MFT Interview and Giveaway with Gail Carriger!

Welcome to Day 2 of My Favorite Things: Steampunk Week!
Today on the blog I have the incomparable Gail Carriger! She’s hear to talk about her love of vintage and archeology, and she’s also offering *SIGNED* copies of Changeless and Blameless to one lucky winner!

*Please see giveaway details at the bottom of this post!


Don’t forget to check out the My Favorite Things Event Schedule for a full list of events, and be sure to visit Candace’s Book Blog to see what she’s got going on!

Welcome to the blog, Gail! I’m so thrilled to have you! Since you have a rather extensive “Never Ending Interview” section on your blog, I thought I’d ask some fun, out-of-the-box questions!You have a BA in Archeology and actually left to pursue writing before you could complete your PhD! What element of archeology are you most passionate about?
As with most things academic this can get very dull very quickly but, you did ask so . . . While my BA is in Field Archaeology with a focus on the classical world, my first masters degree was an MS in what the British call Materials Analysis. Which is to say, that I moved quickly out of the field into the laboratory and became far more interested in analyzing artifacts after they’d been dug up. My particular focus was on ceramics. I happen to be the world’s only expert on SEM analysis of clay-body glaze interaction layers in 8th to 12th Century Islamic ceramics midden deposits from the site of Raqqa in Syria. I know, woooooo. After that, I set out to understand early kiln technology using experimental practices, picked up an second MA in anthropology, and ended up in the highlands of Peru doing field lab analysis of ceramics from an amazing long occupation Wari-Inca-Colonial site outside of Cuzco.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

It depends on how long I had. For a short vacation I’d probably choose somewhere tropical like Hawaii. I’m one of those swim, sit around in the sand reading, swim, eat lots of fruit kind of vacationers. For anything longer I’d go back to Italy, where I did my first excavating. I have a friend in Thailand so I’d like to go there, but probably only if I could carve out a month or more.

What’s your favorite vintage clothing item?
Right now, this 1940’s black dress I wore to the Hugos last year. It just looks so elegant.

How many pairs of vintage shoes do you own?
Actually, shoes are the one thing I don’t do vintage. I can’t repair them myself and they usually need lots of work. Also my feet tend to be too big. Instead, I go for shoes that look vintage rather than ones that actually are. I have 33 pairs of vintage inspired shoes, including boots.

What’s your second favorite pudding (after Treacle tart;)?
Actually the treacle tart is a joke. I absolutely loathe the stuff, so do most humans of sense. I’m a fan of baked custard in any form. My current favorite is this pumpkin ginger custard recipe I picked up a few years ago.

When Alexia and Macon find their way to the big screen (fingers crossed), who would you want to play them?
Lord Maccon is easy, Sean Bean. As for Alexia, I recently saw a QI episode with Ronni Ancona and thought she’d make a really good Alexia. One of the people I considered originally was Claudia Black.

I read in your bio that you’re a sewist! What’s your favorite way to apply that talent?

You mean, I sew? Not very well and never from a pattern. What I can do is look at a thrift store item and see the possibilities. I suppose that you could say is I am a tailor. This is one way I manage to keep a vintage wardrobe, the poor things are constantly in need of repairs.

Finally, is there any exciting news you’d like to share with us about any upcoming projects or events?
Oh, so much! I’m launching a fashion blog June 1, called Retro Rack. The fourth Parasol Protectorate book, Heartless, is out July 1. I’m currently writing the first of four young adult books, the Finishing School series. There is also a manga of Soulless coming into serialization starting the end of July. I’ve my first GOH appearance at FenCon in Dallas this September. I’m visiting Germany in October. And I’m currently obsessed with wearing capes.

Visit the author at her website



  1. That's awesome that Gail's an archaeologist/anthropologist! I'm looking at majoring in anthropology, though I'll be focusing more on southeastern American topics.

  2. Lisa R/alterlisa

    Awesome giveaway! Thanks so much!


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  3. Love the interview! I LOVE that she's writing a young adult series! I CANNOT wait for that 😉

  4. I can't wait of "Heartless" and I am duly impressed by your educational attainments, Ms Carriger! Reading your books is one of pleasures of my life! Lovely interview, Kristin!

  5. Logan E. Turner

    Gail is so cool! So many hidden talents and such inspired endeavors! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I was just talking to a friend from Syria that says his country has some of the most beautiful ancient sites in the world, but they don't want visitors so it's kept quiet. Cool that you're an expert on something from the area.

    Great interview, and great giveaway. Awesome that you can pull off wearing a cape. I wish I had the courage to wear the unique things I collect. I haven't read the series. I'd hope I win.

    Best of luck!

  7. Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club

    Steam Punk is awesome!

    Kitty Bullard

  8. I am very impressed by your expertise in anthropology and archeology! Maybe I'm a little young to have decided, but someday I'd like to get into a similar field.

    Awesome interview, and thank you for the chance to win! Everyone seems to have read and loved these books but me. 🙂

  9. Offbeat Vagabond

    Great interview hon. This series has been on TBR list for a while. Wow, Carriger is a very interesting author. So talented and very smart. I am no idiot, but that ceramics stuff had my head spinning a little LOL! Nonetheless, I am dying to read this series, the first that drew me to them were the covers. Can't get enough. Thank you guys for the great interview & giveaway 🙂

  10. Jessica ( frellathon )

    Yay steampunk believe it or not I've never read any. Must correct this asap.

  11. Thank you for the great interview and the chance to win the giveaway.

  12. Hannah Mariska

    Can't wait for Timeless or Retro Rack. Who would have thought one woman could be so talented!

  13. These have been on my "to buy" list for a while, I'd love to win them. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  14. Great interview! Love this series and so looking forward to Gail's YA series. Finishing School sounds too good.

  15. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    Loved reading this. Thanks

  16. Casey (The Bookish Type)

    I'm so excited to read this series! Thanks for the giveaway =D

  17. Oh my I love that she thought of Claudia Black as Alexia as I've been just thinking and hoping that Claudia Black would be perfect as one to read the audiobooks 😀

  18. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Dani @ Refracted Light

    Love this series! Am a fan of steampunk as well as Ms. Carriger's witty, intelligent dialogue! Thanks for the giveaway!

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