Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by Jacqueline Carey, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy series of historical fantasy novels and The Sundering epic fantasy duology. Poison Fruit, the third novel in Carey’s urban fantasy series Agent of Hel, publishes October 7th from Roc.
Join us for a surprise appearance from “world’s first supermodel” Janice Dickinson, who apparently has no regard for personal space…
Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.
I once met Janice Dickinson, the self-proclaimed “world’s first supermodel,” at a restaurant opening. She declared my hair to be fabulous, grabbed a hank in either hand and planted an effusive kiss on my mouth, leaving behind an oil-slick of lipstick. It felt like I’d been making out with a clown. It was awesome and hilarious.
Do you have a favorite under-read author?
Patricia McKillip. Her Riddle-Master of Hed trilogy was the first work I read that taught me that there’s a place in the fantasy genre for lyrical prose. I also think Guy Gavriel Kay is under-read in comparison to some of the big names in fantasy, and he’s the author I most often recommend to fans of my Kushiel series, due to the way he draws on history and mythology.
Usually, I’m no good at playing the casting game, but I do have a dream lead for Poison Fruit and the Agent of Hel series. I’ve loved Kristen Bell ever since Veronica Mars. She can convey the perfect blend of sarcasm, spunk, and vulnerability to play my hell-spawn heroine Daisy! Although she’d need dark contact lenses… and a prosthetic tail. Just a little one.
Strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
To offset high rates of infant mortality, cannibal tribespeople in New Guinea would kidnap babies during a raid on an enemy tribe, and raise the children as their own. In the abstract, that may just seem like an anthropological peculiarity—and of course the practice is extinct—but I read a non-fiction book, Throwim’ Way Leg, in which the author interviewed an elderly man who spoke very matter-of-factly about being raised by the people who ate his parents. I probably came across stranger things, but something about that struck me on a visceral level.
Would you rather discover the fountain of youth or proof of life on Mars?
Fountain of youth all the way, baby!
What’s your favorite sandwich?
There’s a Cuban sandwich I make that’s insane. Very traditional—roasted pork, ham, cheese and pickles—but you make your own pickles, a lemon-mustard aioli and a twelve-ingredient brine that has to cool overnight. Then the pork marinates for two days before you roast it. It’s the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten, but it’s a process. It requires commitment.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
I passed through the bright city of War Drobe in the far land of Spare Oom, where eternal summer reigns.
What’s the most embarrassing guilty pleasure you’ll admit to?
Oh, fine! The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
What is your ideal pet (real or fictional)?
My first dog, Elaine. She was just one of those super-cool dogs with a great personality, a rescued pit bull who went everywhere with me, including to work when I was a struggling writer with a day job. Since I managed the office of the art department of a local college, she befriended some eight generations worth of students. I’m pretty sure it was a good two years into my literary career before more people knew my name than my dog’s!