I’m very happy today to welcome author Carrie Vaughn to Basia’s Bookshelf. Carrie is the author of last year’s wonderful Young Adult Paranormal, Steel, as well as the first book I’d read that pushed me back into the Fantasy Superhero genre, After the Golden Age. Oh, and she writes this little Urban Fantasy series about a werewolf named Kitty Norville. The tenth book, Kitty Steals the Show, will be released July 31st.
Thank you so much for spending some time here with us at Basia’s Bookshelf!
Carrie: Thanks for inviting me!
For anyone who hasn’t started the series yet, how about giving them a thumbnail sketch of Kitty’s story?
Carrie: Kitty is a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. As the country’s first werewolf celebrity, she gets into quite a bit of trouble, and drags her friends with her. As the series progresses, the adventures get a bit more…hairy (no put intended).
Carrie: Yes, it was. While writing the second book I realized that if werewolves and vampires were real, then pretty much everything had to be real — TV psychics, fae, magicians, witches, other kinds of shifters, and so on. This is one of the reasons I keep getting ideas for new books — without limitations, I can bring just about anything I want into the series. Any kind of folklore, any kind of magic, any mythological or supernatural creature, I can make it work. The possibilities are endless, and I’ve had a great time exploring folklores from around the world, looking for ideas.
Carrie: Because I think that being physically an alpha without any brains to back it up isn’t very useful? I really want to emphasize brains over brawn in the series, and I want Kitty to be able to solve problems without beating people up all the time. Not to say that she never beats up people, but I do think it’s way more interesting having a heroine with many problem-solving tools at her disposal. I also really wanted to have a heroine who had to learn how to be powerful, rather than being automatically kick-ass right from the start. Kitty’s strengths are her diplomacy, her problem solving skills, and her ability to gather strong allies around her.
There’s been some recent research into wolf pack behavior that suggests that the alphas of the most successful packs aren’t necessarily the strongest wolves in the pack, but the ones who are the best organizers — the best at delegating tasks, at keep peace, and at keeping the most members of the pack alive and healthy. It’s an interesting angle and worth looking into.
Since Kitty and Ben got together and became alphas of their own pack in Denver, there hasn’t been a lot of personal drama between them even with Cormac’s return from prison. Any chance that might change? (*shh, I won’t tell anyone)
Carrie: One of my goals with Kitty is to have a main character who’s in a functional personal relationship. They’re not a perfect couple, but they get by and they’re good partners. I’m not really interested in writing about love triangles and that kind of angst. Plenty of other books are doing that. I prefer to have most of the story’s drama come from outside the main character rather than from angst that runs the risk of feeling artificial.
You’re now up to ten books in the Kitty Norville series – do you have an endpoint predetermined?
Carrie: I do have an ending in mind, but I’m not sure just yet when I’m going to get there. I have a few more ideas to tackle in the meantime.
Last year I really enjoyed reading After the Golden Age and Steel. I’d love reading more of both types of books from you – any plans to write more of them?
Carrie: Absolutely. I’m actually writing a sequel to After the Golden Age right now, and I have more YA on the back burner just waiting for me to work on. I really love working on other projects, and taking a break from Kitty now and then means I come back to the series fresh and ready to go.
Can you give us a sneak peek at anything you’re working on?
Carrie: See above! Also, I have plans for a spin-off novel starring Cormac.
Thank you so much for being with us today, Carrie!
Carrie: You’re welcome!