Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Guest Post: Gail Carriger, author of Soulless

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Gail Carriger, the author of Soulless. The book is out this week A fantastic mix of historical romance, paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk and comedy of manners.


Sometimes, in the days (months, years) of query letters (boy did I write a lot of them) I would worry about how to describe my own writing. It's a fine art, trying to sell yourself, but there was one phrase I never failed to use: character driven.

I adore writing characters, it's my absolutely favourite part of being an author: the invention of new people and the revisiting of old friends. Some authors get annoyed when a story is hijacked by a minor character, I love it. I like caricatures that I can break down or twist suddenly into something unexpected. I like silly quirks and strange mannerisms, sinister aspects and hidden secrets. I draw pictures of my characters. I give them magazine quizzes. I invent elaborate back-stories that never make it onto the page.

This may have to do with the fact that I like people. In fact, I kind of collect them. My house tends to be the party event venue, the sleep over spot, sometimes known as Grand Central Station. Mine is a real life peopled with highly colorful characters, they have leaked into my stories, whether I like it or not.

As a terribly side effect, I have a terrible habit of falling on love with my side characters. I think a lot of writers have this happen. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love the hero and heroine too, but there is something so delightfully comfortable about a minor butler or best friend who slides in, quips something Wilde and witty, and then exits in a plume of verbal sophistication.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you read my book and fall in love with even just one character, I've done my job. You can hate everything else about it, but that character will haunt you. He or she will get to live, for a little, in your mind. As a writer, I can think of no greater thing to have happen.

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.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced!

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible.

Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
My review


  1. I bought this book Sunday - I cannot wait to get started! I love books where the secondary characters are just as entertaining as the hero/heroine, so this book sounds like it's going to be terrific!

  2. After reading your review I put this book at the top of my wanted list. Now that I've read this interview I have to have it now!

  3. Great guest post! I love learning more about authors and their books. I really liked her comment about the side characters. So many times, I absolutely adore a supporting/side character, and it makes it fun to hope you will see them pop up in sequels. :)

    ~ Wendi

  4. B,

    I have this book on my wish list. :) Wonderful post.

    Have a great day.


  5. Wonderful post! I have "Soulless" on my TBB list, this is a new subgenre for me but after reading Blodeuedd's review, I knew it was a book I wanted to read.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  6. This book really sounds so good, and the author is so fun.
    Wanted to let you know, that you got a award.


  7. Great guest post! Sometimes I think its the minor characters that really make the book come alive!

    Check out my review, interview, and giveaway of Soulless here:

  8. Wonderful post, Blodeuedd and Gail!

    I just picked up a copy of Soulless this afternoon. Really looking forward to reading it and hoping to fall in love with at least one character *wink*!

  9. Patti,
    I know that is always a pleasure, and then I love to find out what happens to them too.

    Lol, oh that sure happens. It was such a fun book.

    There are sure some great side ones here, though my heart belongs to the main character Lord Maccoon

    Hi Michelle,
    Great to see you :)
    I hope you're having a great week too.

    I am glad to hear that. I am so happy that I got to try this cos Amy sure loves it and I was so curious. Even my bf was curios.

    Thanks Nina :)
    That is so sweet of you! Heading over now.

    Hi Sara,
    Thanks for stopping by. I am sure to go by your blog now and read that interview.

    Amy :D
    Hehe, yay you have it. Oh I hope it will be Lord Maccoon, I do have my heart set on him. or perhaps you will fall for Akeldama, that great side character

  10. Love this guest post...I would like to read her book!!

  11. I love to fall in love with side characters too:)

    Got this book today!

  12. I've heard only wonderful things about this book. Its def. on my to buy list!

  13. Well, I'm a fan of Professer Lyall, because he has specticals. And a wainscot, the BEST wainscot. But I've always wanted a competent valet a decent wainscot, and now I want specticals. Really.

    I got the book early, 'cause I'm a bookseller and we get all the best toys.

  14. Another book for me to go investigate LOL I love an in-depth secundary cast and for them to receive a story of their own :)

  15. I'd love to read this! What a wonderful interview Blod :) You always post such lovely things.


  16. Hi Staci,
    It was sure a fun book.

    Yay, I hope you'll like it, and the side characters are funny, you'll see ;)

    People do seem to enjoy it, oh and they have this great first chapter on audio on a site...somewhere

    Lol, loved your comment, very witty and fitting for the book. It is so har finding a good valet these days, with the right clothes.
    Oh, yes you sure do.

    Go exploring, it's a nice one and woth giving a look

    Thanks Aimee,
    And you're always so sweet in your comments :)
    I am glad you enjoyed it

  17. Great guest post, I love the sound of this author *waves* I'm into steampunk/Victorian era, but with romance and a paranormal element, too - gosh, I need it! LOL


  18. Sassy,
    It was a great mix, and I am getting the whole steampunk idea now, together with the paranormal and romance, well made me happy

  19. It certainly is - Friday Finds, here we come! :D

  20. Great guest post. Love all the backstory creation and love she has for all of her characters.

  21. Sassy Brit,
    Good that I got your FF for you :)

    I was happy to have her over :)

  22. Just have to say that this is going on next week's Friday Find, as I did this weeks a little different, but I haven't forgotten! :)

  23. Sassy,
    With that long list then I am sure it can wait :) What a great week you must have had for all those finds

  24. Hey B

    Sounds like a great book, it's on my TBB list (you've read my post about upcoming releases - too cool) Can't wait to read.

    Great interview!

    Dottie :)

  25. Dottie,
    It's a good one, and now my eye have fallen on the next one and I went all *sqee* :D

  26. Sounds like a really great book.

  27. Donnas,
    It sure was a funny one



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