Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Just had a lovely interview with the amazing Karen Mahoney! Enjoy!

Would you be an Alchemist, Elf or Fairy?

First of all, thanks for inviting me! I love your questions – it’s nice to be asked
some different things.

I’d definitely choose to be an alchemist. I’ve always been fascinated by alchemy
and love any kind of magic.

Xan or Nav... which is your guy?

Ha! Well... in real life my guy is actually Nav (he’s based on my boyfriend), so I
guess I’ll have to go with him. ;) I do love Xan too, though. He literally came to me
in a dream and I feel pretty invested in his happiness.

What was your inspiration for The Iron Witch Series and why did you pick Alchemists
over Vampires or Werewolves?

I’ve always loved vampires (see: my other series about teen vampire Moth), but
I really wanted to do something different with the world of The Iron Witch. I’ve
read tons about alchemy – including some of Dr. John Dee’s journals – and there’s
just something about the mystery surrounding that particular branch of magic
that I find interesting.

Are any of the characters based on you or people you know?

Yes! As I mentioned, Navin is based on my boyfriend of the last six years.
Normally, it’s not the best idea to openly base characters on real people, but I
couldn’t help myself – and, I have to say, he loves that I did it. Otherwise, most
of the other characters come purely from my imagination. I’m sure some of them
have elements that are unconsciously inspired by people I know, but probably just
little things taken from here and there.

Do your family and friends ever try to find themselves in the characters?

I don’t think so... I hope not! :)

Do you have a writing ritual?

I’m quite random in my whole approach to writing. Often I write late at night, but
then again... I have been known to write in a busy cafe at lunchtime. I do like to
have a cup of coffee (or green tea!) before I start a writing session, but I wouldn’t
say it’s a ritual.

What is your most embarrassing moment as a writer?

The Iron Witch? Then, yes, I have the right person.”

Will there be a movie of The Iron Witch?

It would be lovely, but there is nothing in the works. Movies are something
completely out of my hands – if a studio or screenwriter or producer shows any
interest I’d be thrilled, but it doesn’t happen all that often. I did have some interest
from someone who wanted to turn The Iron Witch into a graphic novel, but that
didn’t go anywhere. Maybe one day!

When did you know you wanted to write?

I think I always wanted to write. The first time I consciously remember saying,
“I’m going to be an author” I was about 12 years old.

Who is your Favourite Author?

There are honestly too many to name. Here are five (it could just as easily be any
other five – or fifty): Charlotte Bronte, Marjorie M. Liu, Holly Black, Richelle
Mead and Neil Gaiman.

What is the book you wish you had written?

I can’t answer that, I’m afraid. I truly am writing the books I want to write. I love
reading, and read ALL THE TIME, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought there was
a book I wish that I’d written. I just feel grateful that we live in a time where so
many incredible novels are being created.

How does it feel to see your book in a bookshop or to know you’ve created a
worldwide phenomenon?

I’m not sure I’d call my books a worldwide phenomenon (although I appreciate
the sentiment!), but it is still a magical feeling to see my work in bookshops.
Also, the fact that The Iron Witch – my first ever novel – has been published in 8
countries blows my mind every time I think about it. I am very lucky.

If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Tough one! I’d have to say Charlotte Bronte, Erica Jong, and William Moulton
Marston (the creator of Wonder Woman). One of them is still alive... :)

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