Interview (& Giveaway): Seanan McGuire, author of Discount Armageddon

I’m so happy to have the wonderful Seanan McGuire back on the blog today! Her brand new book, Discount Armageddon, is out today (feel free to read my review, we’ll be here when you get back), and Seanan was kind enough (’cause she’s the awesome) to subject herself to another interrogation, er, interview, from me. Oh, clicking on the links in the interview will take you to the Cryptid Field Guide entry for that creature. Fun, huh? I’m also giving away a copy of Discount Armageddon (it’s international!!), so be sure to check the details at the end of the post!

Please welcome Seanan to the blog!

Seanan, you’ve been fully immersed in your October Daye series, as well as the series you write as Mira Grant for a while now. Was it a challenge to start a brand new series with Discount Armageddon?
Not really. I write constantly. I must have the first books in half a dozen series either written or plotted at any given time, some more serious than others. So it’s actually more of a challenge for me not to start something new. The real challenge came in both convincing my agent that I was serious, and wooing readers over to the idea that this didn’t mean I was giving up on Toby. I will never give up on Toby.

Has the concept of the cryptids been an idea that’s been brewing for a while now?
This whole world is something I love so much, and have such a passion for. The Toby world is limited to the fae mythology, and I studied folklore as a general topic in school. So the idea that I should have a world where I can play with all the creatures, from all the stories…that’s been with me for a long time now.

What was your favorite part of your folklore studies? Any particular story that really resonated with you?
I admit it, I’m a sap; my favorite part was the fairy tales. I really, really got into them, and was even considering that as my specialization. I also have a huge soft spot for American folklore. I think the story of the hitchhiking ghost was one of the first ones to really grab me and make me go “whoa, this is my life.” All they wanted was to go home…

Was this series “easier” to start since you already have some pretty heavy (and awesome)world building chops? Were there any particular challenges in building a brand new world?
If anything, it was harder, because now people have all these expectations! Everybody’s like, oh, Seanan does world building for fun, she’s gonna bring it, and I was like…what if I just wanted to order a pizza? But in the end, bringing it is more fun. The world itself, and the family that it’s built around, that came distressingly easy.

I must ask: How did you manage to make someone as annoying as Dominic DeLuca into someone so lovable by the end of the book? Seriously, there were a few times I wanted to smack him. Hard:-D
It helps that Verity is genuinely amused by him most of the time. It’s hard to stay totally opposed to someone when your protagonist is like ‘ooo, fun cat toy.’ Also, he’s nice to the mice. How can you totally hate somebody who can be that nice to the mice?

He is nice to the mice, which is hard to resist. Just how many baked goods do those little guys go through in a day, anyway?
The mice and baked goods is a complex equation, full of fearsome complex complexity. In other words, it depends. On a normal day, you can probably buy them off with some soda crackers. On a feast day, they’re like adorable fuzzy piranha. Do not get between the mice and the Holy Rite of But Grandma All The Other Girls Are Selling Cookies, So Why Can’t I? They will eat you.

Which character was the most fun to write? I realize that can be different from the one you actually “like” the best. Was that the case here?
Sarah. Absolutely and without question, Sarah. Istas comes in a close second, and I think I may have more fun with Istas in book two, but for book one, Sarah wins the crown. She’s just so matter-of-fact about the fact that she’s a giant nerd, and also a hyper-evolved telepathic parasitic wasp who looks a lot like Zooey Deschanel. It’s a worldview that is just bizarrely fun to write.

Sarah is the “sane” one in her species. Will we meet any other Cuckoos that may not be, well, not psychotic?
You’ll definitely be meeting more cuckoos in the future, and you’ll probably wish that you hadn’t. Cuckoos, as a whole, are dangerously sociopathic, and they really don’t care what they do to you. Sarah, and her adoptive mother, Angela, are definitely the exception to the rule. The homicidal, amoral, knows-where-you-sleep rule…

About those Aeslin mice… Total scene stealers, and there were so many other awesome, fascinating cryptids in Discount Armageddon. Can you give us a teaser of creatures to come?
There are already some teasers in my online Field Guide! The lesser griffins are some of my favorites—they’re small, dog-sized griffins which sometimes wind up being kept as pets, usually by morons. Also the garrinna, which are their Australian equivalents. Evolution doesn’t abandon forms that work in this world.

Will poor Verity get to enter a dance competition in peace in future books?
It’s hard to say, but sadly for Verity, signs are not pointing to “yes.”

Do you already have a plan for how many books you’d like to write in the series, or will you just see where Verity takes you?
I’m actually planning to switch it up every few volumes—so Verity gets books one and two, but then if the series does well enough, her brother Alex will actually narrate books three and four. It gives me a lot more freedom to explore the world as a whole, and get new perspectives on things. In my perfect world of sunshine and zombie puppies, this is at least a ten book series, and potentially a lot more. I want to tell everybody’s story.

Is there any other news of upcoming events or projects you’d like to share?
I have a lot of conventions scheduled for 2012, so checking my website is a good idea if you want to know where I’m going to be when. There’s a new Toby book coming in September, Ashes of Honor, and I’m really excited about it. Oh, and I’m posting some InCryptid-universe short stories on my website, so you can get to know the family better. You know. For science.

Keep up with Seanan: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog
The InCryptid Field Guide

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire to 1 winner
3. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY (wherever The Book Depository ships)
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry
5. You must enter on or before 3/13/12
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is a book that I have been wanting to read for a while. The cover is fantastic. Thanks for such a great author interview!

  2. I can hardly wait to read this! I’m buying my copy today. 🙂

  3. Ever since Elizabeth Bear mentioned the book on the Squeecast, I’ve been extremely excited to read the book.

  4. I’m such a fan of Seanan’s worldbuilding. It’s just out of this world Really looking forward to this release!

  5. I haven’t read Seanan’s books yet, but will now! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  6. Thank you for a great interview! I’ve not read any of Seanan’s books yet, but after this interview I sure want to!
    this book sounds great!!!
    Thank you for this giveaway!
    Sharon K

  7. Daniel Franklin

    I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while – I just hope it comes out in the UK sooner rather than later! Fingers crossed!

  8. I’m pretty sure Seanan is made of awesome, and if any book she writes can have just a little of that awesome rub off on it, it’ll be one of the year’s best. So looking forward to reading this one.

  9. My postal copy arrived today, however I have only been able to read the prolog. Just about to put the computer down to read it 🙂

  10. I’m super excited for this one. Seanan is a fabulous author and her books are always entertaining and original. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  11. I loved the little detail about the mice 😀 Yay for people who like mice!

  12. This is a new to me author and series! It looks very intriguing!

  13. Wow! This book sounds really good. Thi is a new author for me. Thanks for introducing me.

  14. Gorgeous cover! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Interesting and great interview. I’ve never read this author’s work yet. This cover is fabulous though! I will definitively add-to-my-reads-list! Thank you for the chance to win! 😀

  16. I’ve seen this book around, but haven’t really read what it was about until now. I think it sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read Discount Armageddon.

  17. “Discount Armageddon” does look amazing. The cover is fabulous too.

  18. I positively love October Daye and her world! I grew up in Martinez California, so having the Bay Area thing, especially Pleasant Hill involvement, is just great! (and you cross the Bay Bridge — not what some authors who have the Golden Gate going between San Francisco and Alameda/Contra Costa) Please keep these books coming! Oh, and thank you for the story so far. Ordered Discount Armageddon on my Nook – would love to have a paperback as well.

  19. I have read any of Seanan’s books but you’ve definitely caught my interest with this interview.

  20. I just got this on my Nook today!! Looking forward to reading it!!

  21. I’ve been reading reviews & absolutely cannot wait to dive into Discount Armageddon!

  22. I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds very interesting.

  23. The interview was very nice and I really like the whole idea of the book!

  24. Love the cover and the characters sound awesome!

  25. Wow…didn’t really know that Mira Grant and Seanan McGuire are the same author 🙂 I really liked the Newsflesh books…I guess I should try some October Day books 🙂

    thanks for the giveaway!

  26. I can not, absolutely can not wait to get my hands on this book! Seanan, I love your writing! Thank you for a gorgeous giveaway!

  27. I’m always curious as to the world-building with this genre and would like to read Seanan’s book.

  28. Seanan, you are awesome at interviews! I love learning more about the authors that I love! Thanks so much for the interview and the awesome giveaway:)

  29. I have been deeply excited for this series ever since you started posting the field guide, Seanan. So by entering I”m hoping to win a copy for a friend– mine is already in the mail from Powells.

    Mice! And Gorgons! And SO MANY AMAZING THINGS. I wish this series nothing but the best and hope deeply that it continues long enough to travel. I wanna see the incryptids in Asia. And the mice.

    I always want more of the mice.

  30. Congrats on the new book! I have this one on the list to get. 🙂 Sounds amazing. And love the cover.

    Best of luck!

  31. Thanks for the giveaway! I love your October Daye series!

  32. Sofija Kapranova

    I love Seanan’s other series and can’t wait to read this new one! Thanks for the giveaway

  33. I’ve always loved fairy tales myself! Of course, the originals didn’t usually end so well for the main characters. The updated versions tacked on the happily ever after endings. I prefer the originals though.

  34. I adore Seanan’s writing and can’t wait to delve into this new world that she’s created for us!

  35. This book looks great. What inspired the cover?

  36. This sounds like a fun world to dive into! Can’t wait!

  37. This sounds like a fantastic book! My friend and I keep squeeing about it.

  38. I love the October Daye series (one of my all-time faves) and can’t wait to check out a new series from Ms. McGuire. Thanks for the giveaway!

  39. I heard about “Discount Armageddon” via Seanan’s Big Ideas piece for John Scalzi’s “Whatever” blog, and that led me here. Also, that piece has also been sent to a friend who loves both fantasy action and films about dancing.

  40. Victoria Zumbrum

    I can’t wait to read this book. It sounds very good.

  41. This looks like a great book!

  42. I love the October Daye series and very much looking forward to reading Discount Armageddon. My question is Toby seems to have given up on trying to connect with her daughter, do you think that will ever change?

  43. I seriously can’t wait to read this.

  44. I can never decide if I prefer Seanan’s books or her music. Thankfully, she’s prolific with both! I can’t wait to read DA!

  45. This book looks gret! I’d love to read it!!

  46. Love the cover! Book sounds really interesting, sounds like I would really enjoy. Thanks for the chance.

  47. This book looks great, I want it!

  48. This sounds very interesting and I would like to read it. Thanks for the contest.

  49. Pingback: Women in SF&F Month: Kristin of My Bookish Ways | Fantasy Cafe | Reviews of Fantasy and Science Fiction Books

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