Melanie's Musings
October 1, 2012

An Interview with Tina Connolly, author of Ironskin

Tina Connolly’s Ironskin is one of my most anticipated books of the year and it’s finally being released tomorrow! I can’t wait to read it.

She was nice enough to answer a few of my burning questions about the book, so I hope you enjoy.

I have to be honest, I’m not too familiar with the lore surrounding faeries. The only ones I’ve encountered are the ones that won’t leave you alone in Wicked Lovely and the ones constantly stuffing their faces with pie in Eyes Like Stars. What are the faeries like in Ironskin?

Aren’t the fairies in Eyes Like Stars great? Really, I’m in favor of anyone who stuffs their face with pie.

So I’ve always been a huge fairy tale reader – I went through the entire fairy tale section at the local library, ten books at a time. But I didn’t end up drawing on that too much for my conception of the fey. I like those fairies, but I wanted to make these more alien. The book starts five years after a human-fey war, and part of the horror of the war was that the fey were able to take over dead human bodies and reanimate them. So not very fairy godmothery.

Is Ironskin being marketed as YA or adult?

Adult, but with YA crossoverness. (I wasn’t sure exactly where it fell as I was writing it!)

Does Ironskin #1 complete the Jane Eyre story arc, or does it chop it somewhere in the middle and continue on in Ironskin #2?

It completes the story arc. Jane Eyre was a structural influence for the book and her story resonates with the one I was trying to tell, so it has a lot of JE in it, but it’s not a point for point retelling.  But there is definitely a complete story arc here, as I tend to really love books that have their own resolution, even if they’re part of a larger story. Book 2 picks up six months later.

Your summer job as a face painter sounds really neat! Do you spend most of your time doing full- face pieces or small things, like a butterfly on a cheek?

Thanks! I absolutely love face painting. I’ve been doing it professionally for about 7 years now. I do in fact do a lot of butterfly-on-the-cheeks, but! the woman who trained me is an amazing mardi-gras style artist, and she taught me to be big and bold and expressive, even in small things. So…the small butterfly-on-the-cheek ends up being a bright pink butterfly with lots of swirlies and stars and glitter and everything else, and it covers half the face. I actually found it very freeing, to practice working so loosely and dramatically.

One of the things that got me most excited about Ironskin was the description “steampunk Jane Eyre with faeries.” Speaking of steampunk, what’s a must-have steampunk accessory for those like myself who’d like to get a few pieces?

I’ve really enjoyed all the retrofitted ‘futuristic’ devices I’ve seen come out of the steampunk DIY movement. The steampunk keyboards and laptops and so on really give me that strange otherworldly sense that you’ve slid into a different world. I think it’s the melding of fantasy with science fiction. But as far as fashion goes, you can’t go wrong with a good pair of boots.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Ironskin on it’s release day tomorrow!

Also, follow Tina Connolly on twitter @TinaConnolly.

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Posted by Melanie at 10:00 am – Comments (2)
Categories: interview

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  • October 1st 2012

    I had no idea there are professional face painters.


  • October 3rd 2012
    Gina said:

    Great interview! Love the fact that she knows Mantchev’s work (same here) and the added info about the self contained story arc. It’s good to tie things up for the most part in one book sometimes. Thanks for sharing guys! ^_^