B|t|B: Steampunk Week – Interview with Steampunk Author & Tea enthusiast Gail Carriger

Hello fellow Book worms and Page turners, and welcome back to Steampunk Week, today’s interview post will be with non other then the Queen of Steampunk herself Gail Carriger! truly a lady who needs no real introduction (but i’m going to give her one anyway!)

Bestselling author Gail Carriger writes 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. Miss Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London. Miss Carriger’s books are published in eighteen different languages. All twelve of them were New York Times bestsellers via seven different lists (Mass Market, Hardcover, eBook, Combined Print & eBook, Young Adult, Children’s Series, and #1 in Manga). She has received the Alex Award from the American Library Association (for Soulless) and the Prix Julia Verlanger and the Elbakin Award from French readers. Her most recent release is Prudence first in the new Custard Protocol series.

would like to take this opportunity before we start to again thank Miss Carriger for taking the time and effort to answering my quizzie questions! .. so with my usual waffling over let’s get on with the main event shall we!

GailParasolRosesSepia_VanessaApplegate
photographer Vanessa Applegate
Please introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us what do you feel makes a Steampunk novel really tick?

My name is Gail Carriger. I write comedic steampunk mixed with urbane fantasy in three series: two adult, the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol, and one YA, the Finishing School series. I was once an archaeologist and am overly fond of tea.
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As to what makes a Steampunk novel really tick. There is a delicate balance to steampunk. Writers must research the language of the day. However, getting too flowery and Victorian can make a story inaccessible to the modern reader. It is hard to make everyone happy. There are always going to be readers who want hard science–orientated steampunk and others who can’t wade through all that techno–babble. I like to say I write steampunk–light – a gateway drug, if you will. I also feel you can’t go wrong with comedy, it’s always rare, even in the broader genres of SF/F, romance, horror, and mystery (steampunk has been classified under any of the above).

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People are a strange lot, and I certainly am no exception. We all have our own little obsessions, mine currently truth be told are both Blogging and the borderline obsessive marathon watching of Japanese Animation. I have to ask as you clearly have such a compelling & imaginative mind, what is yours, what is your “secret” obsession?
I don’t really have any major ecrets but I do have a lot of obsessions. I suppose the most prevalent one is food. No, I mean really. I wake up in the morning and contemplate the yummy things I will get to eat that day. It’s what gets me out of bed. It’s why I travel – an interest in cuisine all over the world. Fortunately for me, I happen to like most all food, including the healthy stuff so it hasn’t gotten me in too much trouble… yet.
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I myself am a Geologist, who specialized in Palaeontology and I have found this has certainly infiltrated some aspect of my thought process and writing particularly in the structure & History of my created world. As an Archaeologist do you feel your experiences have influenced your thought or writing process, if so could you give us an example of this?
It’s made me very concerned with details, and very conscious of how material objects reflect culture and can be used to bring setting and character to life. A career as an archaeologist and academic has also given me good research skills, a serious respect for deadlines, a fascination with historical cultures, and, most importantly, the ability to subsist entirely on instant soup. It has also made me obsessed with objects. Readers may notice that what people wear and own is almost as important as what they do and say in my books.
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With your Novels spanning across both Adult Literature and YA, despite the clear cross over in both the readers teen and adult, and your written work. Have you found that there are things you can do in adult books that you can’t do in YA, or vice versa?
I worked to create a more youthful and accessible voice and characters who would grow and change with the books. Sophronia has a different world view than Alexia. She’s private and introverted and must become more self actualized by making new friends and discoveries. Her focus is on her immediate environment, less political, more personal.
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Out of all the characters you have created, which one do you identify with the most?

I adore Lord Akeldama because he is so deliciously fun – all that mad italic–wielding action. I’m under the impression you need only read him to understand why.

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Could you give us, a little taste of what to expect from what you are currently working on/towards?
Right now I am working on the second Custard Protocol book, Imprudence, due out next year. Meanwhile I have the fourth and final Finishing School book, Manners & Mutiny releasing on November 3rd.
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And Finally, what genres do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?
I like to read commercial genre as a rule, anything from military space opera to historical romance to LBGT contemporary YA. I usually only read one fiction book at a time. I’m pretty picky about the tropes and archetypes in use. I can’t stand the classic hero’s journey, for example. I don’t read much fiction when I’m working on a rough draft and if I do it will be as different from my own work as possible. I read a lot of non-fiction instead. Anything from primary Victorian sources to books about economics. With non-fiction I usually have a few going at once.Right now I am reading my book group pick for August: My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse.

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If you wish to find out more about Gail, you can follow her on Twitter, and have a look at her Official Website, all of which are listed below.

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Gail’s Website.
Gail is on Facebook & Twitter.
She has an Author Blog and a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is the Facebook Group.

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Until next time, read more books..

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