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.
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments