Friday 11 May 2012

Featured on Friday: Julie Kagawa

The lovely Julie Kagawa, the author of the brilliantly successful The Iron Fey series and the first book in a new dystopian vampire series, The Immortal Rules, has stopped by to answer a few questions for me. 

1. Was it hard to leave Megan and Faery behind to write something in a completely different world?
It’s always fun to explore new and unfamiliar characters and learn who they are as you write them, and I enjoy building new worlds and filling them with stories. I loved every minute of writing The Iron Fey series, but after four books and two novellas, I was ready to move on to something different. I'd been wondering if I could write something a little darker, and The Immortal Rules was the perfect opportunity for that. At the same time, the characters of the Iron Fey series are like old friends, and going back and writing more on them and their world is like putting on an old, comfortable hoodie.

2. In your novels, the sense of place is vivid and strong. Is this something you feel is important and consciously set out to do?
I definitely think it’s important. A well-developed setting can be a character unto itself and can have as big an impact on a story as anything else. A few descriptive lines around where the characters are can set the tone, build tension, speed up or slow down the pacing, and a thousand other things. I think settings should be as vibrant and dynamic as the characters in the story.

3. I've read that you said you'd never write a vampire novel. Why is that and what made you change your mind?
I had been toying with writing a post-apocalyptic YA story after The Iron Fey, when my agent suggested I might want to try vampires. Although not terribly intrigued with the idea at first, I then had the thought of combining the two, and from there everything sort of fell into place. Vampires have been popular since before Bram Stoker's Dracula, so creating something completely new and unseen was pretty much impossible. When I did decide to write about vamps, I didn't want to go down the well-tread upon "girl meets vampire, falls in love" route. Though there have been many stories lately about moral, good vampires, I wanted to bring them back to their original roots as scary, bloodthirsty killers.

4. If you had the choice between living in the Fringe or as a pet in the Inner CIty, which would you choose? Why?
I would probably be a Fringer like Allison; I have a bit of a rebellious streak in me and don't do well bowing to tyrannical overlords.

5. Was it difficult for you to balance Allison's monstrous vampire nature and the very human character that we were initially introduced to?
Not hugely difficult. Allison was so stubborn and hated vampires so much, it made sense that she would try to retain her humanity. What was trickier was the scene where she lost control and fully understood what it meant to be a vampire. I feared turning her into a true monster but at the same time, I couldn't gloss over it. She had to realize exactly what she was, even if it left her, and the reader, quite horrified.

You can read my reviews of The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight and The Immortal Rules to whet your appetite for Julie’s awesome books. 

I’d like to thank Julie and the ladies at Midas PR for organising this interview.


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