Monday, October 23, 2006

Author Interview - Carrie Vaughn

A werewolf...named Kitty...(ROFL!). How did you come up with that?

In very early drafts of the first story, her name wasn't Kitty. I'm not sure how I came up with it at that point, but it became clear that thestories were going to be pretty funny on one level, and if I really wanted to push that aspect of it, Kitty was the perfect name. It was so silly I just had to do it.

Kitty Norville is a very interesting character,especially how she acts more like a beta wolf insteadof the usual, aggressive "alpha" stereotypes found inother werewolf stories. Did you make her that wayintentionally, or did she just end up that way as you wrote?

I definitely didn't want her to be a Buffy-esque kick-ass kind of heroine. There are enough of those out there already. I wanted her to be aperfectly normal person who just happens to be a werewolf. That's how she developed in the short stories, but when I wrote the first novel, I needed an arc--I needed her to develop from one thing into something else, andthat's how the "coming of age" aspect of the first novel developed. She starts out as submissive and insecure, and has to learn to stand up for herself.

Did the short stories about Kitty come first, or were you planning to write a novel from the start?

The short stories came first. I didn't know if the idea of a werewolf talk radio host was big enough for a novel at first. It was only after writing the first two or three stories and realizing that I had so much more to say about Kitty and her world that I wrote the novel.

What was it like to get that first novelpublished?

From an emotional standpoint? Huge. Massive. It's a thrill, especially because I'd been working for it for years and years. Kitty and theMidnight Hour is the fourth novel manuscript I tried to get published. After working that hard, success feels great.

So persistence eventually pays off.

Yes, that old advice is really true. With a caveat--you have to persist and improve. You have to work not just at writing, but at making your writing better. Part of collecting all those rejections for all thoseyears is simply learning the trade. But if you're improving, you will eventually get published.

I once read an article you wrote ("An Ode to KAFA orHow College Radio Saved Me") about how certain stylesof music influenced you while growing up. Does music also influence what you write?

In some cases. Certain songs have triggered scenes, help me define certain moods and tones for the story. The thing is, there's often no predicting when that's going to happen, when a specific song is going to crystalize part of the story or really get my creative juices flowing. So I try to listen to lots of different kinds of music all the time. I also just need to have something playing while I write, to distract the obsessivelist-making part of my brain so I can concentrate on the creative side.

The next Kitty book comes out in Spring 2007. Anything you want to say to wet our appetites while we wait and scratch our ears impatiently?

Cormac is by far the character besides Kitty I get the most comments about. People always want to know if we'll see more of him, and the answer isyes, he's a big part of Kitty Takes a Holiday. Though I have to warnyou, all the main characters are in for a pretty rough time of it in this one. How's that for a vague spoiler?


Post a Comment

<< Home