Thursday, October 11, 2012

Interview with Jacqueline Carey and Giveaway - October 11, 2012

Please welcome Jacqueline Carey to The Qwillery. Jacqueline's latest novel is Dark Currents, the first novel in her Agent of Hel Trilogy.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Jacqueline:  When I’m immersed in a project, it’s where my thoughts go given the slightest opportunity, which means that I may be found standing in the middle of my living room, staring into space as I watch, say, a battle scene unfold in my mind, or pushing a shopping cart through the grocery store and silently mouthing lines of dialogue as I work through the details of a particularly fraught encounter.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jacqueline:  I’m a plotter all the way!

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jacqueline:  At this point in my career, it’s probably the fact that I’ve ransacked the cabinet of plot elements very, very thoroughly, and it’s a challenge to find creative tropes that I haven’t used. I’ll often get a spark of inspiration and think, “Oh, that would be fun to... wait, did that already. Well, what about... nope, did that, too.”

TQ:  Describe Dark Currents (Agent of Hel 1) in 140 characters or less.

Jacqueline:  Reluctant hell-spawn Daisy Johanssen, liaison to the goddess Hel, partners with a sexy werewolf on the down-low to solve a local college boy’s murder.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Dark Currents?

Jacqueline:  I love the way urban fantasy allows us to view the contemporary world through the lens of the fantastic, and I’d always wanted to give it a try. It seemed like a subgenre that would be tremendous fun to write. When I began thinking about what would imbue a place with magic, I hit on the idea of an underworld, a play on the Hermetic principle of “As above, so below.” And I realized that I live in a place that literally has a buried city – an old lumber town buried beneath the sand dunes. I decided to relocate the Norse goddess of the dead to occupy it, and went from there.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Dark Currents? What is the oddest bit of information that you found?

Jacqueline:  Since this is set in a fictitious version of my home town, I had the luxury of drawing on a lot of personal observation – which was a treat, since the historical fantasy I’m best known for requires hours and hours of research reading. My favorite odd discovery was Argiope aurantia, a striking black and yellow spider known, among other things, as the writing spider for the distinctive zigzag pattern it weaves into its web. According to myth, if you see your name written in its web, you’re going to die.

TQ:  In Dark Currents, who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Jacqueline:  Daisy, my protagonist, was the easiest. Her voice just felt natural, humorous and endearingly self-deprecating to me, and it sets the tone for the whole book. The hardest was Stefan Ludovic, the hot, mysterious ghoul... because really, trying to combine the disparate concepts of ‘hot’ and ‘ghoul’ is a challenge in and of itself.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Dark Currents?

Jacqueline:  Hands down, one of my favorites is the introduction of Lurine Hollister, B-movie starlet, probable murderer of her octogenarian millionaire husband, and lamia. A lot of the imagery in this book is about juxtaposing the mundane and the fantastic, and I adore the vision of this mythical monster, half voluptuous woman, half giant serpent, lolling in a swimming pool. That said, from an action standpoint, the final showdown is one of my favorites, too.

TQ:  You have written Epic Fantasy (the Kushiel's Legacy series) and near-future Science Fiction (the Santa Olivia series). Now you have turned to Urban Fantasy with Dark Currents. What do these series have in common if anything?

Jacqueline:  Despite the fantastic or futuristic settings, I think all of them have quintessentially human conflicts at their cores. No matter what I write, I try to keep it grounded in a certain psychological and emotional reality. My protagonists may be a god’s chosen instrument, or a genetically modified human incapable of experiencing fear, or a demon’s offspring with a bad temper and daddy issues, but they struggle, they question, they grieve, they rejoice nonetheless. And they love, fiercely and passionately, which is definitely a common thread.

TQ:  What's next?

Jacqueline:  Dark Currents is the first book in a trilogy, and I’m currently finishing the second volume. It continues Daisy’s saga with the same blend of whimsy, wonder, and creepiness.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Jacqueline:  Thank you for allowing me to visit, and happy reading!

Agent of Hel

Dark Currents
Agent of Hel 1
Roc, October 2, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages  

Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn…

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

About Jacqueline

Photo by Kim Carey

Jacqueline Carey received B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature from Lake Forest College. She enjoys doing research on a wide variety of arcane topics, and an affinity for travel has taken her from Finland to China to date. She currently lives in west Michigan. Visit her online at or

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Dark Currents (Agent of Hel 1) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer the following question: 

Would you like to vacation in a resort town with an out in the open 
eldritch community?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I'm not sure I'd want to visit a community with an "out" fantasy group or not! I think if I were a member of that group I would want to visit, but if I weren't, I'd probably avoid the community, just because it would seem a little too much like gawking to me.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweeted:


  2. As I mentioned in my "Why I don't read UF" post over on Bastard Books, this IS a book that interests me, given how I love the Kushiel novels.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet

  3. Why not? It would probably make for my most interesting vacation!

    +1 follower (FB)

  4. i would not want to go and seem like a mke a attraction of them, they are living being no matter which kind

    +1blog follower ( gfc:miki)


  5. I'd have to admit I'd be curious about an eldritch community - much as I am curious about other countries and cultures! I think the first open community would make a fortune from tourists! :-)

    GFC Follower - Mel S

  6. Hey, as long as I'm not getting changed into a toad or stomped on by an ogre, sign me up.

    GFC follower:

    therabidfox at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks for the awesome post and congrats to Jacqueline on the new release! I loved her fantasy and I can't wait to see what she does w/t Urban/PNR :)

    I would love to vacation in a town with an open supernatural community :)

    +1 gfc: erin
    +1 comment

  8. I've read too many Lovecraft stories to answer this question with yes.
    give me a an 'Eldritch and other creepy beings' free town any day!

    +2 comment, follower


  9. It would be interesting, so yes I would.
    DEbby236 at gmail dot com

  10. I would vacation there.

    I follow the blog.


  11. I'd like to see what adventures I could have there.

    gfc follower

  12. It sounds like a fun time ** Grin **! I would love to win a copy of Dark Currents! Thanks for the awesome giveaway. +1 Comment, +1 Follower

  13. Hi

    I think it would be a very interesting vacation and I would like to try it.

    Thanks for the chance

  14. Well, ya know, those resort-town vacations get so ho-hum... ;)

  15. Seeing that my hubby and me are total geeks, I'm pretty sure we'll have a marvelous time on such vacation. So yes, I would! :)
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet:

    impy80 at hotmail dot com

  16. I have just started reading paranormal books, and have not read any of your books yet. this book look likes a great read.

  17. At this point in my life, a vacation anywhere would be nice.
    gfc follower Bethany C.


  18. I don't know if I would want to live in an open eldritch community. I would need more information. For instance, do weird things happen all the time? That makes me nervous. I watch too much sci-fi to take that for granted!
    Follower: email and GFC

  19. As long as I could observe without being threatened, then yes.

    +1 email follower
    +1 comment

    debbie at burdeen dot com

  20. I wouldn't mind as long as I don't get killed in the process. It would be a very interesting story to tell coworkers. :)
    +1 comment
    +1 Follower GFC: Rogue484
    +1 Twitter:

  21. I think I could vacation there :) edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOtcom GFC Krystal Larson

  22. I think it would be interesting to vacation in a town with an open eldritch community, and I might even decide to relocate. :D

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

  23. A fair question and to be fair I gotta say I don't think I'd enjoy a vacation in a resort town with an out in the open eldritch community. Not that I don't think it would be interesting but I don't think I'd find it very restful. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to fully relax and enjoy my vacation in such surroundings.

    I follow the Quillery by email:

    I tweeted about the giveaway:


  24. It could prove to be very interesting.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  25. We were talking about this yesterday but I adore Jacqueline Carey! Stumbled across the Kushiel series quite a few years ago and fell in love. So happy to see she has something new on the way as well.

    Hmm... would I willingly visit a place like that? Considering where I currently live, I kind of already wonder just what the heck is really out there, prowling the streets at night. But seriously, I guess it would depend on the town's reputation? So, yeah, why not? I'm game for a little paranormal action.

    The boring stuff:

    I follow you on FB, Twitter, and Google+.

    Shared your status re: this contest on FB (Amy I, no link as I can't figure out how to get it without directing you right to my profile page UGH).

    And lastly, I gave you a nice, long rambling comment and answer. LOL

  26. Might be interesting as long as it weren't scary or weird?

    +3 comment, follower, tweeted

  27. Maybe, i will interest but just for seeing :)

    GFC as Filia Oktarina
    FB :

  28. I think it would be interesting to at least visit once.

    tweet -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  29. I don't like to poke bears, so I don't know if I'd go to a supernatural town and look for them. Besides, as another commentor mentioned, they are living creatures and it is mean to go and stare at them like they are exhibits for your entertainment.

    -FB -


  30. If there was such a town, not ten wild horses could keep me away! I'm a big fan of Terre d'Ange, and will certainly enjoy Jaqueline careys new urban fantasy as well.


  31. I would love that kind of vacation for myself, but I don't think I would want to take my kids along, I would be too worried for their safety.

    GFC Follower: Rachel King

    hopester777 at gmail dot com

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. I would totally vacation there! (and probably ask how I could become part of said eldritch community, to boot)

    Amanda Cobb

  34. I would like to live there and I would like to actually BE art of the open eldritch community. I think I would make a totally excellent fairy or something equally fey.

  35. I'm all for the eldritch community being part of the resort town I visit. I imagine there'd be lots of interesting events to attend.


  36. I would definitely love to visit such a place on vacation, but not be too obvious about what I'm doing!

  37. I would visit but try to come up with a legit reason for being there, so I didn't seem like such a tourist. ;)

  38. I would take the vacation there. It would be interesting to see how things would play out in a day of the life. It may be inspirational and inspiring to ones life. Being a person that is into fanatsy and Sci-fi to meet creatures of that genre would be interesting

  39. I would definitely go, it sounds very interesting! It would make my fangirl side happy. :)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower (FB)
    +1 post (FB):

    I can be emailed at marianne.lebreton AT