TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery.
Juliet: Thank you for having me.
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Juliet: I write my first drafts longhand in composition books using black Flairs. Then I type up each chapter and edit on my laptop, but I just can't think while typing. The first draft has to be longhand. I can't read on Kindle either. Clearly I am a dinosaur.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Juliet: A little bit of both. I do a lot of thinking and writing notes, but I find that I can't completely plot the book before I start writing it. I get my best ideas while I'm actually writing. I do sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think, "Aaarrgh, I don't know what happens next!!!" Then I wish I was more of a plotter than a pantser.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Juliet: EVERYTHING about writing is challenging to me! The starting of it, the going on with it, the finishing it. I love every minute of it, but it never really feels easy. And I worry all the time. Does this character feel real enough? Does this turn of plot make sense? What does it really FEEL like to be an owl, or have magic, or love an incarnate being? So I suppose that staying true to the character is always the biggest and most important challenge.
TQ: What inspired you to write the Fairwick Chronicles, The Demon Lover and The Water Witch?
Juliet: I've always been fascinated with fairy tales and used fairy tale elements in my fiction. I started wondering what it would be like to make the fairy tales come alive. Specifically, for DEMON LOVER, I was spending my Sundays walking in a woods overrun with honeysuckle brambles and I began to imagine a house in the middle of the honeysuckle woods with a the spirit of an incubus trapped inside it.
Also, I was reading a lot of paranormal and urban fantasy and I wanted MORE of the kind of book I liked (like Charlaine Harris and Karen Marie Moning) so I figured there might be other readers out there that felt the same. I hope so!
TQ: The Fairwick Chronicles have a very Gothic feel. What are some of your favorite Gothic novels (modern or not)?
Juliet: JANE EYRE is my absolute favorite novel of all time and I love the Gothic feel of Thornfield. More recently, I loved Sarah Waters' book THE LITTLE STRANGER and I've been enjoying Susanna Kearsley and Kate Morton. Anything with an old house, some wild moors, and a brooding love interest!
TQ: Tell us something about The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles 2) that is not in the book description.
Juliet: There's a sexy scene in a bathtub.
TQ: In the series so far who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Juliet: Soheila Lilly has always been a lot of fun. The idea of a succubus who has sworn off feeding off humans intrigues me. And I had fun filling in her background in this book. Hardest? Ralph the Magical Doormouse. I'm always wondering what's going on in his little mouse brain.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Water Witch?
Juliet: Callie does some shapeshifting. It was really fun to imagine what it would feel like to be a deer or an owl. I actually spent a lot of time watching the deer in the neighborhood (okay that might be my oddest quirk, stalking deer).
TQ: What's next?
Juliet: The third Fairwick book in which all will be revealed! I love writing in this world and telling Callie's story. The third book continues her story and takes her places she's never been before.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Juliet: My pleasure!
The Fairwick Chronicles
The Water Witch
Fairwick Chronicles 2
Ballantine Books, February 12, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the honeysuckle forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine stream, more trouble is stirring. . . .
The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college. To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.
The Demon Lover
Fairwick Chronicles 1
Ballantine Books, December 27, 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.
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