I love urban fantasy and I’ve wanted to read the Kitty Norville series for some time. So this month I will be reviewing all the books in the series, I also have a fantastic interview with the author, Carrie Vaughn, an interview with Kitty herself, a guest post from book cover designer, Nick Castle, and a fab giveaway! I hope you enjoy! :D

I am so excited to welcome Carrie Vaughn to Book Chick City. This isn’t Carrie’s first visit but it’s always a pleasure to have her here! This is the first part of our fab interview (click HERE for part 2).

As well as the Kitty Norville series, Carrie is the author of After the Golden Age published 2011 and young adult novels: Voices of Dragons published 2010 and Steel published 2011. Carrie currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

One lucky reader has the chance to win the entire Kitty series, so make sure you enter at the end of the interview. So without further ado, let’s get cracking with interview part one…

Hi Carrie – thank you so much for agreeing to an interview and being part of my Kitty event, it’s really great to have you back at Book Chick City. For those who are not familiar with Kitty, can you give a little background to the characters and the story.

Kitty is a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. This has put her in a position to meet lots of interesting people — vampires, other werewolves, other were-creatures, witches, ghosts, magicians, etc. — and get in lots of interesting trouble. She’s uncovered a cult in Las Vegas, testified before the US Senate, and helped the military with werewolf soldiers. More adventures are on the way!

Kitty eventually develops from a fairly submissive character to one that is quite determined and resilient, but it did take a while. How far in advance did you see Kitty’s character arc? Has she turned out how you envisaged from the very first book?

I think how far she’s come is a natural outgrowth of the first book, where she really learns to take care of herself. Her submissiveness in the first book is one of the most frequent criticisms I get, but I really did do that on purpose — I wanted to show her at rock bottom, then learn to pick herself up and be strong, learn to fight for herself, then learn to fight for others. I couldn’t have done that if she started out strong. As her confidence grows, so does her influence. As I said, it’s a very natural, obvious arc.

So many authors are blurring the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, by including a heavy emphasis on romantic relationships and sex. Kitty has remained within the urban fantasy genre, only touching on romance and with the bedroom door firmly closed. Was this something you decided from the beginning?

I’m not sure it’s something I consciously decided, but it’s definitely a reflection of my own personal preference toward adventure/mystery type stories rather than romance. It’s what I prefer to read. I do love a great relationship story when it’s done very well, but for Kitty I had a lot of other kinds of stories I wanted to tell. I wanted to focus outward on the world rather than inward on her love life.

How long does it take for you to write your Kitty Novels? You still manage to write other novels in between Kitty (Steel & After the Golden Age) – do you find it difficult to jump from a Kitty book to something totally different?

It takes me about six months to write a novel. In fact, I really like going back and forth between Kitty and totally different subjects. Coming back to the series after a break keeps it fresh, I think. I’m usually writing other things, short stories and such, while I’m writing a novel, to give myself a break and time for the story to cook. Writing the same thing all the time would get dull.

Do you plan your books or do you just write and see where the story takes you?

I plan, but not in too much detail. I start with a rough summary, and I know what the end is so I know where I’m going. But I don’t always have a really good idea of what happens in the middle. So it’s a little of both.

Do you visit each city Kitty visits to get a sense of the place or can you get what you need from research?

I try to visit. It really helps to get a sense of the city, and to get the details that you just don’t find in guidebooks. (Bachelorette parties in Las Vegas, for example.) But I still do lots of research for interesting stories, history, layouts, and so on.

How many more Kitty books will there be? And do you already know how it all ends?

CARRIE: I know how the series ends, but I still don’t know how many books in total there will be. As long as I keep getting ideas for side adventures, I’ll keep writing them. But when I’m ready to end, I know what happens.

What’s the worst Kitty title you’ve come up with and then decided not to use?

I had a couple of great working titles for Kitty’s House of Horrors: The Kitty Horror Picture Show, and The Most Dangerouser Game. Of course I couldn’t use those, but I sometimes wish I could.

Do you have any input into the Kitty covers? Are you happy with them? Which covers do you like best, the US or UK editions?

I don’t really have any input. I’ll occasionally get asked about a detail. There’ve been a couple of times that I made suggestions — the jaguar on the US cover of Kitty Goes to Washington, for example. I’m not sure which I like better — I haven’t seen the UK covers as much, so I guess I’ll always be fond of the US covers because I saw them first. The thing I like about them both is that they show a whole woman who is fully dressed (mostly, at least), rather than naked body parts, which is a frustrating trend in urban fantasy covers.

Do you have any other urban fantasy series in the pipeline?

Not really. If I do another series, it’ll be a spinoff of the Kitty series, with another character.

What made you decide to become a writer? What do you think you’d be doing right now if you hadn’t been lucky enough to get published?

I decided to be a writer when I was a teenager and realized a) it was the only thing I was any good at, and b) other people didn’t like writing, which came as something of a revelation. Here was something valuable that I could do that other people couldn’t, and I loved doing it, so away I went. From deciding that to actually selling my first novel took about 15 years. But I was writing and working at it that whole time. What would I be doing otherwise? Still trying to get published. I’m a writer because I really couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do.

Thanks Carrie!

CARRIE VAUGN ONLINE
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY!

Thanks to Gollancz I have the entire Kitty Noville series to giveaway!

1. Kitty and the Midnight Hour
2. Kitty Goes to Washington
3. Kitty Takes a Holiday
4. Kitty and the Silver Bullet
5. Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand
6. Kitty Raises Hell
7. Kitty’s House of Horrors
8. Kitty Goes to War
9. Kitty’s Big Trouble

This giveaway is open to UK/Rep of Ireland residents only (publisher’s request) and ends 29th July 2011.

To enter all you have to do is the following:

1. Leave a comment for Carrie
2. Read Book Chick City’s giveaway policy
3. Fill out this form
4. One entry per person

GOOD LUCK!

Carolyn

Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and speciality teas (Teapigs anyone?). Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!

45 Comments


heavenisabookstore July 6, 2011 at 6:44 am

Oh well, I am US, but hey, I am going to go check this out. It sounds like a lot of fun!

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Mel July 6, 2011 at 8:34 am

Wow – fab giveaway! I've already got all the Kitty books but I'm jealous of someone getting to read Kitty's adventures without a gap between them! :)

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SusanKMann July 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

What a great interview. I can't believe I haven't read this series before now. I must do. Is the character of Kitty based on anyone? x

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Grete July 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

The Kitty books are an amazing series and I still have the last two to get and read :)

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Cassie Bailey July 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

Yay UKer :D

I love reading interviews like this and the questions asked were great.

As an aspiring author I love reading other author's inputs :)

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mell61 July 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

This is a series which is high on my TBR list!

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carol810 July 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

This sounds like a great way to read the series all the books at once. They sound great carrie and How lovely to actually visit the places so you can writeabout them.

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Anonymous July 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

Sounds like a good read! I'm not a big fan of all this in-your-face romance either, a little is fair enough but it's just *everywhere*, so it's quite refreshing to find the urban fantasy authors who write urban fantasy stories not romances with vampires :) Bravo!

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Jaedia July 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

Note: I'm 'anonymous', the 'Name/URL' boxes weren't showing, I pressed publish hoping they'd pop up. They didn't.

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kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews July 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I would absolutely love to win the entire series! I've been a huge fan of Kitty since the series came out and when we moved 2 years ago I had to give away all my books *sniff* UK books have such pretty covers as well.. Thanks for a chance to win!

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cfryer999 July 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I am truly addicted to Vampire novels and sci-fi at the moment and the Kitty Series sound wonderful! I am ashamed to say that Carrie Vaughn has alluded me but these books are definitely now on my 'to-read' list!
Great blog and interview…Thanks!

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Laura Summers (BCC) July 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

What a great interview, I really enjoyed reading that :-)

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daniel pattinson July 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I love all your series.I have been looking for this kind of books.Really find interesting and insightful.Its been a long time to excel while reading the same caliber of articles and find quite impressive.
Accredited High School Diploma Online

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elkiedee July 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I keep wondering if I can persuade my boyfriend to try this series as well as rereading his old favourite Anita Blake books

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rasberryt July 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I haven't managed to get hold of all of the books yet, so it would be nice to fill in the gap and read the whole arc without interruption; plus it's my birthday on the 29th, so what a great present this would be!

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Ann @Semisweet July 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hey great interview! It's always interesting to hear how far in advance a certain characters story is planned. : )

I love this series, although I haven't read the last 2 books, and I can't wait to find out what's in store for one of my favorite leading ladies. : )

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Book Savvy Babe July 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Great interview! I have read the first few books in the series, and really enjoy the books! I am looking forward to reading ALL the books!
Book Savvy Babe

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Patti July 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

great interview and giveaway. I can't wait to start this series. I have never read one.

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Kazerella July 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I've read the first 3 Kitty books and they are great. Would love to finish the entire set.

I think the characters are really good and the dynamics of the central 3 characters is a great scenario.

Keep up the good work Carrie x

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Melissa (Books and Things) July 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Kitty's Horror Picture Show??? I love it! Too bad you couldn't use it. Oh and CO! FTW! ;D

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soulunsung July 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Oh wow, this sounds like a very interesting series. I might have to check them out and see what it's all about. I love the fact that she's a werewolf with her own radio talk show, that's kind of hilarious. :)

Thank you, so much for the fun and insightful interview, and for the generous giveaway! :)

Happy Reading! ;)
Suz @ A Soul Unsung
My IMM
My Teaser Tuesday
My WoW!

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Isobel Barrick July 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Really Like the Kitty books as they are witty and interesting without becoming bogged down in unnecessary sexual detail

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Jan July 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I love the Kitty series. I am reading them for the 3rd time now – only "listening" to them on my ipod while I get exercise this time. Having lived in Colorado (Parker) it's really fun for me to recognize landmarks and towns that Kitty visits and it makes me a bit homesick! I currently am getting my grown daughter hooked on the series. I got the books & downloads through my local library, but would love to own the series!

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80slady July 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm

What an awesome interview!!!
Love Kitty!

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Carmen July 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

Haven't read these ones but they are definitely on my radar now.

Love these interviews, always so fascinating reading the different ways writers create. The fact that you knew at 15 and plugged away for 15 years – gives me hope in my wanting to be successful in what I do.

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Kirsten July 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

This sounds like a really good read. Wish I'd have the first book here to start straight away

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Mel's Mate July 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Mel introduced me to the Kitty books, and the ones I've read so far I absolutely love. Always good to see a strong female lead take a well-developed personal journey, and not always have her decisions led by the men in her life. As a wannabe author, I do love an interesting author interview too!

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ratties July 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Wow these would keep me going for a while if I won and thanks for the very interesting interview.

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rugbymum July 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I haven't read any of these books yet but it looks like a fantastic series.

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Karis Boone July 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Hi Carrie please enter me in the competition

I can be contacted as Mse Comper on facebook.

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feefeegabor July 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Thanks for another great giveaway – would love to read this series.

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Cheryll July 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Haven't tried these yet but they sound amazing – would love to give them a go :)

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compaddicted July 9, 2011 at 12:20 am

Wow – fab giveaway

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Tasnim July 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I've never read any of these books but i would love to try them as they always come up as suggestions to me on Goodreads.

tasnim-sheikh(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

xx

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Anonymous July 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hi, these look a fantastic series to read, would love to read them! Thanks Louise
l.pridige@sky.com

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Kulsuma July 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for the giveaway! This series sounds amazing. I would love to read it. Character growth is so interesting.

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TheBookAddictedGirl July 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Thanks for the great giveaway! I've been wanting to read this series for ages! :)

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AMcCutcheon July 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

Fantastic Givea!way

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CRAFTY WOMBLE July 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm

have friends Nick and Abi who knows Carrie, they have suggested that I read the Kitty series for a while and I finally found a copy of Kitty and The Midnight Hour, thoroughly enjoyed it and had to follow up with Kitty goes to Washington straight away I would love to have the set – but will read them either way :)

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Jules July 24, 2011 at 11:50 am

Wow what a great series of books – I'd love to win this! :)

Great post as always!

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Sarah July 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I read the first Kitty book last year & really enjoyed it, it's about time I got around to reading the rest of the series!

I think I must have the US edition though but I prefer the UK covers. Great interview & thanks for hosting a fab giveaway :o)

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NatD23 July 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I love these books, I think Kitty is a great character. I'd love to know about Cormac. Thanks for the interview, it was great getting a behind the scenes look at some of what goes on in the making of a book.

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nat July 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Thanks so much for the chance,Ive wanted to read these for ages. I really enjoyed Carries Voice of Dragons.
natcleary(at)gmail(dot)com

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Pretenna July 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Great interview and giveaway! I've actually read one of these books while in the hospital waiting room but never did get a chance to look up the rest!

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Natframpton July 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

great interview !

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