Julie, what was your inspiration for writing SHADOW OF THE FOX?
I love anime, manga and video games, and those played a huge part in writing SHADOW OF THE FOX. I also love Japanese mythology and history, particularly anything to do with samurai. I used to watch Akira Kurosawa's movies with my dad when I was a kid, so I grew up with The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Rashomon, and the like, so my love for all things Japanese started fairly early.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
Funnily enough, this was the book that was never published, at first. Ten years ago, I had written an adult Japanese fantasy novel called KITSUNE'S HEART. It was the book that actually got me my agent, but at that time, though my agent loved the book, no one was buying or publishing Asian fantasy. After a year of trying to sell it with no luck, my agent said we would have to put KITSUNE'S HEART on the back burner for now, and asked if I was writing anything else. I told her I was writing a book about faeries. A few months after that, Harlequin TEEN published THE IRON KING, thus beginning my career as an author. But though I wrote many books in The Iron Fey world, and went on to publish several other books about vampires and dragons, I never forgot that first novel. When my last series wrapped up, I knew I was ready to try again, that the world could be ready for an Asian fantasy. SHADOW OF THE FOX is that very first book, rewritten for the YA market, and I'm absolutely thrilled that, after ten years, my little kitsune story will finally be published, for it really is the book that started it all.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Persistence is the most important part of becoming an author. Talent, skill and luck all play a part, but it is hard work to write a book, and I won't lie: it is difficult to have a book published by a traditional house. If you are truly serious about being published, know that you will likely be rejected many, many times. But that is all part of the process, and you must keep writing and honing your craft if you want to improve. Know that all published authors started exactly where you are right now; the only difference between a published author and a non-published author is that the published author never gave up, and never stopped writing.
ABOUT THE BOOKShadow of the Fox
by Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen; Original edition
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Have you had a chance to read SHADOW OF THE FOX yet? Is your writing influenced by movies you watched as a kid? Do you keep writing and honing your craft? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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