That's right, kids! We're celebrating the awesomeness that is Julie Kagawa this weekend! We've got a Q&A with Julie today, then come back tomorrow for our review and giveaway of Julie's latest IMMORTAL RULES. Trust me, this is one you don't want to miss! If you're unfamiliar with Julie, please check out our reviews for her other series, The Iron Fey.
A Q&A with
New York Times Best Selling Author Julie Kagawa
After writing the Iron Fey series for so many years, how difficult was it to immerse yourself in a futuristic world filled with vampires, rabids and an enslaved human race?
It was...very different. I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that this story does take place in the real world -- a futuristic, vampire-infested world, but the real world nonetheless. Things had to make sense, for example: how far can a large group walk in a single day if there were no roads, they were going through thick woods, and there were children in the group? I had to have logical reasons for everything; I couldn't just make something work "because of faery magic," lol.
Just like Meghan Chase in the Iron Fey series, the main character in The Immortal Rules, Allison Sekemoto, is a “take charge and kick butt” kind of girl. Is this intentional? What woman – real or fictional, alive or deceased – do you look up to or admire?
Yes, Allison comes from a very different world than Meghan Chase. Meghan's upbringing was pretty normal; Allison grew up among vampires and monsters, where every day was a fight to live, so she couldn't afford to be weak. While Meghan had to learn to "take charge and kick butt," Allison's first impulse is stab first, talk later.
As for female role models, the first that comes to mind--when it comes to kicking vampire butt, anyway -- is Buffy Summers. Thank you, Joss Whedon, for making me love feisty, snarky, heroines who can dust all sorts of nasties but who also look good in a cheerleading outfit. ;)
You mention in your acknowledgements in The Immortal Rules that at the beginning of your writing career you promised yourself you wouldn’t write a vampire book. What changed your mind?
Well, there were already so many really good books about our favorite bloodsuckers, so many stories and ideas, I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the masses. I was actually toying with a post-apocalyptic YA novel when my agent mentioned I might want to try writing a vampire series. I wasn't intrigued with the idea at first, but then I thought about combining vampires with the post-apocalyptic novel and then rest sort of fell into place.
Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters yet when faced with a choice of die or become one, she becomes a vampire. Would you have made that same decision?
Me personally? No. I'm like Zeke in the belief that there is something better waiting for me beyond this life, and I just have to do my best until it’s time for me to go. Besides, I love pizza and Mountain Dew too much to give it up.
Who do you think the most complex character is in The Immortal Rules?
Probably Kanin, Allie's sire. He's a vampire who has made his peace about being a monster, yet chooses to live by his own set of moral rules. He warns Allison about getting too close to humans, yet he does not kill unless he absolutely has to. He is tormented about something in his past that he refuses to share with anyone. He is certainly the most mysterious of all the characters, if not the most complex.
How many books will be in the Blood of Eden series? When will the next book be coming out?
At the moment, there are three books planned, with the second coming out sometime next spring, after the release of the new Iron Fey series this fall.
Before you starting writing full time you were a professional dog trainer. Do the professions share any similarities?
Lol, well you have to think on your feet a lot. And some of the small dogs could be compared to tiny snapping goblins, but writing requires less dodging skills, though perhaps the same amount of creativity and problem solving.
When starting a new series, like Blood of Eden, do you have the entire series mapped out in detail or do you let the story develop book by book?
I have a high point that I write toward in each story; I know this and this has to happen, but getting from point A to point B usually develops as I go along.
And for the speed round:
What book have you read and re-read, and read yet again?
Any of the Harry Potter books.
Favorite song to play when writing a fight scene?
My "favorites" change daily. Right now its "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.
Working a kiosk in the mall during Christmas. It sold glass figurines, and the maneuvering space around the hundreds of very breakable merchandise was quite small. I was like a bull in a china shop.
Best vacation spot?
Walt Disney World
Sweets or salty?
I used to play the flute when I was a kid. I was really good at it too, but my instructor stopped teaching to have a family, and I never went back to it.