Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.
Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.
But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?
From Sharon Biggs Waller: You’ve designed book covers yourself, so I’m interested in hearing the story behind your American cover? Did you have much input?
Not much of a story there, I’m afraid! I didn’t have input on the US cover. But my editor really gets the character and the story so I was really content to defer to what she thought would work for the book. I do know the excellent photo on the cover was taken by Daniel Castro, who is an incredibly talented fashion photographer.
From Jennifer McGowan: My question is about preparing for your American launch–how is it different than your UK launch for you? Anything new and fun that you’ll be doing?
It’s different in the sense that I was such a bundle of anxiety for the UK launch that I feel like I didn’t really get to enjoy it. I feel like I was a lot better prepared emotionally this time around, so I’ve been able to feel happy and excited about US readers finally getting to read it! New and fun: definitely working on the blog tour and articles; I love sharing some of the behind-the-scenes stuff!
From Susan Hill Long: The book trailer for The Falconer is one of The.Best.Ever.!! Can you tell us something about the making of this Oscar-worthy treat?
Thank you!! I’m so glad you like it! 🙂 I wish I had a great story to go with it, but I actually didn’t see the trailer until it was already complete. But I love it, too!
From Jessica Spotswood: I love historical fantasy! Which came to you first – the 1840s British setting, or the faery conflict?
The setting! I knew I wanted to write an historical, because it’s one of the genres I read most and I wanted to try my hand at it. I also knew I wanted to include fantasy elements, because I have so much fun writing speculative fiction. But the original draft of The Falconer was a pretty big mashup of monsters from Scottish mythology (including faeries), and in the end it felt like there was a bit too much going on. It was very over-crowded, with lots of conflicting mythologies. So I decided that I’d keep the faeries on as the antagonists because I know a great deal more about faery mythology than anything else.
From Katherine Longshore: In THE FALCONER, Lady Aileana has to lead a double life—faery slayer and society debutante. What aspect of each life was your favorite to write?
For her society debutante half, I really enjoyed writing the kind of fish out of water feel there. Certainly, Aileana is the product of her upbringing. She often worries about appropriate etiquette because she doesn’t want to draw attention to herself more than she already has. But at the same time, she’s been sequestered from society for the requisite mourning period (a year, in the case of a parent’s death) and has spent that entire time killing faeries at night. So when she goes back into society, it doesn’t come as easily to her as it did before.
For the faery slayer bits, I admittedly love writing her scenes with Kiaran. They play off of one another really well, and her dynamic with him is so different than with any other character in the book.
From J. Anderson Coats: “If you could introduce Aileana to any other character from fiction, what would it be and why?”
I want to see Aileana and Hermione Granger meet. Aileana doesn’t have much bookish intelligence like Hermione does, and Hermione doesn’t have as much technical knowledge as Aileana, so I imagine their banter would be EPIC.
From Cat Winters: I love that THE FALCONER is set in Scotland, where you also live. What do you find to be the most common misconception people have about the country? And what do you enjoy most about the area?
I rather feel like the romanticized Highlander idea of Scotland remains pretty pervasive. You know: all tartans, kilts, brandishing claymores and calling delicate ladies “lassie” type of Scotsman from romance novels. There’s definitely a lot of othering of Scottish culture that tourism and pop culture doesn’t help in subverting.
I’d say that one of the things I love about Edinburgh is how many events we have going on all the time. Markets, festivals, fires, marches, fireworks . . . it’s really a lovely place to live and there are so many opportunities to meet new people.
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