Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mountaineering with Julie Kagawa

Hello everyone thanks for again for stopping my my little home in the blogosphere. Today I would like to take some time away from reviewing books in order to bring you an interview with the fabulous Julie Kagawa who is the author of the recent release The Iron King, which if you've been paying attention I gushed over lots yesterday. Julie is an up and coming new author she has lots of talent and I highly suggest that you run out and buy her book.

First off…tell us a little about you?

Well, I was born in California but moved to Hawaii when I was nine. And before you think “wow, why did she ever leave?” let me tell you its much different living there. I could horrify you with stories about the giant flying cockroaches and foot-long poisonous centipedes and killer wild pigs and cane spiders as big as your hand … but I won’t. :P

I wish I could say I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but that’s not the case. For years I wanted to be a veterinarian. This dream sort of crashed when I discovered the endless amounts of science and math I had to do to become said vet. So around my teen years, I decided I would become an author instead. (I had this ridiculous notion that I would write a book and get it published before I went to collage. Yes, you can stop laughing now.)

What is your writing process like?

Writing process: Get up. Get dressed. Check email. Brush teeth. Check email again, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Check Twitter (curse you, Tweetdeck). Check OTHER email account. Visit various blogs. Open WIP document. Stare at it for awhile. Check email again. Wander down to kitchen for food and Mt. Dew. Come back to computer and check email, twitter, blogs, ect. Add empty Mt. Dew can to the dozen or so on the table. Finally feel guilty enough to actually sit down to WIP. Get started on WIP.

Check email.

If we were able to take a peek at your nightstand, what book(s) might we find there?

At the moment (let me check), I have Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days(fabulous), Amy Huntley’s The Everafter (wonderful), and Diana Peterfreund’s Rampant (killer unicorns!) And several empty Mt. Dew cans.

What sort of foods do you like to eat when you are sick?

Mt. Dew (this will be a theme) and soup. Also, lots of medicine that makes me unconscious. I hate being sick.

Book you most want to read again for the first time?

Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder. I remember I got this at the library and I’d never heard of it before, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Little did I know I’d discover my perfect literary crush within its pages, Valek, whom no one has been able to topple from his spot at #1. Of course, I’ve had to fight off many Valek admirers since then, as they mistakenly believe Valek is theirs. (Valek is still mine, Gail!)

Julie - no he isn't!! He's back off! *glares and prepares to glomp*

Are there any books that you might have lied about reading (we promise we won’t judge)?

I have never actually read Moby Dick (Oxford World's Classics), because it was long and boring (to me), and I could get all the test answers from the cliff notes.

If it makes you feel any better Julie, I haven't read Moby Dick either. Has never appealed to me.

What’s a book you’ve been a book bully for? (ie one you’ve liked so much that you practically beat people over the head just to get them to read it)

Ha! I think you already know the answer to this question. ;-) I’ve harassed many a blogger on twitter about Poison Study, which is strange because it only adds to the teeming throng of Valek lovers, and then I just have to beat them off with a stick when they try to claim him. :P

Which came first title, plot or character(s)?

With The Iron King, the story began with one character, the heroine. Meghan actually started out as a full faery, then evolved to what she is today. After I had her character down, the plot started forming around her, and Ash, Puck, and Grimalkin emerged for the first time. When I finally knew what the story was about, the title took care of itself.

One thing that I love about The Iron King is that it’s a new twist on the world of Faerie, how did you come up with the idea for your spin on these old myths?

The idea for the Iron Fey came to me when I was researching different kinds of faeries. In all the old legends, faeries are allergic to iron. They are also (mostly) creatures of nature, so naturally they could have a hard time with the amount of iron and steel and progress we’ve made over the years. So I thought, what if there were a new type of faery, one that evolved with progress and technology, one that was immune to iron? Then I remembered we already have “creatures” lurking in machines: gremlins and bugs and worms and viruses, and from that thought, the Iron Fey were born.

There are a lot of great characters in your book, which one was your favorite to create? My faves by far are Ash, Grim and Puck (in that order….but I’ve gushed over them all lots on twitter so I am sure that is no surprise to you, lol.)

My personal favorite would have to be Ash, but Grimalkin runs a very close second and I’ve had a lot of fun with him. He says things people wish they could say but are too polite. Grimalkin has no such reservations.

What sort of books do you think your main characters (Meghan, Ash & Puck) like to read? If they had a favorite book or author what do you think it is?

Meghan, surprisingly, likes all things horror; her favorite author by far is Stephen King. With Puck, it’s hard to say, but he does like Shakespeare, just because he likes seeing himself in AA Midsummer Night's Dream. Ash favors books about history, weapons or (oddly enough) poetry. His favorite book is The Art of Warby Sun Tsu.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in The Iron King (without being spoilery of course)?

I’m fairly happy with the way everything turned out. Meghan isn’t perfect, but she has two more books to grow and change, and the story is pretty much how I imagined it. I don’t think I would change anything. (except maybe more scenes involving Grim, from one early review, lol.)

If Ash (from Iron King) and Valek (from Maria Snyder’s Study series) were to meet in a dual, who would you bet on and why?

That’s a tough question. I would have to bet on Ash, though, because 1). I’m biased, and 2). He’s a lot older than Valek (being an immortal faery) and has had more time to perfect his sword skills. And he has magic, but Valek has his anti-magic aura going all the time, so I don’t know. Would it work against faery glamour?

From early reviews, Grimalkin seems to be the breakout star of the books. Are you surprised by this? And has his role in the story changed at all because of his increasing popularity?

Hahaha, I kind of had the feeling Grimalkin would steal the show. He’s the favorite of everyone in my publishing house, too. But no, Grimalkin hasn’t changed. He has been and always will be what he is, and actually finds all this attention rather amusing.

The Zombie Apocalypse has started, what is your zombie plan? And if you could have one of your characters assist you in the fight against the undead…who would it be and why?

My plan would first be to run next door to Wal-Mart to grab all the unperishables I could, as well as some skull-crushing weapons, guns, and ammo. Then me and my family would go to the Louisville Mega Caverns right underneath the zoo. It was a nuclear bunker at one time, with thick lead doors that can be sealed up for years. We’d be perfectly safe there; the Caverns are several acres big, and there are even rations and beds left behind, in case the nuclear holocaust came. Once the doors are sealed, we’d be all set to wait out the Zombie Apocalypse. (And no, I haven’t thought about this plan in great detail, why do you ask?)

Of course, I’d have to take Ash. He’s fearless, overprotective, and good at slicing zombie heads from shoulders. Easy pick.

Hmm....your zombie plan is much more thought out than mine. Which is pretty much just to high tale it up to Canada and hole up with Courtney Summers - as she is a zombie expert and all quizzes say that my survival rate is only 62%. Maybe instead of Canada I should head toward Kentucky instead. Wonder which is closer to Massachusetts...

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

At the moment, I’m working on edits for The Iron Queen, the last in the Iron Fey trilogy. After that … who knows? Okay, I do have one secret project, but it would be spoilery to tell.

Julie - has anyone every told you what a tease you are? Why mention a sekrit project at all if you can't mention it. You're mean! *pouts*

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just a few words of appreciation. Authors are nothing without readers. You guys are why I write, and if my books were never read if would all be for nothing. So, thank you. Love the book or hate it, thank you for reading it.

And thank you for writing it Julie! We readers are nothing if we don't have authors to write for us. So thanks. Also, a quick note to everyone who reads my blog, if you read a book and love it then be sure to find the authors website and let them know. As I blogger I can tell you that I still get a bit giddy every time someone leaves a comment on my page and from my conversations with authors I know that they feel the same. =) Ok, off of my soap box. Thanks again Julie for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Its been great fun and I now know the way into your heart seems to be with Mt. Dew so will keep that in mind if I insert myself into your Zombie Plan instead of Courtney's. ;-)

Cross-posted at: Ticket To Anywhere.


RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the excellent interview with Julie Kagawa and thank you to Julie for sharing here. I really liked learning more about Julie & her writing. I also liked the humor. Congratulations to Julie on her Release Day (Officially tomorrow).
All the best,

Anonymous said...

This is an enchanting interview and now I've got this on my tbr list- thank you for sharing your process of writing, and giving me a yen for some Mountain Dew . Iona McAvoy

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