Carriger at Eastercon 2012
May 4, 1976 |
|Pen name||Gail Carriger|
|Period||2009 to present|
|Genre||Steampunk, urban fantasy, mystery, science fiction|
As a field archeologist, one usually has to specialize in a particular part of the world or specific culture, whereas if one is a materials specialist, one can jump around to different areas. So I've had experience on excavations all over the place.
I consider science fiction and fantasy my genre. And I've noticed over the years that there doesn't tend to be a lot of lighthearted, comedic stuff.
I like certain subgenres within science fiction and fantasy, and one of those is urban fantasy, and another is steampunk.
Laughter is healing and helpful and fun, and I see my role as an entertainer, and I want readers to leave my books smiling.
I get really flowery and verbose in my adult books, but I don't think I dumb down my Y.A. It's just cleaner and more snappy. And the adult books have multiple points-of-view. In my Y.A., it's always third person from the main character's perspective.
As for genre, my adult books are usually filed under science fiction / fantasy, although some stores put them into romance, and few have stuck them into horror. I consider all my books a mix of steampunk and urban fantasy.
I do hold very strongly that tea is better in England. There's something in the milk. They must have special cows.
Most people in archeology find their specialties in strange and unique ways. I always wanted to do archaeology, and then the time came for me to actually be in the field, and it was excruciatingly boring. Excavation is really, really boring.
It seems to me that Halloween is the perfect time to get all over steampunk.
Most of the names in my books have secondary meaning. Sometimes they foreshadow; sometimes they tell you about the character's origin or back story.
To me, steampunk and urban fantasy are naturally hinged together. And I think that's because I love the early gothic Victorian literature, and both things spring from that movement.
I don't want my writing to be work to read. My main goal is completely shameless entertainment. I want people to smile and giggle and enjoy the book. I'm not trying to save the world through literature.
I like powerful women, and I gravitate to any point in history when a female has significant power. I can spend hours researching any such amazing lady, from Ching Shih to Hatshepsut to Boudica to Zenobia.
At least half my writing time is spent researching. So for every hour I'm actually clicking on the keyboard, I'm spending another hour trying to figure out some tiny detail I need answered.
To the best of my knowledge, my youngest reader is 10 and the oldest is 95.
Occasionally, if I am very confident in the establishment, I'll risk an egg salad on Dutch crunch, but I must be very confident indeed.
I like to spoof the original Gothic classics, so there is also good dose of comedy in the 'Parasol Protectorate' – giggling readers are good.
I love the Victorian era, and I always have, but I had a leg up on the writing because I was familiar with a lot of the science from the Victorian era. And that led to a massive interest in the science of this time of history.
I'm a Reuben kinda girl, but I'll take a BLT with avocado in a red hot minute if it comes on ciabatta.