Interview: Julie Kagawa “The Iron King”

February 2, 2010 Guests 12

Please join me in welcoming debut author Julie Kagawa to All Things Urban Fantasy. Julie is here to answer a few questions about the first book in her new Iron Fey series, The Iron King (available now). 

image Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii. 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. She worked as a professional dog trainer until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time. Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillion puppy.

THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa


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.

Read an excerpt of the Iron King here.

THE IRON KING is published by Harlequin Teen.
Click here to buy your copy today!


ATUF: What are we going to love about The Iron King?

JK: Everything I hope, lol!  Seriously though, it’s not up to me to decide, but I do hope readers will fall in love with the characters and the setting, and maybe enjoy a new twist on old mythology.  And Grimalkin, of course.  Everyone loves Grimalkin. 😉

ATUF: What can you tell us about the famous Grimalkin?

image JK: Ha! He’s still the same sarcastic, infuriating feline that he was before his sudden rise to fame.  When I first started writing him, I just wanted a character who knew the ins and outs of Faery and could guide Meghan to where she needed to go.  Grim kind of took a life of his own, though, and became this amoral, sarcastic, favor-collecting Cheshire Cat, who you were never quite sure if he was really on your side or not. 

ATUF: The cover art for The Iron King is lovely.  Can you tell us about any input you had in the design and who the artist is?

JK: Thank you!  And I wish I could say I had anything to do with the design and art and such, but I did not.  Credit goes to the marvelous people at Harlequin Teen for making such a gorgeous cover. 

ATUF: How did you get the idea for The Iron Fey series and how many books do you have planned?

JK: The Iron Fey emerged from the thought: “What are faeries afraid of?”  In myth the answer is iron, so what if there were a type of faery that was immune to iron, that had evolved with progress and technology, and how would they affect the more traditional fey?

There are three books planned in the Iron Fey series.  The Iron King in February, The Iron Daughter in August, and The Iron Queen February of 2011.

ATUF: What do you make of the inevitable Wicked Lovely comparisons?

image JK: I adore Melissa Marr’s books, and both novels deal with the fey and faery courts, but the story is not quite the same.  Rachel Mead and Stephanie Meyer write two very different vampire stories, and Hush, Hush is not the same as Fallen, though both deal with the same subject matter. Comparisons are inevitable, but every writer is different, and every story will have its own unique twist on an otherwise familiar or popular subject. 

ATUF: What are the faeries in your story like?  Do they differ from traditional faery mythology, and if so, how?

JK: I have both the more traditional fey in The Iron King (goblins, sidhe, phouka, etc.) and also the Iron Fey, which have evolved from progress, are immune to iron, and completely at home in big cities and around technology.  Some of the Iron Fey include gremlins, bugs, iron dragons, and packrats.  

imageATUF: Faery is a broad term, and you have a great breakdown of the different kinds of Fey on your website.  Do you have a favorite?

JK: I like them all, but I think the phouka are a lot of fun: playful, mischievous, sometimes dangerous.  I also love redcaps, just for their sheer violence and savage natures.  Hard to find a better petty bad guy then a gang of hungry redcaps.

ATUF: On your blog header it says Julie Kagawa: Author, Gamer, Reader.  What are you currently writing, playing (I recommend Uncharted 2), and reading right now?

JK: Writing-wise, I’m working on edits for the last book in the Iron Fey series, The Iron Queen.  I’m completely obsessed with Dragon Age Origins (though I will be getting Uncharted 2 soon) and reading a manga called Shinobi Life.  I love ninjas. 

ATUF: Can you share some of your favorite authors/books within this genre?

JK: Certainly!  Favorite YA books include Tithe, Wicked Lovely, Lament, Perfect Chemistry, The Secret Year, Rampant, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Wildwood Dancing, The Lightning Thief, My Soul to Save, Shiver, Poison Study.  (The list goes on, but I’ll stop for now.)

ATUF: If The Iron King got the movie treatment, do you have a dream cast in mind?

image JK: I’m sooooooo bad at this. I have no idea for Meghan.  Puck … maybe a younger Seth Green?  I do have the perfect candidate for Ash, though, and that is Ben Barnes.  Seriously, if Prince Caspian had pointed ears and glared more, he would be a perfect Ash. J

Thanks for the interview!

Thank you so much, Julie!  Come back anytime.

Places to visit Julie online:

Julie’s website

Julie’s Livejournal

Julie’s Blog


12 Responses to “Interview: Julie Kagawa “The Iron King””

  1. Cecile

    I am bookmarking this interview and going hunt down this book when I get home. This sounds very very intriguing. I love the concept of you came up with the Iron King. Thanks for sharing a new to me author!!!

  2. Princess Allie

    I finished it and it's really good. Her story is nothing like Melissa Marr's books. They only have faeries in common, but that's as far as it goes. Awesome book and I can't wait till the next book comes out.

  3. Anna ♥

    Oooh, sounds like a wonderful book! I second the love for the unique story premise! And yes, Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian, so charming! I can't wait to get my hands on this book now! 😀

  4. Ina

    Hi Abigail!
    wow, the cover is really breath-taking – thanks for the interview, I will definitively read this one!
    greetings, Ina