1. Historical fantasy authors always seem to do double-duty–they have to build both their historical world and their fantasy world (and make them work together). Which came first and/or easiest to you–the faeries and their world, or the human world of Victorian London?
I think Victorian London was a bit easier because there are tons of resources to reference when creating that world. The Otherworld, on the other hand, is more nebulous and undefined –which makes it just that much more fun to write. I started with the foundation of the well-known Seelie and UnSeelie courts and then made up my own world from there.
2. What sort of research did you do for the historical elements?
I used the internet, which has an amazing amount of data on just about anything, and I used several reference books.
Did you get to make a trip to London or were you drawing on past visits or other research methods?
When I wrote the story I had never been to London and actually didn’t know very much about the City. It was very fortuitous that I set Tiki living in Charing Cross, which is the true heart of London and the point from which all distances are measured, even to this day. After I sold the book I did have a chance to go to London and visit all the places in THE FAERIE RING. It was amazing and surreal and the best trip ever!
3. Though most of the story is from Tiki’s viewpoint, there are several scenes from Prince Leo’s. What were some of the differences, challenges, or pleasures of writing from a male point of view?
I can’t say that I thought of it as writing from a male or female POV but more from a different character’s POV. Leo comes from such a completely different world than Tiki it was fun to switch hats and see events from his perspective. How he has grown up, how he lives influences his reactions and actions so the challenge comes more from being able to stand in his shoes and then switch and see life from the desperate straits of a pickpocket struggling to find enough food to survive. I thought the juxtaposition of their lives provided an interesting contrast.
4. What influenced your portrayal of the faeries and their world?
I wanted to create my own faerie world. I’ve read some stories where I just didn’t like the world that had been created and that was really the impetus to write this
book: To write what I wanted to read.
Were there myths or contemporary stories you drew on and any you sought to turn on their heads?
I was one of the many who thought a faerie ring was a circle of mushrooms in the grass. I loved using the motif of the ring throughout the story and making it something completely different in more than one way.
5. Since this is your first book, could you describe your writing and publication journey?
It is hard to get a book published! I have rejection letters just like everybody else. But you can never give up!! I kept working at my craft, taking classes, joining critique groups, reading other work, practicing, practicing, practicing and I was lucky enough to get an agent. It took her about nine months to sell THE FAERIE RING.
6. Did you always intend Tiki’s story to cover multiple books or did it just grow?
When I started writing THE FAERIE RING I was just telling a story. But what I found when I got to the end was that I had just scratched the surface of the true story.
Can you give us a hint of when the others will appear and what’s in store for the next book?
At this point I don’t have a release schedule, but I’m going to do everything I can to have book 2, THE TORN WING, out in Fall 2012. I won’t give away any spoilers but I can tell you that Tiki spends a lot more time in the Otherworld and new characters are introduced that definitely
Thank you, Kiki, and readers, be sure to enter our contest on Friday!