Julie Kagawa on Going From the Fey to the Vamps

“People often ask me if it was difficult to switch from writing about faeries to writing about vampires,” wrote Julie Kagawa, author of the fairy series The Iron Fey and a brand new series about vampires, Blood of Eden. “While it wasn’t exactly hard, it was very different, as these are two very different creatures with very different flavors, if you will. In the Faery world of the Nevernever, the setting and characters were almost surreal—or that’s how I tried to portray it. In building the Nevernever, I had this mental image of a vibrant, dreamlike place where everything was bright and vivid, but with something slightly off about it. I wanted the Nevernever to be a place where you weren’t sure if you were dreaming or not; it was a haunting, dangerous place, and its inhabitants were just as beautiful and deadly.

“When creating the denizens of Faery, I tried to remain true to the old tales, in which the ‘Good Neighbors’ were not happy, glittery sprites, but creatures who stole children and sickened livestock and lured mortals away into the forest, never to be seen again. These are not the fairies of children’s books and Disney tales. These are the faeries of Shakespeare’s ballads: Oberon, Titania, Mab, and Puck. Powerful, eternal, and as fickle as the weather. They care little for human life, because they are not human. They are ancient, alien beings with no concept of right or wrong, no conscience to govern their actions. Faeries were feared in ancient times, for good reason. I wanted to bring back a little of that fear, wonder, and surrealism.

“And then, we have vampires.

“Even more than faerie tales, the vampire myth has changed tremendously in these modern times. Where vampires used to be terrible, night-walking monsters—creatures you would never want to meet in a dark alley—they are now tortured souls who hate what they are and drink animal blood so they don’t have to prey on humans. They can walk in the sunlight, eat normal food, and blend perfectly into human society. They are sexy and romantic and beautiful, and would do anything to protect the human females they inevitably fall in love with.

“There’s nothing wrong with this type of vampire. It just wasn’t the creature I wanted to write about.”

  •  Find out what kind of creature Julie ended up writing about in the rest of her essay at The Daily Fig.
  • Kagawa’s latest novel, The Immortal Rulesis set in a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

    Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

    Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

    Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

    But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

  • Read sneak peeks from The Immortal Rules on BloodofEden.com or start with chapter one at the publisher website.
  • Or you might be interested in her RITA Award-winning fairy series, The Iron Fey. In Book One, The Iron King, Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

    Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

    When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

    But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

  • The Iron Fey series collectively have over 100,000 ratings on Goodreads.
  • To order The Immortal Rules, follow any of these handy icons 

Julie Kagawa spent much of her childhood with her nose in a book, particularly fantasy books, as they were so much more interesting than that boring math lecture she was supposed to be listening to. As a result, she still has to multiply on her fingers, but discovered writing was the logical outlet for all the stories, plots, and characters running around in her head. When not writing or reading, Julie can usually be found kicking alien arse on the Xbox, Wii, or PS3. Read more about Julie at her website and her blog.