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5 Questions with Gail Carriger

<once again our intrepid interviewer, Eric Hardenbrook asks the author of the month some posers>

 

1. Congrats on the award nominations and on making the bestsellers list. You have previously stated it took a while to sell your books overseas. How are your books selling overseas (particularly in the British market)?

 

 Thank you! It is a genuine surprise. When I was first writing Soulless I remember saying to my friend, "Well it's a fun series to write but it'll never get me any recognition, 'cause it's got romance AND comedy - a death knell on the awards circuit." Silly me. As to foreign sales, no word yet. They finally decided to release UK editions this September, all three books at once as I understand, and my UK editor has been very kind and responsive. Sadly, the series won't be "translated" into the Queen's English, because they wanted to move on them quickly. I've also sold French, Spanish, and German translation rights to the series, and Hungarian to the first book. None of them will come out until next year. It's hard to know how such a quirky setting will go over outside the US, so here's hoping people from other countries will contact me and let me know if they like the concept.

 

 2. In a recent podcast/interview you compared the social structure of the Victorian Age to the structure of social interaction of today in America. It is an interesting juxtaposition. Given the technological sphere around individuals today and the constant electronic communication, do you think communication in person (conversation) is a dying art?

 

What a fascinating question. From my personal contact with the upcoming generation of Americans, yes I think you may be on to something. Or perhaps it's that the style of person-to-person communication has changed, and I just can't keep up. These young whippersnappers don't seem to know how to play the game of social niceties anymore. Perhaps, I'm just jaded, I was teaching college when this first came to my attention.

 

 3. Fan fiction is a hot topic on the web lately. How do you feel about Fanfic and do you know of any for your characters?

 

Oh, I have a massive blog prepared in answer to this question, it's rather much to go into here. I will, however, say three things. First, so far I haven't seen any fanfic for the Parasol Protectorate characters. Second, the situation is destined to remain that way. (Not that none will be written, but that, for legal reasons, I will never be able to read any.) Finally, I go to great lengths to ensure I am approachable and accessible over the internet so I do find it very rude if such things are made/written without at least a polite little note saying something along the lines of, "Hey, I enjoy your world, hope you don't mind me playing in it." If you want to hear more of my autocratic thoughts on the matter, drop by my blog for a big long discussion on the subject Weds May 26, 2010.   <Gail actually addressed this question at her reading at Balticon and you can read more on her blog—http://gailcarriger.livejournal.com/136922.html>

 

 4. Can you conceive any way your book would work if the main character was male rather than female?

 

 Another fascinating question, and yes. Alexia is rather masculine in some ways, especially for a Victorian female. I could certainly see her as a gay man, for example. I enjoy writing female heroines, so it's probably easier on me that she is a she. Which isn't to say I wouldn't like to write a male main character. I may try my hand at it someday, but knowing me the hardest thing would be to write a completely straight male main character.

 

 5. Our obligatory oddball question: if you could have one superpower, what would it be?

 

 I'd like to be able to breathe underwater. Not much of a super power, but then I wouldn't be called upon to save anyone, I could just muck about amongst the fishes for hours on end. On the down side, I'd probably never leave the bathtub.