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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Gail Carriger

I didn't know what Steampunk was until I was offered the chance to read the first two books in the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger. Since then the writer of this amazing series has been on my must read list and I have been checking out more Steampunk because of it.

With the fourth book due out next week I couldn't resist asking Gail to stop by and tell us a little more about Heartless. I hope you all enjoy the interview and will enter the contest. Also make sure you check out the series if you haven't already. I absolutely love it!


Amber - Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog again! Maybe you can start things off by telling us a little about your The Parasol Protectorate Series?

Gail - Imagine Jane Austen dabbling in science and steam technology. Then imagine P.G. Wodehouse suddenly dropped vampires into the Drones Club. The Parasol Protectorate books are the resulting progeny. They feature Alexia Tarabotti, soulless Victorian harridan, and her increasingly eccentric group of friends. Alexia is prone to charging about London, then across England, and eventually through Europe on her quest to foil various evil plots. She is assisted, and sometimes hindered, in her endeavors by a band of scruffy werewolf soldiers, a cadre of gay vampires, a cross–dressing female inventor, and a very silly best friend with a predilection for atrocious hats.

Amber - Book four in the Parasol Protectorate series is due out! What can we expect from Heartless?

Gail - Heartless is my ode to the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre, if Holmes were a very grumpy autocratic female in an increasingly clumsy and indelicate condition tracking down plots to kill the queen with massive steampunk mechanicals.

Amber - Alexia has seen a lot of action so far. How do you decide what to throw at her in each book?

Gail - Sometimes it's matter a plot, sometimes necessity, and sometimes whim. I operate on the principle that when in doubt, make something explode.

Amber - Why do you think there has been such an increase of books in the Steampunk genre?

Gail - I have many theories on this. I believe it has immense escapist appeal. Steampunk is a unique movement in that it isn’t entirely literary – it has ties to the green movement, the maker community, historical reenactment societies, and the fashion world. With our economy in chaos, steampunk offers up an alternative lifestyle of sedate civilized behavior. Part of the appeal, I think, has to do with our own sense of chaos and impending doom. This often causes people to look back and seek out time that was more ridged and controlled, full of polite manners and forms of address.

Amber - Will there be more books in the series? How long would you like to see things continue for Alexia ? Do you see an end in sight?

Gail - There will be five books total, which means one more after Heartless. It is called Timeless and will be out in March of 2012. I am not one of those authors with a "beat that dead horse" tendency (I don't have children to put through college). I want to give my readers the satisfaction of an ending.

Amber - If The Parasol Protectorate was going to be made into a TV Series or Film who would you like to see playing the main characters?

Gail - There is an on going discussion about this over on the Parasol
Protectorate Facebook Group and I have done a guest blog on the subject, I also run an occasion spot in my blog, character studies, which include some possible casting for each character.

Amber - Are you working on anything else? Maybe another series? Something in another genre?

Gail - The universe I've created with the Parasol Protectorate will live on. I've begun the first of four young adult books set 25 years before Alexia, called the Finishing School series. Fans can expect a few of their favorite characters to show up in these as well as other future works.

Amber - How long on average does it take you to write a full book? Do you have a process you follow? or do you just start at page one and see what happens?

Gail - Six months usually. Three to write and three to edit and correct. I also spend a good deal of my writing time researching. I am definitely a process writer, not a discovery writer. I have an outline, a daily routine, and lots of ritual surrounding both. I also like to write with other people, I'm a kind of a social writer.

Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?

Gail - I watch a lot of BBC costume dramas. I just finished Downton Abby and am now on the new Upstairs Downstairs series. They certainly influence what I write. I also like old 1950's comedies, I went on a Marilyn Munroe binge last month. Because I am writing an all girl's finishing school in my new YA series, I've been doing a lot of researching and watching of teenage girl socialization. That's included everything from Mean Girls to the original St. Trinian's series, to actual real life news stories on female bullying.

Amber - In the ultimate battle, who gets your vote: vampires or werewolves?

Gail - Humans, we'll out bread them all in the end. It's what we do best. With the possible exception of zombies.

Amber - Thank you for visiting the blog again! I hope you will pop by again soon!

Gail - Thank you for having me.


Contest Time

Gail is very kindly giving away a signed copy of Soulless. The first book in the Parasol Protectorate Series and your chance to see how it all started! Sorry US Only!

How To Enter

I used to watch St Trinian's and Upstairs Downstairs when I was younger. What did you enjoy watching way back when?

No answer = No Entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

Amberkatze's Book Blog

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Thursday 30th of June 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Aurian said...

Great interview Amber and Gail! I'm sorry to say I really don't like steampunk, but my best friend loves them and has all of your books. I do love the covers though ;).

I love series upstairs - downstairs. Did you also see You rang m'lord? Or To the manor born? Really love that British humor.
I have on DVD the series about Lily Langtree, and of course Sense and Sensibility, and the Aristocrats.

Beverly said...

Nice interview - I love steampunk and Soulless was my introduction to the genre so I would love to win. I didn't watch too much TV, but I did watch the Young Ones every once in a while. I have since stopped watching network television all together. I guess I sort of live in a cave. Thanks for hosting. Please enter me - I would love to win. Old follower.

Bethany C. said...

Depends how young/far back 'back in the day' would be. Gummi Bears, the animated Batman series, Married With Children...


Shelbycat said...

Hmmm ... i watched a lot of tv when i was little, i especially love musicals and i often scare myself when i sing along to something i could swear i've never even seen before!

hippo said...

When I was little I used to like series like The Flintstones, as teenager then went over to Science Fiction and Star Trek etc.

debbie said...

I liked little house on the prarie, twilight zone and all creatures great and small.
I really enjoyed the interview.
I am a gfc follower

Julie S said...

How far back are we talking? When I was a kid I used to love to watch Jem :)


Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info said...

Great interview! I watched a lot of Little House on the Prairie and Star Trek when I was younger. wheems01@gmail.com

Tore923 said...

I loved watching Little House on the Prairies when I was younger.Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this series. Tore923@aol.com

Andra Lyn said...

I remember watching the show Wishbone, with that cute Jack Russel terrier :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

I tweeted about this contest :)


BrigidsBlest said...

"Back in the day", I watched original Star Trek, Get Smart, Super Friends, Gilligan's Island, Fantasy Island, Twilight Zone, and Outer Limits (yep, always been a genre fan, even as a kid!)

Amy said...

I enjoyed watching The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Goosebumps when I was younger. Always had that paranormal streak in me lol!


clynsg said...

Hard as it may be for some to realize, there are still some of us old fogies around who didn't HAVE anything to watch when we were very young. My parents didn't get their first TV set until I was away at college, so I didn't start watching it until I had graduated and was working my first job. I honestly do not remember anything in particular (largely because I have a horrible time remember when certain shows were on!) but I also watched Upstairs Downstairs when it was on.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

karen! said...

I've been just finished reading Blameless last night. I only started the series this month, but I've inhaled the books.

So, anyway, just another plug for the series.

Vickie said...

This is one of my favorite series, both in print and audio.

Back in the day, I used to love watching The Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Mystery. Wee bit older and I was watching X Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly....

Unknown said...

I loved Bewitched, Dark Shadows, Gilligan's Island, and The Beverly Hillbillies, when I was little. I love watching BBC period pieces and comedies, now.

A'lina said...

Step by Step and Family Matters are a couple that I grew up watching and loved. And I always watched X-Men cartoons!

SiNn said...

awesome interview

honestly I watched the old cartoons heman shera i also watched a lot of soaps

oneshow i reammeber watching when i was younger was coach and family matters as well as full house
shown my age lol

Debi Murray said...

I love this series! The characters are so quirky. Thanks for the great interview.

The first TV show I remember seeing was Romper Room with Miss Barbara and her magic mirror which could magically see all the children who were good. I remember being so pleased when she would call out my name....but I was 4 after all. Most of the shows we watched while growing up growing up were family shows until a stunning new gothic soap opera debuted....Dark Shadows. I think it was the beginning for my love of the paranormal genre. LOL!

mverno said...

i loved dark shadows i was in high school when it was on- had to rush home to see it in time

Rebe said...

Hmmm... I'm ashamed to admit that I watched He-Man and She-Ra as well!

I love steampunk and Soulless was also my entry to the genre (and what fun it was!).

genagirl said...

I loved Man From UNCLE, Rat Patrol and Starsky & Hutch so much!!! Enter me, I've posted on LiveJournal:http://genagirl.livejournal.com/162473.html

and on facebook - http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/

And on my scrapbook blog!http://papersensations.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-giveaway.html

MannaB said...

I used to watch Full House and Sabrina: The teenaged witch.

crazypplrok at gmail dot com

saturdaynightfever said...

"St. Elsewhere"!


April said...

Used to watch Buck Rogers and Star Trek back in the day. Upstairs Downstairs wasn't available then to us but I probably would have watched it if it were.

susansmoaks said...

when i was little i used to watch dallas
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

dvice12 said...

I liked watching the smurfs

Nicole K/GothamGal said...

I was fascinated, in equal parts by 'Days of Our Lives', 'Murder She Wrote' and 'Three's Company.'

Love this interview, really funny and I appreciate these types of things--this is what makes me come back to Amberkatze's book blog!

Unknown said...

I remember watching Captain Kangaroo and the old Lassie tv show. Flipper was also another show I remember. garrettsambo@aol.com