I’m so excited to be taking part in the blog tour for The Brightest Fell, the eleventh installment in the October Daye urban fantasy series by Seanan McGuire.
Today I bring you a Q&A with the author, as well as an excerpt from the upcoming book, which releases on September 5th, 2017.
Q&A with Seanan McGuire
There are so many details and twists revealed throughout the series – did you plot them all out back when you were working on Rosemary & Rue, or make it up as you went along?
Both. What I call the “big picture” has been plotted since the beginning, but I try to let everything else flux and breathe as necessary. I’ve grown as a writer since the series started, and I have to leave myself room to keep improving.
How was the experience of writing this book, now that you’re 11 (amazing!) books in? Is it easier to slip back in to a familiar world, or more difficult to keep the momentum going?
It’s honestly easier to slip back into a familiar world. I’m better at writing that many words in a row, and returning to Toby is always like coming home.
Without spoilers, can you describe a little about the book in terms of what it means for our characters, Toby in particular – especially in terms of the ultimate endgame?
No, I really can’t. The endgame is still coming into focus for most characters—and most readers—and if I say “here is the thing that is important,” suddenly everyone’s attention shifts. It’s better to read for yourself!
Your supporting cast are all so vivid, and the many novellas you’ve written to supplement the series are testament to that. I get the impression that there’s so much more of the universe/character stories that for obvious reasons can’t make it into the final cut?
The books are inherently limited to what Toby sees. We’ve started doing the novellas in part because people don’t stay frozen when she’s not looking—they move and grow and change, and I don’t want that to be confusing for readers. So we’re starting to widen what we see a little bit, to make things easier to follow.
Which character is the most fun to write? (Or write about? Spike always makes me chuckle, for one!)
Most fun to write is, thankfully, Toby. It would be awful if she didn’t make me happy, given that I’m sort of stuck with her for the foreseeable future. Good thing I love her so much.
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell .—William Shakespeare, Macbeth.
THE FETCH IS ONE of the most feared and least understood figures in Faerie. Their appearance heralds the approach of inescapable death: once the Fetch shows up, there’s nothing that can be done. The mechanism that summons them has never been found, and they’ve always been rare, with only five conclusively identified in the last century. They appear for the supposedly significant—kings and queens, heroes and villains—and they wear the faces of the people they have come to escort into whatever awaits the fae beyond the borders of death. They are temporary, transitory, and terrifying.
My Fetch, who voluntarily goes by “May Daye,” because nothing says “I am a serious and terrible death omen” like having a pun for a name, showed up more than three years ago. She was supposed to foretell my impending doom. Instead, all she managed to foretell was me getting a new roommate. Life can be funny that way.
At the moment, doom might have been a nice change. May was standing on the stage of The Mint, San Francisco’s finest karaoke bar, enthusiastically bellowing her way through an off- key rendition of Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window.” Her live-in girlfriend, Jazz, was sitting at one of the tables closest to the stage, chin propped in her hands, gazing at May with love and adoration all out of proportion to the quality of my Fetch’s singing.
May has the face I wore when she appeared. We don’t look much alike anymore, but when she first showed up at my apartment door to tell me I was going to die, we were identical. She has my memories up to the point of her creation: years upon years of parental issues, crushing insecurity, abandonment, and criminal activities. And right now, none of that mattered half as much as the fact that she also had my absolute inability to carry a tune.
“Why are we having my bachelorette party at a karaoke bar again?” I asked, speaking around the mouth of the beer bottle I was trying to keep constantly against my lips. If I was drinking, I wasn’t singing. If I wasn’t singing, all these people might still be my friends in the morning.
Of course, with as much as most of them had already had to drink, they probably wouldn’t notice if I did sing. Or if I decided to sneak out of the bar, go home, change into my sweatpants, and watch old movies on the couch until I passed out. Which would have been my preference for how my bachelorette party was going to go, if I absolutely had to have one. I didn’t think they were required. May had disagreed with me. Vehemently. And okay, that had sort of been expected.
What I hadn’t expected was for most of my traitorous, backstabbing friends to take her side. Stacy—one of my closest friends since childhood—had actually laughed in my face when I demanded to know why she was doing this to me.
“Being your friend is like trying to get up close and personal with a natural disaster,” she’d said. “Sure, we have some good times, but we spend half of them covered in blood. We just want to spend an evening making you as uncomfortable as you keep making the rest of us.”
Not to be outdone, her eldest daughter, Cassandra, had blithely added, “Besides, we don’t think even you can turn a karaoke party into a bloodbath.”
All of my friends are evil.
As my Fetch and hence the closest thing I had to a sister, May had declared herself to be in charge of the whole affair. That was how we’d wound up reserving most of the tables at The Mint for an all-night celebration of the fact that I was getting married. Even though we didn’t have a date, a plan, or a seating chart, we were having a bachelorette party. Lucky, lucky me.
My name is October Daye. I am a changeling; I am a knight; I am a hero of the realm; and if I never have to hear Stacy sing Journey songs again, it will be too soon.
So there you have it, my lovelies. And if you are not up to date with this awesome UF series, might I suggest beginning your journey with the first book, Rosemary & Rue?