Carrie Vaughn

FanLit welcomes our regular guest Stephen Frank. He’s a big fan of Carrie Vaughn’s KITTY NORVILLE series and he had a chance to talk with her about the newest installment which was released today. Thanks, Stephen!

We are pleased to have with us today Carrie Vaughn, bestselling author as well as the ingenious creator of my personal favorite fictional radio show host: Kitty Norville. Her latest novel, Kitty Steals the Show is being released by Tor today. Comment below to win a copy.

Stephen Frank: Hi Carrie. Thanks so much for being willing to answer a few questions for our readers. On your website, I notice that you are a self-proclaimed werewolf psychologist. If I wanted to learn how to psychoanalyze a werewolf, how would you recommend that I go about learning? Is there some formal schooling? Or do you owe this to natural talent?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsCarrie Vaughn: I think it’s a natural talent, like “werewolf whispering.” I’ve just spent so much time thinking about werewolves, I can’t help but have some insight. For formal schooling, you might try watching An American Werewolf in London and Ginger Snaps a few dozen times each.

Sounds very practical. My thirteen-year-old daughter has been watching a TV show entitled Teen Wolf recently, though I suspect in her case it has more to do with a certain male actor than with a research interest in werewolf psychology. Speaking of which, outside of your fiction writing, is there much demand for your knowledge of werewolf psychology? For instance, I play in poker tournaments occasionally, and I have sometimes suspected certain hairier of my opponents as being were-somethings, due in part to their aggressiveness, although it is possible that they are merely French. Anyway, I can imagine that poker players might pay dearly for advice from a talented profiler such as yourself, assuming werewolves like to gamble, which, you know, um, do they?

Well, whenever anyone gets rowdy and unpleasant, I try to remind myself that they may very well have a beast locked inside of them that they are battling. As far as gambling, I think werewolves like to gamble as much as anyone else likes to gamble. Or knit, or play bridge, or go for hikes in the woods, or go to movies. The thing about werewolves is that they are, you know, people. Which means they’re as different and individual as people generally are; so it’s hard to make blanket statements. And it’s not like they’re either a wolf, or a person, and they go back and forth like flipping a switch. They’re always a little bit of both. It helps to take that into account when talking about werewolves.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsI suppose it does. I have to confess that despite my long-time literary listenership to Kitty’s radio show, I am still not very enlightened when it comes to befriending werewolves, with a big goose egg in that department. On a slightly different topic, I notice from your blog that you have a habit of taking and posting pictures of random statuary and forest scenes. What, if anything does this have to do with your relationship to werewolves?

Peaceful and beautiful things appeal to me. Intriguing things. Werewolves can be all of these, if people give them a chance. They’re a lot more than the slavering rage monsters most people would have you believe they are.

I trust you’re right about that. In addition to your NY Times bestselling KITTY NORVILLE series, you recently released After the Golden Age (Tor: April 2011). How would you describe that novel in relation to your KITTY novels? Is it targeted at a different audience?

I like to think it’s targeted at anyone who likes fun contemporary fantasy novels, so I hope there’s at least some overlap with Kitty’s readership. It’s got a lot of the same themes of a young woman making her way in the world and overcoming unusual difficulties. It’s set in a different world, and the novel tackles superhero tropes, just as the KITTY novels tackle a lot of paranormal/supernatural tropes. I think people who are paying attention will be able to tell the books were written by the same author.

Sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it soon. In your biography, you list among your favorite authors such notables as Bradbury, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, LeGuin, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Philip Pullman. You also list Charles Dickens. No question, I just wondered if you wanted to print a retraction. Heh heh. Seriously, though, if you were able to spend, say, six hours discussing life/philosophy and whatnot with an author (living or dead) who would it be and why?

C’mon, Dickens is amazing. He’s a genius at character. And he invented Columbo before Columbo did, no joke. Who I’d want to spend time with is a tough question, because I’ll change my mind five times in as many minutes. But I’m going to pick Jane Austen because I think it would be a fascinating, entertaining few hours.

Thanks so much, Carrie, for taking the time to stop by Fantasy Literature on your blog tour. We wish you the best of success!

Readers, comment below for a chance to win your own copy of Kitty Steals the Show.

Kitty has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies, taking place in London. The conference brings together scientists, activists, protestors, and supernatural beings from all over the world — and Kitty, Ben, and Cormac are right in the middle of it. Master vampires from dozens of cities have also gathered in London for a conference of their own. With the help of the Master of London, Kitty gets more of a glimpse into the Long Game — a power struggle among vampires that has been going on for centuries — than she ever has before. In her search for answers, Kitty has the help of some old allies, and meets some new ones, such as Caleb, the alpha werewolf of the British Isles. The conference has also attracted some old enemies, who’ve set their sights on her and her friends. All the world’s a stage, and Kitty’s just stepped into the spotlight.

Carrie Vaughn is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kitty Norville books, including Kitty’s Big Trouble and Kitty and the Midnight Hour. She is also the author of the stand-alone novels After the Golden Age and Discord’s Apple, and the young adult books Voice of Dragons and Steel. Vaughn had the nomadic childhood of the typical Air Force brat, with stops across the country from California to Florida. She earned her B.A. from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and a master’s in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has worked as a Renaissance Festival counter wench, a theater usher, an editor, a buyer at an independent bookstore, and an administrative assistant. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Next week: Terry Brooks!

FanLit thanks Stephen Frank for conducting this interview for us! 


  • Stephen B. Frank

    STEPHEN (S.B.) FRANK, one of our guest contributors, earned a Ph.D. at Duke University and works in the field of education reform. When he needs a break from real life, he likes to indulge in urban fantasy. He has a particular love for humor, so some of his favorite authors are Dakota Cassidy, Mary Janice Davidson, Mark Henry, Julie Kenner, Katie MacAlister, Richelle Mead and Christopher Moore.

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