Trish Thacker is an aspiring author with too many stories and ideas to sort out. She wants to share her love of books with the world and hopes that one day her own novel will join that list. Someday, she'd love to travel the world.
Seanan McGuire is the author of the October Daye series (ROSEMARY AND RUE, A LOCAL HABITATION, AN ARTIFICIAL NIGHT, LATE ECLIPSES), as well as a lot of other things. She's also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of FEED and DEADLINE. Born and raised in Northern California, she fears weather and is remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. She watches too many horror movies, reads too many comic books, and shares her house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).
Interviewing Seanan McGuire and Reviewing ONE SALT SEA by Trish Thacker
I was asked to do this guest review on ONE SALT SEA because Bonnie knows how much I love Seanan McGuire's books and try to
get everyone to try them. McGuire not only writes books, but she also
writes songs and sings. She knows her mythology and lore and it shows in her
posts, her writing and songs.
ONE SALT SEA is the 5th book in the October Daye series. The back of the book gives us the overall spin
of the novel:
"Toby" Daye is finally doing all right. She's settling into her new
role as the Countess of Goldengreen; she's actually dating again; she's even
agreed to take on Quentin as her official squire. Life is looking up all
around—and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the
Someone has kidnapped
the sons of Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To
prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys,
but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction.
She'll need all her tricks and the help of all her allies if she wants to make
it through this in one piece.
Toby's search will
take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and
her deadline is firm; she must find the boys in three days' time, or all of the
Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it
is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws…
As the battle grows
more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war,
not everyone will walk away.
The book starts out with her being trained to deal with
her new speed and strength from her mother changing the balance of her
changeling blood (in this universe, part fae, part human) to be more fae and
starts out fairly light-hearted, but then goes downhill quickly—and you know
Toby will be in it deep.
This book actually caught my attention in a slew of other
books that were on a list for books that dealt with selkies, one of my absolute
favorites in water mythologies. I remember seeing the first book, ROSEMARY AND RUE, in my library years ago
and I regretted that I hadn't picked it up in that instant. As soon as I
realized this book was part of the series…well—let's just say all the books
thus far are gracing my shelves and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book.
Some of the reasons why I loved this book—we get to see
more of the Faerie Kingdoms. We get to see Toby very much outside of her
element. Water…is not her friend and calling it a phobia is, I believe, very
well justified. The first book has her turned into a koi for fourteen years, whilst investigating a
case for her liege lord. It's no wonder that the idea of having to visit an
undersea kingdom would not sit well with her. Getting turned into even
part-fish was not in her plans.
Seanan manages to infuse a great number of mythological
creatures in this new setting, both bizarre and fantastic and utterly real in the sense that you can picture
them clearly and see them moving about their environment. We not only have
selkies (and the story of how they came to be!) but we have merrow,
hippocampus, kelpies, undines…as well as some of some truly unique creatures,
such as cetace.
It's an engaging book and I certainly don't want to spoil
by giving too much away. I will say though, that Seanan is truly masterful at
setting up little scenes that have a huge
impact later on. I was able to interview her on this book and some of her
writing in general.
Interviewing Seanan McGuire
I noticed that your merrow are a bit different than the 'standard' mer that are in a lot of literature. (You even rib at it slightly with Toby poking fun at The Little Mermaid) Did you have any specific research in creating the Undersea creatures? Fairy tales, legends, etc?
Well, my primary research tool was the same as it always is: I went to UC Berkeley to study folklore and mythology, which left me with a solid grounding in a lot of stories, and a home library that could be used to bury a man alive. So I just started going through my books, looking for commonalities and things I wanted to explain. I also did a lot of 'what do I want them to be able to do'--so for example, I knew I needed them to be able to have legs on command, so that was incorporated.
If you were turned into a Merrow, would you take to it as well (or not as well!) as Toby, or would you have a better time of it?
I love mermaids. I think I would have a great time of it. I would also be assuming that it was a particularly vivid dream, so I would probably wind up being eaten by a shark when I didn't have the sense to swim away.
ONE SALT SEA is the fifth book in the October Daye series (barring the short stories). How long of a planning process do you have with the books? I noticed connections between ONE SALT SEA and CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, for instance.
The book that's coming out in September, THE WINTER LONG, actively answers questions that were posed in book one, ROSEMARY AND RUE. Not all the questions, even. Just some of them. I am playing a very, very long con.
What are your favorite water creatures, mythological or otherwise? You have an entire Undersea of theme (and some quite unique and intriguing!)
I adore octopi. I never met an octopus I didn't like. Apparently, I am the doppelganger of an Australian octopus handler, and I always know when I'm visiting an aquarium she's worked at, because the octopi become very excited to see me. I also adore mermaids of all types, especially interesting or ecologically unique mermaids.
If you met the Luidaeg, how would you react?
I would run like hell, because I would be in my own fictional universe, and my death would be following on Cait Sidhe paws. The Luidaeg wouldn't kill me. Tybalt sure would.
What was your big influence for writing the October Daye series in general?
The works of Katherine Briggs. She was an English folklorist who wrote a lot of books on the fairy lore of the British Isles. I think she's had more influence on me than anything else."
Will there be any hints of what the ultimate price the selkies have to pay in the upcoming books?
Well, one of the upcoming books will actually resolve that price, so I'd say that counts as a hint. It definitely won't be focal until after book nine, though.
All in all, I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys
urban faerie with a lot of humor, snark and some truly unique and fantastic
writing. The host of characters (not just the main) are strong and have amazing
moments, they support Toby and have their own stories as well. Toby is strong
and takes no crap from anyone.
The series starts with ROSEMARY AND RUE and the newest book, THE WINTER LONG, comes out in September.
Title: ONE SALT SEA
Author: Seanan McGuire
Release Date: Sept. 6, 2011 Publisher: DAW
October "Toby" Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She'll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.
Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away. ONE SALT SEA is the fifth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.