by Seanan McGuire
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity-and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...
Interview with Author
"Can you tell us a little about yourself?"
I'm a West Coast native, Disney Halloweentown Princess, old-school horror girl with a vast collection of paperbacks, comic books, creepy dolls, and generation one My Little Ponies. I majored in Folklore and Mythology at UC Berkeley. I live with two Maine Coons and a Siamese, and I don't sleep.
"Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?"
Sadly, no. I've been writing as long as anyone can remember. My mother says I started about when I started to read, so that would be pre-kindergarten.
"What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?"
The number of things that people assume the writer controls, like schedule, cover art, electronic editions, and even cover art. I always knew those things were handled by the publishers. I was really surprised when I found out that most people thought the author got to call all the shots. I guess spending my teen years organizing science fiction conventions warped me.
"How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?"
Not at all. Things come to me, I write them down, and then I beat on them until they start making sense. It's not so much a "formula" as it is a small, constantly contained explosion.
"What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?"
Spelling and grammar. If you can't make yourself understood by your readers, it doesn't matter how awesome and amazing you are. You need to take your incredible ideas and make them accessible to everyone who looks at the page. It may sound a little trite, but it's true.
"Can you share a little of your current work with us?"
I'm about three hundred pages into a novel; it wouldn't make any sense in isolation, I'm afraid. But there's a bowling alley involved, and that's usually enough to make me happy.
"In Twitter Fashion use 140 charactersor less, sumDiscount Armageddonfor us."
Combine ballroom dance with talking mice and the fine science of cryptoozology and you'll get the story of Verity Price, monster hunter.
"How did you come up with a story that was such a whirl wind of events?"
One event at a time. I let things lead naturally into one another, and saw where everything ended up.
"How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer's block along the way?"
About a year, largely because I was writing two other books at the same time. I don't believe in writer's block. Mostly with me, it's writer's I-don't-wanna, and I like being able to feed the cats.
"Will we be seeing a following book to this stories?"
This is the first in a series; the sequel, MIDNIGHT BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL, will be out next year. I recommend watching my website for updates, graphics, and other goodies, like some free short fiction.
"Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book?"
"What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?"
I cried. It was so beautiful, and so perfect. It was exactly what I wanted.
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