Exclusive Bitten by Books
Interview with Author Carrie Vaughn
A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the the great prizes being offered up. The contest runs until 11:59 pm Eastern time 1/17/09. Open to readers worldwide!
NOTE: this is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 8:00 am PST. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and comments.
Welcome to Bitten by Books, we are excited to have you here today!
I would like to thank you taking the time to join us for the question and answer session with our readers. It has been very interesting to get to know more about you and what makes you tick as a writer! Readers, if you haven’t done so already please stop by and get your copy of Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Carrie’s upcoming release this month!
BBB: What do you find the most challenging aspect of writing?
CV: It depends on how I feel that day. Getting published is right up there, simply for the reason that you have to creep out of your cave and start dealing with this whole ponderous system. Getting better at writing: when you first start out, progress seems to come in leaps and bounds. Further along, it gets more subtle. Also, revision: trying to make a piece better. At some points it’s like saying, “Here’s a hat — now how can I make it look more like a hat?”
BBB: What is the most rewarding aspect of writing for you?
CV: When it all comes together. When a scene pops off the page and makes me laugh or cry. When the story comes to life. Also, when people tell me they want to read more. That’s awfully rewarding.
BBB: What or who was your muse that got you started writing?
CV: I’ve always had an active imagination, and I’ve been writing since I was quite small. But it was reading Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine as a teenager that made me think, “How does he do that? How does he make me feel so much emotion with just a few words? How can I learn to do that?” Reading Bradbury made me realize that words have power, and writing well is the ability to use words to evoke the amazing. I wanted to be able to do that.
CV: Well, obviously, less paper = good. Now we just need to make them solar powered.
BBB: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors in the end? Do you feel they have a negative impact or positive, or no impact at all that you can see?
CV: I think e-readers have grown up to where people are finally taking them seriously. As a writer, the more places someone can read my books the better. The long term impact is hard to say because it’s still newish.
BBB: How did the Kitty Norville series go from a group of short stories to full-fledged novels?
CV: The first short story started out being not all that short — 10,000 words. I cut and revised and came up with a genuine short story (about 4,000 words). But I discovered that I knew pretty much everything about this character and she had a lot more stories in her. I wrote two more short stories : “Kitty Loses Her Faith” and “Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned,” based on isolated ideas: the sinister faith healer, and the punk band that sold its soul to the devil. I knew I could probably write a novel, but I didn’t really have an arc to hold it together. It’s when I had the idea of a “coming of age” story, that the book would be about Kitty starting the radio show, and through that gaining confidence and learning to stand up for herself and be independent, that the novel really took off. Since then, for each book I’ve asked, “What challenges should Kitty face next?” as well as what supernatural ideas I want to tackle.
BBB: Is there a lover in sight for Cormac? Or is he to remain a “what if” for Kitty?
CV: Isn’t it better to keep people guessing? I will say this: I have plans for Cormac. I’ve already written the novella of what’s been happening to him while he’s off stage. He’s having adventures of his own, and I do have a relationship in mind for him. It will be unconventional, but I hope interesting.
BBB: Can you tell us what your next release (s) will be? And do you have stand alone titles forthcoming? And of course we would love to know how many more books are scheduled in the Kitty Norville series!
CV: The next two books, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand and Kitty Raises Hell, are due out in February and March. It’s something of a double feature, two-part story. The seventh Kitty book, KITTY’S HOUSE OF HORRORS, should be out next year. The first draft of that is finished and turned in. After that, I have lots of ideas, but nothing’s on the schedule yet. I don’t know how many Kitty books there will be in all. I do have an end in mind for the series — I know what the last book looks like. I just don’t know when it’s going to happen. I also have some stand alone novels that I hope will see the light of day at some point.
BBB: What was your reasoning on the mixed relationship with Kitty and Luis? The werewolf/ were jaguar relationship?
CV: I don’t see it as a mixed relationship. They’re both people. They’re both shape-shifters. I mean, mixed in what sense? She’s white and he’s latino — some people would consider that a mixed relationship. Kitty had a really rough time in the first book and I wanted her to have some fun in the second, so I gave her a hot fling; and I wanted to show that Kitty’s world has more than just werewolves, so I made him a werejaguar. I really didn’t see any issue with it.
BBB: Do you have any book signings coming up for 2009, if so where?
CV: I have signings scheduled at the Denver Book Mall February 1 and March 1. I’ll be at New York Comic Con February 6-8. There are plans for more signings, but I don’t have exact information yet. Check on my blog or website over the next couple of weeks.
BBB: Right now we have shapeshifters and vampires. Do see any other paranormal creatures making an entrance into the Kitty Norville series?
CV: Oh, we’ve had more than that. Elijah Smith was Fae. There’s a short story, “Kitty’s Zombie New Year” with a zombie. It depends on what you call a paranormal creature. I’ve had psychics and magicians of various sorts. You could make an argument that there has been at least one ghost. Kitty Raises Hell features something that I want to keep a surprise. Basically, if I decide it’ll be cool to include something, I’ll find a way to include it.
BBB: How do you keep track of your characters and world building?
CV: Not as well as I should. I’m always looking back in the previous books to check up on things. As for world building, it’s basically our world. I treat the series as contemporary as much as anything. Just with all the supernatural weirdness made real. As far as characters, I have lists, but mostly I just know who is who and what they’re like.
BBB: What is your favorite paranormal fiction book of all time?
CV: That kind of opens a can of worms, because it depends on what you call paranormal fiction, but I’m going to go with Agyar, by Steven Brust.
BBB: What do you like to do in between all the time you spend writing?
CV: Watch movies, travel, hang out with friends, read, walk my dog. I do a little costuming when I get the urge.
BBB: What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?
CV: That’s kind of an odd question, because I’ve always been a writer. I can’t remember not being a writer. I’ve been making a living at it for about two years now. Before that I paid bills doing mostly administrative assistant work.
BBB: Succubus or Zombie? If you HAD to become one of these creatures, which one and why?
CV: Succubus. Because dude, zombie = dead. Not cool.
BBB: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with our readers here today?
CV: Wow. Um. Be excellent to each other? Party on? Aim high, dream big, and get there with baby steps, one day at a time. Is that vague enough?
We are excited to offer up FIFTEEN shiny new copies of Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand by amazingly talented author Carrie Vaughn that is releasing on 1/27/09! Hachette Book Group is sponsoring this amazing giveaway here at Bitten by Books! For the remainder of this week you can enter everyday up until 1/17/09 at 11:59 pm EST to win one of these copies for your very own. These will be shipped to you directly from the publisher. The contest is open to readers worldwide.
Readers, here’s how to enter the contest. You can do ONE or ALL of these things, and each one will give an additional entries at a chance to win. 15 lucky participants will be chosen to win copies of Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand.
1. Leave a comment or start a discussion with Carrie and other readers here on this post today.
2. Go here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=3748 and do one or ALL of the things list on the official contest page. All of the ways you can enter, the rules and any pertinent info you need is on that page.
3. Have fun!