THE IRON KING, the first book in the Iron Fey series, comes to bookstores February 2010. It is about a teenage girl named Meghan who finds out she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. Do you have a favorite line/scene/passage you can tantalize us with today?Hm, favorite scene. How about this one …
“War?” Something cold touched my cheek, and I looked up to see snowflakes swirling in a lightning-riddled sky. It was eerily beautiful, and I shivered. “What will happen then?”
I touched the place where his fingers had touched my skin, giddy and terrified at the same time.
THE IRON KING combines elements of mythical, legendary faery lore like sidhe and satyrs along with more modern counterparts like gremlins. Out of all the different types of faery stories and legends that abound, do you have one type in particular that is a favorite and that you never get tired of reading?
There are so many fabulous faery books out now, its difficult picking just one. I do enjoy the stories where the fey are primal and dangerous, like Holly Black's Tithe or Leslie Livingston's Wondrous Strange. But by far the best portrayal of the fey and their world is Ted Naifah's graphic novel series, Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things. They're grim and stark and creepy, and I absolutely love them.
What was the most shocking or surprising tidbit you uncovered about faery lore when researching THE IRON KING?
Did you draw from your own experiences or the personalities of people in your life when constructing characters such as Meghan or the spunky cat, Grimalkin?
I don't know about personality, but Meghan and I were both loners in school, unpopular and invisible. I can sympathize with her loneliness and feelings of isolation. And Grimalkin is the part of me that wishes I could just say exactly what I was thinking, without caring what anyone thought.How do you think you'd handle the situation if you were in Meghan's shoes and had to face all the danger and evil she did?
Hopefully better, since I know the basic rules of Faeryland: don't eat anything, don't make bargains, and don't accept any rides from friendly black ponies. Also, I'd make sure to bring along a cold iron baseball bat. :P
Do you remember writing the first words of THE IRON KING and are they still the same today?
Yes, to both questions. The opening line of THE IRON KING, “Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared,” hasn't changed since the day I wrote it.
Right after I wake up, after I check email and blogs and Twitter and various other online distractions. When I actually decide to write, I try to get at least 1000-1200 words. Sometimes I can write that in a few hours, sometimes it takes all day. I have a lovely desk in one corner of the office, so obviously I do most my writing on a cluttered table with books and empty Mountain Dew cans.
Can you tell us what the most surprising thing has been so far in becoming a published author? Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
The most surprising thing about getting published is the amount of promoting you have to do yourself. The author is basically responsible for their own tours, their own signings, getting a website and blog up, and reaching out to those in the book community.
To aspiring writers, I leave you with my favorite quote. It is inspiring every time I read it.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common then unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on,” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.” --Calvin Coolidge.
In other words: “Never give up.”