Just shortly after moderating a panel discussion on the subject of 'Women in Horror', author Carrie Vaughn headed down a hallway at the convention center to take up temporary residence in the 'Horrorfest Extras' room for a book signing and the opportunity to meet some of her fans.
It was here that Jonja.net caught up with her, and she graciously granted us a few moments out of her hectic convention schedule for a short 'Q and A'.Jonja.net
~ "It states in your 'Virtual Playground' bio that you live nearby in Boulder, CO. How did you fare with the unusually heavy holiday snowstorms we had this past December and January?"Carrie
~ "Oh, man. I almost cried. I used to live in North Dakota. My Dad was in the Air Force and he was stationed there, and it would snow in October and we wouldn't see the ground again until March. And with the wind and the blowing drifts it was just... a really awful and brutal winters to get through. The thing I like about Colorado is you can get huge snowstorms but, it melts within a few days. Well, except for this winter, when it snowed and it snowed and it snowed and the wind blew and it crusted over and it got dirty and awful and cold, and it looked just like North Dakota."(laughing)Jonja.net
~ "What was your decision to live in Colorado?"Carrie
~ "My Dad was stationed here when I was in high school, so I graduated from high school in Monument. Went away to college. Bought a horse! (laughs), and came back to take care of my horse, 'cause it's cheaper to keep her out here. Ended up going to grad school at CU Boulder. I liked it up there. I love the mountains. I love the climate here and I think Colorado is great. We have the best of everything. I'm close enough to Denver that I can enjoy Denver, and I'm close enough to Rocky Mountain National Park so I get to enjoy the wilderness. I love the sunshine. I've got a lot of roots here. My grandparents live in Pueblo and my parents live in Colorado Springs, so I've just kind of put down roots here and I can't think of anywhere else that I'd want to live."Jonja.net
~ "Excellent! I really enjoyed the panel discussion that you just finished moderating, 'Women in Horror'. It occurred to me after it was over, that one of the first strong female characters in horror films that I ever saw would have been Carrie White."Carrie
~ "The Stephen King 'Carrie', right? I actually had that in my notes. I started to wonder what that movie might have looked like if it had been, you know... Carl or something. If that character had been male. Because it did not necessarily have to be a woman. Men are picked on in school as much as women, you know, they can have horrible backgrounds just as much as a woman would in that situation. So what changed about that movie? Why did it have to be a woman in that role? Wonderfully played by Sissy Spacek. A brilliant movie and a brilliant story. And she's both a victim and a perpetrator which makes it very interesting. I think it's one of those that broke out of the stereotypical roles. Beyond that, I don't know the answer. That's why I wanted to bring it up in the panel and see what other people said about it. We had so many things to talk about. I think you're right, that is one of the first where we get kind of a new role for women, where the rules started to change."Jonja.net
~ "Your bio also claims that at one time or another you held a variety of different jobs (Renaissance Festival Counter Wench, Theater Usher, Editor, Buyer at an Independent Bookstore, Administrative Assistant). Which of these was your 'fave' and what was your not so 'fave'?"Carrie
~ "I loved
the bookstore. I absolutely loved it, and I learned so much about the business. You know, I just love books. I think one of the best things is when you have somebody coming into the store, and they don't know what to read, and they want a recommendation and so you get to kind of hoist all of your favorite authors on them. And, you know, great people work in bookstores. They tend to be really smart. Really well read. And just being in that environment was really great. It's the only job that I've had that I miss. And the worst job that I've had... it was an environmental thing. I... did a lot of editing in college, so that was my first job. My real job after college was as an editor at a specialty magazine, and the environment was just so horrible that I quit after 5 months. And also, editing during the day and trying to write at night, didn't work out. I wanted to do something completely different than writing for my day job, so that I could go home and work on the stuff that I really loved."Jonja.net
~ "That is completely understandable."
Ms. Vaughn has two (actually three) novels in print. "Kitty and the Midnight Hour" and "Kitty Goes to Washington", plus numerous short stories and articles.Jonja.net
~ "For those familiar with your works, this will seem redundant. But for those who are not, please tell us a little about the recurring title character of Kitty Norville in your series of books."Carrie
~ "My one line blurb is 'She's a werewolf named Kitty. She starts a talk-radio show about the supernatural. She lives in a world where vampires and werewolves are real. Vampires, werewolves and other people begin calling in and she begins dispensing advice. She's kind of the Dr. Laura Schlessinger of the supernatural world.' That format just turned out to be so much fun, I've kind of taken it and run with it and just had a great time."Jonja.net
~ "What was your inspiration for the character of Kitty Norville?"Carrie
~ "I decided that Dr. Laura wouldn't be able to handle the problems of your average vampire. And I decided to make her a werewolf because I didn't think there were enough books about werewolves. Lots and lots of books about vampires. I wanted to do something different."Jonja.net
~ "Your latest book "Kitty takes a Holiday" was just released April 1, 2007. Any early feedback from your publishers?"Carrie
~ "It's been great! I have received a lot of e-mails from people who have read it and I was a little worried. I do a couple of drastic things to a couple of characters, and I thought maybe that people might not like it, might not want the world to change that much. Characters that they care about. That Kitty cares about. But people have reacted very well. I think they like the fact that the books are taking risks. I want to do things different. I want to push the envelope and see how far I can go, and people seem to respond to that really well, and I'm grateful."Jonja.net
~ "It's understood that there's a new novel on the horizon, "Kitty and the Silver Bullet". Any release date?"Carrie
~ "I think it's going to be sometime in January, 2008." Jonja.net
~ "What advice would you have for a person who believes that they would like to write (either professionally or as a creative outlet?)"Carrie
~ "WRITE! You'll get this over and over again. Write every day. Write a lot. Write a lot of different things and always try to get better. Always try to get better and push yourself. That's where it all starts, and everything else you can learn and pick up later. But just love what you write and write a lot!"Jonja.net
~ "Well, thank you. I'd like to try something silly with you to finish out our time. I call it the "Lightning Round!" Levis or Wranglers?Carrie
~ "Neither." (laughs)Winter or Summer?Carrie
~ "Summer." Dogs or Cats?Carrie
~ "Dogs."Domestic, Imports or Microbrews?Carrie
~ "Neither. I'm a wine drinker."Mashed potatoes or Stuffing?Carrie
~ "Thank you for being a good sport, and thank you so much for your time. It is greatly appreciated."
Carrie Vaughn's upcoming appearances include...
April 29, 2007 3:00pm 'Who Else! Books' @ Denver Book Mall
July 26-29, 2007 San Diego Comic Con (San Diego Convention Center)
August 31-September 3, 2007 Dragon*Con (Atlanta, GA)
*Be sure to visit 'Carrie Vaughn's Virtual Playground'