Interview with Karen Marie Moning

November, 2012

Karen Marie Moning Forget Tinker Bell; the otherworldly faeries in Karen Marie Moning's books are cruel and lethal. The urban fantasy writer's best-selling Fever series, set amid the Celtic folklore and cobbled streets of Dublin, chronicles the Fae's infiltration of the human world. Moning made her name writing the popular Highlander romances before turning to the darker Fever world, a series with a fan base so loyal that there is an annual New Orleans conference, FeverCon. The latest book, Iced, is the first in a trilogy narrated by Dani O'Malley, a supernaturally powered teen who investigates a mysterious force in Dublin that is freezing both humans and Fae to death. Moning chats with Goodreads about her new direction for the series and why she likes to write in the dark.

Goodreads: What do new readers starting with Iced need to know to jump into the Fever world?

Karen Marie Moning: The Fever series is set in a dystopian Dublin where the walls between the human world and the Fae have come crashing down. The first five books center around MacKayla Lane [known as "Mac"], who goes to Dublin after her sister is murdered there, determined to find her killer. She soon discovers that not only are fairies real, but she is a "sidhe-seer"—a person who can see the Fae as they are, even with the "glamour" they use to hide themselves from humans.

Iced revolves around Dani O'Malley, another "sidhe-seer" who was introduced in the earlier books. She is 14 years old and, like Mac, is determined to kick Fae ass and save the world. Unlike the previous Fever novels, there are other points of view in this book, including another "sidhe-seer" and a ridiculously hot Scotsman who unfortunately is quickly becoming something...not human at all.

GR: The Fever series came to you in a dream, complete with a five-book story arc and book titles! When did you realize that you wanted to extend the story of the Fever world beyond those initial five books?

KMM: Halfway through the Fever series I realized post-wall Dublin had become too real, with too many great stories begging to be told for me to turn my back on. I mean, really, there are nine of whatever Barrons is! [The character Jericho Barrons from Fever books 1-5 is not quite human.]

GR: With so many established characters, what inspired you to choose Dani O'Malley as your next focus?

KMM: I take orders from the Muse. I don't argue with her. She has a good side and a side that consists entirely of blank pages.

Mac's story [in Fever books 1-5] was about a young woman who'd never experienced tragedy of any kind, who'd been adored and cherished all her life, whose greatest fear was that OPI [nail polish] [LEILAH: SHOULD BRAND NAME BE IN ALL CAPS?] might discontinue her favorite shade of pink. She had all the love in the world and absolutely zero backbone. Mac is a cream puff with something very dangerous at the center.

Dani has a backbone of pure titanium, a mouth that spits out whatever she's thinking at the moment, the physical ability to outrun, outgun, and outmaneuver nearly anyone. But she's never known love. Dani is pure badass...with something very sweet at the center.

GR: Since you are writing in first person, does the voice of the character influence the series at large? Does Dani's voice bring in new elements of humor or mystery or anything else?

KMM: Dani's trilogy isn't as emotionally heavy. There's more humor because she's not enduring the pain of transformation Mac felt. Dani's not introspective. There's action, there are adventures to be had, virginity to be lost one day, and sometimes there's even time to sleep. While Mac faced a transformation and awakening of a supernatural kind, Dani is also dealing with everything that any 14-year-old does—lots of hormones and mood swings, feeling misunderstood by pretty much everyone, and wanting to be an adult while still also wanting to cling to the safety net and free pass that comes with being viewed as a kid.

GR: Goodreads Author Natasha Knight asks, "One of the things I love about your books is the sexual tension that is ever present. How will you treat the fact that Dani is [a teen]?"

KMM: Thanks, Natasha—and thanks to all of you at Goodreads for creating such an amazing community for readers! With love and respect for her character and for the readers while staying true to her story. It may not be a safe journey, or a politically correct one, but in my opinion, none of the memorable stories are. Keep the faith!

GR: Goodreads member Yolanda asks, "I would like to know if the personality of Dani comes from Karen's strength and uncertainties from her own youth. What part of herself does she bring to life in Dani?"

KMM: Her voice is utterly effortless for me. Who knows where fiction ends and reality begins?

GR: Goodreads member Stacie ~ paid the price for badassery asks, "Other things besides Fae have slipped into our world, like the Royal Hunters and of course Jericho. Are we going to see any more non-Fae otherworlders?"

KMM: Definitely! I can't wait for you to meet the Crimson Hag. Or the creepy flock of Unseelie that follow Mac around everywhere she goes. Or Papa Roach, and I don't mean the band. Or get your first look at the Unseelie King's real library—to say nothing of the of the Big Bad that's icing Dublin! And not with pink frosting.

GR: Briefly describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?

KMM: The room must be completely dark. Seriously, totally. Blackout curtains and tinted windows. I tried writing in a closet for a while, but it was too small. I wake at 4:30. Get coffee. Refuse to let brain turn on. Sit at desk and start writing while I'm still asleep enough that I can't think about what I'm doing. I have to stay deep in my subconscious in order to write. Once I'm wide awake I can edit, but I can't create. I write for about three or four hours. Then I can stand light. I get breakfast, exercise, then go back to my office to edit and flesh out the scene for the next day. I never have an expected word count, and I don't write to outline. At all times I know exactly where the overall story arc is going, but sometimes it surprises even me how it gets there. Which is good. I have a theory: If the writer is bored, the reader will be, too. If the writer is having a blast, and is 100 percent invested in and committed to his or her fictional world, the reader will be, too.

GR: What authors, books, or ideas have influenced you?

KMM: All of Stephen King's stuff. He's a brilliant writer and storyteller combined. Harlan Ellison's Deathbird Stories. I read it when I was 13, and it forever skewed the way I thought of gods and demons, death and life. As a child, The Shades by Betty Brock, My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

GR: What are you reading now?

KMM: This interview. Ha-ha. I don't have time to read. I have a to-be-read pile that I plan to tackle when I'm 75. I also get to start smoking again then, too. Marlboro reds. Although I'm kind of counting on that I won't want to by then. One would think nearly 50 years of not smoking would make me quit wanting to, right?


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Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 new)

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message 1: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Shaw Am reading the Fever series for the second time, but still haven't found Shadowfever, i have all the rest of them.....they are good, but then those are the type of books i like for the most part....love Mac, and like Dani will be interested in her story.....thanks for some good reading Ms KMM.......:)


message 2: by Dglab1511 (new)

Dglab1511 I absolutely LOVED the Fever series, and got this the day it came out. I drove my daughter crazy 'cause I couldn't put the Fever books down, then she started reading them. HAHA! A convert to my evil ways!!! LOL.
Can't wait to read this one.! Keep 'em coming Karen! Please, please, please!!!!


message 3: by Dglab1511 (new)

Dglab1511 Debbie wrote: "Am reading the Fever series for the second time, but still haven't found Shadowfever, i have all the rest of them.....they are good, but then those are the type of books i like for the most part....."

Try paperbackbookswap.com for Shadowfever.


Staci AKA Patches This sounds awesome. I have not read any of these books. I will put Book1 on wishlist.


message 5: by Cyndi (new)

Cyndi Tefft Really looking forward to Dani's POV!


message 6: by Lori (new)

Lori I finished Iced in two days. I like the Highlander books, but I loved the Fever series. I love how KMM draws me into her stories; I feel truly invested. I hate that I have to wait for the next book.


message 7: by Monica (new)

Monica I'm about 30% through Iced and the Fever world has got me hooked again!
Fabulous book, Karen!


message 8: by Camille (new)

Camille Read Fever twice, might go for a third. There was something so absolutely addictive about Mac and Barrons and the amazing world you created for them. Love the long form series-- really glad you made the switch though of course I did enjoy the Highlander books too.


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan Mccarthy Just finished reading Iced. Fantastic, Dani is so funny. Took some twists and turns I didn't expect and I can't wait for the sequel to see how they work themselves out.


message 10: by Kellie (new)

Kellie Gerdts I can't wiat to read Iced. I absolutely love the fever books and the Highlander books. You are my fav author and i have been looking forward to this release.


message 11: by Diana (new)

Diana Just finished Iced by Karen Moning. Even more fabulous than what I expected: what a great imagination!


message 12: by Marie (new)

Marie My sister started me on this series and said this...how can you not love a writer with a last name of Moning!


message 13: by Christina (new)

Christina Wonderful how she answered my question. Love, Love, Love Karen. She keeps you going fast pace in all her writings. Will be getting Iced soon. Can't wait to read it.


message 14: by Niecie (new)

Niecie Washington This book was just as amazing as the rest of the Fever series cannot wait for the next installment.


message 15: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Karen Marie Moning is a fantastic author. The Highlander Series and the FEVER Series are wonderful books that compliment each series. Characters of the Highlander Series are intertwined and/or re introduced into the Fever Series, however, it is not manadatory to read the Highlander Series before reading the Fever Series. The ICED Trilogy is also a spinoff of the Fever Series. She keeps you guessing about the direction that the books are taking you on, only to throw in a couple of curve balls. The chemistry between the various characters will make you fall in love with them over and over again. Cannot wait for MORE from this exceptional writer. Buy them, borrow them, JUST read them and you will be hooked just like the rest of us....


message 16: by Stephanie (last edited Nov 05, 2012 03:30PM) (new)

Stephanie cannot wait to start this new book, very excited...what a great author...keep them coming please karen!!


message 17: by Karla (new)

Karla I have just finished Iced and it was awesome just like all of the fever series.


message 18: by Aracelia (new)

Aracelia I will try these books, they sound really Good


message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine I absolutely loved the fever series!!!! And just started Iced. I am reading it slowly because I don't want it to end too soon.


message 20: by Deborah (last edited Nov 06, 2012 05:24PM) (new)

Deborah Mcnemar I've loved the Fever series and have infected several friends as well. While I've read comments about Iced that were leery of Ryodan viewing Dani as something other than a child, I have to remember that when he was born, a fourteen year old girl was a woman, usually married and with children. It's a matter of perspective and that perspective has to be true to the character. Thank you for that.


message 21: by Damaris (new)

Damaris Karen is one of my favorite authors. I loved ICED. It was such a great story. I'm re-reading it, because I can't get enough of it. I love the interaction of all the characters and the fever world.


message 22: by Reece (new)

Reece Jordan I was soooooo happy when my mom got ICED for us, have it on our readers, and now I'm ready to read. Curse school and not letting me read it


message 23: by Amber (new)

Amber Hatfield I am a huge fever "maniac". I didn't care for Dani at all during the Fever series, and wasn't too excited to have three books dedicated to her POV. But boy was I wrong. Dani kicks ass. She still has a lot of growing up to do. But 3/4 of the way into this book and I'm hooked. Put all your worries aside about Dani and read! You will not be disappointed!


Marisa.erick51gmail.com I'm a little over half through, had it on pre order and did a little dance when it came at work, just been too busy to get a chance to sit down and get it done. I highly recommend this series and if you can get your hands on the audio versions, books 4-5 and now Iced are narrated by both a man and a woman(they're married I think, so cool) and they are delicious to listen to, I do recommend reading them first, the audio just helps. I'm team Christian, so I have my fingers crossed, I think Dani ending up with Ryo would be too much retread of Mac and Barrons and poor Christian deserves some love after all that has happened to him


message 25: by Alaina (new)

Alaina Comeau Amazing! Your books only leave me wanting for more. I can't wait read your next and see where it takes your characters. (especially Mac, Barrons and Dani)


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Wow! I can't believe Karen's writing routine. That's crazy how she's almost in a dreamlike state when she writes. No wonder her books take forever to come out. She can only write so much a day. I'm not complaining. I don't want to rush a genius.


message 27: by Yolanda (new)

Yolanda I think it is awesome that she chose to ask Karen my question! Karen is and has been my favorite forever!! Never stop Karen!


message 28: by Katrina (new)

Katrina My copy of Iced is on it's way and I cannot freaking wait! I have enjoyed all of KMM's books and I know this one is going to be just as good! So excited that the Fever world will continue for 5 more books!!! Yes! Keep up the good work Ms Moning and I've certainly caught the Fever!


message 29: by Regina (new)

Regina Great books, Karen's my favorite author hands down. Love this chick! If you haven't read her Fever Series...you haven't lived yet. Honestly, you will not regret it. Best books I have ever read.


message 30: by Julie (new)

Julie Camille wrote: "Read Fever twice, might go for a third. There was something so absolutely addictive about Mac and Barrons and the amazing world you created for them. Love the long form series-- really glad you mad..."

I will probably feel like a dork..but, what do you mean by "long form series"? Thanks, just curious J


message 31: by Elyssia (new)

Elyssia WHEN is the second book coming out?!! Gah!!!


message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I recommend the Fever Series to all my friends. My daughter interduced me to Karen Marie Moning and I've been hooked ever since.


message 33: by Trevor (new)

Trevor good, a little more exciting events would nt b bad


message 34: by Mary (new)

Mary I liked Iced. Because I adore Christian McKeltar. Can´t wait to see what´s going to happen to him. I just hope his whole obsession about Dani gets explained properly, ´cause I was really confused about that. I loved that the book has different POV´s because Dani can be a little exhausting to read.


message 35: by Lyndsey (new)

Lyndsey Talton I had to put every KKM book I owned on a shelf and order the Kindle editions; they've been read so many times the pages are starting to fall out!!! Love every book you have ever done, Ms. Moning...thank you so much for all that you have shared with us over the years...Cannot wait for Burned!!!


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