Welcome to the FAQ page for the October Daye series of novels. There will be some mild spoilers for the books in this page, because that is the nature of FAQ pages. If you avoid the book-specific sections, you should be able to minimize your risk.
The series section of the page deals specifically with the realities of the books themselves—publication dates, planned novels, editions, etc. The world section deals with the world of Faerie as presented in the series. The Toby section covers questions about Toby herself.
If you're looking for answers about writing in general, my work outside the Toby books, or the business of being an author, please see the Writing FAQ. If you're looking for answers about appearances, interviews, and the like, please see the General FAQ.
If you have a question that you don't see answered here, please feel free to swing by and ask it on the forums. Who knows—it might get added!
1.1: What is the series premise?
1.2: How many books are you planning to write?
1.3: Which books are currently available?
1.4: When will Chimes at Midnight be available?
1.5: Do the books need to be read in order of publication?
1.6: Do all the books have titles from Shakespeare?
1.7: Are there other works set in Toby's universe?
Q: What is the series premise?
A: All the fairy tales are true; we just got the details wrong. Faerie has existed in parallel to our world since the dawn of the human race, frequently hidden, always present.
October Daye—"Toby" to her friends, and to anyone who doesn't want to get hit—is very aware of the reality of Faerie and the nature of its relationship to the human world. She's a changeling: half-human, half-fae, and trying desperately to find the balance between the two. Preferably without getting herself killed in the process.
Q: How many books are you planning to write?
A: The number of books in the series tends to flux as I figure out how to pace certain events and how I want things to unfold. "Several" is really the only safe answer. The first ten books have been purchased by DAW Books. In order, they are:
- Rosemary and Rue
- A Local Habitation
- An Artificial Night
- Late Eclipses
- One Salt Sea
- Ashes of Honor
- Chimes at Midnight
- The Winter Long
- A Red-Rose Chain
- Once Broken Faith
Q: Which books are currently available?
Q: When will Chimes at Midnight be available?
Q: Do the books need to be read in the order of publication?
A: It's a good idea. While I try to make them as self-contained as possible, each book naturally builds on the book that came before it, and you're a lot more likely to be confused (and possibly spoiled for earlier adventures) if you read the books out of order.
Q: Do all the books have titles from Shakespeare?
A: Yes. So far, they are...
- Rosemary and Rue gets its title from A Winter's Tale
- A Local Habitation gets its title from A Midsummer Night's Dream
- An Artificial Night gets its title from Romeo and Juliet
- Late Eclipses gets its title from King Lear
- One Salt Sea gets its title from Henry V
- Ashes of Honor gets its title from Henry VIII
- Chimes at Midnight gets its title from Henry IV, Part II
While I'm careful to select plays for their content as much as for having cool-sounding quotes, the parallels may not always be the obvious ones. I'm trying not to repeat plays if I have any other choice, and have a file of potential names, just in case it becomes an issue.
Q: Are there any other works set in Toby's universe?
A: Yes! "Through This House," a novella set between Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea, appears in the Harris/Kelner-edited anthology Home Improvement: Undead Edition.
"In Sea-Salt Tears," a short story focusing on the Luidaeg's life away from Toby, is available to download for free from this website. "Rat-Catcher," a story about Tybalt's origins, is appears in the Subterranean Press collection, A Fantasy Medley 2.
More short fiction is planned, but not yet published.
There will always be little things that manage to slip through even the most dedicated editorial process. Here is some clarification on the ones that have managed to make it past me!
Q: Why is there such a large discrepancy between the dates of A Local Habitation and An Artificial Night?
A: It's a typo. Unfortunately, we all somehow missed the fact that the date at the beginning of An Artificial Night was incorrect. The book takes place in 2010, only a few months after the events of A Local Habitation. This is supported by the text of the book, and the date at the beginning of Late Eclipses is correct.
3.1: What is the difference between "Faerie" and "the fae"?
3.2: What is the Summerlands?
3.3: How many fae races are there?
3.4: How similar/different are the various types of fae?
3.5: Who are "the Big Three"?
3.6: Are there fae outside the Bay Area?
3.7: What is a changeling?
3.8: What is the Changeling's Choice?
3.9: Do the rules for the Changeling's Choice only apply to changelings whose fae parent came out of a northwestern European tradition? Or is it the same for the children of mortals and fae from all traditions?
3.10: How does succession work in the Courts? How about for the Cait Sidhe?
Q: What is the difference between "Faerie" and "the fae"?
Q: What is the Summerlands?
A: Faerie is divided into multiple different lands, sometimes referred to as "countries." Right now, the only part of Faerie that the fae have access to is the Summerlands, the land located closest to the mortal world. The rest were sealed by Oberon when he disappeared, several hundred years ago.
Q: How many fae races are there?
A: I honestly don't know. Every child of the Big Three is considered one of the Firstborn, and every Firstborn is potentially the parent of one or more races, depending on what they do. Some Firstborn will never have a descendant race; others may have two or more. So the number of potential types of fae is essentially impossible to determine.
Q: How similar/different are the various types of fae?
A: Some fae can pass for human with very little effort; others resemble animate rose bushes, or live inside trees, or are made entirely of water. The diversity in Faerie is infinite, and it's entirely possible for two fae races to have nothing in common beyond immortality and originating in Faerie.
Q: Who are "the Big Three"?
A: Oberon, Maeve, and Titania, also referred to as the King and Queens, or the Lord and Ladies. They are the rulers of all Faerie, and the top of the heap in all things: the highest political powers, and the highest on the potential power scale. Next to them, even the Firstborn are weak. Oberon, Maeve, and Titania are scary as hell.
Q: Are there fae outside the Bay Area?
A: There are fae everywhere in the world, and their hierarchy and local structure depends both on where they are and on how much contact they have with the mortals in that area.
Q: What is a changeling?
A: A changeling is any individual who has both fae and human blood in a measurable percentage. "Classic" changelings are half-and-half, with one fae parent and one mortal parent. Their children are still considered changelings, regardless of whether the child's second parent was fae, mortal, or changeling.
Individuals with less than one-quarter human blood are considered fae, and individuals with less than one-quarter fae blood are considered human, although they may be able to make use of some fae magic.
Q: What is the Changeling's Choice?
A: Changelings are given a choice between the fae and mortal worlds by their fae parents once they have reached a certain age (this age is different for everyone, but is normally between the ages of six and thirteen). Changelings who choose "fae" are immediately taken to the Summerlands to begin their education. Changelings who choose "human" are killed.
Q: Do the rules for the Changeling's Choice only apply to changelings whose fae parent came out of a northwestern European tradition? Or is it the same for the children of mortals and fae from all traditions?
Q: How does succession work in the Courts? How about for the Cait Sidhe?
A: For the Courts, succession is a matter of inheritance. If a regent dies without a direct descendant, the throne will generally go to a relation; if none can be found, a new regent is chosen by the area's High King or Queen. (This is not the case if an old monarchy is knocked down or a revolution happens, naturally.) Changelings are unable to inherit lands or titles from their fae parent.
Cait Sidhe succession is purely a matter of kicking the crap out of the monarch you're looking to replace. It's rule by strength of arms. If a Cait Sidhe changeling won the succession fight, they would be allowed to hold the throne until it was taken away.
Q: What is Toby's full name?
Q: How old is Toby?
A: It's difficult to say. She was born in 1952, but spent several years living in the Summerlands, which messed with her growth somewhat (time in Faerie is not like time spent on Earth). Chronologically speaking, she's in her early fifties when the series starts. In terms of experience, she's probably in her thirties.