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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guest Post with Gail Carriger, Author of Soulless


Since I write comedy and alternate history, I spend a good deal of time investigating historical quirks. One of my favorite things to do is take vampires and werewolves and make them responsible for the most unexplainable facts and ridiculous minutia of the ancient world.

Why? Because werewolves and vampire are intrinsically absurd. For example: Have you ever worn fangs? Well I have, and there's quite the adjustment period resulting in a tender lower lip and a pronounced lisp. Thus, newly minted vampires are obviously going to lisp. Those with longer fangs may even drool a bit. You see? Comedy gold. And werewolves? My warped little mind always jumps to other types of were-creature. How about a weresheep, a weredachshund, or a wereplatypus? A weregoat? Bahahaha! Skulks about under the full moon, viciously breaking into a girl's closet to eat all her shoes! I don't know about you, but I'm trembling in my...oh wait.

What I ended up doing for the Parasol Protectorate series was divide up world history into different camps. For some cultures this is easier than others. The Vikings, with all that hair and Fenrir and everything, were definitely werewolf oriented. The Romans, being decadent, incestuous, and obsessed with luxury goods, were trafficking with vampires. I'm inclined to think the Greeks were altogether anti-supernatural because of their obsession with human perfection. The Ancient Egyptians had animal headed gods, so I come right back to werewolves. Catholic Inquisition? Now we can all guess what that was really about!

And then I sally forth into the unexplainable: how did tiny Britain manage to conquer an empire? Because they were the first culture to integrate vampires (as political advisors) and werewolves (as military agents) fully into their society. This, coincidentally, also explains King Henry VIII's break with the Catholic Church (the marriage thing was just a cover up) and the British Regimental system (which makes absolutely no sense until you realize it's based on pack dynamics).



But what about that minutia you mentioned, Ms. Carriger? Well, Gentle Reader, here are some quick thoughts.

1. Russian folk dancing = squarely at the werewolf door.

2. Bet I can guess who started the whole "quenching a sword in blood" rumor.

3. Retsina, metaxa and ouzo = cruel tricks played on the Greeks by the vampires.
4. Absurdly high cravats Photobucket, well, they hide neck bites now don't they?

5. Ever wonder why Italian food has so much garlic in it? Anti-vampire protection. Go pesto go, rah rah rah!

6. That phrase "born with a silver spoon" takes on a whole new meaning if there are werewolves running around.

7. And what about the term "Dark Ages?"

8. I leave you with one final thought: Scottish haggis and blood pudding. 'Nuff said.


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.

Gail Carriger is the author of Soulless a novel of vampires, dirigibles, and parasols due out Oct. 1, 2009 from Orbit US. You can find Gail on her website, livejournal, blogspot, Facebook, and Twitter.

49 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think this is the best interview I have ever read. If her books are half as witty as her interview I will be delightfully happy with her books. :)

TJ said...

What a great guest to have! I rather liked the thought of a werewolf or vampire lisping. xD

elnice said...

ewww, blood pudding. I think the high cravats are funny. They look so hot, but now I see why they wear them!

Sara said...

This is an awesome guest post! Very funny!

Scott Romanski said...

Love your sense of humor about the fangs ad lisps and drool.

Llehn said...

Oooooo ... I'm all pumped about the book!

Fantastic Book Review said...

Great Guest Post! Soulless Rocks! I will definitely be reading more of Carriger's books.

M. said...

You had me at 'Dirigible'. Not to mention biscuits 'secreted' in handbags. Makes me wish I was raised by a curmudgeon.

donnas said...

Awesome post. I think I am really going to love your book, cant wait to read it.

Miss Eliza said...

I just started reading the book, because she stopped by my blog today as well as a guest blogger, and I have to say, the book is just as funny and great as she appears on both our sites!

celi.a said...

Can't wait to read Soulless - I'm completely into this new deal with steampunk and Victorian historicals. Nice post!

natalierenae said...

Wow! Usually I'm a bit hesitant to read books with "humor" because I don't often find them all that funny. If Soulless is as amusing as this interview is though, I'd love to read it! Thanks for the post!

Natalie @ Mindful Musings

Renee said...

LMAO weredachshund! I can't wait to read this book...I dearly love to laugh!

XOXO~ Renee

RKCharron said...

Congratulations on the release of SOULLESS Gail :)
Thank you for the excellent interview. History seems so logical when viewed through your eyes.
:)
Love & Best Wishes to you & yours,
RKCharron
xoxo

brizmus said...

This is fantastic!
All of your/her thoughts about vampires influencing the past are hilarious!

Ruth said...

Haha, this is awesome!

I don't think I'd heard of SOULLESS before I saw a tweet about the contest here for it, but now I totally want a copy. :) It sounds like such a cool/fun take on it all!

I love the thought of lisping vampires etc. *thinks of Interview with a Vampire and a certain well-known vampire book series*

That would have been cool.

Also love the alternative history. Thanks for the guest post!

Ruth said...

(Although I think I disagree about ancient Egyptians. I don't think werewolves, per se. I'm not sure what they'd be, but I don't think werewolves.)

(Maybe minotaurs? I know they aren't nearly as popular as vampires and werewolves, but it seems more apt. I don't know. I'll have to devote some thought to it. ;)

Zombie Girrrl said...

I've always had a suspesion that cravats were for warding off vampires... ;)

branquignole said...

I love how this post is bursting with weird ideas! Now I want to read her book. :D

Jessy said...

So eccentric, I love it! This will be one to pick up on release day!

jpetroroy said...

Great interview! The idea of integration is fascinating

Juju from Tales of Whimsy said...

Super fun interview and I MUST say:

I ADORE ADORE ADORE the pictures.
What a fun lady!

Jessica Secret said...

Yes, go pesto indeed! lol, I LOVE this guest post! It has made me want Soulless even more...if that's possible.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

This is a scream! a good one, I might add...

I've posted about this over at Win a Book. Hopefully it'll bring in new fans for Ms. Carriger.

Raspberry said...

I love the author's portraits, and I am SO EXCITED to read this book...
:)

Cherie J said...

Loved the interview. This author has such a wonderful sense of humor.

Donna Gambale said...

Everything I read from Gail is so entertaining! Soulless should be a hoot.

ringingbell02 said...

Great interview-can't wait to read the book!

Pam said...

As a speech therapist, the thought of lisping vampires certainly made me chuckle. Don't know why I never considered it...I have to say this may not be a population I'd like to treat (not to be vampirist or anything...)

melacan at hotmail dot com

Jenny N. said...

Nice guest post. Many of the points Gail made actually make sense when I think about it.

holdenj said...

What a great guest post! I love her sense of humor and how she addresses us so easily!

niki nicole said...

I love her so much! I can't wait to read her book.

Lisa said...

Would love to read this book, sound right up my alley. Love humor with my story. Rushed to add to my wishlist but would love to win a copy.

+2 follower
alterlisa@yahoo.com

Heidi said...

This sounds awesome! I was begining to get a little wary of the vampire/werewolf genre, it seems to be a bit overdone at the moment, but this guest post has left me wanting more! I am definitely going to read Souless, even if it means purchasing from Amazon. I can't wait too read it!

babygirlG said...

This book sounds awesome! I love the twist that you've put into it!

Jessica Kennedy said...

Loved the guest post! I added it to my review! :)

Loved Soulless. Best book of the year!

Lauren said...

I can't wait to read this novel! It sounds great.

michelle said...

This book sounds great! Why have I not noticed this one yet? If your guest post is any indication of what the book will be like, it is right up my alley! :) Love the cover art too!

MichelleK

Valorie said...

Wait, there are Romans involved? Then this is a must read!

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Gail sounds sooo awesome, I'm dying to read her book!

Veronica F. said...

Vampires with lisps? lol, that's what happens in True Blood even though the actors try hard not to! Just listen to Bill & Eric next time they give a long speech! But whats even funnier, is that the whole fang ordeal of "there's quite the adjustment period resulting in a tender lower lip and a pronounced lisp" totally reminds me of when I had braces! same thing, really :P

~Veronica
iroquois.girl@yahoo.com

Ladytink_534 said...

Now those are cute! I always did wonder about those cravats...

J.T. Oldfield said...

I totally hearted this.

Emily said...

Visualizing a weredachshund is seriously entertaining. So is visualizing a werehousecat. Can you imagining having to introduce yourself that way?

New person: So what are you?

You: I'm a weredachshund.

New person: Oh.....I'm an electrician.

TheBookShopaholic said...

This sounds interesting!

Emma said...

This is definitely going on my reading list!

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