Tell me about your decision to launch a new series set in the world of the Iron Fey.
The idea for a new Iron Fey book came to me while I was finishing up the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. I knew it had been awhile since I had written anything in that world, and I was eager to dive back into it. I also thought this would be a perfect time to give longtime fans of the series something they’ve always wanted: a chance for Puck to tell his own story.
Can you give readers a sneak peek into the story? How does the book diverge from the Iron Fey books?
The Iron Raven is the first full-length novel to feature Puck as the narrator, so expect his sarcastic, irreverent voice all through the story. Other than that, I hope it feels very familiar – a return to the world of the Iron Fey and everything that made the original series fun and magical. Monsters, glamour, strange and beautiful environments, and of course faeries of all shapes and sizes, all told through the lens of the Great Prankster. And some new and old friends to help him along the way.
Your books are so rich with mythological, Shakespearean, and fairytale threads. Do you continue to be inspired by these source materials, and what do you think makes them so enduring for modern readers?
I love folklore and old fairytales, so I do continue to be inspired by them. I think modern readers are still drawn to them because they play on both our fears and our fascination with the unknown. Many fairytales are about ordinary people getting drawn into strange and magical events, and having to use their wits and their skills to outsmart the monster, witch, or troublesome faery. I think it is this aspect that makes fairytales so enduring.
The Iron Raven features familiar characters that fans of the Iron Fey series will be happy to reconnect to, but also some new faces. Is there as much joy for you in fashioning new characters as there is in continuing the story arcs of established protagonists?
It was a lot of fun going back and revisiting all the old favorites from the original Iron Fey series, but I do love creating new characters. However, I was a bit nervous about the new face that joins the gang in The Iron Raven, mostly because of her relationship with a certain fan favorite. It's always a bit scary introducing someone new; you don’t know how longtime readers of the series will react to a stranger coming aboard and playing a large part in the story. I myself love this new character, and I hope readers will embrace her just as much as they did Meghan, Puck, Ash and Grim.
As you begin writing a new series, do you always know what’s coming next for the characters and stories? How often are you surprised by the directions your books ultimately take you?
I always have to know the ending, of both the individual books and the series. I always start with figuring out how the series ends, so in that respect I do know what happens. But sometimes when writing, the story will take an unexpected turn, or I find I’ve written myself into a corner and either have to backtrack, or figure out how to forge on from there. Sometimes I’ll struggle with a scene for days, only to discover I’m trying to force the characters into doing something completely out of character for them, or that doesn’t make sense for the story. And in a few occurrences, I’ll be happily writing along and a character will blurt out something I had no idea was coming, making me stop, blink and say: “well, that just happened.”
Will readers who aren’t yet familiar with the original series feel comfortable starting with The Iron Raven?
There are a lot of faces, names and events from the original Iron Fey series that are mentioned in The Iron Raven, so it will definitely help to be familiar with the earlier books. But I do think that even new readers to the Iron Fey world will enjoy The Iron Raven. I did strive to explain many of the important events from the previous works in a way that anyone coming into the story would understand, so hopefully everyone will be able to read and enjoy the adventures of the one and only Robin Goodfellow.