Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

On The Shelf with Carrie Vaughn

One of the emerging leaders of the literary paranormal/fantasy genre is author Carrie Vaughn,whose series of novels starring talk show hostess and werewolf Kitty Norville has quite a strong following with seven successful books(including this year's midwinter release Kitty's House of Horrors)and a new one due out this summer.

In addition to that,Carrie recently published her first Young Adult title called Voices of Dragons and her first adult non-Kitty book is also set to come out this July,Discord's Apple. However,in order to do that,Carrie had to change publishers and is now continuing her Kitty books(and other writings) with Tor instead of Grand Central.

In this interview,Carrie talks a little about that and gives us insights into her new novel and many other interesting points to ponder:

1) Your upcoming summer novel,Discord's Apple,has Greek mythology as a main component of the plot;is this a subject that you've always had interest in?

Yes. Greek mythology is the first mythology/traditional story milieu I was really introduced to. I blame either the original Clash of the Titans movie, or the mythology section in the picture encyclopedia I had as a kid that I read over and over again. I just ate it up. It's also quite pervasive in Western culture as a whole, even more so than the Grimm fairy tales and such. So, even though I don't have a speck of Greek heritage, I've really clung to those stories over the years.

The plot of Discord's Apple really got started when I was in grad school and taking a Latin course to brush up my language requirement. We were reading the Aeneid, Virgil's take on the Trojan War and aftermath, and that really fired up my story instincts. One of the viewpoint characters in Discord's Apple is one of the minor players in the war -- Sinon, who talked the Trojans into bringing the Trojan horse into the city. I had a huge amount of fun playing with that character:

2) Another Kitty Norville book,Kitty Goes to War,is due out around the same time. How many more Kitty novels do you plan on writing?

At least two more after Kitty Goes to War, plus a collection of Kitty and related short stories. We'll see what happens after that.

3) Are there also plans in the works for a follow-up to your YA novel,Voices of Dragons?

I hope to write a sequel at some point, but I don't know exactly when that's going to happen I'm afraid. My second YA book is called Steel, and it's about fencing and pirates. It should be out some time in 2011.

4) You've had quite a career transition recently with the change of publishing houses for your work. What would you say was the best and the worst thing about this whole experience?

That's a tough one. It was traumatic, mostly because of the uncertainty. As a writer, you often don't know what's going to happen in your career more than a couple of years out. Being with a publisher can make things seem more stable, especially if they've already published several of your books. But my old publisher and I disagreed on what direction my career should take from here out.

So while the "break up" was traumatic, I really needed to follow my own path. The best thing is how encouraged I am about what's ahead, and how I'm currently in a situation I want to be in -- continuing the Kitty series while writing and publishing other novels on the side.

5) What advice would you give to other writers who may find themselves in a similar situation?

Have a game plan. Make sure you know what you want in your career. Have a picture in mind of where you want to be. That way, you can assess your situation based on that plan, that image, and act accordingly.

6) If you had the option of having your books adapted either into a major motion picture or a cable TV series,which would you choose?

Another tough one! They can only screw a movie up once. . . But a TV series would be a lot of fun and it seems like they'd be able to do more of the story. Either one, really!

7) With the latest literary trend being combining classic books with classic monsters,which book and supernatural creature would you like to mix and match?

Ah, this is not a trend I'm fond of. I've been asked this before, and I keep coming up with really snarky answers like "White Fang and Werewolves." My theory is that this trend will implode when someone tries to do a supernatural version of Northanger Abbey. But hey, has anyone done Dickens yet? "Great Expectations and Succubus?" Oh, wait a minute. . .

My thanks to Carrie Vaughn for granting me this interview and I will not be alone in looking forward to Discord's Apple as well as the next few Kitty books. If by chance you haven't read any of her work,I strongly urge you to do so.

They have plenty to recommend them;strong female characters,smart and funny dialogue,fun fantasy plots and as a bonus feature, the Kitty novels all have playlists of songs selected to suit the mood of the story. The music choices are wonderfully eclectic,with even The Bangles on board,a sure sign of quality in my book:

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