Carriger, Gail (englisches Interview)

Literaturschock: Hello Gail thank your for your time for this Email Interview. In our Bulletin Board Literaturschock we got a lot of fans of your books, these questions are the product of a little Email Discussion I got with some of them:

At the book Fare Week you got the chance to fly to Frankfurt and meet your German Fans. I hope you enjoy your time in Germany! How was your journey und your experiences there? Have you ever been in Germany before?

Gail Carriger: I had the most wonderful time in Germany! I'd been through Germany before, back in 2000, but I didn't stay. I remember spending the entire train ride with my nose pressed to the glass, and I swore I would come back again for a proper visit. Over a decade later but I finally managed it. The Fair was mainly buisness, but my partner came with me and we stayed for an extra week off the radar. We visited Wiesbaden (I'm obsessed with spas) right after we landed. A perfect way to recover from the 13 hour plane ride, if you ask me. Then there was the fair, the best part of which was meeting my fans. A little contingent made the effort to dive to Frankfurt to meet me. It was a last minute tweet up, so not very many people knew about it, but we had a great time at a surprised British Pub and I was very very flattered. I learned so much about the steampunk movement in Germany, not to mention the education system! After that my partner and I escaped to Koblenz and played tourist. It was spectacular, we took a boat down the Rhine, ate amazing food, drank delicious wine, and generally relaxed. It was so very lovely. I've a little blog post about it here, if you are interested: Gail Carriger Blog

Literaturschock: You are very active on Twitter and Facebook, you have your own blog - how important is this direct contact with your readers to you?*

Gail Carriger: It's very important to me, I enjoy the advantage of living in an age when an author can actually have contact with readers all over the world. It's also a terribly big distraction, but social media has been very good to me. I try to be pretty self disciplined. When I have a draft due and a deadline I spend about two hours on social media three days a week, and do things like schedule my tweets ahead of time, or hold off on blogging to save time. If I’m really doing badly, I remove myself to a cafe that has no wifi. It’s a really had thing to balance because I want to be accessible and available to my fans, but I also need to write the next book. Luckily, my readers are pretty understanding when I go dark. The hardest thing is the guilt, when someone takes the time to write to me I feel awful if I don’t write back immediately.

Literaturschock: For me as a Reader it is very interesting what other people read. So my question is which books to you like best? Which books or authors in general influenced your writing*?

Gail Carriger: When I was 8 the first book in her Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce came out. Up until that point I’d never read a fantasy book where the central character was a girl who kicked ass. Then, when I was 14, it changed my life again. It was the means by which I became friends with the ladies who still beta my stories to this day. My writing is heavily influenced by Victorian novelests such as Elisabeth Gaskgall, primary sources like Amelia B. Edwards, and comedy writers like P.G. Wodehouse. Soem of my favorite books include: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey, and Taming the Forest King by Claudia J. Edwards.

Literaturschock: Do you write every day?

Gail Carriger: When I am on a deadline, I write 2000 works a day. Those few times I have a break from new writing I still have editing and/or I'll work on short stories, blog, brainstorm new projects, or review copy edits or galleys/page proofs.

Literaturschock: Where does your fascination for steampunk come from? And what do you like about the Victorian Times? The hats?

Gail Carriger: I came to steampunk first as an aesthetic movement. I’m a longtime fan of vintage clothing and Goth style; steampunk drew me in as a cheerful melding of the two. I also love seeing recycled technology used as jewelry, and other examples of how creative the maker community has become over the past few years. As for the Victorians. Well, my Mum is a tea–swilling ex–pat. I was raised on British children’s books (Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Borrowers, The Water Babies, Wind in the Willows) and I spent many a youthful summer in Devon and two years of graduate school in the Midlands. I adore the Victorian era. I used to make hoopskirts out of my hula–hoops as a child. Too many BBC costume drams.

Literaturschock: A lot of fans from your books in our Board love the Dressing Game, where you can dress Alexia in those wonderfull clothes you describe in your first book. So, have you ever weared a corset and other Victorian clothes?

Gail Carriger: I worked the Great Dickens Christmas Fair here in San Francisco for almost a decade. I was a shop girl for a couture corset company. Which means I had to spend 18 hours a day in corset and full proper Victorian garb. Not only do I know how to wear a corset, I own ten of them, and I can tell at a glance what quality yours is and whether it fits properly. I am also one of the fastest tightest lacers this side of the pond. See, now you've made me brag. But I am ridiculously proud of this odd little skill set. And you better believe whenever I talk clothing in my books, I've got it down to the split bloomers and the horsehair petticoat. I know, I know, so racy.

Literaturschock: Which Character besides Alexia do you like best? Does it change from book to book? I think I prefer Lord Akeldama and Ivy (but to be honest, it is not that easy to say^^)

Gail Carriger: I adore Lord Akeldama because he is so deliciously fun to write – all that mad italic–wielding action. I’m under the impression you need only read him to understand why.

Literaturschock: Ivy is a very special character, well I love her because of her hats *gg* How do you get the idea of her as a person?

Gail Carriger: Ah, its a bit of a secret, but she happens to be based upon a very dear friend of mine . . . when that friend is drunk. The hat obsession is entirely my own. I adore hats.

Literaturschock: When was it clear that you would write about Prudence in her own Series? For me it?s very exiting to read more about her!

Gail Carriger: Actually I had originally intended Soulless to be a stand alone that was the prequel to the Prudence series. So you might say that my idea for a Prudence series came before the Parasol Protectorate series! She is going to be great fun to write about, not the least of which is because of her rather contentious relationship with her mother!

Literaturschock: Could you tell us a little bit from your new series, Finishing School?

Gail Carriger: The Finishing School series is set in the same world as The Parasol Protectorate series, 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. The main character, Sophronia, is recruited without realizing it, and hilarity and hijinks result. There is steampunk etiquette. There is well-dressed espionage. There are cheese pies hurled willy-nilly. There is a mechanical sausage dog named Bumbersnoot. I am excited. The first book, Etiquette & Espionage, will come out in fall of 2012. And I am just about to start writing the second one, Deportment & Deceit.

Literaturschock: Thank you very much for this little Interview!

Gail Carriger: My pleasure!

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