Check-In Interview: Jacqueline Carey


carey-poisonPoison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey publishes on October 7, 2014!

I decided it was time to check-in with Jacqueline about the book. It’s the third book in her Agent of Hel urban fantasy trilogy. Having spoken to her a great deal over the last few years, I know she’s had a fun time writing the series. I loved her Kushiel books and I especially loved The Sundering duology (a sort of retelling of Lord of the Rings but told from the losing side). But it’s been great to see her enter a different fantasy sub-genre and play with conceived notions of what urban fantasy is supposed to be.

Dark Currents is the first book in the series. If you haven’t read it but you love urban fantasy, definitely give it a try. The second book, Autumn Bones, is out as well.

Here is a check-in interview with author Jacqueline Carey!



Shawn Speakman: POISON FRUIT, the third novel in your urban fantasy Hel trilogy, will be published later this year on October 7th. Where are you at in its publication process? Still writing? Editing? Copyediting? Proofing? Or finished?


Jacqueline Carey: Somewhere in between! The edited manuscript has been delivered and accepted, but has yet to go through copyediting and proofing. It’s rounding the corner toward the home stretch.

Shawn Speakman: How was working in the urban fantasy milieu after working in epic/historical fantasy for so long? Did you accomplish what you wanted?

Jacqueline Carey: It’s been fun, a real breath of fresh air. I got to use contemporary pop culture references for the first time in my writing career, which was a blast. Overall, I wanted to challenge myself with something very different, and I wanted the Agent of Hel books to possess a unique blend of whimsy, wonder and creepiness. I feel good about accomplishing both goals.

Shawn Speakman: The website Lytherus is quoted as saying, “Carey turns… the genre on its head.” I know you are very well-read. For those who haven’t read them, what sets DARK CURRENTS, AUTUMN BONES and POISON FRUIT apart from other urban fantasy?

Jacqueline Carey: For me, it’s the balance between realism and fantasy. Although Pemkowet is filled with a vast array of mythological beings – fairies, ogres, werewolves, ghouls, hobgoblins, vampires, frost giants, the Norse goddess of the dead – when you consider the human element, it’s a surprisingly realistic depiction of a small resort community. The concept of paranormal tourism let me play with those dynamics, and also to offer some metacommentary on the whole genre. There’s a lot of imagery that highlights the contrast between the mundane and the fantastic, like a frost giant driving a dune buggy or Lurine the lamia in her swimming pool, that I think is just absurd and wonderful and I don’t recall seeing anywhere else.
Jacqueline Carey: Also, my half-demon protagonist Daisy has a tail! If you want to play a drinking game while you read, drink every time it twitches.

Sounds like I’d be quite inebriated if I tried that, Jacqueline! Not that that’s a bad thing, really…

Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey will publish October 7, 2014! If you want to learn more about Jacqueline, visit her on Facebook or her website at!

More check-ins coming! Who else would you like me to interview?

Stay tuned!

speakman-shawnShawn Speakman is the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel bestselling author Terry Brooks calls, “a fine tale by a talented writer.”

He is also editor and contributor of Unfettered, a fantasy anthology featuring some of the best writers in the genre. When Shawn isn’t lying for a living, he runs The Signed Page and Grim Oak Press.