The most frequently asked questions ~ all in one place! Please check here before you email Gail. Thank you.
1. What's next for Gail?
The Parasol Protectorate series has ended. Gail is writing a 4 book young adult series set in the same universe, 22 years earlier, the Finishing School series. The first book, Etiquette & Espionage, releases Feb. 2013. She is also writing the Parasol Protectorate Abroad adult series, 25 years (or so) after the 5 Alexia books. The first of these, Prudence, releases in 2014. Read the press release.
2. Where can I get the manga?
You can get all of the currently available manga on Amazon! Soulless Vol. 1 (aka, Soulless), Soulless Vol. 2 (aka Changeless), Soulless Vol. 3 (aka Blameless- available for preorder).
3. Will there be more Alexia Tarabotti Parasol Protectorate books?
No. Gail has ended the series with Timeless. (Blog posts One & Two on the subject.) However, some of your favorite characters will show up in both of her new series. One of the great things about writing with immortals is that they are immortal. If you feel like she left a lot unanswered she suggests you go back and reread all 5 as a set. There are a lot of cookies, Easter eggs, hints, and threads that will make more sense in earlier books now that you know the end.
4. What about the ebook?
Ebooks (for copyright reasons) come out on the official actual release date for the associated territories. (Please note, on Amazon, because the physical books require time to ship, the "release" may be days earlier than Kindle. This is not Gail's policy, it is Amazon's.) If the ebook isn't available in the format you want, you'll need to contact your e-vendor, NOT Gail. Why You Can’t Buy An eBook in English Outside the U.S. That said, Hachette Book Group has recently announced a partnership with Hachette UK to seriously expand their English language ebook availability. If you haven't checked recently, try again! The expansion includes markets in the UK, Europe, Australia, India, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and Asia for the Parasol Protectorate.
5. How do I get an ARC of the next book?
Orbit US's publicist sometimes offer early review copies. All necessary information is on their website. For the Finishing School YA series, please contact Little Brown. Out of sensitivity to her publisher it's not Gail's policy to give out contact information not already available through press channels. No, Gail cannot email you an e-version, she blogs about why here.
Recorded Books produced first 3 Parasol Protectorate books. Hachette Audio produced Heartless & Timeless with the same reader. Last we checked all were up on Audible in the US. The CDs are difficult to find, sorry. Audio books for the Finishing School series should release to Audible in the US within a month or print release. No information yet on the Parasol Protectorate Abroad books. For information on the audiobooks in the UK, please check the Audio FAQ.
7. Could Gail suggest something else to read while I wait?
Similar in tone if not in specifics are two gaslight fantasies ~M.K. Hobson's The Native Star or Wrede & Stevermer's Sorcery & Cecelia. She has a full blog post with further suggestions.
8. Can I get a signed copy/bookplate?
Show up at any of Gail's events she's always delighted to sign. Or contact Borderlands Books in San Francisco (888.893.4008) for signed books. You will have to pay shipping and there may be a delay if Gail hasn't visited them recently. Gail does not supply bookplates, nor does she have euphemera (swag) as a general rule.
9. What age group best suits the Parasol Protectorate series?
Gail's youngest reader is 10 and her oldest 95. However, she suggests 14 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. There is violence (generally comical) and nookie (not overly explicit) so if you are concerned please skim through the text first yourself. The Finishing School books should suit readers 10 and up.
10. How long does it take to write these books?
About 8 months.
11. Why isn't the language (vocabulary, syntax, spelling) proper Queen's English? (AKA the ladybird issue)
The original English language edition came out for Orbit US. House rules require American language and grammar. The same text is used for the UK editions. There should be an proper version released in the UK of the other two series, although time constraints apply.
12. How did Soulless get its cover?
There were gankings, surprise Facebookings, and unexpected Gothic supermodels. See this exciting blog entry for the full story.
13. Can you tell us whether there will be a movie or TV show?
We can only tell you that the Parasol Protectorate books have been optioned. Gail blogs for My Book the Movie on the subject of casting. She also put the role of Alexia up to the vote. Nothing yet on the other series.
14. How does Gail feel about fan fiction?
She has a blog on that as well as fan art/make. She loves cosplay.
16. Gail, will you help me with (or contribute to) my blog contest/promo interview/art project/research paper/etc...?
Gail's policy is only to review products or books that she has bought for herself and that she really adores.
Gail discusses her charitable contributions here. Please do not ask her to publicly endorse a charity, or sign a petition, on Facebook or other public forums. She prefers to keep such activities private.
For other requests, have you read this entire website? Please, try that first. Then contact her with exactly what you would like and what kind of time commitment is required including deadline. Do not do this over Facebook, goodreads, or twitter. Please be aware that ARC distribution is via her publishers only. You will have to go through the normal 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 always needs at least three weeks. She will not write your book report 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.
17. Will Gail come to my local convention or bookstore?
Whether Gail visits your event rides on many factors.
A. Has she recently been to your area? Since her 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.
B. Has she recently done a similar event? She tries to spread the 12 events she does a year evenly: book tours, overseas tours, steampunk cons/gatherings, large SF/F cons, small SF/F cons, writing workshops, industry expos, library appearances.
C. Has the event/bookstore invited her? Most conventions run on a tight budget and can only fly Guests of Honor. Here's a blog post on the subject.
18. 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. Now writing alt history has exactly the same result.
19. How similar is Gail's personality to Alexia's?
Gail fully admits to sharing some traits with her main character but there are other characters she feels more closely resemble her own behavior patterns. You are welcome to guess which. Should you ever meet Gail in person, you will be left in very little doubt.
20. What's Gail's favorite type of tea?
Twining gold label (black box) English Breakfast 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?
21. What's with the cat?
Like many authors, 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. This tabby was trained to use the human toilet but did not flush. Never train a cat to flush.
22. And the parasol obsession?
You would prefer Gail be obsessed with something else?