Interview with Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire is the author of the riveting October Daye series that features female protagonist, October ‘Toby’ Daye, who is half fae. The series is Urban Fantasy and is set in San Francisco, America. The series consists of (so far, and in order):

Rosemary and Rue (2009)
A Local Habitation (2010)
An Artificial Night (upcoming release, 2010)
Late Eclipses (release date to be announced)
The Brightest Fell (release date to be announced)

We would like to give a big and warm welcome to Seanan McGuire to The Book Pushers for an interview.

Seanan: Thank you so much for having me!  I’m really thrilled to be here.

Book Pushers: For the readers that haven’t read the October Daye series yet, could you tell us about Toby, and what the series is all about?

Seanan: Toby is a fish out of water — sometimes literally.  She’s half-human, which makes her weak and unequipped to handle the intrigues of the fae world, and she’s half-fae, which means she can’t turn her back entirely on Faerie.  The Toby Daye books follow her as she tries to deal with Faerie without getting herself killed in the process.

Book Pushers: What was your inspiration for the October Daye books, and what’s your reaction to the popularity this series has gained in a short period of time?

Seanan: I was a folklore major at UC Berkeley, and one of the things that’s always confused me a bit about the old ballads and legends dealing with the fae is the way they used to interfere with mankind constantly, and then suddenly just stopped.  I mean, why would they do that?  So I started poking at the idea that maybe they’d just gone underground for some reason, and things grew from there.  I knew I wanted a protagonist who was outside enough to have a different perspective, and that’s where Toby came in.

As for the popularity…I’m stunned and delighted, and I selfishly hope that it continues, because I’d really love to be able to keep writing about Toby until the story is absolutely done.

Book Pushers: How many books are there planned in the series, and is there going to be a set end, or is it more open ended?

Seanan: There’s definitely a set ending — I know how it ends — but the number of books between here and there tends to flex depending on where things stand at any given time.  I try to make sure that the ending is always one book away.  I can always get there in a single volume, if I have to.

Book Pushers: There are a host of supporting characters in the series; very colorful and engaging characters. Out of your supporting cast of characters, who is your favorite?

Seanan: I love, love writing the Luidaeg, because she’s so, well…the Luidaeg.  Quentin and Tybalt are also fantastically fun to write.  One of my favorite characters doesn’t show up until An Artificial Night, so I can’t really talk about her yet, but oh, the joy.

Book Pushers: And who do you find is the most difficult character to write about, and why?

Seanan: Definitely the Luidaeg.  She has certain restrictions on her dialog that can make her just a bear to deal with.

Book Pushers: Your rich world is filled full of fae beings that are very diverse. Do you have any more fae that haven’t been revealed yet to Toby, and the readers?

Seanan: There are hundreds of types of fae in Toby’s world.  Toby knows most of them, by reputation if not through actual experience, but there are still a few surprises out there for her.  I try to introduce one or two with every volume, so as not to be completely overwhelming, and there are so many you have yet to meet, drawn from traditions all over the world.

Book Pushers: If a Changeling and a Pureblood married, would there be consequences? And if so, what kind?

Seanan: See, the question really needs to be “if a changeling and a titled noble married, would there be consequences.”  For a normal pureblood to marry a changeling, well, it’s a little tasteless, but purebloods marry humans — changelings aren’t precisely worse, just different.  For a noble to marry a changeling…oh, that would be bad.  That could lead to loss of lands and title, depending on the Kingdom that you’re in.

Book Pushers: Toby has had to deal with insurmountable heartache in her life from all sort of directions, but mainly the very sad situation with her family. Will we meet Toby’s daughter and ex-fiancée in future books?

Seanan: Cliff and Gillian will be dealt with.

Book Pushers: Talking about family, will Toby’s mom play a bigger role in future books.

Seanan: Amandine definitely has a part to play in what’s coming.  More will be coming out about her as time goes on, and she plays a major part in book four.

Book Pushers: We just lurve Tybalt. (His sexiness and Toby would make a great couple. *grins*) He has become a fan favourite, and dare we say it, hopefully a potential love interest for Toby. Any hints, or is it a super speshal sekret?

Seanan: Look, a bunny!

Book Pushers: On your “official bio” it states you also write and record original music along side your writing.  Do you find an overlap between the two professions, or are you able to keep them entirely separate? And how did you pick your Pseudonym?

Seanan: Writing music and writing books is just telling stories in two different formats.  I write very balladic folk music, and I’m definitely using my music to tell a story.  As for my pseudonym, “Mira Grant” is two different hidden horror jokes, as well as being the two capitol letters in my last name (MG), which makes the signature easier.  I leave those jokes as an exercise to the reader.

Book Pushers: Do you have any plans to write in other genres? We hear that you have a new series about zombies and its under a pen name, Mira Grant.

Seanan: I do!  I have another urban fantasy series, called InCryptid, which I’m working on in my spare time, as well as a YA paranormal series called Coyote Girls (the first book is Lycanthropy and Other Personal Interests), a straight YA series, and a romantic comedy.  Plus, well, horror.  I love writing horror.

Book Pushers: Two new series? Oh my, that totally rocks the awesome train! Are you able to give teeny weeny hints of what InCryptid and Coyote Girls will be about?

Seanan: InCryptid is a multi-generational series about a family of cryptozoologists who have been forced to go underground after breaking with a larger organization of monster hunters.  The first book, Discount Armageddon, is about Verity Price, who fights for cryptid rights and the survival of man through the awesome powers of…ballroom dance.  It’s quirky, and a lot of fun.

Coyote Girls is a YA series about a werecoyote named Clady Porter, who really didn’t know what she was getting into the night that she grew a tail and ate the cat.  There’s high school politics, cheerleading, track, donuts, and a massive hottie named Marc.  I really love it.  The first book is called Lycanthropy and Other Personal Issues.

Book Pushers: Are you able to tell us about the protagonist of the zombie series, and what the series is going to be about?

Seanan: The Newsflesh trilogy is about the world twenty years after the zombie apocalypse changed everything forever. It’s about politics, virology, science, blogging, and how George Romero and the Internet accidentally saved the world. Our narrator, Georgia Mason, is a news-oriented blogger, following a presidential campaign along with her adopted brother, Shaun, and their best friend, Buffy. It’s a pretty serious set of books, and they’ll be published once a year by Orbit for the next three years. I’m really excited. Feed is the first, and I love it so.

Book Pushers: There are so many great female characters in Urban Fantasy that totally kick ass, and become household names. Who is your favourite fictional character in the Urban Fantasy genre, or across any genre?

Seanan: My favorite urban fantasy heroine is probably Paige Winterborne, from Kelley Armstrong’s awesome Women of the Otherworld.  But if I can pick from anywhere, I’m actually going to go with either Susan Sto Helit, from Pratchett’s Discworld, or Emma Frost, from the X-Men.

Book Pushers: And our last question: If Tybalt ever finds the love of his life, what kind of desert would she be and will Toby fit that description? (Yes, we are evol and we are desperate for any hints)

Seanan: Tybalt has long since located the love of his life, and while you may wonder what type of dessert she would be, his answer is simple: She’s the kind he will not be sharing with you.  Ah, cats.

And that concludes our interview with the very awesome Seanan McGuire. A big thanks again.

And darn that bunny.  Always distracting us so. 😉

3 thoughts on “Interview with Seanan McGuire”

  1. Yay! Great interview! I love McGuire’s books. I really cannot wait to read Feed!

    I must confess that Tybalt is the bestest! I just lurve him! The last comment about him is great!

  2. On the Tybalt hints: Ahhhhh! 🙂

    I’m impressed by the volume of work Seanan McGuire does. The Feed trilogy, October Daye, and now a couple more? Wow.

  3. Pingback: | Literary Escapism

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.