I’m a huge fan of Carrie Vaughn’s, Kitty books and when I wrote her a note to say so I asked if she’d be willing to do an interview which she quite graciously agreed to. If you haven’t read her books yet, what are you waiting for? The Kitty books (as I’ve said here many times) are fabulously original and fun and I truly can’t wait to see where she goes next.
LD: I’m a huge fan of your Kitty books – I think for me, the thing that stands out most is your approach to Kitty, which isn’t stereotypical at all. I love how Kitty grows with each installment. There’s a huge difference between the Kitty who cowered and took a whole lot of guff in Midnight Hour and the Kitty who charged out of her cabin and yelled at a faceless enemy in Takes A Vacation. Has that been your plan all along or did she just grow on her own as you did each book?
CV: The story that anchored the first book was Kitty learning to stand up for herself and come in to her own. Sort of a “coming of age” story. The stories that have come after have been a natural progression of that, certainly. The more successful she is, the more confident she gets, which means she’s able to do more. While I may not necessarily have an overarcing plan, I’m definitely interested in telling stories about an empowered character, and about Kitty learning to take charge of her life.
LD: On that note – do you have the whole series sketched out or is this just a write as you go process for you?
CV: Half and half. I really don’t know how many books about Kitty I have in me at this point. I do have certain things I want to write about, and I have the last book in the series planned, so I know where I want her to end up.
I’m not always sure what getting there is going to look like.
LD: Where does Kitty go from here?
CV: Well, in the next book, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, she returns to Denver and ends up confronting Carl and Meg once again, among other adventures.
LD: Do you have any writing rituals?
CV: Not really. I do listen to music, that’s a pretty essential part of my writing.
LD: Are you a pantser or a plotter?
CV: Both. I like to know what the ending is. In fact, I usually write the last scene before I finish writing the rest of the book. But my outlining is usually pretty minimal and I end up having to do a lot of mini-outlines and plotting and thinking about the book while I’m writing. Sort of a process of outlining and writing and revising at the same time. Mostly, I can’t wait to start writing the thing, even though I ought to do more outlining. It feels like a really chaotic way of doing things, but it usually seems to work out okay.
LD: What’s a typical writing day like for you?
CV: I spent the first part of the morning checking and answering emails, taking care of business items, playing catch up. I’ll try to get a little writing in before lunch, then take a break when my dog and I go for our long walk. Usually, the bulk of my writing gets done in the afternoon. I try to pack it all in in the afternoon so I can go play in the evening.
LD: What’s up next for you?
CV: I’m revising the fourth Kitty book, and working on the first draft of the fifth one, as well as planning the next couple. In the midst of all that I’m also a contributor to Wild Cards, a series of shared world anthologies about superheroes edited by George R. R. Martin. I have a story in the next volume, Inside Straight, due out from Tor in January, and I’m currently working on the one after that, Busted Flush. I’m also always working on short stories and other projects. Seems like the more I write, the more ideas I get!