Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview: Julie Kagawa, author of THE IRON KING

Julie Kagawa is one awesome chick. Need proof? Look at her awesome hair! I've always wanted silver hair, but if I died mine, it would just look frumpy and gray.

Anyway, Julie graciously agreed to answer some of my questions, and so, without further ado, here is the author of the amazingly-awesome book THE IRON KING! 


We can all read about your bio from the back of your book or your FAQ online. So, what's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
That I lived in Hawaii for ten years, and never learned to swim. Also, I have reoccurring nightmares about tornadoes.

As a child, what was your favorite book? Have your tastes changed since growing up?
My favorite book as small child was Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. My fascination with monsters started early. As I got older, I started reading fantasy and never really stopped; all my favorite books are fantasy books.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian. Then I discovered all the science and math you had to study to become a vet, and since numbers hate me I decided to be an author instead.


How much of you is in your book? Is there a character like you? Is a situation in the book derived from real life?
There is probably a tiny bit of me in all my characters. And like Meghan, I was a loner and an outcast at school, so I know what it feels like to be teased and shunned. Though I never endured the humiliation Meghan faced at the beginning of the novel, I can very easily imagine what it would be like.

What was your timeline for the book? How long did it take to write, revise, submit, and finally, get published?
The Iron King took me a little under two months to write. It was my NaNo Wrimo project (where you have to write 50,000 words in a month) and I was super eager to finish, so I set my deadline and typed like a madwoman until it was done. At that time, Harlequin Teen was just starting to look for new submissions, and they bought it a few weeks after I finished.

If your readers could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from the book, what would you want that to be?
Wonder at the world around them, that there might be a hidden universe right under our noses, and that we just might catch a glimpse if we look hard enough.

What are your goals as an author? Where do you want to see yourself as a writer in 5, 10, 15 years?
I want to keep writing for as long as my fingers work. So, fifteen years down the road, I want to be doing exactly what I'm doing now.

What's the most surprising thing you've learned since becoming a writer?
I was shocked at discovering the YA blogger community. Who knew there was such a huge online community of people who loved YA books? I've met so many awesome people because of it, and its truly been a pleasure.

Beyond the typical—never give up, believe in yourself—what would be the single best advice you'd like to give to an aspiring author?
Keep trying to make yourself better. Learn all you can about the craft and the publishing world. You can always get better, and the only way to get better is to keep at it.

What do you consider to be your strongest talent in writing? Your weakest?
My strongest talent, hmmm....I'm not really sure. I'll let the readers decide on that one. As for my weakest, I'm very easily distracted. The internet has been the bane of my writing life of late, what with Twitter and Facebook and blogger and email and everything. I can spend hours on Twitter and other sites, so much that I've recently taken to turning off the internet when I'm working, just to stop Tweetdeck from chirping at me every two minutes.

What's a writing pet peeve that you have?
Cats on the writing desk. I cannot work when there is a cat staring at me over the monitor (probably because its usually my black cat, Shinobi, who has the habit of either waving his tail across the screen, or knocking over my Mt. Dew to get a reaction). Cats on the writing desk is a no-no, so of course they constantly try to get away with it.

Thank you again, Julie, for the interview!


Myrna Foster said...

Oh, thanks for the interview. I love Julie's hair and the dragon on her shirt. And it's always fun to find out more about authors. Two months is - wow!

Bish Denham said...

Nice interview! Julie's novel was bought just a few weeks after it was finished?!?!!!!! Fantastic!

Unknown said...

What a fantasitc interview Beth!!! It makes me even more excited to read the book because Julie has such a great personality and flow about her!!!

Way to get that book published and out in the world, that is quite the accomplishment in that period of time... or so I've heard at least!!! hehe... It doesn't make me feel so weird that I was able to finish my story in under 2 months!!

Matthew MacNish said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing.

What an amazing path to publishing, congratulations!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Totally awesome, Beth. Thanks Julie for sharing. I wouldn't like the cat clawing at my keyboard either, although I don't have a cat. The dog would look pretty funny on my desk. LOL

Carolyn V. said...

Two months? I'm so impressed! I wish I could get a book out that fast! =) Great interview Beth! Good luck with the book Julie! =)

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for sharing this:)

Theresa Milstein said...

Like other commenters, I'm stuck on the two months too. Some people just have it from the start.

Great interview. Julie's personality shines through. And I love her hair!

Ann Marie Wraight said...

THE MOST FABULOUS of all BOOK to read!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. I am so impressed at how quickly Julie finished her book and got it published. I loved the book and can't wait for the sequel. Julie created such a great fantasy world.

Christina Farley said...

What a great interview. I love how Julie is not jaded and loves what she's doing.