to problem solving, and his propensity for charging about willy-nilly no holds barred.

(The role of Dr. Watson will be played by an every increasing bevy of adorable young men. A girl's gotta have her fun!)

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it and that those of you who are Doyle fans will find my paltry efforts endearing rather than insulting. I also hope that as you read, knowing some of my motivation will allow you to pick up on those moments of writerly winking when I am playing with my source material for the pure joy of it.

Your moment of parasol . . .



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Your Tisane of Smart:
Your Writerly Tinctures:


Timeless: Finished with last draft, awaiting copyedits.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book One: First draft done. Working on entering edits into computer.
Secret Project PPA: Only a twinkle in my little eye.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
Have an interview with Amber Katze and contest to win a copy of Heartless.

Quote of the Day:
"There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read."
~ G.K. Chesterton

Daisypath Graduation tickers

6.23.2011

Off to New Orleans: Crayfish, Ho!

Gail Signing 
Gentle Reader, I'll be away from the blogosphere for the next few days. I'm delighted to be visiting the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, (June 25 - 26) and Books A Million in Baton Rouge, (June 26).

Here's my schedule. Please don't hesitate to track me down and say hello.
  • Speaking at the YA Luncheon on Saturday at noon.
  • On the Science, Fantasy & Information Science Program Saturday, 4 ~ 5 PM.
  • Signing at the ALA Hachette booth Sunday, 11 AM ~ noon.
  • Signing at Books A Million in Baton Rouge at 3 PM on Sunday (there is a Facebook events page).

6.22.2011

Japanese Changeless Cover

Gentle Reader, here is the cover launch for Changeless, the second Parasol Protectorate novel translated into Japanese (not the manga).
I do love their take on the series.

And, just because I feel like it, here is another . . . Heartless teaser!

"Of course, one knew Lord Akeldama must be able to fight. He was rumored to be quite old, and as such, must be at least capable of combat. But this was akin to knowing, academically, that his chubby calico housecat was capable of hunting rats – the actual execution of the task always seemed to Alexia highly improbable and possibly embarrassing for all concerned."
~ Heartless

Your moment of parasol . . .



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:

Your Tisane of Smart:

Your Writerly Tinctures:
Bookends Workshop Wednesday is an interesting query approach, if you are submitting you can certainly learn things.

Timeless: Finished with last draft, awaiting copyedits.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book One: First draft done. Working on entering edits into computer.
Secret Project PPA: Only a twinkle in my little eye.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
Soulless review.

Quote of the Day:
"A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy."
~ Edward P. Morgan
Daisypath Graduation tickers

6.20.2011

Manga Art Launch: Lord Akeldama

Lord Akeldama
A quick note, Gentle Reader, before we start for those of you waiting on your stickers, from the contest, I'm waiting them to be shipped to me. Since it was a last minute decision to award runners up, I only recently ordered them. And it's me, so I really wanted to find pretty ones, I do apologize for the delay.

And now, we have the initial sketches for Lord Akeldama!



It was impossible not to grin at Lord Akeldama; his attire was so consistently absurd. In addition to the heels, he wore yellow checked gaiters, gold satin breeches, an orange and lemon striped waistcoat and an evening jacket of sunny pink brocade. His cravat was a frothy flowing waterfall of orange, yellow, and pink Chinese silk, barely contained by a magnificently huge ruby pin. His ethereal face was powdered quite unnecessarily, for he was already completely pale, a predilection of his kind. He sported round spots of pink blush on each cheek like a Punch and Judy puppet. He also affected a gold monocle, although, like all vampires, he had perfect vision.
~ from Soulless



My manga artist's name is Rem. The Soulless manga is coming out via Yen Press. It launches officially at Comic Con in San Diego July 21. It will be available serialized in Yen Plus, a monthly online anthology. starting July 11, and as a full book next spring!

Your moment of parasol . . .



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:

Your Tisane of Smart:

Your Writerly Tinctures:
Dan's interesting diatribe against Literary Studies

Timeless: Finished with last draft, awaiting copyedits.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book One: Rough draft done. Working on first read through.
Secret Project PPA: Only a twinkle in my little eye.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
My first Heartless review from Sarah. She says, "It really is the novel where you get to learn just that little bit more. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a really good twist at the end that has huge repercussions for the Woolsey pack and under the full moon, everyone shows their true natures."

Quote of the Day:
"A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend."
~ Author Unknown
Daisypath Graduation tickers