Author Seanan McGuire Talks Surviving Faerie (+Giveaway)


(Or, Things That Will Kill You If Annoyed)

Faerie is full of things! That’s good. Almost all of these things will happily squash you like a ladybug if you annoy them. That’s bad. The following list is intended to assist you in not getting squashed. Good luck out there.

-The Summerlands Tourism Board.
“Your Grisly Death Is Not Our Fault.”

These pointy-eared descendants of Titania and Oberon think they’re in charge of everything. The problem is, they’re frequently right.

Found in: Royal courts, positions of power.
Identified by: Pointy ears, vividly colored hair, annoyingly good looks.
Probability they’ll kill you: High.
Defend yourself with: Good manners and flattery. Lots of flattery.

They’re stalwart. They’re honorable. They’re polite. They’re extremely boring at parties. But they’re less likely to kill you than the Daoine Sidhe, so that’s something.

Found in: Dress uniform, most of the time.
Identified by: Stern expressions, pointy ears, tendency to teleport.
Probability they’ll kill you: Moderate.
Defend yourself with: A note from Miss Manners stating that you should be allowed to live.

You thought a cat with thumbs would be bad? Picture a cat with human intelligence and the power to shapeshift. Now give it tight leather pants. You’re screwed.

Found in: Dark alleys, sunbeams, your kitchen.
Identified by: Feline eyes, claws, wicked senses of humor.
Probability they’ll kill you: Depends on their mood.
Defend yourself with: Gooshy food and catnip.

Tinkerbell lives.

Found in: Produce aisles, public parks, wasps’ nests.
Identified by: Dragonfly wings, tendency to glow, being four inches tall.
Probability they’ll kill you: Low.
Defend yourself with: A flyswatter.

Cats and dogs are natural enemies. Sadly, no one told these fae canines that, and they keep trying to make friends with the Cait Sidhe. Poor bastards.

Found in: Dog parks, backyards, playing ball with small children.
Identified by: Shaggy hair, pronounced canines, a desire to play ball.
Probability they’ll kill you: Very low.
Defend yourself with: A stick. Throw the stick. Now hide.

There’s something on the wing of the plane! Sadly, this means there’s also something in the engine, and probably something messing with the landing gear. We’ll miss you.

Found in: Auto shops, smithies, factories, on the wing of your plane.
Identified by: Green skin, orange eyes, oil-stained fingers.
Probability they’ll kill you: On purpose? Extremely low. By mistake? We-ell…
Defend yourself with: Something interesting for them to take apart while you run.

The Tylwyth Teg are natural alchemists, which makes them fantastic gardeners and dangerous cooks. Never let a Tylwyth Teg fix you a cup of tea. Not if you enjoy being bipedal, anyway.

Found in: Gardens, greenhouses, herbalist shops.
Identified by: Golden hair, big blue eyes, and a fondness for mercury.
Probability they’ll kill you: High.
Defend yourself with: A strange and interesting new plant. We advise an Audrey II.

Skin-shifters who spend half their time lounging around on beaches, and the other half as seals, the Selkies are easy-going to the max. Which doesn’t explain their fondness for drowning people.

Found in: The water.
Identified by: Undefined pupils, dampness, webbed fingers.
Probability they’ll kill you: On land, low, in the water, extremely high.
Defend yourself with: Surfing magazines or raw fish.

You know the Thing? Like, from the Fantastic Four? Yeah, that. Only not orange.

Found in: Caves, the space under bridges, taxi cabs.
Identified by: Being massive and made of rock.
Probability they’ll kill you: They’re pretty laid-back, so while the probability is high, it won’t be intentional.
Defend yourself with: Staying far, far away.

The Little Mermaid is part of our world here in Faerie. And she’s not happy about it.

Found in: The ocean.
Identified by: The fins.
Probability they’ll kill you: Ever tried to pet a piranha?
Defend yourself with: A bigger boat. Or staying out of the damn water.


We here at the Summerlands Tourism Board hope you’ll enjoy your stay in the lands of Faerie, and survive to tell your friends. If not, well…

You can’t say we didn’t warn you.


For your convenience, the author has written a few, more detailed guides on surviving faerie, and one particular fae’s efforts in doing so. To learn from October Daye’s own lessons, adventures, mistakes and triumphs, consider the following (and click the covers to read reviews):

If you’d like more from McGuire here at Lurv, and, consequently, more on her Toby Daye series and other work, she’s interviewed here and here.

Winners! We have winners! Apologoes, everyone, for being late in announcing them. It was a busy weekend. Without further ado, the two winners are:

Lysana and Avalon!

Congratulations! Emails have been sent! Thank you everyone for entering, and thank you, Ms. McGuire for your awesome advice on surviving fairy!

Giveaway Details Closed

1. Open to U.S. and International. International folks – please make sure your country is on Book Depository’s list of countries they ship to for free! Free shipping helps me save a lot of greenbacks.

2. Two winners will each have the chance to win one Seanan McGuire paperback title of their choosing.

3. Entering is simple – just tell us which species of faerie described above you’d: like or hate to be/like the sound of/want to date and introduce to the family/you get the idea.

4.Giveaway open from March 14, 2010 till March 18 atmidnight, eastern U.S. time.

5. Need further incentive to give the books a try? I think this series happens to be one of the most unique and entertaining in urban fantasy today.

6. That’s all you get – go forth and enter!

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  1. Hmmmm…. lemme see.

    I have four Cait Sidhe and one Cu Sidhe (who thinks she’s actually a Cait Sidhe, poor thing) honor me by allowing me to live in their house.

    Going by that old adage (“If you can’t defeat them, join them”) I’d like to be a Cait Sidhe.

    Also, this is high praise–I have to put this series in my lookout list.

  2. Oh I always wanted to be a fairy, and so I would choose pixies because Tinker Bell is so cute and I love her. Plus, I dream of flying too :)

    punkme15 at gmail dot com

  3. I’d be a Daoine Sidhe just for kicks, but would live with the Selkies!

    nicurbanfantasyfan [at] g m a i l [dot] com

  4. I’d like to be a Daoine Sidhe. Power is such an aphrodisiac… And then I could play with whichever fae I want and probably not die messy.

  5. I’d like to be Cait Sidhe.
    Laying in the sun and being generally adored with the occasional evisceration of twits. It sounds like a good life to me.

  6. I have read the first three books in German language and was sad to hear that it will not go in my language well. But I like the series incredibly well, so I’d like to read more.
    My favorites are the Cait Sidhe, because they are strong, beautiful and sometimes soft. Although it is hard on her royal court is received and they often sharpen their claws, I like it and of course, their current king very much.
    Include in the family I can’t, however, my mother does not like cats and would therefore never come to visit. ;)

  7. I’d probably be one of the Tylwyth Teg, but only because I’m a geek and I love plants and the prospect of actually being able to cook to save my life (or rather, to take someone else’s.. *evil grin*) appeals to me.

  8. I think I’d love to be Daoine Sidhe. Mostly for the wildly colored hair, admittedly. I’m pretty sure I live with a Tylwydd Teg, though, given my husband is Welsh. Makes a decent cup of coffee and I’m still alive! The curry can be a bit lethal, though.

  9. Cait Sidhe, why be in charge when it’s so much easier to just be? Let the kings and queens deal with it I’m fine as long as I have a dry place to sleep, good food, and something to do when I’m bored.

    Bonus: My king looks amazing in leather pants. The changeling he keeps bringing home isn’t too shabby either.

  10. I would have to be a DAOINE SIDHE or maybe TUATHA DE DANNAN because they look amazing for eons and probably don’t have to shell out for massive quantities of anti-aging creams and lotions. Plus they usually have a mad power or two and they’re actually EXPECTED to be bitchy, right?

    However, having said that, I do admit a fondness for the CAIT SIDHE- or at least a very specific Big Kahuna Cait Sidhe.

    Am I the only one here that secretly wants to whisper in every cat’s ear “Tell your King it’s of the utmost importance that I speak with him as soon as possible.” I’ll just be waiting upstairs with a spritz of my eu de catnip behind each ear.


    Oh, btw, does “chance to win one Seanan McGuire paperback title of their choosing” include ONE SALT SEA? Huh? Huh? Huh? pleasepleaseplease

    • Bev, One Salt Sea would have to be a pre-order only. I don’t have one in possession. But you bring up a good point; I should clarify it’s only the titles in print that will get instant gratification. Well, as instant as the shipping time can supply. ;)

      • Well aren’t you the mean ol’ party pooper?! ;-p

        Okay, then un-enter me because I’d rather someone who hasn’t read all the current ones get one. I’ll just let my Amazon preorder stand as is for ONE SALT SEA.

        BTW, wasn’t the preview for ONE SALT SEA that appears at the end of LATE ECLIPSES a complete hoot? Couldn’t you just picture that madcap escape?

  11. A Cait Sidhe. C’mon, tight leather pants? I’d be so down with dating or being one of those. mmmmmmm Tybalt. Think Jareth with extra cat-features.

    Heeeeeere kitty kitty kitty….

  12. Have to go with the majority here, I would want to be a Cait Sidhe.

    “Probability they’ll kill you: Depends on their mood.” Next mood swing: in 5… 4… 3… 2…

    firehorsefantasy [at] g ma i l [dot] com

  13. Technically, I’d wanna be a Phooka, though it isn’t listed.. Seanan McGuire does use them in her books, since that is not an option…
    Selkie. Who wouldn’t wanna shape-shift into a seal? I think it’d be rather fun and seals are so cute.

  14. I think being a Tylwyth Teg would be all sorts of fun, even if I can’t remember how to spell it half the time.

  15. I’m already RPing a half-selkie on Second Life, so why not go full seal, y’know?

    The other side is kitsune, for the record. Don’t ask. ;)

  16. I am already not far from the height category of the pixies so the transformation would be easy breezy!

  17. I’d totally be a Daione Sidhe. I adore the frills and get togethers of high society, and I love getting prettied up.

    I think I’m already dating a Daione Sidhe though, given her behavior. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed. I already lost one contest for this book!

  18. I don’t think I want to be one, but I want a Cait Sidhe of my very own. That way I could have a cat-like being without having to deal with my horrendous cat allergies.

    I’ve really got to get started on this series. I love books featuring the fae. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up before.

    jen at delux dot com

  19. MERROW.!

    I can’t swim so

    Defend yourself with: A bigger boat. Or staying out of the damn water.

    of course !

  20. Given the way our cats have wrapped us around their fingers, I’d have to go with Cait Sidhe. Just don’t make me a bridge troll.

  21. I know I have missed the contest my computer was off at the PC hospital :( but being of Welsh heritage and having been a brownie as a child and in reality being a geek, I have to go with Tylwyth Teg. I define power quite differently from the favored ‘power over’ of the Daone and Cait Shide or Tuatha de Danaan and like the idea of knowing how things work and the alchemy of patterns and connections and slippery ways and concoctions in bone china tea cups

    • Merrian, I’m behind on getting the winners figured up, so I’ll include you! :) About to go do so in just a moment.

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