Guest Blog and Contest with Seanan McGuire

This week we have debut urban fantasy novelist, Seanan McGuire, talking fairy tales and horror and such (and even giving away an ARC in a fun two part prize)!  Seanan's Rosemary and Rue hits the shelves in September.  Take it away Seanan!


******


Growing up perky and blonde in Northern California has its advantages, most of them having to do with getting out of doing your homework because no one actually believes you have three brain cells to knock together.  It also has its disadvantages, most notably the fact that no one believes you have three brain cells to knock together.  This makes it harder to get access to the important things in life: books that aren't about Dick and Jane, horror movies, and fairy tales by anyone but Disney.  If your goals involve these treasures, you'll have to learn guile, cunning, and the ability to look like you didn’t realize what part of the library you had warned into.



Growing up perky, blonde, and geeky in Northern California means you either dye your hair or decide to become Marilyn Munster.  I took the second option.  It seemed like a hell of a lot more fun.



It also taught me a lot about judging books by contents, not covers, and when I was introduced to the idea that Disney didn't invent Snow White, I seized on it with both hands.  Fairy tales that weren't movies yet?  Awesome!  Fairy tales that really, when you looked at them, looked a hell of a lot like my horror movies?  Double-awesome!  (This did not, mind you, endear me to the parents of my classmates, who were not pleased when I told their little darlings what "really" happened to Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella's Stepsisters, and the Little Mermaid.  Maybe I was a little too happy to share the gruesome details...)



Fantasy and horror are really natural companions.  They're the tasty chocolate and peanut butter of genre fiction, mixing in easy, awesome ways.  The rise of the "paranormal" sub-genre isn't surprising; what surprises me is that it took so long.  I was trying to explain to people why Snow White should have just picked up an axe and fixed her Wicked Queen problem herself when I was nine.  The idea of her forging an alliance with the Wolfman really wasn't very far behind.



I outgrew freaking out my classmates with excessively bloody retellings of their favorite stories, largely because I ran out of classmates, but never outgrew my love of fairy tales or gore, and never outgrew the idea that Marilyn Munster is essentially the ideal woman.  (You can bet she Scotch-guards those dresses of hers like nobody's business.)  The more I’ve learned about fairy stories, the more convinced I’ve become that they really are the foundation of modern horror--those unicorns everybody thinks are so pretty aren't going to return your virgins in a breathing format, and True Thomas's mom?  Yeah, she was essentially a type of revenant.  Folklore is awesome!  If you don’t like sleep very much.



This is the aesthetic with which I attacked my own series of urban fantasy stories, which classify best as a sort of "fairy tale noir."  I say "Oh, it’s about the fae," and people assume fluffy and sweet, just like they assume of all the little blonde girls.



This is better than telling my classmates what really woke Sleeping Beauty.  All hail the folk tale.



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And now for the contest.  One lucky commenter will become a guest League of Reluctant Adults reviewer!  That's right.  Everyone's a critic and this is your chance to snag an advance reader's copy of Seanan McGuire's Rosemary and Rue.  Then, as if by magic, your review of the book will be posted here on the League!



Get to commentin'!

Comments

Mario said…
Great post. Here in Denver, a dwarf crack hooker was the subject of frequent interventions by a cop named...Snow White.
elnice said…
Once upon a time...isn't that how most fairy tales begin. Isn't sleeping beauty the name of a street drug? I love paranormal fiction, it allows you to rethink the rules.
Awesome post. I was intrigued by the fairytale background.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com
tetewa said…
Sounds like my kind of read, looking forward to it!
seferin said…
Looks great. Her free stuff is wonderful, so I'm looking forward to stuff she charges for. Plus you just know that if they make it into a movie, she'll provide a few tracks for the soundtrack.
Wendy said…
Fairy Tales with a twist are pretty kickass. I especially like Mythological ones.

Question - How did you come up with your books' titles?
Pope Lizbet said…
I love it! I love Seanan's superhero stories and her zombie love songs, so I'm eagerly awaiting Toby's story.
Zombie Joe said…
Fairy Tales and Mythology both... very few things "sparkle" in them. Unless you count the sparkle of the ignition of the fire that will consume your head - or something as equally painful and gross.
Angiegirl said…
I remember having the very same ah-ha moment discovering the old fairy tales and just falling into them. Thanks for the lovely post. I can't wait to read ROSEMARY AND RUE!
Lori said…
Wow. Sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it!

Lorelei
Daelith said…
I would have loved to have been one of your classmates and heard your take on fairy tales. Bet you were a blast at slumber parties.

Love the cover art on your book. Dark and ominous always draws my eye.
Thom said…
In the movies, they always leave out the part where Sleeping Beauty gets date raped by Prince Charming who then leaves her still under a magic spell, comatose in the middle of nowehre, only now she's pregnant.

Happy stories for the children :)
RKCharron said…
Hi :)
An excellent blog post, Seanan. Thank you for sharing. I, too, am a lover of the original faerie tales and if you explain the "real" story to adults who doesn't know, they get a horrified look upon their faces like you just told a 5-year-old there was no Santa. :)
*Sleeping Beauty awoke to suckling babes because the Prince ravished her while she was asleep*
I am eager to read Rosemary & Rue!
:)
Love From Canada
twitter.com/RKCharron
xoxo
Suzan Harden said…
Nothing like the original, uncensored Grimm brothers. Though I still haven't met a prince who I'd want to cut off my own toes for.
I still remember my first "bloody" fairy tell reading. Cinderella's wicked stepsister cutting off part of her foot will live with me forever. It came up in my Italian class when we were discussing the mistranslation of fur to glass (because really, who wears a glass slipper?). Seeing a room full of college kids pale at your description of the story is a truly inspiring moment. : )
Kimberly B. said…
I was intrigued by this book when I first heard its title, and I'm especially intrigued by Seanan's interest in the unexpurgated version of fairy tales. It seems that, in addition to cleaning up the fairy tales, Disney didn't exactly favor those with a great deal of female agency, so I've always gone back to the original tales.
I also grew up in Northern California, although with brown hair and Coke bottle glasses, I assume my experiences were quite different.
Great posting!
Karen W. said…
The book sounds great! I love books based on fairy tales or with fairy tale backgrounds.

karenwitkowski AT aol.com
OH My Gravy - I would have loved to been friends with you growing up. I could have used your stories to torment my brothers and sisters with, all younger then me of course, when they bothered me...LOL.

I can't wait to read this book. It sounds like it will be really great.
shaddyr said…
Yay! I can't wait till it comes out so I can show it off to the people I've been singing "The Black Death" to for the last 6 months.

I wouldn't say no to a copy... *grin*
robinky42 said…
Sounds like a great book. Will have to put in on by to buy list, unless I win it!!! Hint, hint!!!!!LOL.
Robin P
Margay said…
This sounds like an absolutely fascinating book (I checked it out on Amazon) and I would love the opportunity to review it.
Margay
I'm looking forward to reading it and would love a crack at the ARC and review!
Megan
Anton Strout said…
I have no idea who the hell let Seanan in here.. and what's worse, she's been touching all my stuff!

She's lucky she's charming and I'm easy...
alanajoli said…
Even before I discovered Sondheim's Into the Woods, I was into reading the oldest, most "real" versions of fairy tales I could find -- not the prettied up versions so easy to track down! Luckily I've been able to make something of a side career of studying myth and fairy tales (not to mention using that same study for blog fodder...)

I'm looking forward to reading Rosemary and Rue!
Love your take on fairy tales! For me the darker the tale the better.

I've been looking forward to reading these books ever since I found out about them on Lurv A La Mode back in April. I would love the opportunity to do a review.
Hagelrat said…
I'm enjoying the visual of poor old Cinders heading home with glass stuck in her foot.
Also, gorgeous cover!!
Thom--Holy shit that's funny! I can't believe I skimmed over that.
October Weeks said…
I just saw this on the Upcoming page for DAW. I can't wait to read it and wold LOVE to review it!
Vickie said…
Win a copy or not, it's on the WWBL.
Denise said…
I get so excited when I find a new book to look forward to! I would love to review this book but if not it's definately getting preordered.
Carla Lee said…
I've been looking forward to Rosemary and Rue for ages now. I can't believe it's almost here!
Evie said…
I've followed Seanan's blog for a couple of years now - if you think THIS blog post was an entertaining read, you should see what she puts on her LJ. XD OH, the cat capers! OH, the con capers! OH, the 'it's raining but Seanan has no DDP and she wants to pick up this week's batch of comic books!' capers!

Can't wait for September, Seanan. I'll keep pimping it long and hard.
lesleen said…
Can't wait to read it!!!! I love the original fairy tales. I carried them around with me everywhere and eventually got called a witch in the 8th grade by several girls! Highlight of my school days, I gotta tell ya.
JD said…
As a child, I was bought in to the Disney machine because that's what little girls should watch and I sooo wanted to be a Fairy Princess.

Then I discovered He-man and Shera and I sooo wanted to be Shera Princess of Power.

And then I realised my Barbies needed Tonka trucks and hard hats. Unfortunately, they (read: I) didn't get one.

By the time I heard what the real fairy tales were all about, I was too old to have grossed out classmates, but plenty old enough to share the horror with my mates.

These days, I get worried side-long glances when I freely admit that if there's no blood in a movie, I'm not interested.

It's all been a perfectly linear progression. :)
Heather C said…
This is looks like a very interesting read. I grew up all Disney, and I do still enjoy the annimation...but I do love uncovering the 'truer story'. I remember 1 Christmas getting the true story of the 3 little bigs.

Can't wait to get a copy of this. I'd love to read it!!!
BrigidsBlest said…
I think my favorite fairy tale was Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen". Splinters of evil enchanted mirror glass in the little boy's eye and heart! Disney will never bowdlerize that one!
Kate said…
CANNOT WAIT. And I, too, remember realizing what _really_ happened to Sleeping Beaty.
Missy Pratt said…
I'm eagerly awaiting Rosemary and Rue, but this post was fun and informative.

Missy
rms_butterfly@lj.com said…
I think Seanan is made of awesome and pie! Pick me, pick me, for your ARC of Rosemary and Rue!

Roberta, from Ohio
Kiara said…
Eventually people will once again realize that kids like fairy tales BECAUSE of the bloody aspects, not in spite of them. Although I can see Sleeping Beauty leading into a particularly awkward birds-and-bees talk...
Elishabet said…
I'm looking forward to reading this book so much.
Laura said…
I was aware Seanan had a book coming out, but this was the first time I'd heard anything about the content. I'm really excited...I love urban fantasy, and Tanya Huff and Jim Butcher are two of my favorite authors. I'd love an ARC, but this is going on my must-read list whenever I can get my hands on a copy.
Maggie said…
oh hooray! thanks for tipping me off about this wonderful place. I skated in here from LiveJournal and am reminded that I should do something with my blog here, even if it's wrong. Or maybe just use it to make comments, anyway.

You know, my birthday is in September, I am getting your book for myself for a gift. I can't wait!
Emily said…
Thanks for the reminder that I need to find some of those older versions of fairy tales for my 10 year old. I think she would be amused. I am *so* glad she's turning out just as strange as her mother ;-)
JaneG said…
Some of the people commenting are new to Seanan - but I've been reading her on LJ for a long time. Where others write about their day, Seanan posts songs, poems and writing tips - each such entry amazing - pretty much every day! I expect to absolutely adore her books. Pick me and you can hand me my advance copy at Anticipation!

We'll still buy a copy from Bakka in September.
jjloa said…
Still think being a classmate of yours would have rocked.

Echoing everyone who says Seanan's LJ is a stellar read, and that I'm sure this book will be too.
Deborah said…
Fantastic guest post by Seanan! (I'm with those who recommend her blog - perky, interesting, and strange, all in one delightful Halloween-colored package.)

I'd also be delighted to have a chance at winning an ARC and having my review featured here! So, fingers crossed.
Mish said…
Grimm faerie tales are fantastic.

I loved "Lost" so I'm really looking forward to reading something longer.
Valorie said…
I love the unDisneyfied fairy tales. Blood and murder and cannibalism and deviancy... far superior than the sweetened versions that we have thrust down our throats.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com
wyrdkat said…
Cool post. Sounds like a really great book!
silvertwi said…
Heya Seanan! Wandered over from your blog. I find your hobbies (if you can call them that; you've certainly made them something more) delightful.

...if I have time to read it, I may just pick up a Grimm book. You know, for the heck of it. That is, after I pick up a few choice books coming out August/Sept., including yours, from the closest bookstore.
Sabrina said…
I like calling the genre fairy tale noir. I love reading the different versions of fairy tales, especially the older ones. One version of Sleeping Beauty has a second part to it as well, where the prince returns to his kingdom and his mother is an ogre (I don't recall the details off the top of my head).

The unicorn bit I am less than familiar with--I'm going to have to look that up.
galeni said…
I can hardly wait to read R&R. I have a small collection of fairy tales from various countries -- at the very least they help one find perspective on modern life.
Lori T said…
Great post and this sounds very interesting and I would love to be entered for an opportunity to review this.
unseelieme said…
If you can't tell from my tag, I devour books about the fae. I'm looking forward to this one.

BTW, we had the original Grimm stories with the grimness still in & my mother used to CHANGE them as she read to make them all happy-happy (gagging profusely)! It wasn't until I could read them myself that I knew the true stories. Disney can go suck an egg. I like the bad faerie tales much better.
writtenwyrdd said…
Sounds like an awesome book. Count me in.
... said…
I too think that fairy tales aren't all pink gossamer wings and floss. I like that they have a dark side too.

I can't wait to read your book.
Chris said…
Oh, I love dark faery tales, so I'm in!
saycheesepease said…
Awesome! Now I not only want to read the book, I also want to read the *real* fairy tales. Though I already know what really woke Sleeping Beauty *teehee*

I hope the book is a big success for you!
Melissa said…
Sounds like a wonderful book! To repeat pretty much everyone here - I really love dark (aka "the REAL") fairy tales!
An Again said…
How had I missed this blog before? Glad I found it just in time for Rosemary and Rue!
Thom said…
60+ Comments so far? I think that may be the most comments anyone has ever gotten on this site.

Seanan kicks much ass methinks
I'm so glad I ran across this information about a new book. I love urban fantasy and am always excited to come across an arthur I didn't know about. This book is already on a post-it note on my desk reminding me about the release. I can't wait to read it!
deb said…
I love the old fairy tales. This book is perfect for me. I can hardly wait to read it.
Debby Creager
cleo@hbeark.com
Debi Murray said…
Charlaine Harris plugged this book to a crowd of 500+ people at her signing in Oak Brook, IL this past Monday. She was asked what she was reading and she said she was enjoying this ARC immensely. Scores of people around me were scrambling to write down the name...so if Borders in the Chicago area reports a big sales figure on debut week...you'll know who to thank, LOL!

I used to read the original Grimm Fairy Tales to my siblings until the cry-babies told my mom. The wussies were having nightmares.

DebiM
Renee said…
Looking forward to this release. I love the combination of fairy tale/dark fantasy.
Hello! I'm like the biggest fairy tale fanatic there is! I'd love to win this book!

Dottie :)
Kiyote said…
love a chance to review the book.
Thom said…
Plus, Seanan is in Ravens In The Library with Angel Leigh McCoy, who is a close personal friend of mine. Well actually, she's just a regular friend who is friends with a close personal friend of mine. So more of a close personal friend-in-law.

Which makes Seanan McGuire a second close personal friend twice removed, or something like that. In any case, that makes us like two KBU's* apart. Awesome.

*KBU: Kevin Bacon Unit. A measure of degrees of separation.
Thom said…
By the way, orange & black stripped Halloween thigh high stockings? Ridiculously hot. Jinkies, Seanan. I'm just saying.
Cara said…
I haven't read a novel in more than ten years.

This is the first book that has made me *want* to read in a Very Long Time.

Gods bless you Seanan. Your writing is made of all kinds of win and awesome. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us :)
mneme said…
I've been reading Seanan's writing for what seems like a decade (it's probably more, though). I'm -so- looking forward to this book.

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