The most frequently asked questions ~ all in one place! Please read this before you email Gail. Thank you.
"Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are." ~ Oscar Wilde
1. What's next for Gail?
Gail is currently writing the Custard Protocol adult series, 22 years after the 5 Alexia books. The first of these is Prudence. She has plans to write other shorter length tie in works for all three series, these will be announced in her newsletter.
2. Where is the rest of the manga?
There are only three graphic novels: Soulless Vol. 1 (aka, Soulless), Vol. 2 (aka Changeless), and Vol. 3 (aka Blameless). You can read Gail's post about the release of Vol. 3 and why it is the last. Want to know what happens to Alexia? There are novels for that.
3. Will there be more Parasol Protectorate (Alexia) or Finishing School(Sophronia) books?
No. (Blog posts One & Two on the subject.) However, many of your favorite characters show up across series and in Gail's shorter works. One of the great things about writing with immortals is that they are immortal. Also there are lots of Easter eggs, hints, and threads that will make more sense if you read them all. She is planning various stories featuring side characters over the next few years. Please join her newsletter if you wish to be kept informed.
4. Where is the ebook?
Most eBooks (for copyright reasons) come out on the official actual release date for the associated territories. (Please note, some vendors, because the physical books require time to ship, make the "release" look like it is days earlier for print than ebook.) If the ebook isn't available in the format you want, you'll need to contact your vendor, NOT Gail. Gail's self-published shorter works are distributed as widely as possible on as many platforms as possible. If she isn't avaiable, it is not for lack of trying.
5. Why can't I get the English language ebook or audiobook overseas?
Please read this article: Why You Can’t Buy An eBook in English Outside the U.S. and more on distribution meets territories.
6. How do I get an ARC of the next book?
Gail's traditionally published books are through Hachette, press may contact them.
Recorded Books produced first 3 Parasol Protectorate books. Hachette Audio produced Heartless & Timeless with the same reader. All are up on Audible in the US. The CDs are difficult to find, sorry. Audiobooks for the Finishing School series and Custard Protocol series have the same reader, and usually release to Audible in the US & UK within a month of print release. Yes Gail helped choose the voice actors.
8. Could Gail suggest something else to read while I wait?
Similar in tone if not in specifics are three gaslight fantasies ~ M.K. Hobson's The Native Star, Wrede & Stevermer's Sorcery & Cecelia, and Garth Nix's Newt's Emerald. Want something a bit more sexy? Try Ridiculous by D.L. Carter. Gail has a blog post with more suggestions. She also runs a book group.
9. Can I get a signed copy/bookplate?
Show up at any of Gail's events and she is delighted to sign (books, parasols, teapots, even biceps), or contact any bookstore before/after her most recent tour to put in an order. Otherwise, you can phone or email Borderlands Books. They almost always carry signed copies of her work. You will have to pay shipping. Gail does not supply bookplates nor does she have ephemera except to her newsletter subscribers.
10. What age group best suits Gail's books?
Gail's youngest (known) reader is 8 and her oldest 95. For the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol books, she suggests 14 and up. The Finishing School books easily suit readers 9 and up. The language is Victorian in tone but modernized to be more comfortable than, for example, Dickens might be for a young reader. While Soulless did win an Alex Award it is not intentionally young adult. Her adult series contain violence (generally comical) and nookie (not overly explicit) so if you are concerned please read it first yourself.
11. How long does it take to write these books?
About 8 months. Why is writing a book so darn time consuming?
12. Why isn't the language (vocabulary, syntax, spelling) proper Queen's English? (AKA the ladybird issue)
The original English language editions of the Parasol Protectorate books come out for Orbit US (the UK refused to buy them for over a year). House rules required American language, spelling, and grammar. The same text was used for the UK editions for speed of publication. The UK editions of the Finishing School books were anglicized. The Custard Protocol books are all anglicized except for some words (like ladybird) that American readers wouldn't understand, these words are changed in the US editions. If you want more information about why each series is different, Gail blogs about The Ladybird Problem.
14. Can you tell us whether there will be a movie or TV show?
The Parasol Protectorate books have been optioned. Nothing on the other series. (On the Unlikelihood of Options Becoming Films.) Gail fantasy casts Prudence and Soulless.
15. How does Gail feel about fan fiction?
She has a blog on that as well as fan art/make. She loves cosplay. If you have photos of cosplay or fan art, please feel free to share them in her wiki Author Community.
16. How does Gail choose the names in her books?
There is a blog on that too and a lively discussion. Here is a direct link on how to say Sophronia. How to produce the "g" in Carriger? Hard, as in GIR. GAYL KA-ri-ger
17. Gail, will you help me with (or contribute to) my blog contest/promo interview/art project/research paper/homework/etc...?
~ Gail's policy is only to review products or books that she has sourced herself and that she genuinely adores.
~ Gail discusses her charitable contributions here. Please do not ask her to publicly endorse a charity/kickstarter or sign a petition on Facebook or any other public forum. She prefers to keep such activities private.
~ For other requests, please contact her with exactly what you would like and what kind of time commitment is required including deadline. Do not do this over social media. Please be aware that ARC distribution is via her publishers. You will have to go through press channels to receive one.
~ Gail is usually happy to do an interview of 10 questions or less, so long as it is not video. She needs at least three weeks.
~ Gail will not write your book report or homework for you. She used to be a teacher and she can smell a cheat a mile off. Don't try it. No, really don't.
18. Will Gail come to my local convention, library, school, or bookstore?
Whether Gail visits your event rides on many factors:
~ Has she recently been to your area? Gail's books are published all over the world and she only does one event a month. She tries to be as fair as possible and visit as many different places as she can.
~ Has she recently done a similar event? She tries to spread the 12 events she does a year evenly: book tours, overseas visits, steampunk cons, large SF/F cons, small SF/F cons, writing workshops, industry expos, library & school appearances.
~ Has the event/bookstore invited her? Most conventions run on a tight budget and can only fly Guests of Honor. Here's Gail's blog post on the subject.
19. What's Gail's educational background?
She has a BA with Honors in Archaeology, an MA in Anthropology, and an MS with Distinction in Materials Archaeology. This used to cause her to travel a lot and be overly concerned with research. These days writing alt history has exactly the same effect.
20. How similar is Gail's personality to Alexia's, Sophronia's, or Rue's?
Gail fully admits to sharing traits with her main characters but there are other characters she feels also closely resemble her. You are welcome to guess which. Should you ever meet Gail in person, you will be left in little doubt.
21. What's Gail's favorite type of tea?
Twinings gold label (black box) English Breakfast (or 1706 Strong) imported from the UK. It is stronger and milder in flavor than the American (or red box) version. She takes it milky but strong with no sweetener. How does she brew the perfect pot?
22. What's with the cat?
Gail once kept in attendance a fat tabby. This cat was obsessed with licking new books. Gail felt it impolite to ask why. She referred to the beastie, rather indelicately, as the Chubby F*cker. Gail is now under new ownership. Lilliput is a female tux who fetches and does tricks like sitting, jumping, and kissing on command. She makes frequent Instagram appearences. Percy's cat, Footnote, in the Custard Protocol series is based on Lilliput.
Both cats are trained to use the human toilet, but not to flush. Never train a cat to flush.