Author Carrie Vaughn talks about her wildly popular Kitty Norville urban fantasy series and most recent installment, Kitty Steals the Show with SciFiChick.com. And keep reading for a chance to win a copy of the book!
Can you tell us a bit about KITTY STEALS THE SHOW in your own words?
Kitty goes to London for a conference on paranormal studies. Shenanigans ensue, of course! Kitty gets to meet vampires and werewolves in another country and see how they interact, and reunites with some old friends along the way. London’s a great city to write about, and I hope read about!
How has Kitty’s character evolved over the years?
She’s gotten stronger, she’s learned to take care of herself, and then she’s learned to take care of the people around her, her family and friends, her pack, and so on. Now, she’s learning to be a leader. The way I’ve looked at it — as the series has progressed, her sphere of influence and power have expanded, and she’s grown to meet the challenge.
How many books do you have planned for Kitty Norville?
I can’t say exactly. I have an end point in mind, but if I keep getting ideas in the meantime, I’ll keep writing. I’m under contract for four more at the moment.
KITTY STEALS THE SHOW is your tenth installment in the series. How do you keep your ideas as well as characters fresh and exciting?
The first trick is starting with a character who has a lot of potential for growth and adventure, then stay true to that character. There are a lot of corners of Kitty’s world to explore, a lot of different folklores, locations, and stories to tell. I’m always trying to find a new story rather than rehash an old one, and I try to let the characters grow and develop naturally. That makes for the most satisfying stories, I think.
Urban fantasy/paranormal novels are popular and widespread right now. What different about the Kitty Norville series that sets it apart from the others?
Kitty is not really cut from the “kick ass” mold. She’s strong, she can take care of herself, but she’s not a warrior/fighter type. She’s more of a diplomat and a talker. My books are also not too big on the romance — more about maintaining a long term relationship and the tension that involves. Really, though, the radio show is what usually gets people interested in the series in the first place.
What’s next for you? Any other stories on the horizon?
I’m always working on a ton of stuff. The next two Kitty books are in the pipeline, and I’m working on a sequel to my superhero novel After the Golden Age. I have a bunch of short stories out as well.
I also loved your young adult novel Steel. Any plans to write more young adult novels in the near future?
Definitely. Maybe the middle future rather than the near future, but I have plans.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.
I’m an Air Force brat, which means I grew up all over the country. I’ve always loved stories — TV, movies, books, everything — and started writing my own when I was about eight. And I’ve just never stopped. In high school I decided this was what I wanted to do with my life and started trying to get published. It took a long time to actually reach that goal. Which means I’m of the “write a ton, work hard, and keep trying” philosophy of writing. I just kept writing stories until they were good enough to sell.
What inspires you?
A little bit of everything. The great outdoors, great stories, movies, other books, music, characters. I’m always looking for inspiration, and fortunately I find it just about everywhere. It’s great.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?
I have a whole list of favorite authors that’s always changing. Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip, Ray Bradbury, Iain M. Banks, Ursula Le Guin, Steven Brust, Lois McMaster Bujold. Classics like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Joseph Conrad. Books: The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle, Little, Big by John Crowley, Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Persuasion by Jane Austen.
What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?
Play with my dog, watch movies, make costumes and other crafty things, travel a bunch, go hiking, read books.
Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
For more information people should check out my website: www.carrievaughn.com. Thanks!
Courtesy of Tor Books, I have a copy of KITTY STEALS THE SHOW for one (1) lucky winner!
Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends August 17. I’ll draw a name on August 18, and notify winner via email.