Interview with author Foz Meadows and Giveaway

I’m excited to have Foz Meadows here today to talk about her debut YA urban fantasy novel Solace & Grief (my review), the first book in The Rare series. Everyone please give Foz a warm welcome!

Author Foz Meadows Hi Foz! Yesterday was your birthday, I hope it was wonderful. We'd like to know a little about you, please tell us about yourself.

Hi Donna, and thanks for having me! As of this week, I'm now a 24-year-old author, self-confessed geek and philosophy wife. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and have recently discovered that vodka mixed with Sasparilla is very, very tasty. Also, I love cheese.

Your YA urban fantasy novel Solace and Grief debuts on March 1, could you tell us about it?

Solace & Grief is about Solace Morgan, a teenage girl raised in foster care doing her level best to conceal the fact that she's a vampire. After encountering a faceless man, Solace runs away and finds herself in the company of her first ever friends, none of whom are exactly plain old human. They live in an abandoned warehouse; they drink and joke, but once Solace decides to try and learn more about their respective abilities, they soon find themselves in over their heads with the mysterious Professor Lukin and a string of increasingly dangerous occurrences.

How many books do you have planned for The Rare series?

Three: the second volume is already completed to a first-draft stage, and I've made a stack of notes for the final installment. I have half-formed plans to revisit some of my characters in later stories, too, but that's still far in the future!

Solace & Grief by Foz Meadows

How much research did you have to do for Solace and Grief?

If by "research" you mean "watch lots and lots of Buffy while thumbing through my collection of mythology books", then, um, lots. But it wasn't intended as homework. It's just what I enjoy doing.

What are your biggest influences in your writing?

They change every time someone asks! Generally speaking, I have a healthy appreciation for stories with a humorous element: apart from being funny, real life is quite often absurd, even - sometimes especially - when we're striving for seriousness. British radio comedy in particular has had a strong influence on me, since I grew up listening to it; discovering Neil Gaiman at university was also a revelation. For a long time, I was in the bad habit of trying to put narratives in boxes and, as a result, of trying to write with the shape of those boxes in mind. Realizing I didn't have to - that stories, like rivers, prefer to take their own shape - was an eye-opener.

Books covers are a big deal to the majority of readers and writers. Did you have any input on yours? Are you happy with how your book cover turned out?

I love the cover - the end product isn't overly dissimilar to the earliest designs, and from the very first one, I thought it looked spectacular. I was lucky enough to be asked for my opinion on what was being produced, but I never wanted to change it :)

Without giving anything away, can you tell us what your favorite scene is from your book?

There's a scene which takes place on top of the Sydney Opera House that I'm rather fond of. Other favourites: nepenthe and the Gadfly!

Can you share any of your future books plans with us?

Apart from the Rare series, I've written the first draft of an adult fantasy-slash-murder-mystery novel that I'm keen to do something with. I have other ideas in mind, but if I started trying to pin all of them down at once, I'd never finish anything :)

If the the worlds created in books were real, which book would you pick to live in?

Tough call! I've always loved Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, so that universe would be high up the list; Seanan McGuire's version of Earth as overlaid by Faerie is totally brilliant; and, assuming I had the power to navigate it properly, the forest of many-world-pools from The Magician's Nephew.

Thank you Foz for this terrific interview!

Places you can find Foz: Web Site & Blog | Twitter

~*~*~*~*~*~* This giveaway is now closed ~*~*~*~*~*~*


I have an autographed copy of Solace & Grief by Foz Meadows, with a matching bookmark and sticker to giveaway to one lucky commentator. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment about this interview or ask Foz a question.
  2. Leave your email with your comment ONLY IF it is NOT part of your profile.
  3. Open worldwide.
  4. Deadline to enter this giveaway is Sunday, February 28th at 8AM CST.

Good Luck!


Sarah said...

If you had to live next door to one of your characters who would it be and why?

Fab interview x

Michelle Greathouse said...

Donna great interview. :)

I absolutely love the cover of this book and I would love to read Solace and Grief.

Please enter my name in the contest.

kweenmg at yahoo dot com

mariska said...

I love knowing a New Author :)

- Do you have any favorite Quote(s) ?
- who is your favorite Author(s)?

uniquas at ymail dot com

SandyG265 said...

Sounds like a good book. I've never read one set in Australia before

Dani. said...

Great Interview:)

Foz, if you could "bring to life" one character from your book who would it be?


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Congrats on your new novel, hope to see many more.
Any tentative release date for book 2?

If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new authors and series toread, sounds good!

Jason said...

Hi Foz! I love the idea of this book and even the cover! It looks great.

I'm a follower of this blog.


EVA SB said...

Did you study creative writing at Uni or are you self-taught?

Barbara E. said...

Solace & Grief sounds like a fantastic book. I look forward to reading it and the rest of Rare series.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, ladies. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you!

Natalie said...

I haven't heard of this author or the book before, but the cover is gorgeous and the book definitely sounds intriguing. I'll be adding this one to my TBR list!


doreen lamoureux said...

Great inteview. My comment is that it must be so nice that you find the research part to be so much fun. To me research is work.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Reading said...

Thanks for the great interview. I guess vampires are big ib Australia too.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Rosie said...

I love finding new authors. Thanks for the great interview. I look forward to reading your book (p.s., love the cover).

rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

Van Pham said...

Great interview! S&G sounds really interesting, looking forward to reading it :)

Van P.

Teresa said...

Great review! Sounds interesting and different from the other vampire stories I have read
mstlee2000 @

E.J. Stevens said...

Happy belated Birthday Foz!

I would love a chance to win.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I'm dying to read that scene that takes place at the top of the Sydney Opera House!

Yan said...

I've actually never heard of any of these titles mention which is pretty sad LOL

Ria said...

My question is this: Do you get writing inspiration from any shows other than Buffy (not that Buffy isn't awesome, of course!), and what shows do you tend to watch to get in such an inspired mood?

Spav said...

Nice interview. It looks interesting, BTW, love the cover!

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Foz, Happy Birthday from another Feb. girl.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Why YA vampire?
Great interview. I love this book and series already.

Thanks for the great giveaway.

Pls enter my name in drawing.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Emma Michaels said...

Amazing interview!!! I truly hope that I get to read it! I have a question: How many tries did it take before you go published? (Asking as someone who is in the process of submitting to agents.)

Emma Michaels

Martha Lawson said...

I love the cover for this book - it's very unusual! Please enter me for this one as it sounds like a great read.

I am a follower

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

Great interview. Congrats on the release. It sounds like a great book and I love to find new authors.

What did you do first when you found out it was going to be published?

buddyt said...

That was a real quirky interview and I loved it.

Some interviews are so SERIOUS !
Come on people an interview can be as good reading as a short story!

Continuing the tone of the interview, what is your favourite cheese and how many varieties have you tried ?



buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

ninefly said...

lol lots of buffy is definitely educational =D

I'd love to sign up for this giveaway! thanks!


Precious said...

Great interview!

I have a question for Foz.

Did you encounter any difficulty in writing this book? If you did, how did you cope with it?


Borostyán said...

Please enter me! :)

My question:

Any news on international publishing?
Which countries are going to publish the book?

Damla said...

The cover of the book is mysterious. I like it. I hope I win, thanks.

annabell_lee_dk (at)

Anonymous said...

*is overwhelmed by awesomesness*

Thanks guys! Wow, you sure know how to make a girl feel welcome. In answer to your questions:

@Sarah - If I could live next door to one of my characters, I'd pick Jess. She's friendly, knows a lot of interesting people, and would be the kind of neighbour who'd invite you to lots of crazy-cool parties. Plus, if you ever locked yourself out of your house, she's the kind of girl who'd invite you in for drinks until a locksmith arrived, or else help you break in through the back window.

@Mariksa - Some of my favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Scott Westerfeld, Tamora Pierce, Michael Pryor, Kate Elliott and Katharine Kerr. It's a long list! I have way too many favourite quotes, but I've always liked a line from the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Did I do something wrong today, or has the world always been like this, and I've just been too wrapped up in myself to notice?"

SheGeek said...

@Dani - Just one character? Ooh, tricky. I think it would have to be Evan, because he'd be great fun to hang out with, in a getting-into-escapades-and-miraculously-escaping-prosection kind of way!

@Lisa R - There's no release date yet for book 2; I've got a complete draft sitting on my computer, but I'm wanting to tweak the plot a bit before I hand it over. If I were a book, I'd probably be a choose your own adventure novel, seeing as how I'm not sure how I'll end up, so the blurb would tell you to choose wisely :)

@EVA SB - I didn't study creative writing at unviersity, although I do have a BA in history. My parents were both journalists, and our house was always full of books - I'm self-taught, but I always had a lot of encouragement.

@Ria - Lol, I watch *way* too much TV. Bones is my current all-round favourite show; I love the characters! Other shows I always find myself coming back to when I need space to think about a story include Daria, Futurama, Castle, Harvey Birdman and Doctor Who. (Subtext: I am a giant nerd.)

Anonymous said...

Gah, sorry - the SheGeek above is me; I forgot to log in to Wordpress!

@misskallie2000 - I've always loved writing, even in primary school. There were times when I wanted to be other things (an archaeologist, a dancer, a journalist, a bird-watcher), but there was never a time when I thought I'd stop writing. I decided to be an author when I was about 12, but it wasn't until I finished high school that I started beliving that I could do it without having a back-up career. As for why YA vampire as a genre, when I started writing, I didn't realise it was so popular; the story just sort of happened, and when I finally looked around, I realised I'd stumbled into some good company!

@Emma Michaels - I think I was rejected by about three or four agencies, and by at least that many publishing houses. It's really a hard slog, but in the end, there's no other way to get it done but to keep working at it. Good luck with your submissions!

@donnas - I was at work when Ford Street offered me the contract. I squealed, danced and then told my boss I'd be useless for the rest of the day, and was planning to go and drink champagne instead. She cheered me on and said she'd see me tomorrow, which was pretty awesome!

@buddyt - A really nice brie is always good, but so is a sharp, old cheddar. Soft blue is excellent, and when we were in the UK, there was this fantastic stuff we discovered that was sort of like what you'd get if camembere mated with smoky bacon and deliciousness, but which I can't remember the name of owing to the fact that lots of wine tended to accompany its consumption. I've eaten a lot of cheese, but I tend to be less fussed on what it's called than how tasty it is!

@Precious - The main difficulties I had were in plot structure and continuity: when I started, I didn't quite know where I was headed or even that it would turn into a novel, so once I'd figured things out, I had to go back and retcon my own story. Which was tricky, at times, but I found that, if I tried to nail down how the characters would act, rather than trying to decide what to have them do, I was on much steadier footing.

@Borostyan - Right now, the extent of my knowledge is that the book will be available in Australia and possibly the UK - I'd love for it to end up in other places, too, but until anything concrete is sorted out vis-a-vis international distribution and so on, I'll just have to rely on the internet to bridge the distance.

Thanks everyone for your great questions, birthday wishes and general coolness! I hope the book doesn't disappoint :)

momtoem said...

I love the cover and I agree with Foz it does look spectacular!

D Q said...

Thanks for the interview! The book sounds great and I love the cover.

Unknown said...

Hi Foz, if you could host a fantasy dinner party who would you invite (dead or alive, real person or fictional character, etc)?


Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ronna15 said...

Awesome interview! So, what was your inspiration for your story?

-ronna ;D

Lilixtreme said...

A scene that takes place on the roof of the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE!?? Wow. I need to read this one! Question for Foz: How did you feel when you were writing that scene? *I would probably feel a little exhilarated lol!*

Lindsay Frost said...

I REALLY want to win this!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D
If you could have one day living in a book or a movie, what one would you like?


Lindsay Frost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay Frost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana Dang said...

Sounds like an interesting novel! I look forward to it!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview! LOL at watching tons of Buffy for research, that definitely sounds like a fun way to research. :D

I would love to read this book, please count me in!

Anna ♥

Aik said...

After reading the interview, I'm eager to read Foz's books!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Heather Y said...

Thanks for hosting a great giveaway! Can't go wrong with someone who's a Buffy fan!

heather y

Sharli said...

The book looks really good! It's already in my TBR :)

What books would you recommend that are... "compatible" to yours??

Thanks for the great inteview!

Christa said...

A fellow Narnia fan? : ) (At least that's what I like to assume of anyone that references the World between Worlds). So which is your favorite from the Chronicles of Narnia? : )

Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

What made you want to set a scene on top of an opera house? Where did the idea come from?

folklore -DOT- fanatic -AT- gmail etc.

Unknown said...

What made you want to set a scene on top of an opera house? Where did the idea come from?

folklore -DOT- fanatic -AT- gmail etc.

Ina said...

Hi Foz!
you are a new author to me and after reading the interview I can't wait to read more! loved the part about your research *gg*
wish you all the best and I hope you had a great birthday!!
greetings, Ina

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I just posted answers to the latest questions, but it doesn't seem to have shown up. Will wait a bit, then try again if it doesn't appear!

Amber said...

We watch a whole lot of buffy here too. It's like...the only thing that every plays :/

I really like the cover art. I'm not a big fan of books with people on the covers. I don't know why. I think that sucks that she didn't get input on the cover, but at least she likes it :)

Katrina said...

would love to win because I love reading stuff by an author I have never read before

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Ambar said...

Hi thanks for the contest I'm in time jeje so enter me please

Have a question

Excuse me Foz

- What is your favorite part of the writing process?


Anonymous said...

Will have another crack at answering the questions - let's hope the answers don't vanish this time!

@Stella - Douglas Adams, definitely. Such a shame he died so young, and who couldn't resist talking to the guy who created Marvin the Paranoid Android? I'd go into the rest of the list, but we'd be here for days!

@ronna15 - It's hard to pin down any one thing, but I really liked the idea of writing a story in an environemnt I actually know - Sydney - rather than starting with a fictional setting. It was a fantastic challenge and a lot of fun.

@LiLi - Exhilirating is a good word for it. It was an awesome scene to write, not only because I think it's a great setting, but because of what goes on between the characters, too :)

@Lindsay's Photographys - Being a fan of Daria, I'd pick the Daria movie Is It College Yet?, just so I could hang out with all the characters for an afternoon - especially Jane Lane!

@Sharli - A couple have people have said the book reminds them a little of the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare, which I find crazily flattering, and am therefore more than happy to repeat.

@Christa Holland - You assume correctly! My favourite Narnia book is Voyage of the Dawntreader, followed by The Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy.

@Folklore - Three things: one, I've always wanted to go up there myself; two, it's an amazing landmark, and implicating amazing landmarks with a brush of magic is always fun; and three, it's a physically awesome setting for the scene. I mean, the view from there is spectacular!

@Haku - The bit where a few different ideas suddenly slot into place and make for a whole subplot is always pretty exciting :)

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