Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Author Interview: Gail Carriger

Today, I'm ecstatic to be hosting the charmingly funny Gail Garriger where she tells readers more about her writing. Ms. Carriger began writing in order to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by a harem of Armenian lovers, where she insists on tea imported directly from London and cats that pee into toilets. She is fond of teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit. Soulless is her first book and is in stores today.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Only recently. I always wanted to be an archaeologist, writing was rather more like breathing, just something I did. It was only with Soulless that I realized I might actually have a career as a writer. I still haven't recovered from the shock.

What was the inspiration behind writing Soulless?
I wanted to write something with an urban fantasy feel but which challenged the tropes of that genre: so I went with a light-hearted tone, steampunk elements, and a historical setting. Basically, I wrote the book that had everything I liked to read all in one place. I never thought it would sell, because I figured something with so many different elements wasn't marketable. Luckily, Orbit didn't agree with me.

How did you come up with the title Soulless? Was it the original title?
Soulless was always the title, because it is one of the defining features of our heroine – she has no soul. I wrote the book to stand alone, and it was only later I realized editors were interested in a series. So the hardest part, for me, was coming up with the series title. I had a number of options and ended up polling friends, which resulted in The Parasol Protectorate.

What author(s) have influenced your writing?
For this book, authors like P.G. Wodehouse, Dickens, and Austen all have had some influence - but I try to ensure my language is accessible to modern readers. Those who know me well claim they can detect Pratchett and Adams lurking in Soulless as well, I am overly fond of both The Silly and The Flippant.

What’s the most positive comment a reader has said about your book?
People have been so amazingly kind so far I hardly know where to start. Although, I will say fan mail from librarians always touches me deeply. Here are some of my favorites (edit at will)...

"Laugh out loud funny and refreshingly different, Soulless kept me turning pages well into the night."
~ Angie Fox (she gave me my cover blurb)

"The Parasol Protectorate presents what is perhaps the most original twist on vampire and werewolf mythology to ever appear in the genre."
~ Robert William Berg (he gave me probably my best review, I was overcome when I read it - I swear he's not getting a bribe)
http://www.robwillreview.com/?p=432

"This book is something special, a paean to and gentle satire of the Victorian delight with frivolity, witty to the end." ~ JD Sawyer
http://jdsawyer.net/2009/07/28/etiquette-by-the-full-moon/

"It's as fun as it looks, I promise you, and I love that this feels like something new." ~ Janice Y.
http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/reviews.php?isbn=9780316056632

"I wanted to pick it up as soon as possible whenever I had to put it down." ~ Janicu
http://janicu.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/soulless-by-gail-carriger/

"I fell quickly into comfort with the writer's style and pace, caring about the characters by the end of the 2nd page." ~ Donna Ricci
http://apps.facebook.com/facebookshelf/books/2595168-gail-carriger-soulless-the-parasol-protectorate

"No one ever explains the octopuses, but that's part of its charm." ~ smartygirl
http://smartygirl.livejournal.com/203969.html

If you had one chance to travel back in time, which time period (and in which country) would you want to visit?
What a dastardly question to ask an archaeologist. In covenant with my discipline, I have to pick a place and time that very little is known about, say distant prehistory (e.g. the peopling of North America), or possibly a little understood civilization (e.g. the Etruscans). If it was more of a vacation jaunt, I'd be torn between Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Because I'm female, I'd probably end up in Ancient Egypt, during the reign of Akhenaton.

What other projects are you working on?
I've handed in Blameless, the second book in The Parasol Protectorate series. Right now I'm working on the second draft of Changeless, the third book, which is due in to my editor shortly. I have an un-sellabe YA fantasy that someday I'll dig out of the trunk and rework. I just saddled my agent with a sci-fi YA with a kick-ass female heroine, which was the book I always wanted to read when I was 10 but couldn't find. We shall see what she says. It was written on spec, and the market is tough right now.

Is there anything else you want people to know about yourself or the book?
Someday, all will indeed be revealed about the octopuses.


Thanks Gail!

For more information about Gail Carriger and her books, please visit her website here.

41 comments :

  1. I can't wait to read this book! I just picked it up, Gail seems so cool, she's stopping by my blog as well.

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  2. I totally cannot wait to read Soulless!!!

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  3. Excellent interview Tina! I can't wait to start Soulless! :)

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  4. I loved SOULLESS and can't wait to read the next book!

    Great interview!

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  5. OMG, she's so funny! I definitely CAN NOT wait to get my hands on Soulless! I made my library order a copy, and I'm buying one for myself. :) Love that there are steampunk elements - I thought so from the cover... and it seems to be the next big thing (as well as my secret crush). Great, great interview. I seriously enjoyed your post! XD

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  6. Great interview!

    Soulless is my favorite read this year!

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  7. Ooh, sounds interesting. Might have to get this one!

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  8. If Soulless is as fun as her interview answers, I know I'll love it.

    Thanks!

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  9. Great interview. I've read really great things about this book.

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  10. Great interview. I love how she talks, dastardly, what a great word. I am planning on reading souless as soon as I get my hands on it. I am glad it will not be a stand alone.

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  11. That was a cute interview! Now I'm curious about that octopus....LOL:)

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  12. It's neat how she wanted to be an archaelogist first. great interview! I'm looking foward to reading this series.

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  13. I really want to read this book! I also listened to the first chapter online, and it was hilarious!

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  14. Great interview -- I'm looking forward to reading this series.

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  15. GREAT Review!!
    I CAN'T wait read this series!

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  16. I wanted to be an archaeologist too! I loved the idea of working with history, maybe discovering something that would change everything we knew about a people..

    Instead, I "settled" for being a history major. I love history and reading.. and this way I can just research it, still be a part of it.

    Well.. that and I want to be a writer too.

    Can't wait to read this book! I've heard nothing but great things about it!

    Thanks!
    Morning Glow

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  17. Octopuses! Wow, she's hilarious! I'm glad to see that she's working on other YA novels. This one's definitely going on my TBR list!

    Natalie @ Mindful Musings

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  18. I didn't know this book was the first of a series..thats exciting!

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  19. I, personally, would think it was very exciting to get to go back to the time of Akhenaton. To see that drama play out... amazing.

    Valorie
    morbidromantic@gmail.com

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  20. love the interview! I have recently become very interested in steampunk so this book is going on my wishlist!

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  21. Great interview. I really liked your questions.

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  22. Nice interview, Gail seems really nice. I can't believe she's already working on the third book, it would be great if she would give us some spoilers later on.

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  23. I would totally want to read her sci-fi YA book. I hope her agent likes it so we can read it! I also can't wait to read Soulless! It looks so unique and fun!

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  24. So cool that she's an archaeologist! I loved her answer to the which era she would want to go to question. Going to the time of the Etrucans would be so cool!

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  25. How could this not sell?! All those elements are wonderful and very hard to find in books too. Orbit publishes many of my favs. Curious about the soul thing. I really want to know how the author defines what a soul is and how she came to be without one.

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  26. Great interview! I really can't wait to read Souless.

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  27. This author sounds like so much fun and very talented. I now want to read this book even more if thats possible.

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  28. Great interview and I love this cover. It reminds me of Mary Poppins in a gothic way, of course. lol

    Deidre

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  29. She seems wicked cool. Great interview. I can't freaking wait to read this series.

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  30. Great interview! I love her she is so crazy.

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  31. What a delightful interview! I like her quirky style and if her book is written anything like she is, I need to read it.

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  32. I love archaeology and totally agree that I'd want to go back to some place not much is known about! Someday I'd like to write a book about an archaeologist in order to live vicariously!

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  33. She is so charming! I love it also how the octopuses are not explained leaves room to build on in future books, with that said i cannot wait for the other books to hit ground.

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  34. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    It is funny how we judge a book by the cover I know I try not to but I do sometimes and This one really caught my eye I just love the lady in a bussel-skirt so pretty!! I will try to win this first but if I don't I will be buying it soon!! Thanks Shawna

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  35. Great interview! I can't wait to read this book & look forward to the next book in The Parasol Protectorate series. Thanks!

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  36. Terrific interview. Particularly her answer pertaining to the time travel question.

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  37. Great interview! I love to read the story behind a book. And I can't wait for the sci-fi YA!

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