Number One New York Times Best Seller Karen Marie Moning on Her New Urban Fantasy Trilogy
For anyone who somehow hasn’t heard of Moning’s books, Dani plays by her own set of rules in a world overrun by Dark Fae, helped by rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light. But now, amid pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities. Dani’s ex-best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead; the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head; and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux. From there, it just gets worse—and more exciting.
According to Moning, in an exclusive interview for Omnivoracious, the biggest difference between the prior novels and Iced is that “the reader gets multiple points of view, rather than experiencing everything through Mac’s eyes. I know some readers will miss having interaction with Mac and Barrons but I’ve got an incredible journey in store for the reader and a lot of great stuff up my sleeve.”
Since the first five Fever books came to Moning fully formed, Iced was challenging precisely because she is moving beyond the comfort zone of Mac and Barrons—“two characters my readers love so much”—and delving into other characters, “some of whom are deeply conflicted, like a sexy Highlander turning Unseelie prince. But because the series continues the story where the Fever series left off, with the same core set of characters to me, this isn’t a ‘new’ series at all. It’s a sideways look at the same world through different eyes.”
Omni asked Moning to choose a favorite scene or scenes from the new novel. “Two scenes: First, the one where the reader finds out what happened that made Dani the way she is (equal parts a cold-blooded assassin and a ferociously optimistic young woman) and second, when the main characters all get into a pissing match over each others’ musical taste. While the world is melting down around them.”
Moning has a devoted readership, many of whom she calls “smart, funny, strongly opinionated, vocal. Did I say strongly opinionated and vocal? LOL.” She loves “hearing reader feedback. I love getting the opportunity to meet with a group of fans, or host a chat and pick their brains. However—and this is a big however—I never let that feedback change the story I’m telling in any essential way. I realized early in my career that precisely what one reader doesn’t like is what another reader loves. Collectively, any writer’s audience presents a mishmash of expectations that can never all be met. What one-tenth of my readership may not be crazy about the other nine-tenths savors. The moment you start altering a book or a painting or any type of art as if it’s a public collaborative, you crucify its soul. I’d rather irritate a few people and delight a lot than touch no one.”
Moning never had any idea that she would one day reach such a fever pitch of popularity. “When I first began writing, I’d been working long hours in insurance arbitration/litigation, and my goals were simple: I wanted to make enough of a living that I could avoid alarm clocks and rush hour traffic for the rest of my life. I never thought past that. I never dreamed I might one day hit bestseller lists. I certainly never imagined the enthusiasm and devotion I’ve received from readers. Fifteen books later, I still find it startling, amazing, and humbling. I doubt I’ll ever get used to it.”
Indeed, Moning notes, “Writing is such a solitary experience” that after spending “long months alone, working on a book, introverted to an extreme, getting to spend time with the readers I’m writing for is endless fun.” She recently hosted a fan event in New Orleans to celebrate the launch of Iced, with a book signing followed by two Q&A chats the next morning and “it was fantastic to spend intimate time with a few hundred die-hard fans and talk all things Fever. I’m always aware of how lucky I am to get to do what I do for a living. Events like that are icing on the cake.”