A powerful wizard endures a terrible rape; a catburgler robs the wrong person and is set on a dark path; both are fated to be bound by violence and blood ties. And this was just the first 100 pages of Sarah Monette’s stunning fantasy debut novel MELUSINE. I lost a weekend to Monette’s intricately plotted and multilayered story, woven together with delicious prose. Monette’s follow up effort, THE VIRTU, was just as compelling. With characters whose complicated sexualities add an element of the decadent, and whose motives are never what they seem on the surface, Monette has created a dark world that evokes claustrophobic, historically dense Old World metropolises. And then there’s the magic.
We are very pleased to bring you our interview with Sarah.
Q: Tell us about your journey to publication
SM: About the usual, I suppose. I started writing as a teenager, kept writing through college and grad school, found an agent, and he did the rest. I got my first book deal the week before my doctoral dissertation defense, and that seemed like a sufficiently unambiguous sign.
Q: What drew you to the fantasy genre?
SM: Most great children’s literature is either fantasy (THE HOBBIT, the Chronicles of Narnia, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS) or might as well be fantasy for a modern child (A LITTLE PRINCESS, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, TREASURE ISLAND). The books I loved as a child were the ones in which things were different, in which there were puzzles and mysteries to figure out (I also loved Encyclopedia Brown). That’s still true. I read a lot of nonfiction these days as well as fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but my comfort reading is mysteries. So I can’t talk about being “drawn” to fantasy; I’ve been rooted there for as long as I can remember.
Q: Where did the inspiration for your Doctrine of Labyrinths series begin? [Read more…]