Thank you so much for having me on release day, Justine! I’m excited to be here. When we discussed this post, you asked me about what inspires me. This question is the one I am asked most often by readers, so I’ll delve into it a bit more thoroughly than I have in the past.
For me, writing inspiration is a little of this and a little of that. But when it comes to the specific question of why I wrote a fairy saga, the simple answer is that I’ve wanted to since I was a kid. I’ve loved speculative fiction my whole life, and have always been particularly fascinated by fairies. Not just by the cute depictions we often see in the States (though I love those too), but by the whole diversity of fairy, with its monsters, mischief makers, nature spirits, and connection to ancient Celtic deities.
Like a lot of authors and readers, as a teen and young adult my imagination was fired by the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and Madeleine L’Engle. C.S. Lewis, Piers Anthony, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, and Melanie Rawn. I read some horror too—Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Crichton, William Peter Blatty. (True story: When I was 20, a Lovecraft novella triggered a panic attack. Though I didn’t recognize what it was at the time.)
My love of fairies began even earlier though. One of my most treasured books is Faeries by Brian Froud, which my mom gave me when I was 8. The first short stories I wrote as an elementary school kid were about fantasy worlds. I was introverted, shy, and sensitive—so much so, I frequently pretended to be sick so I could stay home. (I played sick for two days once to read Watership Down. I still feel guilty about it! But really it was an investment in my writer education.) Another way I coped was by taking an invisible fairy friend to school in my pocket. When I was at my desk, she’d hop out and sit on the edge. She had my back, helping me cope with the often overwhelming stimuli of school.
As I got older, my dream of becoming an author drifted away while life’s practicalities took over. Though I continued to feel drawn to it, I turned to business writing to make my living and let creative writing go for a good, long time. Also, somehow, when I reached adulthood I developed this idea that it was time to grow up and write “real” books. I’m not sure what this meant or where it came from. Maybe because my dad and brother were engineers who didn’t really read much fiction, and my mom was a programmer who read mostly nonfiction and literary novels. I didn’t know how to fit in with all that.
Meantime, I read a lot of classics—the Brontës, Jane Austen, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope were favorites—which made me fall in love with romance. Also I accumulated stacks of books on fairies and Celtic mythology. Some of them I didn’t even read. Just having them was a comfort, like the fairy who went to school with me. I also felt I was storing them up for something. Around the time I got pregnant with my daughter, I turned again to reading the kinds of books—and writing the kinds of stories—I’d loved as a youngster. Fifteen years since THEN, and I am still on that journey of bringing magic back into my life. (Lesson learned: Don’t let go of things you love because you have some vague idea that you should.)
So here we are! You can probably see how The Faery Rehistory is really the work of a lifetime. It blends three of my favorite things: fairies, Ireland (which I visited twice in the last 15 years), and the voice and manners of classic novels. I have had an AMAZING time writing this trilogy (book 3 is due out next year), and I hope you’ll feel the same about reading them!
The Raven Lady is available today!
The fairy court is restored. Who will win the game of crowns?
In the aftermath of Ireland’s battle with her ancient enemies, Queen Isolde orders her cousin, smuggler Duncan O’Malley, to assume the throne of fairy as King Finvara. He’s a fish out of water when it comes to nurturing the alliance between Ireland’s mortal and fairy peoples. And the queen wants him to wed the daughter of Ireland’s enemy, the king of Icelandic shadow elves, to help keep the peace. But the Irish think of the elves as goblins, and Finvara refuses.
Elven princess Koli, affronted by the king’s rejection–along with his decision to bring her to court as little more than a captive–vows vengeance. Shortly after her arrival, she uncovers a plot that would bring swift satisfaction. A dark and powerful fairy lord, Far Dorocha, wants to take Finvara’s crown and lead both the fairy and elven people to war against the Irish. And he wants Koli to help him.
It’s the perfect setup for revenge, but Koli soon discovers that Finvara’s not the haughty lord she believed him to be. And as she navigates treacherous waters inside the court, she gets glimpses of the magic and passion that have been slumbering inside her. She must choose a side in the new battle for Ireland–will it be the fearsome father she has served for nearly a century, or the fairy king who has helped awaken her to herself?
About the Author
I write smart, twisty, passionate tales—mash-ups of science fiction, fantasy, and slow-burn romance set in lush and atmospheric worlds.
A city mouse who was dragged by my country-mouse-aspiring family to an acreage just outside Seattle, I am also mom to two huge dogs, two ridiculous goats, an orange cat and orange mare, and a fluctuating number of poultry.
I’ve published sci-fi romance with Tor Books and erotic fairy tales with Penguin Random House. My debut novel, Ghost Planet, was nominated for a 2013 Romance Writer’s of America RITA award for best first book. My historical fantasy trilogy The Faery Rehistory is being published by Blackstone Publishing. The first book, The Absinthe Earl, has been an Amazon #1 Best Seller!
I have always loved speculative romance, and here’s why (from an interview for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog):
“What I love best, as both a reader and writer, is to follow a heroine and hero to a place where the rules are different, stakes are high, and every plot twist triggers a fresh sense of wonder.”