Andi had a long chat with steampunk author Gail Carriger, writer of multiple award-winning steampunkish genre fiction that melds not only steampunk, but paranormal, urban fantasy, comedy and dashes of romance. If you’re not familiar with her work, start with Book 1 of her first series (the Parasol Protectorate), titled Soulless. The protagonist is Alexia Tarabotti, a woman of some means in alt-Victorian England who is also a preternatural – she negates supernatural powers because she has no soul. Hence, “Soulless.” She is thus capable of temporarily rendering vampires and werewolves non-supernatural.
Carriger is also an aficionado of all things steampunkish and, in particular, the Victorian era.
She is currently writing another series that is a spinoff of the Parasol Protectorate, The Custard Protocol, and she is writing a series of novellas that feature as main characters her LGBTQ characters from the Protectorate/Protocol world. The first, Romancing the Inventor, features lesbian character Madame LeFoux (and you can see an interview about that Andi did at Women and Words).
Synopsis of Soulless:
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced! Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?