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!
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 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: