Compton Crook, Thine Own Shelf, First Time Gail Saw Soulless in Stores

Alexia in ShockI've been nominated for a Compton Crook Award. I always figure there is no way I can win anything against Paolo (Mr. Uniboob, himself ~ drunken hallway shenanigans, you kinda had to be there) but it's exciting to be nominated for such very cool prospective winnings! You can read all about the award, here. It was Locus who called to tell me the news, thanks guys!

Blake snapped this shot of Changeless ~ on shelves (apparently) now! Look, Gentle Reader, I practically have a whole shelf to myself. This is very exciting for an author and some sort of mile marker that I am convinced should be rewarded, if not with shoes, at least with a very large piece of chocolate mouse. (I love chocolate mouse, don't you? Though the mouse is, it must be admitted, far more transient than the shoes.)
("To thine own shelf be true." ~ J. Daniel Sawyer)

This reminded me of a little story, I thought I would retell, of when a certain debut author-beast first saw her book on a Real Live Bookshelf and the hilarity that ensued. Read on, Gentle Reader, read on. (Originally this was a guest blog for [info]dkollin of The Unincorporated Man. He often asks authors about their "firsts," I to him my first time seeing Soulless for sale.)

The first time I saw my book on a shelf in a bookstore it wasn't in person. Instead, there it was, blurred by cell phone camera inefficiency, taken by one of my twitter followers in Minnesota. It was a week before Soulless was supposed to be released, so both she and I were taken entirely unawares and understandably confused by its presence. Well, it turns out, bookstores can do that with certain books: shelve 'em when they get 'em. No gag order ~ as it were. Mine was one of those books.

A small but enthusiastic following had been anticipating Soulless, and they were gratifyingly a-buzz to find it arriving early. Suddenly, the spies-I-didn't-know-I-had went to work and began reporting in from around the country. Soulless spotted in Indiana! In Texas! In New York! Thousands panic! (Oh, wait, different headline.) And then, finally, a dear friend snapped a shot if it in my home state of California.

A day or so later, I was out shopping with a couple of girlfriends, as you do. We were consuming those Vietnamese beverages with the black tapioca in them, affectionately referred to by me as "Drinks with Stuff!" (Exclamation point absolutely necessary.) This process, three shopping females plus drinkies, involves much chittering and slurping and sideways perambulations. And thus engaged, we wandered by a Borders.

"Ooo," says I, "can we go in and see if they have my book?"

And so we do. And there it was! The chittering and the slurping became more enthusiastic as a result, which attracted the attention of one of the green t-shirted staff.

"Can I help you?" says she.

"That's my book!" I crow.

"Would you like to sign it?" says she. Crazy authors, she's thinking.

"Really? Of course! Me? I'd love to."

And so she disappears and returns with a whole stack for me to sign, right there: Drink with Stuff! in one hand, cheap pen in the other.

As we leave the store one of my friends keeps saying. "I can't believe they didn't ask you for an ID or anything."

"Oh, of course," says I, "because there's a mad plague of crooks masquerading as small-time authors dashing into unsuspecting stores and demanding to sign books they haven't written."

"Well, fine. But it'd be pretty funny if there were."

And with that, I leave you to ponder what is obviously an untapped criminal market.

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Steampunk music video from Dune

Your Tisane of Smart:
You too can sign up for manpacks, a service that provides fresh underwear to men by subscription.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
The lovely Laurie blogs about the logistics of hand selling. Laurie is one of my staunchest supporters, she pushed for my starred review in Publisher's Weekly, and single-handedly sold over 50 copies of my book. (No, we aren't related, we've never met.) She's made my publishing house very happy with me, and for that alone, if nothing else, I owe her a very fancy cocktail.

Audio book of Soulless tentatively scheduled for release June 17 through Recorded Books!
SPOILER ALERT! Changeless blurb gives away ending of Soulless.
Cynthia Ward for Fantasy Magazine online says very kindly, "Gail Carriger’s second novel successfully eludes a different curse, the sophomore slump. While the humor is occasionally overdone, Changeless is the equal of Soulless: witty, sexy, graceful, and unpredictable. With a few more novels this delightful, Ms. Carriger will be challenging Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris for the top of the New York Times bestseller lists." Gosh, wouldn't that be utterly amazing?
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first.
Super Secret Project H: Under discussion.
Super Secret Project F: Completed first three chapters. Under revision next week, then to betas, then it's proposal time!
CAKE in Space: Trunked for the moment.
Short article done, turned in, and VanderMeer's have announced the table of contents.
Not-so-secret fiction short: Finished first draft, revision today. (For the The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2.)

Quote of the Day:

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