Author Interview: Genevieve Cogman

Today I am interviewing Genevieve Cogman, author of the new epic fantasy novel, The Lost Plot, fourth book in The Invisible Library series].

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DJ: Hi Genevieve! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Genevieve Cogman: I live and work in the north of England, and I’m over 40: my day job is Classifications Specialist for NHS Digital. (It involves working with the medical codes that are used to record diagnoses and operations in hospitals in the UK. I’ve written the ongoing Invisible Library series, and have also done some freelance writing for roleplaying games (the pen-and-paper sort, such as Exalted and GURPS).

DJ: What is The Lost Plot and then The Invisible Library series about?

Genevieve: It’s a series about a mysterious interdimensional Library, and the Librarians who work for it, collecting unique works of fiction from alternate worlds in order to support the structure of reality, and dodging both dragons (creatures of order) and Fae (creatures of chaos) in the process. The Lost Plot involves Irene (the protagonist) having to investigate Library involvement in lethal dragon politics, and ending up in a 1920s America world dodging guns, gangsters, and bootleg gin. (Actually, the bootleg gin isn’t that bad.)

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Invisible Library series?

Genevieve: There are a lot of sources for mysterious libraries out there, but I’d include Pratchett’s L-Space from Unseen University, Neil Gaiman’s library of Dream, the library of the Archangel Yves from the In Nomine roleplaying game; magic and naming in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books, and the Speech in Diane Duane’s Wizardry books; dragons from Chinese mythology and legend, and a lot of other places; and Sherlock Holmes. To name a few. There are lots more.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them? 

Genevieve: I think two of Irene’s main characteristics are determination and integrity: values which everyone can sympathise with. The fact that she keeps on ending up in life-threatening situations, having to talk her way out of problems, and run away from horrible fates is also something which everyone can sympathise with.

DJ: What is the world and setting of The Invisible Library series like?

Genevieve: The Library itself is a very weird place. People don’t age there: a lot of the Librarians retire there when they’re too old for active service. It’s far more of a storehouse for books than a place that’s prepared to lend them out. It is reasonably egalitarian, since it recruits from a lot of alternate worlds with different views on races, genders, religions, politics, etcetera. The older Librarians are very much the ones in charge. (Though rumour whispers that even they take orders from someone or something else…)

DJ: How have the reviews been from readers, bloggers, and reviewers for the first three books of The Invisible Library series? Is there anything that your audience seems to be particularly enjoying or is eager to find out more about?

Genevieve: The reviews have been very flattering and encouraging! (And even if some people don’t like it… well, I try not to read those reviews.) People seem to like the characters, the settings (all the different worlds), and the sense of humour. And no, I’m not going to say who Irene might end up with, or if she’ll necessarily end up with anyone at all.

DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Lost Plot?

Genevieve: I think my favourite scene was the one in the speakeasy, where several characters get together round a table for an off-the-record chat. Either that, or the bit when Kai (another character) displays his talents for solving problems. (“We can’t keep on doing this. We’re going to run out of chairs.”)

DJ: Did you have a goal when you began writing The Invisible Library series? Was there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?

Genevieve: There’s no real theme and no ultimate objective. I want to tell a good story which people will enjoy. And if it makes them think a bit in the process, well, a good story should make people think.

DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Lost Plot that you can share with us?

Genevieve: I’m fond of the one I mentioned earlier, which makes sense in context. “We can’t keep on doing this. We’re going to run out of chairs.”

DJ: Now that The Lost Plot is released, what is next for you?

Genevieve: I’m currently working on book five of the series, which is likely to keep me busy for the next while. I do have ideas for more books in the series, or for a different series, but we’ll have to see how they pan out.

DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?

Amazon Author Page:

DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Lost Plot and The Invisible Library series that we haven’t talked about yet?

Genevieve: Yes, Librarians do keep pets! But velociraptors are not permitted.

DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!

Genevieve: My pleasure, and thank you for taking an interest and interviewing me. My regards to everyone out there who’s enjoying the books: thank you!

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*** The Invisible Library is published by Ace Books and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads | Kobo

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About the Book:

After being commissioned to find a rare book, Librarian Irene and her assistant, Kai, head to Prohibition-era New York and are thrust into the middle of a political fight with dragons, mobsters, and Fae.

In a 1920s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force; fedoras, flapper dresses, and tommy guns are in fashion: and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon political contest. It seems a young Librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can’t extricate him, there could be serious repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai are locked in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They’ll face gangsters, blackmail, and the Library’s own Internal Affairs department. And if it doesn’t end well, it could have dire consequences on Irene’s job. And, incidentally, on her life…

About the Author:

Genevieve Cogman is a freelance author, who has written for several role-playing game companies. Her work includes GURPS Vorkosigan and contributions to the In Nomine role-playing game line for Steve Jackson Games: contributions to Exalted 2nd Edition and other contributions to the Exalted and Orpheus lines for White Wolf Publishing: Hearts, Swords and Flowers: The Art of Shoujo for Magnum Opus: and contributions to the Dresden Files RPG for Evil Hat Productions. She currently works for the NHS in England in the HSCIC as a clinical classifications specialist.

She has had five books of her series about the multidimensional Library accepted by Tor Books; the first three books, The Invisible Library, The Masked City, and The Burning Page, are now available, and the fourth, The Lost Plot, will be available in December 2017.

Her novels are represented by Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency.


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7 thoughts on “Author Interview: Genevieve Cogman

  1. sjhigbee says:

    Oh what an amazing interview – and what a coup! She is fabulous and so it the series. Go you!


  2. Nice interview! I just finished this one today, actually. Love this series!


  3. @lynnsbooks says:

    Lovely interview. This is a great series – I need to pick this one up soon.
    Lynn 😀


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