Monday, July 23, 2018

Seanan McGuire Author Interview

Photo Content from Seanan McGuire 

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn't killed for using her typewriter at three o'clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite.

Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan's anecdotes end with things like "and then we got the anti-venom" or "but it's okay, because it turned out the water wasn't that deep." She has yet to be defeated in a game of "Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?," and can be amused for hours by almost anything. "Almost anything" includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality TV, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir's Horror Films of the 1980s as a checklist.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye urban fantasies, the InCryptid urban fantasies, and several other works both stand-alone and in trilogies or duologies. In case that wasn't enough, she also writes under the pseudonym "Mira Grant." For details on her work as Mira, check out

In her spare time, Seanan records CDs of her original filk music (see the Albums page for details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, "With Friends Like These...", as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie with the words "blood," "night," "terror," or "attack" in the title. Most people believe she doesn't sleep.

Seanan lives in an idiosyncratically designed labyrinth in the Pacific Northwest, which she shares with her cats, Alice and Thomas, a vast collection of creepy dolls and horror movies, and sufficient books to qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the "marginally." It probably doesn't help that she has so many hobbies.

Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010. In 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

How to do research. I taught myself to read, mostly from cartoon title cards and the various cans and boxes around the house, and I’m great at pursuing my own interests—sometimes to a horrifying degree—but I needed someone with more knowledge than I had to show me how to begin that pursuit.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
This varied year by year, for pretty obvious reasons, but the longest contender for the position has to be IT, by Stephen King. I first read IT when I was nine, and I was close enough to the protagonists in age for it to be incredibly appealing. I’ve re-read IT once a year since then, and I learn something new every time.

Has reading a book ever changed your life?
Yes. The Last Unicorn, by Peter Beagle. It changed everything forever.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?

The only three pieces of writing advice that I have ever thought might be universal were, in order, read, write, and don’t argue with reviewers. They’re still true today, so we’re going to roll with that.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
“Wow, this Seanan person is amazing, I will buy all her books and thus feed her cats for the foreseeable future.”

In your newest book, THE GIRL IN THE GREEN SILK GOWN ; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is the second adventure of Rose Marshall, a sweet girl from the wrong side of the tracks who fell afoul of a self-made monster and wound up haunting the highways and byways of America. The first book, Sparrow Hill Road, was her introduction; this is her overture. This is her ballad.

What was your inspiration for the GHOST ROADS Series?
I grew up in an area with a strong tradition of hitchhiking ghost stories, and I’ve always adored them. So having the chance to tell one of my own was pretty well irresistible.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Rose?
There are hitchhiking ghost stories all over the world, and the character of the story can vary from street to street within the same town. That made the research process fascinating.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
It would be absolutely none of them. I don’t like combining worlds that weren’t intended to meet.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?
This book was actually written as a book, and it shows. Sparrow Hill Road was what’s called “a fix-up novel,” meaning it started out as a series of interconnected short stories. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown was always meant to be a book.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently working on editing next year’s InCryptid book, That Ain’t Witchcraft, and as soon as I’m done, I’ll be getting started on next year’s October Daye book, The Unkindest Tide. I’m usually working a year or so ahead, for the sake of everyone’s schedule and sanity.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
No one? I’m pretty good at being me, and while being Shakespeare might be fun for a day or whatever, I’d be constantly worried about screwing it up and erasing his plays from history. No, thank you.

What is your favorite restaurant in town and why?
I live in a very, very small town. My favorite restaurant is the MOD Pizza, because it actually exists and is in my very, very small town, whereas most other restaurants are not.

What were you doing at midnight last night?

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Am I visiting, or am I rewinding and starting over? Because those are very different things, and either way, linear causality is not a toy, let us not break it on a whim.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
The stories I’m going to tell myself tomorrow. Given enough time, they turn into the stories I’m going to tell everyone else. It works out well.

Where can readers find you?
Wherever the corn is tall and the moon is high, I am there; when the wind blows through the pumpkin patch and puts out all the candles, I am in the smoke. I’m also on Twitter a lot, as @seananmcguire, and at If you want to be boring about it.

The second book in the Ghost Roads series returns to the highways of America, where hitchhiking ghost Rose Marshall continues her battle with her killer--the immortal Bobby Cross.

Once and twice and thrice around,
Put your heart into the ground.
Four and five and six tears shed,
Give your love unto the dead.
Seven shadows on the wall,
Eight have come to watch your fall:
One’s for the gargoyle, one’s for the grave,
And the last is for the one you’ll never save.

For Rose Marshall, death has long since become the only life she really knows. She’s been sweet sixteen for more than sixty years, hitchhiking her way along the highways and byways of America, sometimes seen as an avenging angel, sometimes seen as a killer in her own right, but always Rose, the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

The man who killed her is still out there, thanks to a crossroads bargain that won’t let him die, and he’s looking for the one who got away. When Bobby Cross comes back into the picture, there’s going to be hell to pay—possibly literally.

Rose has worked for decades to make a place for herself in the twilight. Can she defend it, when Bobby Cross comes to take her down? Can she find a way to navigate the worlds of the living and the dead, and make it home before her hitchhiker’s luck runs out?

There’s only one way to know for sure.

Nine will let you count the cost:
All you had and all you lost.
Ten is more than time can tell,
Cut the cord and ring the bell.
Count eleven, twelve, and then,
Thirteen takes you home again.
One’s for the shadow, one’s for the tree,
And the last is for the blessing of Persephone.


"Hitchhiking ghosts, the unquiet dead, the gods of the old American roads—McGuire enters the company of Lindskold and Gaiman with this book, creating a wistful, funny, fascinating new mythology of diners, corn fields, and proms in this all-in-one-sitting read!" —Tamora Pierce

"Seanan McGuire doesn't write stories, she gifts us with Myth—new Myths for a layered America that guide us off the twilight roads and lend us a pretty little dead girl to show us the way home." —Tanya Huff

"McGuire is a writer to be reckoned with, landing stone-cold emotional blows in quick succession while simultaneously stringing laugh-out-loud moments alongside lush descriptions, knife-sharp badinage and quickfire action sequences." —Strange Horizons

"McGuire applies a hard-boiled mentality and a keen appreciation for mythology to a blend of politics, magic, and romance." —Publishers Weekly

You can purchase The Girl in the Green Silk Gown at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SEANAN MCGUIRE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads #2) by Seanan McGuire.