Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Julie Kagawa - Interview

Today I am thrilled to welcome Julie Kagawa to the blog. Julie has kindly answered a few questions for me regarding her Blood of Eden series. Book Two, The Eternity Cure is out now!

1) What made you decide to exchange fairies for vampires in your latest series and has this led to any change in your writing style?
Early in my writing career, I told myself I wouldn't write a vampire book, but not long after finishing The Iron Fey, my agent asked if I would try writing a vampire series.  I'd been toying with the idea of a post-apocalyptic YA book, so I wondered what would happen if I combined the two.  So I did, and The Immortal Rules was born.

As for changes in my writing style, when I was writing The Iron Fey, setting played a big part.  I tried to create a setting, the Nevernever, that was haunting and beautiful and surreal.  But when I switched to writing about vampires is a post-apocalyptic world, my main focus was making this setting bleak, desolate, and extremely dangerous.  No one is safe, there is violence and bloodshed, and not everyone will make it out alive.  I really wanted to showcase the hopelessness and despair, because even in the darkest times you still have those who cling to hope, and humanity plays a big part in Blood of Eden

2) How did you decide which elements from vampire myth to include in your series?

I had a clear idea of what I wanted my vampires to be.  I wanted to go "old school" and bring back the fear mortals once held for the Children of the Night.  I wanted this world to be one where the humans bar their doors at night and don't dare step outside after the sun goes down.  I wanted these vampires to be monsters, so I stuck with the basics: they only come out at night, they're faster and stronger than a human, they heal quickly, and of course, their Hunger for blood is insatiable. 

3) Allison is a good person who's had a tough time. From where did you draw inspiration for her character?

Well, I knew I wanted the tone of the book to be dark, so I began the story with a human street rat, living a meager life on the fringes of the vampire city, where every day is a struggle.  To live here, you have to be tough, fearless, resilient, and a fighter, willing to do whatever it takes to survive.  And that's what Allie is at her core: a survivor.

4) Family plays a major role in the Blood of Eden series? Was this something you intended as you began writing and, if so, why is that important to  you?

Family plays a major role in the Blood of Eden series because it meant so much to Allison, though she herself doesn't realize it.  She lost her Mom at a young age, she lost her original gang to rabids at the beginning of The Immortal Rules, she lost her best friend Stick to treachery and betrayal, she even lost her vampire "father" Kanin.  She is constantly losing people she cares for, so that only makes her long for a family even more.  She finds one, for a short time, with Zeke's small group, and fights hard to keep them safe, even when they too, turn on her.  Allie is a loner who wants to belong, which is why family is so important to her story.

5) Do you have a full storyline already plotted for this series, or are you seeing how it progresses one book at a time?

I generally know how the series ends, but with the individual books, I have high points in the story where I know this has to happen, and I write towards them.  Everything in between I sort of make up as I go along.

6) If there was one message you'd like readers to take away from the Blood of Eden books, what would it be?

That you can always choose what kind of person you are.  You can let the world define you and become cold, cruel, and cynical, or you can strive to rise above your situation.  There is always the choice to be better.

7) What's in store for Allison and co next? Can you share any little snippets of information for book three?

Book three has not even been written yet.  But book two, The Eternity Cure, follows heroine Allie Sekemoto as she searches for her sire, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the evil psychopath vampire Sarren.  She follows his trail back to her old home in New Covington, and discovers quite a few surprises waiting for her.  And anything more would delve into spoilers, so I'll leave it at that. 

8) How do you prefer to write? Do you have a favourite place to work or a favourite time of day?

Since I'm a full time writer, I see this as my job, so I write in my office from 9am to 5pm, every day except weekends.  I don't usually write other places because I'm very easily distracted and would get absolutely nothing done in, say, a coffee shop or, heaven forbid, a bookstore.

9) Where do you see yourself and your writing in 5 years' time?

Hopefully doing exactly what I am now, which is writing books and stories that I love. 

10) Can you sum up your career so far in 140 characters?

Completely amazing, and I'm so grateful to all my readers who helped me get here.

Thank you Julie and best wishes! 

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden # 1)

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden # 2)

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

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