After reading THE IRON KING I sort of started fangirling Julie Kagawa and she was nice enough to answer some interview questions for me (and humor me about some 80s movie love). So read on and join the Iron Fey love. Thanks for stopping by, Julie!
What initially gave you 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, ect. And from that thought, the Iron fey were born.
Be honest: how much did Labyrinth and The Neverending Story factor into your stories’ creation? 🙂
I did love Labyrinth and The Neverending Story as a kid (Okay, maybe I enjoyed Labyrinth more when I was older), but the story of a child abducted by faeries and having a changeling left in his place is not new, nor was it solely Labyrinth’s creation. This is an old, old tale, far olderthen David Bowie and his army of dancing goblins. 😉 Labyrinth and other movies did play a part in The Iron King’s creation, but so did many other things.
Did you have any speed bumps when it came to character development?
Meghan was probably the hardest character for me to write, because it was difficult to balance loyalty, strength, and determination with the fears of a teenage girl. She isn’t some superhero or martial arts expert; she’s a normal girl thrown into extraordinary, terrifying circumstances, and she has to muddle through as best she can.
Meghan appears to have feelings for a guy that wants to kill her. Why go down this path?
One, because I wanted to drive home the point that the fey are dangerous. That they are the faeries of old: beautiful, intriguing, seductive, and eternally caught up in the politics of the courts. Ash is an Unseelie Prince, Meghan is a Seelie Princess–in his mind, she was the enemy. But, two, I wanted to show Ash’s character progression as well. From a cold, heartless Winter fey completely loyal to his court and Queen Mab, to someone who discovers he can love again after all. If Ash didn’t start out cold and dangerous, his character arc would not have been as dramatic or compelling.
Do you think that with today’s growing technology, the world’s ability to wonder on the fantastical is dwindling?
Not at all. Look at the shelves of YA books today; paranormal and fantasy continue to dominate. Even in the tech world of computers and gizmos and video games, people are still drawn to magic and fantasy (As any WoW gamer will tell you, if you can drag them away from the computer long enough to talk.). I think technology is just another platform to explore the fantastical, like Summer and Iron glamour, merged together to become one. 🙂
What do you think makes your work stand out from the other Fey-centric stories out there?
*Grabs gremlin, tosses out window before it can eat computer wires.* Sorry, what? I was distracted. Crazy Iron faeries.
What do you hope your readers take away from your novels, if anything?
I only hope that readers will close the last book with a sense of rightness, that Meghan’s story could not come to an end any other way, and that everything finally came full circle. That this was the story of a young woman discovering who she was, learning responsibility, and accepting that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. Not a Happily Ever After in the traditional sense, but it was the right ending for her.
And besides, there’s still The Iron Knight. 😉