Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Author Spotlight: Seanan McGuire

There is a lot of anger and grief in this story, in the characters’ desperate attempts to save the wilderness. The Pacific Northwest is the perfect setting where, as the story says, “the trees were still green and the rain was still coming down.” How did you come by your love for the environment around this part of the country?

I really didn’t. My best friend lives in the Pacific Northwest, and all logical projections of sea level increase and weather pattern changes highlight it as one of the areas where things will remain very much the same — which is why they’re likely to get flooded by those of us not lucky enough to already live there. I much prefer Northern California, but we’re already toast.

Did you do extra hiking or visiting forests to research this story?

I am actually virtually unable to walk right now, which sadly made that not an option.

Is there significance in choosing an owl for the focus of the main character’s attempt to save the wilderness?

My friend Amal took me to the Scottish Owl Centre, just outside of Glasgow, so I was really thinking about owls. They’re amazing. Owls are amazing and Amal is amazing and so I figured I should focus on owls for a little bit.

Toward the end, the main character questions herself, a surprising twist. To wonder whether she was doing the wild creature a favor took the story to a new level. Did her ambivalence surprise you as well, or had you planned all along that she might not be doing the best thing in spite of her desire to help?

I have been involved with wildlife rescue and preservation for my entire life. These questions are always a big part of the work we do. They have to be answered, or they endanger everything.

What can your readers look for next from you?

So very many things! The best way to keep track is by checking my bibliography, located at seananmcguire.com.

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Lee Hallison

Lee Hallison

Lee Hallison writes fiction in an old Seattle house where she lives with her patient spouse, an impatient teen, two lovable dogs, and the memories of several wonderful cats. She’s held many jobs—among them a bartender, a pastry chef, a tropical plant-waterer, a CPA, and a university lecturer. An East Coast transplant, she simply cannot fathom cherry blossoms in March.