Name: Julie Kagawa
Who is Julie? One of Tanya’s favorite fantasy authors (so I am bias)
Books: Shadow of the Fox series, Iron Fey series, Talon series, Blood of Eden series
Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles
As I mentioned, I am bias. My first introduction to Julie Kagawa was her Iron Fey series. And I recently heard, she is coming back to that series and I am extremely excited. To be able to interview her and be part of the book tour makes my 16 year old self smile in glee.
I highly recommend reading her books. All of them. Enjoy this interview!
What were your biggest influences when creating this world in story, whether they be legends, folklore, anime, manga or other novels?
Anime, Manga and video games have been my biggest influences when writing the world of Shadow of the Fox, but also the works of Akira Kurosawa like The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon.
The Iron Fey series was your first large published success. How did you feel as a writer when you reflect upon those books? How did/do you feel as a reader when you read or re-read those books?
The Iron Fey series holds a very special place in my heart as my first published series. I know I’ve grown since then, and when I re-read the Iron Fey I know I’ve come a long way as an author. But I also know that I wrote the best books I could at the time, so even though I wouldn’t write them the same way now, I’m happy with them.
What is it about fantasy that draws you to it?
Is everything a good answer? I love myths and legends, other worlds, magic, swords, wizards, dragons, evil gods, epic quests, and the battle between good and evil. I read to escape, but also to travel to far away places and encounter creatures and beings I would never meet in real life. Who hasn’t daydreamed about flying on the back of a dragon? I read fantasy for the same reason.
How much research goes into your books and at what point do you stop using research and build off it?
It depends on how much I already know about certain aspects of the book. For example, from the amount of anime and manga I’d consumed over the years, I knew a lot about kitsune, oni, tanuki, and various other Japanese monsters. I still did a fair amount of research, though it was more about the samurai and the Sengoku Jidai, the era I was basing the book off of. I never really stop researching, though most of it goes into book one, which is where much of the world building takes place.
Would you ever write adult fantasy? If so, what would it look like?
I certainly have considered it, though it would look a lot like my YA books, just with older protagonists. When I write, I don’t think “This is for teens,” I just write how I would always write. Really, the only thing that differentiates YA from adult is the age of the heroes and the lack of graphic sex in YA. And even that is changing.
Out of all the books you have written, which has your favorite world and why?
Probably the Iron Fey series, though Shadow of the Fox is a close second. I love fantasy and all the fantastic creatures that populate it, so the Nevernever is my favorite world for that alone. Even though I wouldn’t last a day there without getting eaten by an ogre, a redcap or a kelpie. Maybe if I could find a big gray cat…
Finally, what do you hope people remember about Night of the Dragon?
I hope people come away with a new appreciation of Japanese myth and folklore, particularly all the wonderfully bizarre yokai, yurei and bakemono that populate these stories. From kitsune and tanuki to oni and kirin, I hope it inspires readers to learn more about the world of Japanese myth and legend. And I hope people remember how much they cried at the end of the story.