Here is the schedule for the read-along so you can follow along with us (it’s about a chapter a day):
Nov 7: Curtsies, chapters 1-8
Nov 14: Curtsies, chapters 9 -16, epilogue, and final thoughts on the book
Nov 21: Waistcoats, chapters 1-8
Nov 28: Waistcoats, chapters 8-16 and final thoughts on book
Nov 29: Read-along wrap up and giveaway winner announced
Remember to use #FinishingRA on Twitter for updates. You can include Dena (@denabooks) and I (@tressherm) as well.
Now I’d like to welcome Gail Carriger to my blog!
1. For those who may not be as familiar with your books and specifically this series, would you give us the basic gist of the characters and story?
Comedy of manners meets urbane fantasy meets espionage meets boarding school.
The Finishing School series is set in the same world as my Parasol Protectorate adult book, 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. There is steampunk etiquette! There is well-dressed espionage! There is Victorian fake food. There are mechanical sausage dogs named Bumbersnoot.
2. What inspired you to write the Finishing School Series?
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of girls’ boarding schools. I blame A Little Princess. However, I realized recently, as I was re-watching the BBC adaptation of Gaskell’s North & South, that I think this TV series may be to blame. There is a line where Mr. Bell says, “Have you meet Miss Latimer? Just returned from Switzerland and very much finished.” Or something like. Mr. Bell is a facetious character and I think he is meant to be contemptuously dismissing both the young lady and the very idea of women being made into mere representations of a minimalistic social ideal. But the line has always stuck with me. It made me think about the very idea of sending girls away from home to be finished, and what a powerful thing that could become, were they to learn a whole new set of social skills.
3. What have you loved the most about writing this series?
I’ve enjoyed casting my mind back and remembering my own high school experience (much more clearly than I thought I would). It’s surprisingly easy to regress 20 years. Either that or I never quite grew up.
4. The imagery with all the gadgets, vehicles, and period dress, is just amazing! What do you base the imagery off of, if anything?
Reality. The Victorians had some pretty oddball inventions already, I tend to mash a few of them together, or twist their purpose. Otherwise I just use my imagination to fill in a plot necessity.
5. What would be your favorite item of clothing if you were one of these characters?
6. The slang is so very fun and adds so much to this series. What are some of your favorites and their meanings?
I like them all! It’s fun to put old fashioned slang words, or made up ones, because they are perceived by modern readers as quite ridiculous but were taken very seriously back in the day. (This makes them that much more hilarious.)
7. Do you have a favorite scene or quote from the series that you would be willing to share with us?
Pretty much any scene involving Pillover. He is one of my favorite characters to write. Here is his introduction:
“What’s that?” she asked the girl, wrinkling her nose.
“Oh, that? That’s just Pillover.”
“And what’s a pillover, when it’s at home?”
“My little brother.”
“Ah, I commiserate. I have several of my own. Dashed inconvenient, brothers.”
― Gail Carriger, Etiquette & Espionage
8. What is one interesting thing about you that we may not know?
I’m really good at pinball.
9. When you get a chance to read, what type of books do you tend to grab?
I have pretty specific taste, I actually did a blog post on some of the tropes that I really gravitate towards as a reader. Check that out here.
I also do a read along book group, picking once book a month. I write a blog post about why I chose the book at the beginning of the month, and then write a review at the end. Skye runs a companion discussion via my Goodreads fan group.
10. Can you share a teaser for the fourth book, Manners & Mutiny?
Nope. Nice try, though.
Thank you so much Gail!
About the Books:
Etiquette and EspionageIt’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.
Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail’s legions of fans have come to adore.
Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.
Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.
In this bestselling sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.
Waistcoats and Weaponry
Class is back in session…
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.
Check out this fun book trailer for the series!
Enter to win the entire Finishing School series!
Ends Nov 28, 2014
Open internationally (as long as the Book Depository ships to you for free)
Entrants must be 13 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Winner is chosen randomly. Contest void where prohibited. Good luck!
Want to join the read-along? You can participate and much or as little as you want. Just add yourself to the linky and you’re good to go!