The Starlit Wood: Seanan McGuire

Today the prolific and generally amazing Seanan McGuire talks about “In the Desert Like a Bone”, her story in The Starlit Wood.

1. What was the inspiration for your story in The Starlit Wood?

I used to work in coyote rescue, and I love desert creatures.  I wanted to follow them for a little while, into a different kind of forest, and see what was waiting on the other side.

2. What appealed to you about a fairy tale anthology?

Everything?  I was a folklore major.  You never have to work very hard to sell me on fairy tales.

3. Can you recall the first fairy tale you ever read or that was read to you?

The first one I really remember is “The Cruel Sister,” which is more of a ballad, but still exists in the same general story-space as fairy and folktales.

4. What’s your favourite folk/fairy tale and why?

Honestly, right now, “Snow White.”  I’m in the process of retelling it in as many different ways as I can, and I’m sunk so deep into the iconography that I couldn’t find my way out if I tried.  I love the iconography, the simplicity, and the flexibility of it all.  Snow White is one of the very few fairy tale heroines who has a strictly set appearance, and following her cycle of blood on the snow is incredibly refreshing.

5. What’s next for you?

The next book in my Wayward Children series, Beneath the Sugar Sky, comes out in January.  I’m very excited!


Seanan McGuire lives, writes, and wanders in Washington State, where she has proven herself remarkably good at falling into swamps and becoming entangled in blackberry briars.  She hopes to one day be the witch in someone else’s wood.  Keep up with her at, or on Twitter as @seananmcguire.

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