Interview: Caitlin Kittredge

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started into writing?

CK: I got started storytelling really young--I'd make up and act out elaborate drama with my dolls and stuffed animals.  As to actually getting serious about making writing a career, probably around 13 or 14--I wrote a really terrible novel-length Star Wars fanfiction piece and while it was obviously never going to go anywhere, I decided that yeah, I could do this writing thing as a job.  I didn't actually start trying to write an original novel-length piece until after college, but I've wanted to be a pro author pretty much forever.

NRR: How were you inspired to write the Black London series?

CK: I owe a lot to the great dark fantasy comics that came out from the late 1980s to the early 2000s--Sandman, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Books of Magic, Hellboy, those sorts of things.  Stories that were genuinely spooky and yet resonated on a human level, pulled from a lot of different mythologies, and were populated largely with anti-heroes.  I was reading a writing a lot of paranormal romance at the time I started Street Magic, and I was ready to get away from the more fluffy side of the supernatural and write something that meshed with my tastes as a reader.  I also wanted to write an urban fantasy hero who wasn't an "alpha male"...somebody who was damaged and who didn't resolve everything by punching somebody in the face.  Nothing against alpha males, but I'd just written four books featuring one and I needed a break.  Then, I considered that I should probably come up with a place to put all of these characters, and from there I got the Black--an alternate London hidden from normal people's view by magic, where all of the paranormal types can congregate.

NRR :What is a guilty pleasure for you?

CK: Taco Bell, b-grade action movies, and the music of REO Speedwagon.

NRR: Which actor and actress do you see playing Jack and Pete?

CK: I don't really have anything set  in stone there, although Emily Blunt reminds me a great deal of Pete (except she'd need to slap a wig on that red hair.)  I think David Tennant, who used to be on the Doctor Who series, would be a fantastic Jack. 

NRR: Can you share with us a day in the life of Caitlin Kittredge?

CK :Let's see.  I reluctantly wake up, usually.  My roommate works at the local library so I drive her to work and then spend her shift on my laptop without distractions, trying to blog and get in my wordcount for the day.  In the afternoon I usually work on edits, or might leave the house again and do something related in no way to writing at all.  But probably not.  All this, of course, is secondary to catering to the needs of my feline overlords.

NRR: Can you share with us how long it takes for you to put together one of your novels?

CK: I've had a novel take about eight or nine months and a novel take six weeks.  Average that out, maybe?

NRR: Can you tell us a little about Bone Gods(of course no spoilers)?

Bone Gods brings about big changes for Pete and Jack.  I'm not a fan of series books where the status quo always remains the same, so I set out to shake things up and also brought back a character from Demon Bound I'm fond of.  He was supposed to be a one-off, but I couldn't let him go.  I can safely say that neither Pete or Jack escape Bone Gods unscathed, but I hope I avoided any shark-jumping.

What authors helped inspire your writing career?

I owe a lot to Neil Gaiman--cliche, but it's true.  If I hadn't picked up Sandman I probably wouldn't be a speculative fiction author.  I'm also very inspired by the great old pulp authors like Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane.  Those guys knew how to tell a story with no fuss and no waste.  I grew up reading a lot of pulp novels, and I'm sure I owe my style largely to that.

What can fans expect to see from you in the coming year?

My first young adult novel, which is called THE IRON THORN, is going to be published in February 2011. I'm really excited about that--I've never tried YA before and it was great to create an entirely new world and work with new characters.  The fourth Black London book, which is titled DEVIL'S BUSINESS, will be out during September 2011.

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