Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters. Part of the Certain Point of View network.

Interview 8: Seanan McGuire, Part 1 of 2

January 7th, 2022

Please enjoy the spoiler-free portion of our interview with author Seanan McGuire discussing several of her books, "Into The Drowning Deep", "Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day", "Middlegame", the Toby Daye series, and the Incryptid series. Other works mentioned include Newsflesh (series), Ghost Roads (series), "Rolling in the Deep", and Parasitology (series). Timestamps are marked for the interview questions. This interview was recorded several months prior to the 2021 Hugo Awards.

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  • Intro (0:00)
  • Can you talk a little about the way trauma works in your writing? (0:20)
  • Has a traumatic event in your books ever changed your perception of a character? (3:00)
  • What parts of your identities do you notice making appearances in your writing more than you intended? What parts of your identities do you notice seeping into your work unintentionally? (6:20)
  • What is your approach to incorporating visible queerness in your work? (10:05)
  • How does setting influence queerness in your stories? (12:40)
  • What is your approach to incorporating visible characters of color in your work? (16:25)
  • Do you tend to write disabilities based on a specific set of references or do you tend to write cultures that hide disabilities and all that they entail? (22:00)
  • When building your characters’ identities, what aspects did you intentionally include? (25:00)
  • Do you consider your character’s physical description when writing how other characters treat them? (26:20)

--- Wrap-Up and Outro: Included in Part 1 and Part 2 ---

  • What is your favorite non-traumatic thing in any of your books? (29:57)
  • Do you have a favorite book written by someone else, and if so what makes it your favorite? (31:46)
  • Do you have any queer authors and/or authors of color whose work you’d like to shoutout? (32:49)
  • Where can our audience find you? (36:15)


Check out Seanan's website for more about her writing. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram


At each link you can find Robin's written reviews of Seanan's work under her own name, her writings as Mira Grant, and as A. Deborah Baker.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

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