The Incendiary and Magical "Of Blood and Honey": Rick Klaw's Interview with Novelist Stina Leicht

Stina Leicht's recently released first novel Of Blood and Honey has begun blazing a laudatory swath through the blogosphere with superior notices from places such as SF Reviews , BookloveSpeculative Fiction Examiner , Monsters and Critics, and more to follow.  With an expert blend of classic Irish fantasy tropes and a gritty, realistic portrayal of the IRA circa early 1970s, Leicht offers one of the more distinctive and powerful novels of the young decade.

Special Omnivoracious correspondent Rick Klaw sat down with Leicht to discuss her new book, the Fey, researching prisons, the art of violence, and why women find it easy to write male characters.

Rick Klaw for Of Blood and Honey is actually two distinct stories expertly melded together. Was this originally two separate novels? If so when did they become one and what led you to that wise decision?

Stina Leicht: The final version isn’t the version I submitted to my agent, Joe Monti. Initially, I shied away from writing about The Troubles. Again, I’m American. Americans are infamous for taking sides regarding that conflict without having any real idea what they’re talking about. I didn’t want to be that American. Enough damage has been done to the Irish and the British. So, my first thought was to write a story about an Irish púca living in modern day Austin, Texas with the plotline set in The Troubles treated as flashbacks. I figured I could get my points across with less risk. However, the more I wrote, the more I knew the heart of the story was in 1970s Northern Ireland. I knew it in my bones. Joe only confirmed it when he called. I have to admit, he was a bit frightened by how fast I agreed to throw out 66,000 words of my 116,000 word novel. But by then I’d been thinking about it for a year, you know?

As for the way it is now, well... I didn’t want to write the Special Snowflake(TM) story. I’m pretty sick of those. You know, the story where the entire world revolves around the main character for whatever reason? They’re special merely through an accident of birth. They're special because of their blood, DNA or family money -- not because of the person they choose to be, or because they’ve done anything great or good. It’s a very privileged mindset. I wanted to get away from that trope. I wanted to write a fantasy story about someone who wasn't some form of Messiah. So, Liam isn’t the center of the conflict between the Fey, the Fallen and the Catholic Church for that reason. His father, Bran, is in the middle of that conflict and has a separate story.


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