Sunday, February 21, 2010

Author Interview: Julie Kagawa

Here is the author interview with Julie Kagawa that I promised would come! So, let's welcome Julie!

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. 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. Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are 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 hyper-active Papillon puppy.

Visit her website HERE.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Published by Harlequin Teen

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

1. When was it that you realized you had to be a writer and nothing else?
Well, the first thing I really wanted to be growing up was a veterinarian. But then I discovered the copious amounts of math and science you had to know to become one, and numbers hate me with a fiery passion. (It’s true.) So, around high school, I decided I would be an author instead. I had this ridiculous notion that I would get a book written and published before collage, and then I’d never have to worry about working again. (Hahaha, yes you may stop laughing now.)

2. Where did the inspiration for The Iron King come from?
The Iron Fey emerged from the thought: “What are faeries afraid of?” In myth the answer is iron, so what if there were a type of faery that was immune to iron, that had evolved with progress and technology, and how would they affect the more traditional fey?

3. What was the hardest part about writing The Iron King? The easiest?
The hardest part of writing, for me at least, is tuning out the distractions long enough to get my word quota on the page. Lately, the internet has become the bane of my writing life, so much so I’ve actually had to work with it unplugged if I want to get anything done. And Twitter? Don’t get me started on the hours I can lose on Twitter. The easiest is probably the rewriting. The words are already on the page; I just have to tidy them up a bit.

4. What book are you reading right now?
I’m impatiently waiting for my ARC of Heidi Kline’s SEA, which I’ve heard is fantabulous.

5. What is your favorite all time supernatural creature? Why?
My oldest favorite fantasy creature is a dragon. I grew up on The Dragonlance Chronicles, The Hobbit, and any fantasy series with dragons in them. They hold a certain nostalgic appeal, and not a lot of YA books have them (compared to other paranormal creatures, anyway). My other favorite supernatural creature is a kitsune, a Japanese fox spirit, frequently found in anime, but not so much in books.

6.While you’re writing a book, what do you do when you get writer’s block (if at all)?
Sometimes I’ll step back from the story and let the voices in my head work it out, sometimes I’ll slog on through a block, just getting words, ANY words, down on paper (they’ll always be time to clean it up later). Lots of times, though, I’ll discuss my book with my husband, who is a fantastic sounding board and usually has great ideas to break up my writer’s block.

7. Are any of your characters based off of people you know? Is Meghan’s character supposed to be you?
Not so much. Meghan and I are alike in that we were both loners in school, never fitting in, never being among the popular in-crowd. But Meghan is much more patient than me at that age; her response to being teased would be to ignore it or run away, mine would’ve been to meet that person after school and punch them in the nose. I was a rather angry teenager.
As for the others, much of my character inspiration actually comes from anime, manga, books, and video games. Ash, for example, has bits of Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy 8), Heero Yuy (Gundam Wing), and Valek (Poison Study). And the evil villain is a straight-up Sephiroth.

8. Favorites’ time!
Book- Are you kidding? Just one? Impossible! :P (I’m a Libra, I can’t choose just one)

Movie- Okay, this isn’t fair. I hereby declare this “A FEW favorites’” part of the interview. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Advent Children, Gross Point Blanke, The Incredibles, The Saint, Spiderman, Batman, X-Men, Kung Fu Hustle, the list goes on…

Fictional Character-Squall Leonhart, from Final Fantasy VIII.

Author(s)-Neil Gaiman, Maria V. Snyder, Jim Butcher, J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Rick Riordan, J.K Rowling

Actor/Actress-Ben Barnes, Drew Barrymore, John Cusack, Lucy Lu, David Boreanaz, Nathan Fillian, Johney Depp, Brendan Fraiser… I know I’m missing several (many!).

9. What is one thing no one knows about you? I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. ;-)

10. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Just thanks so much for the interview!

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