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BCC: Hi Carrie, welcome. For the benefit of those of us who are new to your work, can you tell us about Kitty and your latest book, Kitty Raises Hell?
CV: Kitty in a sentence: Kitty is a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for supernatural beings. This leads her into lots of adventures, and Kitty Raises Hell is the latest: she’s been cursed by the leader of an ancient Babylonian cult, who she crossed in the previous book. The curse involves an unknown spirit that sets fire to things, and might possibly burn down the whole city of Denver if Kitty doesn’t stop it. She recruits a team of TV paranormal investigators to help out. Adventures ensue.
BCC: The seventh Kitty novel will be released Jan 2010, can you give us a sneak peak into what it’s about?
CV: It’s called Kitty’s House of Horrors. Kitty, in her tradition of getting into trouble, agrees to appear on the first reality TV show featuring supernatural beings: vampires, were-beings, psychics, etc. But of course the show isn’t what it appears to be, and Kitty and the rest of the contestants are in terrible danger. To say any more would be giving far too much away, but I think this book has some of the creepiest, scariest scenes I’ve ever written.
BCC: Do you plot and plan each book or do you just write and see where Kitty takes you?
CV: I plan. I have to know the ending of a book before I start, and I know where the series is headed. That doesn’t mean I’m not surprised by what happens along the way–my plotting and outlining isn’t all that thorough. But I definitely have an arc in mind when I start.
BCC: What do you think is different about Kitty compared to other female protagonists in the genre?
CV: I think the biggest difference is that Kitty isn’t overtly a fighter. She’s not in law enforcement, she doesn’t have a job that lets her kick ass, she doesn’t walk around armed to the teeth. She’s a talk radio host and DJ. In the first book, she starts out meek and submissive. Over time she’s grown a great deal and learned to stand up for herself, and that was part of my purpose in writing her from the beginning. I didn’t want her to start out being kick-ass, I wanted her to grow into that. Also, she’s not really a lone wolf. She has family that she’s close to, and she’s developed a pretty wide network of friends and allies.
BCC: What was the trigger that gave you the idea for Kitty and how long from that spark did it take you to create her fully?
CV: I think I first got the idea for the character in something like 1998, so it’s been developing for a very long time. My first idea was the radio show; if there really were vampires and werewolves, they would need their own radio show because the current self-help gurus just wouldn’t be able to help them with their problems. When I was coming up with a host for the show, I wanted to make her a werewolf because I didn’t think I could say anything new about vampires, and I didn’t want to make her human because that was boring. I initially wrote a short story, which appeared in Weird Tales magazine in 2001. Then I wrote a couple more short stories, then the novel in about 2003. So it’s been a long evolution to go from a short story to a series of seven novels and counting.
BCC: If Kitty was to star in her very own Hollywood movie, who would you like to play her character?
CV: I get asked this a lot and I don’t have a good idea because I’m not really up on the younger crop of actresses. But I think Kristen Bell would do a good job.
BCC: I agree! What are you working on at the moment (and when can we see it in the store)?
CV: I’ve just finished my second young adult novel, Steel. Assuming my editor likes it, it’ll be out in 2011. I’m now working on finishing up the eighth Kitty novel, which doesn’t have a good title yet. That should be out in late 2010. I’m also working on a handful of short stories that’ll be out over the next couple of years in various anthologies.
BCC: Would you ever consider writing a novel that doesn’t have a paranormal/science fiction theme?
CV: I would, but not in the near future. All my ideas seem to drift to science fiction/fantasy ideas eventually. I do have a short story coming out next year that’s purely historical with no speculative elements–”The Girls From Avenger” will be in WARRIORS, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
BCC: Have you always been interested in the paranormal and supernatural?
CV: Not really. Back in high school I thought I was going to strictly write hard science fiction, but I got distracted by folklore studies and anthropology in college, and I realized that my favorite authors all wrote fantasy. I’m interested in paranormal fiction from the standpoint of analyzing and commenting on it, picking apart the stereotypes and seeing what new and interesting things I can do with them.
BCC: Have any other authors inspired you as a writer?
CV: Plenty. Ray Bradbury and Robin McKinley were early influences–they made me want to be a writer myself, to figure out how they do what they do. More recently, Connie Willis has taught me a lot about humor, plotting and romance, and Lois McMaster Bujold is my primary model for how to write an excellent series.
BCC: Your first young adult novel, Voices of Dragons, will be released March 2010, can you tell us a bit about it?
CV: Voices of Dragons is about Kay, who lives in the closest human settlement to the border with Dragon. This is an alternate world where dragons re-emerged into the world at the end of World War II, and the Cold War was between humankind and dragons. But it’s sixty years on and tension between the two groups is high. This is when Kay accidentally crosses the border and meets a dragon for herself. They become friends, and it will be up to them to possibly stop a war between their people.
BCC: What made you decide to write young adult novels?
CV: I had a story that needed to be a young adult novel. I started it intending to write it as a regular fantasy novel, which is what I normally do, but the plot didn’t work until I made the main character a teenager, with a teenager’s outlook and concerns. The story worked much better, so I wrote it as young adult.
BCC: Which would you be: Vampire or Werewolf?
CV: Neither? I’m not all that enamored of the supernatural life. I would probably choose werewolf, because they just seem more interesting and down-to-earth.
BCC: How do you celebrate Halloween?
CV: I love costuming, so I try to find a party where I can dress up.
BCC: Have you had a ghostly encounter or scary experience?
CV: Not really. Most of my scary experiences involve traffic and bad drivers.
If you would like to know more about Carrie and her books then visit her website: www.carrievaughn.com
Okay, on to the CONTEST!
You can choose any one of the Kitty novels in the series (1-6) as your prize! All you have to do to win a copy is:
• Follow this blog
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• Answer this question: What would be a good title for the next Kitty novel?
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Open WORLDWIDE! Contest ends 31st Oct. Winners will be announced 1st Nov.