Frequently Asked Questions.

[Answers are from both “parties” unless otherwise noted.]


Why should I read your book? Because.

Where can I buy your books? We’re glad you asked! You can find where they’re sold HERE.

What does “Circo del Herrero” mean? It is Spanish for Circus of the Blacksmith. In other words, The Blacksmith’s Circus. It’s a play on the phrase “Bread and Circuses” and also the fact that a lot of automata throughout history were made to look like circus performers. Two different circuses with one pun.

Why is the series name in Spanish? Psh. Why is our book even in English? Both are colonizer languages. English isn’t the only language spoken in the Americas, where this is set.

Why do you use Automata and Automatons (the plurals of Automaton) interchangeably? We use both to show acceptance of both, but probably only use Automata when we’re feeling particularly fancy. Just like we probably hop from “anyway” to “anyways” depending on our mood.

What are your full names? Can’t say, because it’d give away our genders. And THAT would give away several plot twists later in the series. Plus, we enjoy being on the list with other initialed giants–C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, everybody else these days…

But don’t mistake us for what who we really are:

Why do you guys use “s/he” or “he/she” so much when talking about each other? Why not use only gender-neutral pronouns such as “they/their”? This is for earlier editions of the work, and it’s a good point. The main reason is the Narrator and I are cis-gendered. We didn’t want to hijack a gender-neutral pronoun that wasn’t ours, but we later realized this may come off as too old-school and exclusionary when we admittedly don’t fit the binary well to begin with. We also started work on this series before gender-neutral pronouns were so accepted as grammatically correct, believe it or not. You’ll see us drop more they/theirs in the future though.

Why do you use “he” if Dorian is trans? Trans can be used as an umbrella term and can include nonbinary and gender-nonconforming identities. Some of those identities can include still using the pronoun they were assigned at birth. As referenced in the previous link, Dorian grew up in a time when identities had less language to guide those in the community, so that may have influenced his decision to continue to use He/Him as his pronouns. But we also do not want to invalidate it as a valid option. Kevin explains it better than we ever could:

Why do the Editor and Narrator break the 4th wall so much? Because our work is a statement on the Author-as-God mindset (whether the Narrator realizes it or not). No one creates in a vacuum. There is no point to a story without an audience. Insert other excuses here.

Why have the Editor annotate the story? Because sometimes people need interpreters – not just on the language level, but on the reality level. Some say there are two sides to every story. We are living proof. Everything we do is a work in progress – we wanted you to KNOW more than one person has played their role in this story. Stories overlap. There are different perspectives all saying the same thing. Maybe even you have your own footnotes to add!(Seriously, go ahead. Annotate away! We give you permission to write in the margins).

Speaking of footnotes, I hate them! We’re glad you have opinions. We have them too. Such as: Buy the print edition because ebooks seem to have it out for footnotes, maybe? Oh. You did that already? Well, maybe you should avoid most literature courses too. Norton Anthologies of Literature especially.

What is the REAL reason you guys collaborated on this series? Because we, like all couples, think each other are brilliant. That, and Gabbler doesn’t want BLA to make a fool of themselves and therefore make Gabbler look bad by extension. (Nevermind that I, Gabbler, have always wanted to write a book but never found the inspiration until it was handed to me in rough draft. The “book I would have written” would always have been me dissecting myself. I’d much rather have my muse be the person I love).

How’d the Narrator get the idea for this crap? Um, you clearly aren’t paying attention here. BLA believes every word written.

Why don’t Vulcan and the other gods have greater roles in this novel? Because this.

Why is the story set in the U.S. — most of all, the SOUTH? Because natural gas? Subterranean fuel? F*ck if we know why Vulcan chose to stir sh*t up in the “melting pot.” Probably because you have to scrape the bottom to keep it from sticking? IDK. I mean, who knows why he even has as statue in Alabama? There’s no volcanoes around there, yet something is clearly attracting him…

[Because The Author of this series grew up in the Bible Belt and has a lot to say (sub-textually) in response literature like American Gods, for instance.]

Why are there nine Automatons? We don’t know why Vulcan does ANYTHING. But, much like the nine Muses, it seems to work just fine.

But why doesn’t this book mention Talos or any of the other automatons Hephaestus/Vulcan [may have] created? Why isn’t there a greater use of pre-established mythology in this book? WHYYY? Slow down there, canon-police. Just because Talos isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean the story rejects that he or the others exist. This story just focuses on one batch Vulcan whipped up. If you wanted “old established myth,” we suggest you go back to Hesiod and Homer. Or, gods forbid, maybe Percy Jackson is more your style. Have fun feeling smart about spotting the archetypes in that story.

Why do you/How dare you call this novel a “Prose Epic”? See this Wikipedia entry on Prose Poems.

Why does every chapter end in a slanty-name and a character list? Yes, we’ll be upfront about the weirdness of it. Every chapter ends in a name and a list. Think it’s a bit much? We wouldn’t blame you. See (despite my best efforts to “free up” the chapters), our Narrator insisted. Our Narrator said (something to the effect of), “Like stanzas of a poem, the names create form for the novel.” I replied, “If poetry is your intent then why not write in verse?” “Because I don’t have f—king time to write poetry! Is my writing not anal enough?” That’s when I realized the Narrator’s chapter “formula” was a great compromise. I’d kill myself if I had to edit iambic pentameter.

Why no page breaks between chapters? Even in the tangible novels? BECAUSE EPIC POETRY BREAKS FOR NO CHAPTERS. Plus, BECAUSE TREES.

But about those lists, what do they have to do with poetry? Everything. They are a catalog organizing our characters. Let’s move on.

You said BLA is mute. How can the Narrator tell you ANYTHING? Like we said in Vol. 1, the Narrator uses a computer to type to me. BLA is very good at typing. In fact, BLA typed a lot of this up and I just edited it. – G.

I’m not really sure about Dorian’s race. Or the twins’. Good.

Why do none of your characters GO anywhere? Odys barely leaves his apartment! Nothing happens! If you think nothing happens, don’t let us persuade you otherwise.

Do you read comments on the blog? Yep. We might even holla back. We ask that you be respectful. All inappropriate comments will be deleted. What’s “inappropriate”? Well, post what you need to say and you just might find out.

When’s the next book coming out? Follow the blog for that announcement, because we don’t even know yet. But SOON.

Why no audio book? Because footnotes?

Why aren’t you with a traditional publisher? We’re a bit too weird for traditional tastes. Thankfully, you have good taste, you good looking person, you.

Causes you support? We endorse Alley Cat Allies. Cats like Bulfinch are put down in shelters every day because they aren’t treated like the wild animals that they are. Ecological xenophobia affects their lives. Though Bul isn’t feral (and that is a loaded term), we don’t think other cats should be measured against him (yes, Bulfinch is the pinnacle of all cats here).

There’s an error in my book (grammar, syntax, spelling, formatting, etc.). Complain to us about it! Gabbler may have edited the damn thing but there is only so much damage control a mortal human can do. But drop an email with ‘Is Gabbler Slacking?’ in the Subject and we’ll see if we did it on purpose or not. (There have actually been a lot of issues with the footnote formatting in the Smashwords and their affiliate sellers’ versions. Please let us know if you have any issues and our team can either fix the problem or make amends).

Oh, and thanks for pointing out our flaws. Keeps us humble. Jerk.

But seriously, thanks for telling us our fly is down:  HeckleTheRingmaster @ circodelherreroseries . com [sans spaces]

And no, you don’t get a refund, asshole.

How do I contact you? Please use the contact email. We don’t have a mail box. Or a P.O. box (yet). We also don’t do appearances because…well, you’ll find out in Vol. 3.

Fan mail? Checked every day! whenever we’re not reading hate mail or error emails. Send us your stuff here: Contact @ circodelherreroseries . com [do I need to repeat myself about the spaces?]

Hate us? Sounds like someone needs a hug. But not you, because you sound awful. But, if you still need to vent, send us an email. Why not. You already know what it is. We brought this on ourselves.

Want to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help us gods? Read the FAQ Spoiler Edition.

Please check again in the future for more secrets and/or better lies.


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