Interview Author Gail Carriger

Filed in Gail Carriger , Interview , The Geeky Lover Posted on August 23, 2010 @ 6:00 am 14 comments
We are very happy to have author Gail Carriger here today. She the author of The Parasol Protectorate Series and the third book, Blameless, will be released on August 31st. Please give her a warm welcome.

The Geeky Lover: Gail can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Gail Carriger: I was born in small town California to a British ex-pat gardener with a tea habit and a woodworking Dane who sidelined as a philosophical scribbler. I spent my summers in Devonshire, and matured with a burning need to investigate the past and escape to other small towns all around the world. Hence archaeology. I ended up back in California with too many advanced degrees, a tea habit inherited from my mother, a scribbling habit inherited from my father, and a dreadful penchant for gadding off to foreign countries in hot pursuit of fascinating ancient artifacts – dragging both habits in my wake.

The Geeky Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Gail Carriger: Rise at a reasonable respectable hour, say 9 AM, drink tea, eat, check email and social media until 10:30 or 11, exercise, shower, do any last minute NY business. Then I write from 2 to 7 every weekday – with breaks for tea. I’m a big fan of the planning. Sometimes I work on the weekend if I haven’t hit enough of my word count during the week. The rest of the household, with the exception of the cat, is quite respectful. I have a closed-door policy. Which is to say: if the door to my office is closed my policy is to throw the nearest moveable object at anyone who disturbs me. They’ve learned. Even the cat.
The Geeky Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Gail Carriger: I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic, the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.

The Geeky Lover: I know you are a Tea lover, who would you dream of having a tea party with?

Gail Carriger: Mmm, it’s a bit pat but generally close friends and loved ones. There are famous people and fictional characters I’d like to meet, of course, but I always imagine they’d be rather trying to get along with. Give me good company over famous company any day.
I saw on your website that you like to wear steampunk inspired clothes. What started your attraction for this lifestyle and the genre in general?
Gail Carriger: I’m a longtime fan of vintage clothing and Goth style; steampunk drew me in as a cheerful melding of the two. I used to make hoopskirts out of my hula-hoops as a child. I also love seeing recycled technology used as jewelry, and other examples of how creative the maker community has become over the past few years.

The Geeky Lover: What can you tell us about Alexia’s world? What makes it special?

Gail Carriger: It’s a re-explanation of history. I’ve long been troubled by certain quirks of history that seem never adequately explained. The most confusing of these is how one tiny island with abysmal taste in food, excellent taste in beverages, and a penchant for poofy dresses suddenly managed to take over most of the known world. I decided that the only possible answer was that England openly accepted supernatural creatures, and put them to good use, while other countries continued persecution. This gave Great Britain a leg up dealing with messy little situations like winning major foreign battles or establishing an efficient bureaucracy or convincing the world cricket is a good idea. Suddenly, everything made sense: cravats cover bite marks, the British regimental system is clearly based on werewolf pack dynamics, and pale complexions are in vogue because everyone wants to look like the trend-setting vampires.

The Geeky Lover: Why did you decide to include so many paranormal elements (vampires, werewolves…) into your Steampunk setting?
Gail Carriger: I like steampunk literature but it tends to be a little too dark and riddled with technobabble for me. I enjoy urban fantasy but am not wild about a modern setting. So I thought I might just combine the two, and then shake it up with a jot more romance and a whole lot of comedy. Then I started thinking about what kind of world could accommodate all these different elements. I’m familiar with the Victorian era and I find it a rich source of amusement in and of itself. Those ridiculous fashions and that obsession with etiquette seem the perfect time period to drop in vampires (dictating such things) and werewolves (chaffing against them) not to mention steam technology. It seemed to me that what comedy I couldn’t supply with plot and character, an alternate Victorian London could provide just by being itself.

The Geeky Lover: You’re heroine Alexia is soulless and can negate supernatural powers. How does this affect her as a character? And what else makes her special in your eyes?

Gail Carriger: In Soulless, Alexia is a spinster coping with a vast number of embarrassing problems: she has Italian heritage (and looks it), she reads too much, she has no soul, she has accidentally killed a vampire, and she now has a large werewolf bothering her as a result. She tends to cope with these problems by either bashing them over the head with a parasol, or talking at them, with equally disastrous results. She’s special because she is a ass-kicking heroine living in a time when asses not only cannot be kicked by a female, they cannot even be mentioned. She has had to develop her whit and her attitude as well as certain less ladylike skills in order to compensate.
The Geeky Lover: The end of Changeless left us with our hearts in our throats, can we expect some of those issues to be solved in Blameless? *puppy eyes*
Gail Carriger: *must resist puppy eyes* Maybe . . .
The Geeky Lover: Will there be more books in this series? Can we expect a Happily Ever After for Alexia?
Gail Carriger: There will be five books in this Parasol Protectorate series. While I’m not saying every thread will be neatly tied into a bow, you can expect Alexia to be left Well Set Up. And I promise not to die or stop writing, thus leaving her in any kind of untenable position.

The Geeky Lover: What is next on your schedule?
Gail Carriger: Well, I’m about to fly to Australia for the Campbell Awards, and return just in time for a West Coast tour coddling Blameless through its launch. After that, I’ll be visiting both OryCon (Portland) and SteamCon (Seattle) this November. As for writing, as well as Blameless I’ve two short pieces coming out: a non-fiction in Steampunk Reloaded, and a fiction in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance II. Then Heartless (Book IV) will be due.And I have a secret project I’m working on I’d like to get out into the world before I have to start in on Timeless (Book V).
The Geeky Lover: Now a couple of ‘mean’ questions:
Who’s your favorite secondary character? Why?
Gail Carriger: Lord Akeldama. I’m under the impression you need only read him to understand why.

The Geeky Lover: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Gail Carriger: Gay vampires


Madly wielded parasols

What more could you want from a series?

The Geeky Lover: Thank you for taking the time to answer all our questions Gail!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Sabrina @ about happy books August 23, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Thanks for this very interesting interview.

    I enjoy the Parasol Protectorate series a lot and can't wait to read "Blameless".

  • pattepoilue August 23, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for this interview Gail!

    I am waiting for Blameless to be released before starting Changeless. (I read a few spoilers and I'm not sure I could survive the cliffhanger *wink*)

  • ~*Jessica Rabbit*~ August 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I've never read books with a steam punk theme, but this series keeps catching my eye. Not just because the covers are really pretty but they just sound interesting. Unfortunately I can't seem to get my hands on them. This, this is what happens when you live 35+ miles away from the rest of the world, where they have book stores, deep in the boondocks, where we have vampires of our own breed. Fleas and Ticks. lol. Oh well, one day I will get the series and try it.

    Loved the interview by the way. 🙂

  • jeanette8042 August 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Great interview! This makes me so excited for the release of Blameless!

  • draconismoi August 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Geeky Lover, I think you need to amp up your puppy eyes. Nobody can resist the evil beguiling charms of the puppy eyes!

    Unless Gail herself is Soulless…..

  • SusiSunshine August 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    @draconismoi Yep I know it'S evil to use those but sometimes you just have to use all you have. LOL

  • Susanna August 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Great interview. I just acquired your book "Soulless." It was highly recommended to me from three people, including a bookstore manager. Glad to know there are more books on the way.

  • Scorpio M. August 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    This series is on my to-try list. I've never read anything from the steampunk genre but this caught my eye awhile back.

  • Bea August 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    **waves** Hi draconismoi, long time no see. 🙂

    I've got the first book in the series in my TBR pile. Carriger's description of her world as a cross between steampunk and urban fantsay is very intriguing. I may have to teh book higher up the list.

  • draconismoi August 23, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Bea! Soulless is awesome, I'd recommend moving it to the top of the list.

    But I feel it is my duty to suggest waiting to read Changeless (#2) until August 30th. I may or may not have finished it by throwing it against the wall. (I am a very passionate reader). My roommates threatened to remove the last chapter if I attempt rereading anytime before the next book comes out.

  • Wings August 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    i have soulless sitting on my tbr pile…definitely time to move it up i think 😀

    great interview!

    Ms. Carriger, for some reason as I was reading the interview…you had an english accent..even though you grew up in america…lool

  • Giada M August 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I just finished to read Soulles and it is amazing! I loved it so much I have already ordered Changeless. Thank you for the interesting interview! 😀

  • Anonymous September 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Great blog post, been after something like that!!!


  • SusiSunshine {The Geeky Bookworm} January 7, 2011 at 4:53 am

    This post seems to attract spam comments like crazy so I will close the comments now. If you would like to contact us please feel free to use the contact us link at the top.

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