Posts made in May, 2016

Interview with Ruth Vincent, author of Elixir

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Blog, guest | Comments Off on Interview with Ruth Vincent, author of Elixir

I’m happy to welcome author Ruth Vincent! Her debut urban fantasy novel Elixir is out today from Harper Voyager Impulse. Be sure to read the excerpt–if you’re like me, you’ll order the whole book immediately after.

elixir_book– Elixir is about a fairy P.I. in New York City. Is this is a setting you know personally?

Oh yes! New York City is my adopted hometown. I moved around quite a bit growing up, but NYC was the first place I ever consciously chose to live as an adult, and as such will always have a special place in my heart. (I currently live a short commute away on Long Island.) The city provides so many perfect scene settings for my urban fantasy series – from transforming the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop into a portal to the fairy realm, to the gritty walk-up apartment-shares in the outer boroughs (where 20-somethings like my characters could actually afford to live!) I find real New York far more fascinating than the way it’s typically portrayed in Hollywood, and I tried to accurately reflect the city as I know it, both its brutality and its sublimity, in my series.

– Do you have any favorite private investigators in literature or on TV?

I actually grew up without TV, because I went to Waldorf schools, so I have about an 18 year gap in my pop culture knowledge! While I may have missed some of TV’s most famous P.I’s, my favorite private investigator from literature still has to be Sherlock Holmes! (His role as a “consulting detective” is basically a P.I) As a child, I devoured every single Holmes story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote!

Although I have never been a private investigator myself, I think my interest in that career got piqued at one of my previous day-jobs, where I worked as an investigative researcher conducting high-level background checks. I think that job altered the way I think, and made me perennially fascinated by the processes by which we find out information about other people. (Don’t worry, I no longer have access to those databases and am no longer in that field – I promise I won’t be looking you up!)

– I really enjoyed the excerpt from your book. I cared about Mab right away, and the hints about her changeling past–and her guilt–really intrigued me. How would you sum up her character at the start of the book?

Thank you so much! The story begins twenty-two years after my main character, Mab, got tricked by the Fairy Queen into becoming a changeling. At this point, she’s acclimated to the human world, and trying to make the best of a life she never chose. However, she’s still needled by guilt, both for the human girl she unwittingly displaced, and for her human parents, who have no idea that Mab isn’t their real daughter (they think all her attempts to tell them the truth were a child’s game of make-believe.)

Mab’s “voice” was one of my favorite parts of writing this story. As a changeling, she’s in the human world but not of it, and her outsider’s perspective makes her simultaneously frustrated and fascinated by the human society into which she’s been thrust.

– Do you have a favorite type of fairy or famous fairy character, and do they perhaps make an appearance in your series?

I did background research on Celtic fairy folklore before writing Elixir (reading such works as W.Y. Evans-Wentz’s “The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries” etc…) but ultimately decided to make up my own mythologies!

However, I’ve always been fascinated by changeling stories, which is why changelings play such a big role in this series. Folklore is full of haunting tales of fairy-baby swaps, but the one thing all these old stories are largely silent on is why – why do the fairies want to take human children, and why would they leave one of their own behind?

I was familiar with the main theories on the origins of the changeling myth (that they’re actually memories of earlier inhabitants of Europe who were driven out by invaders, and switched their own sickly children with their conquerors’ healthy offspring, or that ‘changelings’ were an explanation for certain children’s developmental differences.) But I always found these explanations wanting – so I created my own explanation for changelings in ELIXIR.

– Well, Elixir is out today. What comes next for you?

Well, Elixir’s sequel, Book 2 in the Changeling P.I. series, will be coming out in October! I’m hard at work on it now! When I initially signed the contract, I had feared that writing a sequel would be difficult, however, I find I’m really enjoying it. Writing the second book in a series has given me the opportunity to dig deeper, go darker, and really delve into the complexity of my characters’ psyches. It’s been a pleasure to watch Mab and her love interest, Obadiah, grow as they grapple with some very complicated, morally ambiguous choices in Book 2.

I also have a wholly different manuscript, a gaslamp fantasy, going to submission with my agent. It’s also about fairies – though the Victorian variety. It was a lush, delicious world to build, with a narrative voice that I think (hope!) is both very period and yet immensely relatable. I’m excited to see where that story ends up!


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About Ruth:
Ruth Vincent spent a nomadic childhood moving across the USA, culminating in a hop across the pond to attend Oxford. But wherever she wanders, she remains ensconced within the fairy ring of her imagination. Ruth recently traded the gritty urban fantasy of NYC for the pastoral suburbs of Long Island, where she resides with her roguishly clever husband and a cockatoo who thinks she’s a dog.Ruth Vincent is the author of the CHANGELING P.I series with HarperCollins Voyager Impulse, beginning with her debut novel, ELIXIR.

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Free Public SFF Booksigning in Chicago May 13th

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in awards, Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on Free Public SFF Booksigning in Chicago May 13th

The Nebula Conference is a week and a half away (yikes!). I’ll be there Friday through Sunday, taking part in events at the conference and at BEA/BookCon not far away. My previous “visit’ to Chicago consisted of a switch between connecting flights at Midway Airport back in 2003, so I’m pretty excited to explore a city that I have seen on TV my entire life. The land of Oprah! And Navy Bootcamp!

But let’s get to the to-do that is mentioned in the topic. On Friday May 13th, there is a huge booksigning that is free and totally open to the public. Take a look at the image below to get an idea of the authors who will be present. I mean, wow. You can bring books or buy from a bookseller there. This will be awesome!



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Sunday Quote says Happy May Day

Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote says Happy May Day

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”
~Terry Pratchett

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