Graylin, dear, it seems like forever since I met Tessa, Kyl and family, and of course, Jasper. When did you first write Contagion, and what inspired it?
I wrote Contagion in September of 2010. I had just finished Coming Home and was inspired to write another fae story. I write poetry about vampires, dragons, werewolves, gargoyles, and knights, but nothing hits closer to home than something that is actually possible. I work in medical settings and the genuine fear I saw on parents faces when their child had to be hospitalized for the flu, started my wheels turning.
This time I created a group of friends to go through adventures together. Contagion is a novella beginning to a series. It's an apocalyptic story about what I thought would happen if someone decide to "help" the yearly flu virus along. It does appear that when I write, people die, and I attribute that to being in a work setting where people die every day. It's a part of life that changes us the most and we talk about it the least.
How much of you is in Tessa? How about the world of the woods and the cabin? I love the setting for this book! It doesn't have a real post apocalyptic feel, although that is the setting.
A LOT of me is in Tessa. I tend to speak without the filter of an edit or mute button. My mother spent more time rolling her eyes at me than anything else. My life hasn't been easy, I've lost loved ones and been betrayed by people I've trusted, have survived personal violence. Those losses and betrayals rebuilt me stronger even though I didn't recognize it at the time. And neither does Tessa. She is gaining strength even as she feels like her world is shattered and unrecognizable.
I wanted to place this story in a contemporary setting but one that would leave her isolated from civilization. Every apocalyptic story I've read shows you the loss by taking you through the changes in a large city. I want the readers to feel the loss through Tessa. Her pain at losing her family and unwillingness to even watch the news because she doesn't want the images in her mind anymore. It also helps to place the portals to the Otherworld in areas of the United States where they could be and no human would notice them.
What have you been suprised to hear about the book from reviewers and readers? Is there anything you'd change, looking back?
I've been very flattered by the reviews. The criticisms I've seen are centered around the length and brevity given the number of characters and revelations. So, yeah, if I knew then what I know now - Contagion would be the first 2-3 chapters of the first book. But when I started it, it was to be a small short story about survival. It evolved over rewrites and edits but never grew to the potential I now see in it. I'm hoping to remedy that in sequels.
This means for me, this short story now is a wonderful introduction to this cast of characters and shows us how, and why, they met. They also save the world. There is that part. :)
Between Coming Home and Contagion, it's clear you have more than a passing interest in Celtic mythology. How did this start, and do you have plans to pull on that world in future works?
I'm half Irish. Belief in the supernatural is part of who I am. My father's Swedish side also has a strong belief in the power of myth,legend, and nature. I love writing with mythological creatures. Giving a dragon allergies still makes me giggle, although I'm sure Jasper would complain.
I love mythology and blending it with contemporary settings. After all, if I can have an iPhone why can't I call a fairy, or Skype a demon, or find the twitter account of a wizard? The possibilities make me giddy.
What are you working on now?
Contagion is the start of a series and I'm writing the next one, Interwoven, now. I love revisiting these characters and the convoluted, tangled, relationships they all have in the Otherworld is pushing the story into areas that surprise me daily.
I also have a science fiction story in the works about plant based beings escaping their planet because their sun is going supernova. It needs a lot of work but I'm hoping to submit it this fall. It's tentatively titled Deadly Beauty.
And I have a werewolf love story on the back burner. It yowls at me from time to time and I'm hoping to have it ready for submits this fall as well.
Graylin Fox is a science fiction, fantasy, and thriller author and poet. She began writing poetry in 1993 with her first poem published in 1995. In 2008 her characters demanded a larger format and she began to expand her talents into the short fiction market.
Decadent Publishing published her short story, Coming Home, in January 2011. Her short story series, Summer Fae, began with Contagion in April 2011. July 15th 2011, Decadent Publishing released Your Biggest Fan, a psychological thriller.
Her poetry can be found both in print and electronically. There are a handful available as free reads on her website. Lessons will be published by The Stray Branch, #8, Fall/Winter 2011. Unconditional Love published by Moon Washed Kisses in their debut edition. Dark Encounter was published in Strange, Weird, & Wonderful Summer 2010 Issue. Folded In Darkness was published by Dark Horizons. Issue 57, September 2010. Blood Bound was published by House of Horror, Issue 17. It was chosen to be in House Of Horrors 2010 Anthology.
Graylin can be found at http://www.GraylinFox.com