fantasy and science fiction book reviews FanLit welcomes urban fantasy author Allison Pang to the hot seat. Her debut novel, A Brush of Darkness, was released in January. Today she chats with us about ballads, World of Warcraft, and whether it’s a good idea to strike bargains with faeries. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Brush of Darkness (U.S. addresses).

Kelly Lasiter: A Brush of Darkness draws upon the old faerie ballads, such as “True Thomas.” How did you first become interested in ballads, and how did you decide to incorporate them into a novel?

Allison Pang: I first learned about that poem from the back of the Brian Froud/Alan Lee book Faeries when I was about ten or eleven. My aunt had a copy and I was so fascinated with it that whenever we would visit I would pretty much just hide myself in a corner and look at it. Eventually, she just gave it to me. As far as using the True Thomas ballad itself, it wasn’t until I started thinking about the CrossRoads as a concept and the division of the OtherFolk that it came into play.

When we’re all finished reading your terrific book, what should we read next? Or, to phrase it another way: Read any good books lately?  ; )

Of course! I’ve just finished up Jill Myles’ latest, My Fair Succubi, and I’m part way through J.R. Ward’s Crave. Next on tap are Sherwood Smith’s Inda and the rest of Seanan McGuire’s OCTOBER DAYE series. (Have I mentioned how much I love my Kindle? I love my Kindle. Love it.)

World of Warcraft figures in the plot of A Brush of Darkness in a hilarious way. Do you play MMORPGs? If so, how do they influence your writing — other than by cracking me up in hysterical laughter?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsOh yeah. I actually am a WoW player, but that’s about the only MMORPG I have time for these days, though I’ve certainly dabbled in others. The rest of the time I break up between things like standard RPGs like Dragon Age or Mass Effect or games like Civ V or the Sims.

I don’t know if they influence my writing directly — the WoW scene in BoD I sort of threw out there as a bit of a joke. It’s had mixed reactions. Some people love it and some people find it terribly cheeseball.

What would your little corner of the dream realm look like?

Heh. A stone cottage beside the sea.  : )

When a human becomes a TouchStone, they gain certain perks (like not aging) but also become subject to certain restrictions (as in the case of Abby, who cannot travel beyond Portsmyth). If you had the chance to become a TouchStone, would you do it? If so, what stipulations would you insist upon?

You know, it would totally depend. I could see maybe trying something short term like a night or so, but unless the perk was *really* good (bacon for life? LOL), I don’t think long term would work for me. I suspect most of these bargains have a way of biting people in the ass, even if it’s not intentional. So… no, I probably wouldn’t.

Thanks for stopping by FanLit, Allison!

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Brush of Darkness (U.S. addresses).


  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.