Meet Tina Connolly, author of Ironskin

Welcome The Debuts, a series of posts introducing you to brand, spanking new authors you really should get to know.

Meet Tina Connolly!

Byrt: If one of the top Hollywood voice-over guys was narrating your book trailer (in a hammy Hollywood way), what would he say?

TC: In a world where the fey are very real, one determined girl goes to help a small child suffering from the effects of a dangerous fey curse – and in the process may discover how to heal herself.

Byrt: So what’s the story behind your story?

TC: I wrote this dark fantasy novella about a girl who goes to work as a governess and finds that the man of the house is a secretive sculptor who makes disturbingly hideous masks. I had a hard time compressing everything I knew about the world into just the novella. So when I was casting about for what book to write next, I thought maybe there was a reason I couldn’t fit everything into the story as it was. Also, at some point someone pointed out the similarities to Jane Eyre, and that gave me a framework to start building my book. It was the largest and most complex novel I’d tackled so far, but having that road map helped the story coalesce. I love Jane Eyre but I knew I didn’t want to write a point-by-point version of that plot transposed to a different setting. So, I use some themes and characters and events, and bounce around and off others.

Byrt: If you like ________, you’ll like my book

TC: That’s a good question! Let me put on my bookseller hat for a moment and think. Besides Jane Eyre (of course!), I guess I would recommend it to someone who liked fantasy with strong heroines, darkness and romance. Like Robin McKinley’s Sunshine, or perhaps Kristin Cashore’s Fire? I’ll have to start thinking about this one!

Byrt: The silliest/craziest author moment you’ve had so far?

TC: I can’t think of any too crazy…yet…but one of the neatest was when my editor was kind enough to send me a few cover flats back in February. The plastic top had fallen off the tube, and it’s Portland, so it’s always kind of wet…but miraculously they were just fine once I pressed them out. And then I could see the beautiful cover illustration by Larry Rostant, and my photo and bio and jacket copy and all that…it was a nice moment of ‘oh, maybe this is really going to happen’. :)

Byrt: Book you own with the most tattered, scotch-taped cover, the most battered spine? (And why you love it)

TC: That’s gotta be The Annotated Alice. My grandparents gave me their (already beaten-up) copy when I was little, and that was the first time I’d encountered something annotated (and, of one of my favorite books!) Martin Gardner’s notes on the books are fascinating.

Byrt: Book you’re reading right now?

TC: Sharon Shinn’s Mystic series. I’m not sure how I didn’t get to them before as I loved her Samaria series, but I’m really enjoying them.

Byrt: Biggest Fangirl/boy moment you’ve ever had?

TC: It was the first time I went to World Fantasy Convention, in 2006. It was sort of the first time I realized that authors were real people I could meet. Dave Duncan (Magic Casement series) is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and he was at the mass book signing. Nervously I went up to him and said that I didn’t have anything for him to sign (because I owned everything he’d written and it was all at home), so would he sign my nametag? I think I bounced out of that room.

Byrt: The TV show/movie you feel guiltiest admitting you love?

TC: I haven’t watched anything since the baby was born, but before that my big guilty pleasure was ANTM (America’s Next Top Model) and AusNTM. SO guilty. SO addictive.

Byrt: First song lyric that comes to mind right now. Go.

TC: A matchbox of our own / A fence of real chain link / A grill out on the patio / Disposal in the sink.

Byrt: What’s up next for you?

TC: Currently working on the sequel to Ironskin, which will be out in October 2013. It’s been hard balancing writing with the baby toddler, but it’s getting there. :)

Thanks for having me on the blog!

And thank you again, Tina, for stopping by the Yurt!

For more on Tina, check out her website here.

And you can read an excerpt of Ironskin here.