Chat With an Author Giveaways

The Iron King: A Chat With Julie Kagawa (and Giveaway)

Today we have a spotlight on debut author Julie Kagawa and her Young Adult paranormal Iron Fey series, which begins with The Iron King, a story about a seemingly normal girl with a not-so-normal destiny, caught in the tangled web of fey politics. To celebrate the upcoming release of The Iron Daughter, we have Julie over for a chat, and later in the day we will be reviewing The Iron King!

Ladies and gents, please give a warm welcome to Julie Kagawa!

The Book Smugglers: Thank you for the taking the time to chat with us, Julie, and welcome to our blog! Your debut novel, The Iron King, has been out since February. How does it feel to be a published author?

Julie: Completely amazing! It’s still so surreal for me, to walk into a store and see my book on the shelves. And I can still tell myself: “I got a book published,” and start giggling hysterically.

The Book Smugglers: Before selling your book, you used to be a professional dog trainer to pay the rent. Would you say that there are any transferable skills between the two?

Julie: Patience. It takes patience and hard work, both to train a dog and to write a novel. Neither will happen immediately, but if you keep at it, you’ll start to see results.

The Book Smugglers: Books about Faeries are a quite popular trend at the moment – can you tell us about your world of the Iron Fey? How do you see it standing out from the crowd, and how does it fit with traditional fey mythology? Did you do any research to create the world for your book?

Julie: When I started writing The Iron King, I wanted to do something different with faeries. I knew and loved the traditional mythology—the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, Oberon, Mab, and Puck—but I wanted to introduce a type of faery no one had seen before. So I thought: what are the Fey afraid of? The answer to that question was iron, so what if there was a type of faery that was completely immune to iron? Then I remembered we already have “monsters” living in machines: gremlins, bugs, virus, ect. And from that thought, the Iron Fey were born.

The Book Smugglers: You seem to have gathered quite the following in the few months since your book has been released – fans of the love triangle in your stories are already firmly divided into Team Puck and Team Ash. How do you see this divide and this passion for your characters? And if we may be cheeky, which team are YOU on?

Julie: I know, it’s crazy! Again, it’s completely surreal for me that people are arguing over Ash and Puck. I think as writers, we love our characters like our own kids, and if a character becomes so real and loved that readers will actually split into teams over them, we couldn’t be prouder.

(And, for the record, I’m afraid I’m Team Ash. Sorry, Puck fans. I love all my kids, but I have a thing for bad boys. *ducks and hides*)

The Book Smugglers: The second novel in the Iron Fey series, The Iron Daughter, will be in stores this August. Can you tell us what we can expect from this second book? Any tantalizing tidbits you might be able to share?

Julie: The Iron Daughter explores more of the complex relationships between Meghan, Ash, and Puck. Also, Meghan gets a few unexpected allies, discovers something about her past, and must make a difficult choice in the end. And if I say anything else, I’m afraid I’ll give away spoilers. 🙂

The Book Smugglers: On your website you have listed book that you like and amongst them are YA books by Melissa Marr and Holly Black as well as classic Fantasy by Greg Keyes and Robin Hobb. These are all Fantasy books – is Fantasy the genre that you read the most? Do you have any other favorites you’d like to share?

Julie: Fantasy was my first love, and it is the genre I read the most. But I’m trying to branch out into different areas like YA contemporary fiction. Two really good contemporary fiction novels I’ve read recently are 20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler and Sea by Heidi Kling.

The Book Smugglers: The YA genre has been experiencing a pretty crazy boom in popularity and crossover appeal over the past few years. Why did you choose to write a young adult novel? Do you have any intention of writing for adults one day?

Julie: I tried writing an adult fantasy novel before The Iron King was published. But even then, all my characters were young. I love YA because you can do anything; nothing is too strange or too weird or too out-there. And YA readers are so passionate about books. They love reading and they love the characters, to the point where those characters almost become real. That passion is inspiring, and I think I’ll be writing YA for a long, long time.

The Book Smugglers: Let’s talk covers (a subject near and dear to our hearts). You have been blessed by the Cover Gods as the covers for The Iron King and The Iron Daughter are lovely. Did you have any say in the creation of the cover? And on the other side of the equation – as a reader, do covers matter to you when buying a book?

Julie: I was incredibly lucky to get such gorgeous covers, and I love each and every one of them, but I had very little input in the making of said covers. All credit goes to the fabulous, talented people at Harlequin Teen. I do have to admit, I’m a sucker for a pretty cover. I won’t say I’ve gone so far as to buy a book on the cover alone (okay, maybe once), but it definitely goes a long way in whether or not I pick the book off the shelf.

The Book Smugglers: The zombies are coming! The zombies are coming! You only have time to save ONE book, ONE movie, and ONE TV show. QUICK! What are they?

Julie: AH! Okay, um, Poison Study by Maria Snyder, Kung Fu Hustle (for laughs, you need to keep your sense of humor in the zombie apocalypse), and Man Vs. Wild (To learn how to live off the land by eating live frogs and snakes).

Also, a sawed off shotgun.

The Book Smugglers: According to your blog, you happen to also be an avid gamer! What is you all time favorite game? Do you have a favorite console or platform?

Julie: Uh oh. Don’t get me started on video games; we could be here all week. My favorite game of all time has to be Final Fantasy VIII, but Final Fantasy X is a close second. (Both made me sob horribly at the end, a mark of an excellent game in my eyes.) I don’t have a favorite console, because there are awesome games on all of them, but I will say I use my Wii the least.

The Book Smugglers: We Book Smugglers are faced with constant threats and criticisms from our significant others concerning the sheer volume of books we purchase and read – hence, we have resorted to ’smuggling books’ home to escape scrutinizing eyes. Have you ever had to smuggle books?

Julie: Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who reads even more than I do. Although, our book buying techniques tend to be very different. He will buy one book, read it, and finish it before he even considers buying another one. I, on the other hand, tend to read several books at once. We’ll be at the bookstore and I’ll choose a book, and my husband will ask: “don’t you have a book you have to finish?” Yes I do, my love, but that is not the point. I’m GOING to read this book someday, I’ll just add it to my TBR.

He humors me, though, so I haven’t had to smuggle books home.

Yet. 😉

Where you can find Julie:
Iron Fey series site:

The Book Trailer:

The Iron King

About Julie Kagawa:

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine, she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks is at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive papillon puppy.

Giveaway Details:

Courtesy of Big Honcho Media, we are giving away ONE copy of The Iron King to a lucky reader! This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail). The contest will run until June 4 at 11:59 PM (PST). Entry is easy – simply leave a comment here, letting us know what your favorite fey book or story is your favorite. Only ONE comment per person, please! Multiple and duplicate comments (and ISPs) will be disqualified – even if you are leaving another comment to let us know that you forgot to leave your email address, you WILL be disqualified. Good luck!


  • Kimberly B.
    May 19, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Oh, I’ve been hearing about The Iron King for awhile, and would love to read it! As for my favorite fey story, that’s easy: it’s the ballad “Tam Lin” hands down. Consequently, Pamela Dean’s retelling of it, also called Tam Lin, is one of my favorite books!
    Thanks for the terrific giveaway!

  • Bella F.
    May 19, 2010 at 4:13 am

    My favorite fey story to date is Melissa Marr’s Stopping Time, parts 1&2 because I love Irial, Leslie and Niall.
    @Julie- I’m a sucker for pretty cover art too,lol

    @booksmugglers- I’ve always loved your blog name! I totally have to smuggle books as well; my boyfriend doesn’t understand my constant and seemingly endless need for more books either 😕

    bells DOT franco AT gmail DOT com

  • Sandy
    May 19, 2010 at 4:39 am

    How bizarre is this. I was on Amazon yesterday updating my wish list when one of the books there lead me to The Iron King. After reading the blurb and seeing the video I quickly added it to my wish list. That was just yesterday!!! Favorite Fey story is not very YA’ish, it’s the Merry Gentry Series by LK Hamilton. Very dark and wonderful. Next up is Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely.

  • Shipa
    May 19, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Iron King is on my TBR pile. The blurb drew me and a few friends have also recommended it. My favorite fey/faerie book is Holly Black’s Tithe.

  • Katie
    May 19, 2010 at 5:57 am

    I have had Iron King on my wishlist for a while. It looks really good.

    While it isn’t a book about the fey in general, I really enjoy the fey in Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series.


  • Jess (The Cozy Reader)
    May 19, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. I’d love to win a copy. 🙂

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  • Jeff
    May 19, 2010 at 6:56 am

    My favorite fey story? I think Peter David’s Tigerheart.

  • Sarah
    May 19, 2010 at 7:12 am

    My favorite fey book would either be the Sookie Stackhouse Novels or the Mercy Thompson books – neither are solely fey books, but both feature some truly awesome fey! 😀

  • kathybaug
    May 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

    My favorite fey book is Wicked Lovely. It’s an interesting take on fairies and also got me interested in exploring YA books.

  • Michelle M
    May 19, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Wonderful interview – I actually just finished reading “The Iron King” so it was nice to get some insight from the author herself. My favorite fey story is Juliet Marillier’s “Daughter of the Forest” I just love that story. Thanks! mmillet at gmail dot com

  • Jessica
    May 19, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Thanks for the interview. (I wondered where the name of the blog came for, i am also a book smuggler)My favorite fey book is probably Holly Blacks Tithe

  • Marie
    May 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for the interview!

    My favorite purely Fey series is the Meredith Gentry series by L. Hamilton. But totally agree with Sarah about the Mercy Thompson and Sookie Stack series having some awesome Fey.

  • Rebecca
    May 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Please don’t enter me in the contest, but I had to comment.

    I smiled when I read the bit about saving Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, because I would compare Julie Kagawa’s book to Snyder’s series, and I can’t think of a higher compliment. I LOVE this style of romantic fantasy, and all I can say is, please keep writing. Also, would you consider doing an adult series too? I apologize if you answered that question above (I’m a big skimmer).

  • CrystalGB
    May 19, 2010 at 8:57 am

    My favorite would be Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Your books sounds amazing. 🙂

  • Lexi
    May 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Mercedes Lackey’s Fairy Godmother series is my favorite currently. I also love the orginals.

  • Pamk
    May 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Karen Marie Morning Fae series is fantastic.
    please enter me in this giveaway
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  • melissa @ 1lbr
    May 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Hm…I have to admit I really love Faeries of Dreamdark series by Laini Taylor – the writing is amazing! I have been waiting for these books to arrive at my library so I can read them! Here’s hoping!


  • draconismoi
    May 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Favorite fey book? Definitely The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull – I searched bookstores for a copy for years while it was out of print (the library wouldn’t let me keep renewing it).

    Though The Iron Duke looks quite promising.

  • Alex B
    May 19, 2010 at 11:12 am

    My favourite fey are probably in Mercy Thompson series I love Zee. The iron king looks really good! I agree that I love the cover.

  • Van P.
    May 19, 2010 at 11:49 am

    My favorite fae novel is the October Daye novels by Seanan McGuire. Best series ever 🙂

  • Jasmine A S
    May 19, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I really like Melissa Marr’s Faerie Court stories, but if I can choose another, I also adore Elizabeth Marie Pope’s The Perilous Gard

  • m. smith gentry
    May 19, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. I love the decision Leslie made in the end.

  • Emily
    May 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Hmm, my favorite fey books would have to be (this could be cheating!) the Artemis Fowl series. I absolutely love the evolution of fairy creatures from purely magic users to technology geniuses.

  • danielle
    May 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Anything by Holly Black.

  • Adrienne
    May 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    -I have this and read it already (in like 4 hours 😯 ) so you don’t have to include me in the give away. I loved this book and the pretty cover…I can’t wait for the 2nd in the series! Hmmm favorite fairy book-Dreamdark…even though I have just read it, I love the twist on how the fairy world is in that book

  • joder
    May 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve heard great things about this book and would love to win a copy! My favorite fey story is their recent introduction into the Sookie Stackhouse books. I look forward to where things will go in the storyline.

  • John J.
    May 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Tithe by Holly Black. I could devour that thing like no tomorrow!

    Side note: Final Fantasy X is my favorite! The love scene between Tidus and Yuna midway through gave me tears…they are truly a wonderful video game couple. 🙂

  • MaryK
    May 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Favorite fey story, huh? I’ll have to think about it because I haven’t read many. When I do, they tend to be fey-based paranormal romance. I don’t read regular fantasy too often and the ones I’ve noticed tend to be bad fey. I did really like the phouka in War for the Oaks.

    Turns out my favorite actually is a bad fey story. 😕 It’s Virginia Kantra’s Tam Lin story in the Man of My Dreams anthology.

  • Jacqueline C.
    May 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Melissa Marr’s Tattoo Faeries, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series and Anya Bast’s Wicked Enchantment are the only books that I’ve read (and really enjoyed) that are primarily about fey. I do love a lot of other books that have fey as secondary characters though, including the Mercedes Thompson series and the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series among others.

  • Ashley
    May 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I would love to win a copy, this one is definitely on my to-read list! As for my favorite fey book, I read The Faery Reel not too long ago, so that is stuck in my head! It had a lot of fantastic stories, by some great authors.

    a.d.malouin [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Roxy
    May 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I’m pretty much a Karen Marie Moning fanatic so I have to go with her Fever series and her highlander books. I also like Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series.

  • Moon1006
    May 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I haven’t read any books with fairies yet.

  • Dottie
    May 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I have the second book ready to order, but I’d love a chance to read the first in the series! Count me in!

    Thanks TBS!

    Dottie 🙂

  • Christine H
    May 19, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I haven’t been reading any paranormal romance or urban fantasy or YA for very long. I just started reading for the first time in my life last August at 36. I started out reading romance’s your mother would read and slowing starting reading more and more out of my original box. I’ve never read a book with mostly Fey’s, but my favorite book with Fey’s in the books were a series called Guardians of Eternity, Love those books!

  • Jennifer M
    May 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I wasn’t too interested in Fae stories until I got sucked into the Merry Gentry series courtesy of a free Kindle book offer. Now I’m very interested in reading more. I just started Karen Marie Moning’s Darkfever and I’m loving that one too.

  • Shirley
    May 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I just read The Iron King. What a great book. That would be my all time favorite book right now. I’d love to be entered. Thank you!

  • Katie P.
    May 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Not to sound too much like I’d say anything for this book, but in all honesty this is my favorite book about the fey. Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange are too dark for me–I get nightmares easily! 😆

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  • Ari
    May 19, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Sounds really interesting. I love the fae. My favorite book involving fairies would have to be The Wild Reel by Paul Brandon.

  • LAMusing
    May 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I have yet to read a fairy/fey book – would like to though

  • Margay
    May 20, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Wicked Lovely was good, but I really liked The Magic Knot by Helen Scott Taylor.

  • Katrina
    May 20, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I have never read one of those type of books. I’ve always played it ‘safe’ with books about modern day teens. I guess I will have to try and branch out though!

  • Dawn
    May 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Dreamdark series by Laini Taylor!!

  • Raquel Vega-Grieder
    May 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    My Favorite Fey Story Is The Wicked Lovely Series By Melissa Marr. Running A Close Second Would Be The Realm Immortal Series By Michelle M. Pillow. I Have Been Dying To Get My Hands On The Iron King. There Is Just SOmething About That Story That Calls To Me.

  • Jill
    May 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I’m not getting interested in this one! My favorite would be Tithe by Holly Black as well.

  • Lisa Richards
    May 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    So far my favorite fairy stories have been from Melissa Marr. Wow, and I thought fairies were cute and sparkly.

  • Reena Jacobs
    May 21, 2010 at 6:41 am

    I don’t know if it’d be considered a fey book, but I’m enjoying Kresley Cole’s Immortal’s After Dark series, which features fey creatures and other mythical beings.

    Thanks for the contest. I’ve heard great things about “The Iron King”

  • Amber S
    May 21, 2010 at 7:15 am

    This sounds like a great premise! I’d love to read it. I haven’t read any fey books but I would love to try one.

  • Lisa B.
    May 21, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I love the Mercy Thompson books. Love, love, love. I’ve read so many great reviews for the The Iron King and can’t wait to read it!

  • marian
    May 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    been wanting to read this book! my favorite fey book is melissa marr’s wicked lovely


  • Katie
    May 22, 2010 at 5:38 am

    I’ve heard a lot about the Iron King, and would love to get my hands on a copy! Choosing between the Hollows (Jenks is fabulous!), Wicked Lovely (love Niall/Irial!), Sookie Stackhouse (but I tend to prefer the vamp story lines to the fairy ones), Mercy Thompson (again, I prefer the wolves to the fairies), Ash, Valiant (Holly Black), Artemis Fowl, Need (Carrie Jones) … I’d have to go with Wicked Lovely!

  • Elizabeth
    May 22, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Okay so my favorite fey book isn’t so much as “only” fey because it has so many other elements from werewolves to vampires. I love the Mercy Thompson Series from Patricia Briggs. I just finished Silver Borne and I love Ariana!

  • Rebecca
    May 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I just started a new fey book which sounds promising–“The Sweet Scent of Blood” by Suzanne McLeod.

    I’d love to win a copy of “The Iron King”

    winterlyre AT hotmail DOT com

  • sarac
    May 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I’m loving patricia brigg’s series!

  • jennygirl
    May 24, 2010 at 7:52 am

    My favorite fey story isn’t strictly fey, but has fey in there. It is Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine. Interesting plot and good writing. As much as I want to like Melissa Marr’s series of fey, starting with Wicked Lovley, I can’t.
    At the end of day, I could care less what happened to Marr’s characters and have no desire to finish the series.

    Thanks for the contest and I look forward to reading your book Julie.


  • Megan
    May 24, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Trying to think of a fey novel just reminded me of one I haven’t read/thought of since I was a kid. The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks. I LOVED it when I read it (I was probably 11?) so I wonder how it would hold up now. Definitely more childrens than YA.

  • miji
    May 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    hm fey book… all that comes to mind right now is “I am morgan le fay”…

    mijeong.taka at gmail

  • Ellaanabeth
    May 24, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I personally love Yasmin Galenorn’s Sisters Of The Moon series. Awesome bitchin half fae sisters. ^_^

  • csaket
    May 25, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Peter David’s Tigerheart

  • Kelly H.
    May 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I love Holly Black and Melissa Marr’s fairy stories. For some reason, they are the only ones I can think of! Please enter me in the contest. Thanks for hosting! 🙂

  • kisah
    May 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    jenks from the hollows….he has me in stitches every time…

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  • Jessie
    May 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Because I am such a big fan of Tinkerbell i would have to say Peter Pan (the orginal play J.M. Barrie play not the sissy disney crap). Tinkerbell was bad ass in the orginal play.

  • Yiling
    May 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I loved the interview!!
    My favorite story (w/ faeries) is Tithe by Holly Black.

  • Meghan C.
    May 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The Iron King looks very exciting and it’s even better that the main character spells her name the same way I spell mine! I have a feeling that I’m going to love this book, but let’s see if it can surpass my all time favorite fey book Tithe by Holly Black.

  • Stephanie K.
    May 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    My favorite fey book is Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning.

  • Adele
    May 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    My favorite story with fairies/fey? Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

  • Steve Capell
    May 27, 2010 at 4:21 am

    I haven’t read any of this author’s books, but your review sounds like a book that I would take pleasure in reading. Thanks you so much for hosting this giveaway.


  • Marianna G.
    May 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I really enjoyed Holly Black’s books. Tithe, etc. The new covers are fun too.

  • Hannah S
    May 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I think my favorite story involving fairies must be Midsummer Night’s Dream.
    Thanks for this!
    Love, Hannah
    xoxosweeet at yahoo dot com (three e’s in sweet!)

  • Emily
    June 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I’d have to chose Wings by Aprilynne Pike

  • Anne
    June 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I’d have to go with Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream. My daughter was a production of it last year, and it was hilarious.

  • Julie SWaney
    June 2, 2010 at 10:52 am

    It would have to be the Mercy Thompson series.

    Please enter me

    jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

  • Amanda Baird
    June 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I would have to say that my favorite fey book is radiant shadows by melissa marr.

  • sonya
    May 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    The wings series is amazing I loved it and I also like I Am Morgan Le Fay

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