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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Spotlight Saturday: Author Interview with Julie Kagawa, author of The Iron Fey Series

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Fey Series, Julie Kagawa!

About Julie:

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, when she was nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks is at an all- time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon.

Author Interview:

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Julie! I am thrilled to you have here today!!

Do you recall when your interest in writing originated?

Around high school, I believe. I didn’t always want to be a writer; when I was younger I wanted to be a veterinarian. Until I realized the amount of math and science that was required, which dampened my enthusiasm a bit. But I always enjoyed writing, so I thought I would give that a try. I had this ridiculous idea that I could write and publish a novel before I went to college, and then I’d be set. Yeah, it didn’t exactly happen that way, lol.

Do you have a specific writing style? Do you discipline yourself to write a certain number of words daily, or does your writing ebb and flow?

I try to write every day, barring emergencies and weekends. I see this as my job, a job I love, but still a job. So I usually start writing around 10am and continue until my husband comes home, which is usually around 5:30pm.

What is your ideal writing environment? Do you prefer music or solitude? Is there a time of day (or night) that you prefer?

I would love to be one of those writers who can go to a coffee shop or a bookstore and write with a steaming mug of tea beside me. Sadly, I’m so easily distracted that I can’t concentrate if there’s anything interesting going on around me. So I’m usually confined to my office, though I do like listening to music as I write.

Where did you come up with the idea for the Iron Fey series?

Faeries, the old, ancient fey, not the glittery winged sprites, have always fascinated me. But I wanted to write a book that was different than other faery books. So I began thinking: what are the fey afraid of? The answer, in most ancient mythos, is iron. Faeries can't stand the touch of iron and steel. So, what if there was a new type of fey that had evolved with progress over the years? What if they weren't only immune to iron, their existence was slowly poisoning and corrupting the lands of the traditional fey? And I realized we already have "monsters" in machines: gremlins, bugs, viruses, etc. And from that thought, the Iron fey were born.

*Fun Facts* 

Favorite food? Sushi! Raw fish over pizza any day!

Dog-lover or cat-lover? I live with two dogs and two cats, so I think that classifies me as both. (or crazy)

Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Chocolate.

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be? Will Shakespeare.

I can't live without my... Caffeine, my precioussssss.

If I could take an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, I would go to...

Thanks so much for joining us today, Julie! It was a lot of fun getting to know you better, and I am looking forward to reading The Iron Fey Series!

The Iron Fey Series, Book #4
Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen
$9.99 U.S. / $11.99 CAN.
ISBN# 978-0-373-21036-7

Bestselling author Julie Kagawa is back with the highly anticipated fourth book of The Iron Fey series, THE IRON KNIGHT (Harlequin Teen; November 2011; $9.99 U.S./$11.99 CAN.).

Unable to survive in the kingdom of his beloved due to his supernatural nature, a warrior prince sets out to turn himself human. But first he must cross deadly lands and overcome nightmarish obstacles before reaching the fabled testing grounds, where he will endure a series of challenges. He is joined on his quest by a team of fantastical creatures, each with an agenda of their own—one, a faery prankster whom the prince has vowed to kill for past misdeeds; another, a wise-speaking cat who claims to be a truthful guide; the third, a legendary and villainous beast pulled right from the fairy tales; and finally, the last, a seer who appears to be the resurrection of the prince’s former love, long thought dead but now restored to life and as beautiful and tempting as ever. With these dubious allies by his side, the prince sets off to achieve his ultimate prize, but to do so will require overcoming the greatest challenge of all in his quest for a human soul—himself.

When exiled faery prince Ash swears an oath to his love, Meghan Chase—the half-human ruler of the Iron Fey realm—to return and be with her forever, he knows what that promise entails. Her Iron Kingdom is anathema to a fey creature such as himself, and in order to survive in it he must renounce his powerful supernatural nature and acquire a mortal soul. Only then will he be able to return and be with his love. But even as a prince of the fabled Winter Court, Ash knows only rumors of how an immortal can become human. Ash needs help, even if that help comes from the last set of creatures in the entire Nevernever realm that he would ever want to join him.

The first to join Ash on his quest is his best friend and fiercest, most annoying rival, Robin Goodfellow—better known as Puck the mischievous prankster. Despite their friendship, a bitter chasm exists between them—Puck is also in love with Meghan Chase, and Ash has vowed to one day kill his friend as payback for a past action. To aid them on their quest, they turn to one of the wisest creatures in the mythical realm of Nevernever—Grimalkin, a talking cat who agrees to help in exchange for a future favor. They set out to find a seer to show them the route that they must take, but on the way they encounter a legendary monster—the Big Bad Wolf. The Wolf is perhaps the most dangerous creature ever to walk the wilds of Nevernever, but now it seeks to join them on their journey so it can increase its own legend and power. The last member of the quest, however, is the most shocking of all to Ash. The very seer they have been seeking turns out to be Ash’s first love, Ariella, a fey princess long thought dead. Not only is she not dead, but Ariella is now an oracle who promises to aid Ash on his quest to be with his new love. But can Ash trust Ariella or will she sabotage their mission in order to win him back for herself?

Ariella advises the party that they must follow the treacherous River of Dreams to the final barrier at the End of the World. There, in an ancient place known as the Testing Grounds, a guardian who holds the key to becoming human awaits. But in order to claim it from him, Ash will first have to endure a deadly series of tests.

As Ash gets closer and closer to fulfilling his quest, he finds it more and more difficult to go on. He is being pulled in many directions—by his two loves, by visions of a deadly future, and by indecision that could destroy him, his allies and all of Nevernever. Ash is under oath to Meghan to complete his quest, but can he do it? After all, in some fairy tales, the hero gets eaten by the monster and doesn’t get to live happily ever after.

Other Books in The Iron Fey Series:

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

Winter's Passage
(The Iron Fey, Book #1.5)
by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter
(The Iron Fey, Book #2)
by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen
(The Iron Fey, Book #3)
by Julie Kagawa

Summer's Crossing
(The Iron Fey, Book #3.5)
by Julie Kagawa

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