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February 2016



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Finishing School

10 Questions About Etiquette & Espionage ~ Answered

As I am sure you are now aware, Gentle Reader, Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School book the First) is coming! Eeep! I've been busy plotting fun blog posts and much silliness for the ramp up to the February 5th release date.


Here are some of the questions I anticipate being asked the most...

1. Will it be available early (or shipping early from online retailers)?
No. This book has a SSD (Street Smart Date) which means retailers are not supposed to shelve or ship before the release date.

2. Does this mean online retailers will ship a few days early so it arrived on my doorstep on Feb 5?
I don't know, this is my first time with an SSD.

3. I can't make any of your events, can I order a signed copy or send you a bookplate with postage return?
It's not my policy to do bookplates, but you can order a signed copy from Borderlands, my local Indy in San Francisco or (I think) from any of the venues I am visiting. So far as I know, Borderlands will ship anywhere (you will have to pay shipping). If you get your request in early enough (email, phone) I will also dedicate the book to whomever you wish.

4. What about the ebook?
Right now you can get a free preview of the first 3 chapters of Etiquette & Espionage online, I believe it will drop in full on February 5th.

5. The audiobook?
Should also drop, unabridged, on February 5th. I have a new voice actress for this series, we wanted a more youthful tone. I did get to help select her and I think you'll like her a lot.

6. Will there be graphic adaptations of this series?
If they do well enough, I certainly hope so. I'd like to wait for REM though, if I have the choice. And right now she's busy with the Parasol Protectorate series.

7. What age group bests suits the Finishing School series?
I'd say 10 and up. Although a voracious younger reader might also enjoy these books. There is very little romance in the first book and what appears in future books will be off the "high school crush" variety.

8. Why isn't the language (vocabulary, syntax, spelling) proper Queen's English? (AKA the ladybird issue)
Little Brown US house rules require American language and grammar. However, unlike the Parasol Protectorate series, the UK editions of Etiquette & Espionage will be anglicized! They will also be releasing on Feb 5. US editions to US territories and Canada (release date unknown). UK editions to UK territories, Aus, & NZ (some stores may vary) release date c. Feb 12.

9. How about a movie of this one?
Whoa there sparky! The book is not even out yet.

10. How do I pronounce Sophronia?
Ta da!

Did I miss your question? Please feel free to ask about Etiquette & Espionage nitty-gritty in the comments below. No spoilers, please. I do have a blog prepped with some more interview questions (like why I chose to switch to YA) for the end of this month.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Sunglasses and a parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Little Octopus Climbing Over a Rock
Warning, sound starts after click!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
LAMENT FOR COCOA by John Updike via FB
LAMENT FOR COCOA by John Updike via FB

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Four Ways to Pre-Write Your Scenes

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Corralling edits. Working 3rd draft.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Release date November 2013. Proofs handed in. Done my end.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Out now!
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Tour events planned!

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
Soulless review, with a mention to the rest of the series.

Quote of the Day:
"Tea. Fortunately, this everyday article is not so rare a thing to obtain good of its kind in this country as in many others. Still, there is often a total incapacity on the part of the ordinary lodging-house and other domestic to fathom the idea that the achieving of good tea depends largely upon the fact of the kettle boiling at the time when it is made, not merely having boiled; and it is often more satisfactory to manufacture the article in question for oneself than to leave it to the tender mercies of the ignorant and incapable."
~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, 1889
This is how I feel about hotel tea.

Daisypath Wedding tickers


Thanks so much for this! I'm going on Audible to pre-order my copy of the audiobook tomorrow!

Would you happen to know if the Canadian version of the book will have the Queen's English rules or American rules? (It's like Harry Potter all over again!) And will this apply to the ebook as well as the actual hardcover book?

Canada is US territory in the publishing industry, so it will be the US version. The UK version goes to Aus and NZ.
Silly publishing industry! We're in the commonwealth! I'll have to have my friend in Scotland pick me up a Queen's English copy, then.

Sale dates and Language Stuff

I'm going to assume that SSD is the same as what our store calls SOS (Strict on Sale) based on description. In this case, at least for B&N, the book ships the date of release, not before. Otherwise, the book could arrive early, and that would be bad news for the sale date.

As for ebooks, check for availability a bit after midnight eastern time. Sometimes they can come up "early" if you're on the west coast, for example. Can't promise, but it does happen.

Gail, when you were first writing the series, did you yourself write it Americanized or Anglicized? (Or somewhere in between?) Does Americanization also include tweaking characterizing dialogue (I hope not)?

I have never heard of the ladybird issue and am having trouble googling it (I get this blog a lot ...) I'm interested in language, so I'd love to find out more about this. What does it refer to?

Re: Sale dates and Language Stuff

I write a weird hybrid of the two (rather like I speak). One house edits one way, one edits the other.

I don't know how much dialogue will change as I don't get to see the Anglicization before publication (gulp).

Ladybird is the British word for ladybug. It seems to be the thing people write me angrily about the most. Ah la: "Why don't you use the world ladybird, stupid American author?"

Re: Sale dates and Language Stuff

Thanks! I just learned a whole bunch about "ladybeetles."

If you have the time/inclination once you've seen the Anglicized edition, it could be neat to have a blog that references some of the edits and what cultural/linguistic differences are behind them. Maybe. Unless that's too nerdy/involved for a blog post.
Something I've wondered before, but never thought to ask - if the release date is offically 5th Feb, but it is released offically in Aus on 12th Feb (if I read what you said correctly) and I buy it then, does this still count towards "first week sales"?

I'm still buying it first chance I get, regardless!
First week sales are also location specific. So yes it counts, but for Down Under. For example: even though they are out at the same time my UK sales are not counted towards the New York Times list, they are counted toward the London Times list. The ebooks are subdivide the same way. I am happy with any sales I get though!
Amazon tells me I will receive my copy on the release date. This is consistent with how they handled the Harry Potter releases. I imagine they have an agreement with their shippers to guarantee the book is not accidentally delivered early.