Author Interview - SEANAN MCGUIRE

The first interview post of 2010 is...Seanan McGuire! Seanan is represented by the amazing Diana Fox. She's here to tell us about her urban fantasy series called OCTOBER DAYE. The first book is called ROSEMARY AND RUE and the second book A LOCAL HABITATION is coming out this March.

The illustration is of Toby, the main character of the OCTOBER DAYE series. Since the story is a mix of modern day and folklore, I wanted to try a noir look with a pop of color for the fantastical elements.

1) Thanks for joining us, Seanan! Can you tell us about the October Daye series and what A Local
Habitation is about?

The October Daye series is a blend of ancient folklore and modern life -- the phrase "
fairy tale noir" comes up a lot when trying to describe it. Faerie is real, all the old stories and ballads are real, and all the fairy tales happened. It's just that we've managed to blur the history enough to forget certain essential details. October "Toby" Daye is the changeling daughter of a fae woman and a human man, running as fast as she can just to stay where she is.

A Local Habitation, Toby, who serves as a knight errant for one of the local nobles, is sent to a fae-owned computer company in Fremont, California. It's supposed to be a pretty straightforward check-in. It turns into a murder mystery, and there's a good chance that no one's getting out unharmed.

2) It sounds like a really unique story. What inspired you to write the October Daye series?

I was a folklore major, and I've always been fascinated by the way the old fairy tales changed to fit the standards of the time. It's the sort of candy-coating that we see with "real" history all the time. So I started wondering...what were the stories originally? And if the fae used to be absolutely everywhere, where did they

3) Intriguing! What kind of research did you do for the story?

I read books of
fairy tales and folklore texts until my eyes hurt, and then I read murder mysteries until my eyes hurt even more, and then I did it again. Six times. I have a lot of books. The cats use them as blunt instruments when they want my attention.

4) So does my cat! With all the books, it sounds like you know your genre well. What's your key advice for writing
urban fantasy?

Read urban fantasy. Read as much urban fantasy as you can get your hands on.
Read everything else you can get your hands on. You both want to be aware of what's going on in "your" genre, and aware of the tools that everybody else gets to play with. One of the beauties of the urban fantasy/paranormal romance sandbox is its flexibility -- you can totally borrow tools and toys from other genres, as long as you give them back when you're done.

You should also be aware of the differences between urban fantasy and
paranormal romance, and make sure you're billing yourself accordingly. They're both fantastic genres, and very closely related, but they do have differences, and you can save yourself a lot of rewrites later by getting into the right groove now.

5) Very wise. You're very prolific with three books coming out next year. What was your road to publication like?

Long. I had to write five books before I figured out what I was doing, and even then, it took me another year of tinkering to really get something into publishable shape. I was very fortunate to find a fantastic, understanding agent who doesn't mind the fact that my logic is not like your Earth logic, and she hammered the rest of what I needed to do through my head with a big pointy spike. Then DAW offered on the Toby books, and I've never looked back.

I feel very fortunate to be working with two publishers right now, because it's letting me learn more about the way that publishing works, and about the different expectations you'll encounter in different genres (my books as Mira Grant are science-fiction horror, not urban fantasy). I'm super-excited to see what happens after this!

You're living the writer's dream, Seanan! Thanks for being a part of the interview today!

If you're interested in the first book of OCTOBER DAYE (ROSEMARY AND RUE) you can find it here. A LOCAL HABITATION can be pre-ordered here. Also, be sure to check out Seanan's LiveJournal and Twitter!

Thanks everyone, cheers!



If you're an author, editor, agent, or illustrator and would like a five question interview and a drawing of your character (or of yourself), email me at rtlovejoy (at) yahoo (dot) com. Check out the FAQ page for more information!


  1. LOVE R&R :)

    Great interview, ladies!

  2. Realm & Seanan - Great Interview! I love the illustration of Toby :) ROSEMARY AND RUE is one of my favorite books from 2009, and I'm so excited for more in this series!

  3. Hi :)
    Thank you for the great interview with Seanan McGuire & thank you to Seanan for taking the time from her jaw-droppingly productive hours to share here. I really enjoyed this!
    Here's to an amazing 2010!

  4. Thanks for dropping in, everyone! I'm reading ROSEMARY AND RUE right now and it's great! The voice, pacing, and story is captivating. I'm glad I got to interview Seanan. (Thanks, Seanan!)

    Happy 2010!

  5. Great interview, and I love the illustration! I especially liked Seanan's point about getting to know the fine differences between the two similar genres.


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