TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Jacqueline: When I’m immersed in a project, it’s where my thoughts go given the slightest opportunity, which means that I may be found standing in the middle of my living room, staring into space as I watch, say, a battle scene unfold in my mind, or pushing a shopping cart through the grocery store and silently mouthing lines of dialogue as I work through the details of a particularly fraught encounter.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Jacqueline: I’m a plotter all the way!
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Jacqueline: At this point in my career, it’s probably the fact that I’ve ransacked the cabinet of plot elements very, very thoroughly, and it’s a challenge to find creative tropes that I haven’t used. I’ll often get a spark of inspiration and think, “Oh, that would be fun to... wait, did that already. Well, what about... nope, did that, too.”
TQ: Describe Dark Currents (Agent of Hel 1) in 140 characters or less.
Jacqueline: Reluctant hell-spawn Daisy Johanssen, liaison to the goddess Hel, partners with a sexy werewolf on the down-low to solve a local college boy’s murder.
TQ: What inspired you to write Dark Currents?
Jacqueline: I love the way urban fantasy allows us to view the contemporary world through the lens of the fantastic, and I’d always wanted to give it a try. It seemed like a subgenre that would be tremendous fun to write. When I began thinking about what would imbue a place with magic, I hit on the idea of an underworld, a play on the Hermetic principle of “As above, so below.” And I realized that I live in a place that literally has a buried city – an old lumber town buried beneath the sand dunes. I decided to relocate the Norse goddess of the dead to occupy it, and went from there.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Dark Currents? What is the oddest bit of information that you found?
Jacqueline: Since this is set in a fictitious version of my home town, I had the luxury of drawing on a lot of personal observation – which was a treat, since the historical fantasy I’m best known for requires hours and hours of research reading. My favorite odd discovery was Argiope aurantia, a striking black and yellow spider known, among other things, as the writing spider for the distinctive zigzag pattern it weaves into its web. According to myth, if you see your name written in its web, you’re going to die.
TQ: In Dark Currents, who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Jacqueline: Daisy, my protagonist, was the easiest. Her voice just felt natural, humorous and endearingly self-deprecating to me, and it sets the tone for the whole book. The hardest was Stefan Ludovic, the hot, mysterious ghoul... because really, trying to combine the disparate concepts of ‘hot’ and ‘ghoul’ is a challenge in and of itself.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Dark Currents?
Jacqueline: Hands down, one of my favorites is the introduction of Lurine Hollister, B-movie starlet, probable murderer of her octogenarian millionaire husband, and lamia. A lot of the imagery in this book is about juxtaposing the mundane and the fantastic, and I adore the vision of this mythical monster, half voluptuous woman, half giant serpent, lolling in a swimming pool. That said, from an action standpoint, the final showdown is one of my favorites, too.
TQ: You have written Epic Fantasy (the Kushiel's Legacy series) and near-future Science Fiction (the Santa Olivia series). Now you have turned to Urban Fantasy with Dark Currents. What do these series have in common if anything?
Jacqueline: Despite the fantastic or futuristic settings, I think all of them have quintessentially human conflicts at their cores. No matter what I write, I try to keep it grounded in a certain psychological and emotional reality. My protagonists may be a god’s chosen instrument, or a genetically modified human incapable of experiencing fear, or a demon’s offspring with a bad temper and daddy issues, but they struggle, they question, they grieve, they rejoice nonetheless. And they love, fiercely and passionately, which is definitely a common thread.
TQ: What's next?
Jacqueline: Dark Currents is the first book in a trilogy, and I’m currently finishing the second volume. It continues Daisy’s saga with the same blend of whimsy, wonder, and creepiness.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery
Jacqueline: Thank you for allowing me to visit, and happy reading!
Agent of Hel
Agent of Hel 1
Roc, October 2, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn…
The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.
To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.
But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.
|Photo by Kim Carey|
Jacqueline Carey received B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature from Lake Forest College. She enjoys doing research on a wide variety of arcane topics, and an affinity for travel has taken her from Finland to China to date. She currently lives in west Michigan. Visit her online at www.jacquelinecarey.com or www.facebook.com/jacquelinecarey.author.
What: One commenter will win a copy of Dark Currents (Agent of Hel 1) from The Qwillery.
How: Answer the following question:
Would you like to vacation in a resort town with an out in the open
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*