For June’s Pride Month, we got to talk to some incredible people – including New York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger. She has been cooking up steampunk adventures for over 20 books now. She has more than a million copies in print. Getting the advice of such an experienced writer was a real honour!

Gail sat down with Janet, CEO of World Anvil, to answer some big questions. Starting with why she started writing LGBT  fiction, Gail had tips on how to engage your readers. She also delved into her worldbuilding process, and how she makes her characters diverse and relatable.

You can watch the whole interview below!

Gail Carriger’s latest book The Fifth Gender just came out. She also reflected on some of the process that went into creating an alien species with five genders.

Finally, they got to chat about what she will be doing next – with some exciting hints at a non-fiction project. Plus her next Parasol Protectorate novel, Reticence.

Gail answers bonus questions

Gail was also kind enough to send us through answers to two of the questions that due to time couldn’t be answered on stream.
Question asked by Dimitris
Have you had the chance to watch/read Japanese Steampunk like “Steamboy”? what is your opinion on the way that the Japanese culture embraced Steampunk?

I’ve seen Steamboy, which I found a little boring, and Howl’s Moving Castle, which was fantastic (and I also love the original book) but I am not a dedicated fan of Japanese pop culture like many I know, so I can’t comment from a place of education.

Question asked by XanthussMarduk
How much do you draw from folklore/mythology vs invent new takes on things like vampires?

A lot but I try to look at the blood sucking/flashing eating and shape changing mythology of the place that the characters are from and visiting. Since it is different in different parts of the world. That’s part of the fun.

Using Gail’s advice: Start worldbuilding!

Reticence is now out, and you can grab it from all good booksellers. If you’re new to Gail’s writing however, you’ll want to start with Soulless.  The book that started it all!

Need more inspiration? Check out when we interviewed Sarah Painter, author of The Lost Girls, about how she uses family in her worldbuilding.

After you’ve listened to some of Gail’s great tips, World Anvil’s worldbuilding templates should help you get your new ideas down! And start worldbuilding using her advice.