A website dedicated to books in the Young Adult genre, featuring book reviews, author interviews contests and much more!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Interview with Julie Kagawa, Author of The Iron King

Today I'd like to welcome debut author Julie Kagawa, whose novel THE IRON KING recently released in February. Julie stopped by to talk about her exciting new series with us. Let's get started!

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?”

Ash stepped closer. His fingers came up to brush the hair from my face, sending an electric shock through me from my spine to my toes. His cool breath tickled my face as he leaned in.

“I'll kill you,” he whispered, and walked away, joining his brothers at the table. He did not look back.

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?

There are many shocking, gruesome faery tales. The original Brother's Grimm stories usually ended in blood and violence, and many fey were horrible, frightening creatures. For example, there is a faery called the Night Prowler, who lurks outside a house until everyone is asleep. Then, clutching her own withered, hideous child, she enters the house and bathes her child in the blood of the human infant, until it her child is healthy again. The next morning, the human couple will wake to find their own baby cold and lifeless.

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.

What sort of environment do you write in, and at what time of the day do you do your best writing?

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 talk about what we can look forward to in the next installment in the series? Are you working on any other projects?

The Iron Daughter, the second installment in The Iron Fey series, will be out in August of 2010. And the last book in the trilogy, The Iron Queen, will come out six months after that. Right now I'm working on a couple super secret projects that I can reveal just yet.

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.”

The Iron King (Iron Fey, Book #1) by

Publication Date: February 2010 (Harlequin Teen)

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series. Read an excerpt of The Iron King HERE!

To learn more about the author, visit her Official Website and Blog.


bookaholic said...

Lovely interview. I want to read Iron King :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great questions :D

Maria the Bookworm said...

Great interview, Kim! I am reading The Iron King now, I'm like 100 pages into the story, and so far it's really good. Julie's favourite scene was a real teaser, I can't wait till I get to that part. Anyway, I love how it's only six months between her books, because I have a feeling I'll be yearning for the next ones :)

Texy's bookself said...

Great interview!
I am so excited to be reading The Iron King soon.

Janicu said...

Nice interview. I liked the scene posted.. This is a book I plan to read :)

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

I'm reading The Iron King right now and don't want it to end. I'd highly recommend to anyone who hasn't read it. Glad you enjoyed the interview guys!