Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gail Carriger Author Interview

Photo Content from Gail Carriger

Ms. Carriger writes steampunk urbane fantasy comedies of manners 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. She 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 shoes, where she insists on tea imported directly from London and cats that pee into toilets. Her Parasol Protectorate books are all New York Times Bestsellers.
It is not her policy to conduct business over Goodreads. Please visit Gail's website and drop her a calling card if you have a request.


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
How to make deadlines and research quickly; survive on a diet of spinach top ramen and tea; and build a wardrobe from thrift stores.

In your newest book, Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1); can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
The Finishing School series is set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, only 25 years earlier, and features a finishing academy located in a giant caterpillar-like dirigible floating over Dartmoor in which young ladies are taught to . . . finish . . . everything . . . and everyone . . . as needed. There will be steampunk etiquette! There will be well-dressed espionage! There will be Victorian fake food. There will be flying mechanical sausage dogs named Bumbersnoot. The first book, Etiquette & Espionage, releases Feb 5, 2013. Industry press announcement here.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Sophronia?
I remember my own high school experience much more clearly than I thought I would. It's surprisingly easy to regress 20 years. Either that or I never quite grew up.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
How do you know I haven't already? (Insert sly smile here.)

Actually, think Sophronia and Alexia would get along remarkably well. So well, I might one day write a short story or blog post conversation in which the two of them meet. Of course, there is always the possibility they might hate each other.

For those who are unfamiliar with Sophronia, how would you introduce her?
Sophronia has a nose for trouble and an instinct for espionage, she's crafty rather than assertive with a wicked sense of humor and a knack for collecting crazy friends. She likes to surround herself with drama but not engage it directly, like the quiet center of a storm.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I just complete Sophronia's second set of escapades, chronicled in Curtsies & Conspiracies. In which Sophronia hons in on some major political maneuverings, and a possible explanation for all those fake pastries. Right now I'm working on the first Prudence book. Prudence is, if possible, even more outrageous than Alexia, and has just landed in Bombay, India, where hijinks are bound to ensue.

Most strangest dream you have ever had?
One of my favorites was a zombie attack dream where the zombies could be killed only when I threw an uncooked yam at them, at which point they turned into rock salt.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?
Probably the house itself. People tend to think that because I write steampunk, I live in a big old fussy Victorian full of antique furniture and flowery drapes. In fact, I like utra-modern style, clean lines, slight asian influence.

When was the last time you cried?
Reading a series of short stories in the Valdemar anthologies by Sarah Hoyt & Kate Paulk, I love their main characters Ree and Jem. Adorable, sweet, touching, heart wrenching. I cry all the time – when I read books, news snip-its, photos, even stupid advertisements. I'm a bit of a crier.

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners -- and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage -- in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage is the first book in the Finishing School series. Instead of being a proper lady like all girls should be, fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick would rather dismantle mechanical contraptions and spying on people. As a member of a middle class Victorian family, her hopeless mother has no choice but to send her off Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But the finishing school turns out to be a place where it teaches the arts of espionage and assassination.

This book has all the elements that make for wonderful unsuspecting encounters for both the reader and protagonist. The familiar story of starting a new school has been told so many times but author Gail sure placed a surprising twist to it. The steampunk take in the book brings about many strange innovations and mechanical devices. Readers will enjoy this aspect through the clear and descriptive texts of Gail’s writing. The entire duration of the book is filled with excitement and excellent writing. Set in the very same world a Gail’s Parasol Protectorate series, fans of the series will have a chance to relive it even if it is set several decades earlier. Although the paranormal facet of the story is not the focal point of the plot, it is done well with creatures like vampires and werewolves. Etiquette & Espionage is a surprisingly delightful read that will have readers coming back for the second installment.

You can purchase Etiquette & Espionage at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you GAIL CARRIGER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive an ARC copy of Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger.


  1. This looks interesting. I would love to read it.

  2. YAY!!! Thank you for the giveaway!! If Gail says that Alexia Tarabotti and Sophronia Temminnick would get along pretty well, I think I already love Sophronia. :)

  3. I couldn't leave a comment on the authors blog, so is it okay to thank her here?
    Thank you Gail for donating your book for the giveaway!! I've seen it all over the blogs and looking forward to reading it!!

  4. This sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway

  5. Enjoyed Soulless, look forward to getting my paws on this. Awesome giveaway!

  6. Love the soulless series and lookign forward to this!

  7. Just so you know, you can't comment on Gail's FB page without being friends with her. Therefore, I commenting here. Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! Really looking forward to reading your book.

  9. Bwahahaha her dream... EPIC!! hahahah

    Thanks for the giveaway Jean!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway! Keep hearing about this book!

  11. Thanks a lot for the awesome giveaway!

  12. Thanks so much for this giveaway Gail, the cover looks so gorgeous, and the story equally as intriguing!

  13. Thanks so much for the awesome interview and giveaway, Gail! Can't wait to pick up this book!

  14. Thank you so much for the giveaway! :D
    (ileana A.- rafflecopter)

  15. Thank you very much Ms. Carriger :)!