Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time. Her third novel, The Iron Queen, became a New York Times bestseller and her debut novel, The Iron King recently won the RITA award for best young-adult fiction novel of 2010.

Julie now lives in La Grange, Kentucky, with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive papillon.

I absolutely adore The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, so when I was offered the chance to read and review The Immortal Rules before its April release, I responded with a resounding "YES!"  Check back soon for my thoughts on what is sure to be an epic read.  Also, after the interview below, enter for your chance to win your own copy of The Immortal Rules!

After writing the Iron Fey series for so many years, how difficult was it to immerse yourself in a futuristic world filled with vampires, rabids and an enslaved human race?

JK:  It was...very different. I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that this story does take place in the real world -- a futuristic, vampire-infested world, but the real world nonetheless. Things had to make sense, for example: how far can a large group walk in a single day if there were no roads, they were going through thick woods, and there were children in the group? I had to have logical reasons for everything; I couldn't just make something work "because of faery magic," lol.

Just like Meghan Chase in the Iron Fey series, the main character in The Immortal Rules, Allison Sekemoto, is a “take charge and kick butt” kind of girl. Is this intentional? What woman – real or fictional, alive or deceased – do you look up to or admire?

JK:  Yes, Allison comes from a very different world than Meghan Chase. Meghan's upbringing was pretty normal; Allison grew up among vampires and monsters, where every day was a fight to live, so she couldn't afford to be weak. While Meghan had to learn to "take charge and kick butt," Allison's first impulse is stab first, talk later.

As for female role models, the first that comes to mind--when it comes to kicking vampire butt, anyway -- is Buffy Summers. Thank you, Joss Whedon, for making me love feisty, snarky, heroines who can dust all sorts of nasties but who also look good in a cheerleading outfit. ;)

You mention in your acknowledgements in The Immortal Rules that at the beginning of your writing career you promised yourself you wouldn’t write a vampire book. What changed your mind?

JK:  Well, there were already so many really good books about our favorite bloodsuckers, so many stories and ideas, I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the masses. I was actually toying with a post-apocalyptic YA novel when my agent mentioned I might want to try writing a vampire series. I wasn't intrigued with the idea at first, but then I thought about combining vampires with the post-apocalyptic novel and then rest sort of fell into place.

Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters yet when faced with a choice of die or become one, she becomes a vampire. Would you have made that same decision?

JK:  Me personally? No. I'm like Zeke in the belief that there is something better waiting for me beyond this life, and I just have to do my best until it’s time for me to go. Besides, I love pizza and Mountain Dew too much to give it up.

Who do you think the most complex character is in The Immortal Rules?

JK:  Probably Kanin, Allie's sire. He's a vampire who has made his peace about being a monster, yet chooses to live by his own set of moral rules. He warns Allison about getting too close to humans, yet he does not kill unless he absolutely has to. He is tormented about something in his past that he refuses to share with anyone. He is certainly the most mysterious of all the characters, if not the most complex.

How many books will be in the Blood of Eden series? When will the next book be coming out?

JK:  At the moment, there are three books planned, with the second coming out sometime next spring, after the release of the new Iron Fey series this fall.

Before you starting writing full time you were a professional dog trainer. Do the professions share any similarities?

JK:  Lol, well you have to think on your feet a lot. And some of the small dogs could be compared to tiny snapping goblins, but writing requires less dodging skills, though perhaps the same amount of creativity and problem solving.

When starting a new series, like Blood of Eden, do you have the entire series mapped out in detail or do you let the story develop book by book?

JK:  I have a high point that I write toward in each story; I know this and this has to happen, but getting from point A to point B usually develops as I go along.

And for the speed round:

What book have you read and re-read, and read yet again?

JK:  Any of the Harry Potter books.

Favorite song to play when writing a fight scene?

JK:  My "favorites" change daily. Right now its "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.

Worst job?

JK:  Working a kiosk in the mall during Christmas. It sold glass figurines, and the maneuvering space around the hundreds of very breakable merchandise was quite small. I was like a bull in a china shop.

Best vacation spot?

JK:  Walt Disney World

Sweets or salty?

JK:  Sweet.

One thing most people don’t know about you – and would never guess!

JK:  I used to play the flute when I was a kid. I was really good at it too, but my instructor stopped teaching to have a family, and I never went back to it.

A big thank you to Julie Kagawa and Karen Wadsworth at Media Masters Publicity for putting this together!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Harlequin

You will kill. The only question is when.

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.

And now for the contest!  This giveaway is for one finished copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa in hardcover.  The contest will run from now through the release date of the book. On April 24th, one winner will be selected via Rafflecopter, and I will provide the winner's shipping info to the publisher, who will then ship the book directly to the winner.  The prize will not be sent prior to the book's release date of April 24th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading!!!


  1. Thanks for the chance to win! I'm looking forward to reading this new series.

  2. I'll totally be back to read this in depth.. I love her. she plays the sims <3

    however, I must actually do some work today. I'd rather be licking sweaty balls.

  3. Wow! I love Julie’s books and all this time I had no idea we lived in the same state! That’s too cool! Thank you for the giveaway!

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

  4. "I had to have logical reasons for everything" <--This comment alone is enough to make me want to read the book. So often, I'll read a book and the timeline or something the characters do will make no logical sense. Knowing that Kagawa has put the thought into her characters and their actions is wonderful. Thanks for doing this interview!

  5. Vampires and an enslaved human race? Sounds like this book is right up my alley! Loved the interview, Jeannette, and thanks for the giveaway. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. I have seen such good reviews on this book and it was fun to read the interview with the author. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  7. I love how Julie decided to have a complex character in this book. I'm excited to meet him! Great interview! Thanks for offering this giveaway, Jen!



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