First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU ALL! I really hope you have an amazing time with your friends and family =) Now, I’m really happy to welcome Julie Kagawa on the blog, to chat about her latest release, The Iron Knight!
1- The Iron Knight is written from Ash's POV, was it harder for you to write from his perspective?
It was a little harder, initially. I knew Meghan; after three books I knew her voice and her personality and her quirks. It was difficult with Ash, because he was such a guarded character, and he never was really chatty. And because he’s lived such a long time, and is an Unseelie fey, he’s done some things in his life that might change how some people view him. It was actually kind of scary putting his story out there; what will people think now that they know the real Ash? But I wrote his story as honestly as I could, and I hope they will come to love the Winter Prince as much as I do.
2- The book as been released since late October, what has been the fan's response like thus far?
I think initial reactions have been very positive. There have been concerns that Meghan is barely featured, but it was impossible, given the circumstances, to have her in the book for long. And I think Ash surprised some readers with how much dark stuff he had in his past, but he is an Unseelie fey, after all. If a character is too perfect, has no doubts or conflicts, and doesn't struggle with anything, that would make for a very boring character.
3- Can we expect any more books in the series?
Meghan and Ash's story has come to an end for now. But there is a second Iron Fey series coming out next year starring Ethan Chase, Meghan's younger brother, when he is a bit older. And I'm sure lots of familiar faces will pop in for cameos.
4- The Immortal Rules, the first book in your new Blood of Eden series is due April 2012, can you tell us a bit more about it?
Sure! Or, better yet, I'll let Goodreads do the talking. :)
You will kill. The only question is when.
In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.
Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.
Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.
Now onto some Xmas-y questions:
5- What's a typical Christmas like in the Kagawa family?
Pretty typical. We wake up (Or, we're woken up by my youngest sister at 5am), go out to the tree, empty stockings, open presents. This year, however, everyone will be coming to MY house, and will be bringing new babies and husbands and such, so it should be very interesting. :)
6- How is it different from when you were a kid?
See above scenario. Also, we don't worry so much about giving presents to everyone (Except the new nephew will probably get a ton). There will be small gift exchanges, but for the most part, everyone is happy just spending time with each other and eating good food.
7- What's Christmas like in the Faerie Realms?
I imagine fairly festive. They fey love to party, after all. The major gift-giving, however, is reserved for the rulers of the courts: Mab, Oberon, Titania, and all the court fey to try to outdo each other with giving the most elaborate gift. Enchanted humans and stolen babies are highly favored gifts, another good reason to stay together for the holidays. ;)
8- What could we offer Ash for Christmas?
Lol, well Ash loves books about history, philosophy, and military strategy, and has quite the collection of old poems, some written by the authors themselves. If you could find him a copy of an original Sophocles, he'd probably love that. ;)
Or you could always give him a sword. :D
**Drawings by Julie
If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about The Iron Knight
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.
Unless he can earn a soul.
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of 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 dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.
You can visit Julie here.
More of Julie Kagawa’s books: