May 28 2010
Last week I gushed over Feed and told you all about the release party I attended. This week we’ve got an interview with the author, Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire)! We talk to her about having books out under two names, writing, and Feed. No worries, though, you don’t have to have read the book for this first half of the interview.
Welcome Mira! I mean, Seanan. And Mira. Whatever! Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions.
Thanks for having me! I love interviews.
Do you feel at all like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the moment? How do you handle having books out under two names? Literally. Is there a difference in how you present yourself as one persona versus the other?
I dress a bit differently. For Seanan events, I tend to look like a happy pumpkin, while for Mira events, I focus on red, black, and camo prints. I have a lot of chainsaw jewelry, and that comes out for Mira. Mostly, it’s the topics that vary, since I don’t talk fairy tales when I’m Mira, and I don’t tend to get quite as many questions about virology when I’m Seanan.
I know you’ve probably explained this a thousand times by now but can you quickly touch on why the Newsflesh Trilogy has been released under a different name than your October Daye books?
I tell people it’s like when Disney created Touchstone to allow them to release R-rated movies. They were good movies, they were sometimes awesome movies, but they weren’t movies that were necessarily “Disney movies.” I love the books I write as Mira Grant, but they’re very, very different from the Toby books, and I want to set up that expectation right from the beginning. I don’t want people to pick up Feed going “Oh, I loved Rosemary and Rue, this is the same author, so it must be the same thing!” Even if you know that I’m both Mira and Seanan, the different name creates a different expectation.
You’ve got other books in development. Do you anticipate possibly having to publish those under different names too?
It’s possible that I may wind up picking up more pseudonyms in the future, since I want to write YA and maybe even straight romantic comedy. Maybe I can pull a Neil Gaiman and be able to publish as myself in a bunch of different genres, but that’s much more of a long shot than me someday announcing that I am suddenly three people.
Speaking of the Newsflesh Trilogy, you know I love Feed but why do you think it’s going to appeal to others? Or what about it do you hope will appeal to others?
Feed is about the truth. It’s about fear. It’s about family. And it’s about zombies, which are pretty popular these days. I think all those things will have a lot of appeal, especially in combination. Plus a lot of things explode, and people tend to like that sort stuff.
One only has to read a few entries in your blog to see that you’re clearly fan of horror, is that where this book was born? And what else, if anything, had a big influence on the story?
It is! I love horror, and I love virology, and these loves combined to give me functional viral zombies. It all sort of spread from there. Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing was also a big influence, as was Transmetropolitan, by Warren Ellis, and, weirdly, all those really lousy killer virus movies where no one respects the quarantine.
Continue reading Part 1 of our interview with Seanan McGuire.