Saturday, July 26, 2008

Interview - Caitlin Kittredge

Darque Reviews welcomes Caitlin Kittredge!

Hi Caitlin, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your work better.

CK: Hi Kimberly, and thanks. I love talking…er…doing interviews.

Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and what inspired you to write urban fantasy?

CK: I’ve been writing seriously since 2005, but I was writing fanfiction and infant-stage novel attempts since I was 13, so…ten years, really. I’ve always loved fantasy, from the time I was just learning how to read—my mother gave me a big book of Greek and Norse myths, and I learned largely on those and on Grimm’s fairy tales. It seemed natural that I’d write fantasy when the time came, and I love shapeshifters, so I created a world where my werewolves could thrive and it turned out to be contemporary. Urban fantasy hadn’t quite blown up the way it has nowadays, so I was pretty much writing blind, but I was happy to find that this strange book I’d turned out had a niche.

Night Life
was released March 4th, 2008 by
St. Martin’s Press, can you tell us a bit about Luna Wilder and Nocturne City?

CK: Luna Wilder is my heroine, who is a werewolf and a homicide detective in Nocturne City, where the story takes place. I always say that Luna could only exist in Nocturne, and Nocturne could only exist because of Luna. They’re the perfect noir couple: a grim, dark city with a tarnished heart and a tough, street-smart detective who hasn’t lost her sense of justice. Luna is a bit of a departure from “kick-ass” heroines—she makes mistakes, she gets herself into bad situations with her big mouth, she has trouble paying her bills, she has job stress. But she’s also incredibly strong, because I was inspired by some very strong women growing up and I wanted to translate that unsinkable, unshakable heart into one of my characters. Luna is a survivor, and that doesn’t always lead to happy ending, especially in a place like Nocturne City, but she does the best she can.

Pure Blood is scheduled for release on August 26, 2008, by St. Martin’s Press, what can fans expect to see Luna up to in this second installment?

CK: Pure Blood takes readers deeper into what I call the Hexiverse (after the Hex Riots, which outed supernatural creatures to the larger world in the 1960s), with an exploration of witchcraft and Luna on the trail of a killer who’s a much, much better predator than she is, and has bad plans for the future of the city. Any more would be spoiling, but I guarantee that if you enjoyed Night Life you’ll love Book 2!

What are you working on now, and what can we expect to see in new releases coming up?

CK: Right now, I’m writing Book 5 of the Nocturne City series, tentatively entitled Spell Bound. I’m also pleased to report that I sold a new series to St. Martin’s, the Black London adventures, about a psychic mage and his police inspector partner on the trail of missing children, hungry ghosts and black magic in an alternate version of London where demons are commonplace and nothing is what it seems. Street Magic, first in that series, will be out in June of 2009, and the Nocturne City books will continue to release every six months.

What’s the most difficult/enjoyable part of the writing process for you?

CK: The most enjoyable part is definitely plotting, and writing that first draft of something totally new. I love playing around with ideas until I hit just the right combination. I’m a musician, and it’s a lot like playing with chords until you get just the right progression. Writing a draft is very freeing…you can toss anything in and not have to self-edit. My least favorite part is probably copyediting, because then I not only have to deal with my mistakes, but I know that someone else read the manuscript and caught them all!

What genre do you enjoy reading? Who are some of your favorite authors?

CK: I’ll read absolutely anything that catches my fancy. I love nonfiction, particularly about music, Victorian culture and fashion. I read a ton of urban fantasy because I get a ton of free books (bonus!) and I love mysteries and thrillers as well. Right now I’m reading a mystery by a Japanese author, Natsuo Kirino, entitled Grotesque that’s just fabulous. Some of my favorite authors are Raymond Chandler, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and H.P. Lovecraft. For urban fantasy, I really enjoy Cherie Priest, Stacia Kane, Richelle Mead, Holly Black, Jackie Kessler, Kat Richardson, Mark Henry and Jim Butcher.

Is there something special you do to reward yourself each time you’ve finished writing a book?

CK: Yes! This is silly, but I’ m a vegetarian and usually fairly strict about my diet (outside of the chocolate), so when I finish a book I take a day off, pop in a movie, and order up a pizza or cook a big plate of cheese fries. Comfort eating is definitely my reward.

What is a typical day for you like, and how much of it do you spend writing?

CK: I’m a night owl, so I usually wake up, er…late. I pour some tea into myself so I can be semi-coherent, and spend about an hour answering email, reading blogs, and doing what I call “administrivia” to wake my brain. Then I grab food, figure out what I need to write by reading my outline and settle down for about 3-4 hours to get in my wordcount for the day. Ideally, I hit the gym and do responsible, grown-up things like go to the post office and buy groceries, but more likely I go play in the garden or load up Rock Band for my Playstation…what can I say? If I’m on tight deadline, I write for another hour or two after dinner, or work on copyedits, page proofs, etc. I usually go to sleep between 2 and 3 a.m. to do it all over again. I write full time, so I don’t really get “days off” unless I’ve just finished something.

How do you spend your free time when you find some?

CK: I love to garden, so I spend a lot of time battling weeds, slugs and all of the other wonderful pests we have here in Washington. I catch up on my reading, or my Tivo, go to movies (I’m a huge movie geek, so I go once or twice a week), go thrift-shopping, go out places with my friends, or find interesting spots to take pictures. I have a Flickr stream that’s linked on my web site if anyone’s interested.

Where can readers find you on the web?

CK: I have a web site,, and there’s my blog, which is (so exciting!) I’m on LiveJournal, Myspace and Facebook, which are all linked on my site. Feel free to friend me…I like the false sense of importance that comes with online social networking.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or with aspiring writers before we go?

CK: Readers: Thank you so much for reading my books. Really. I know there’s a vast selection and the fact that you read/will read mine is a huge thing. You make my career possible, and I love each one of you from the bottom of my neurotic writer heart.

Aspiring authors: A crappy finished manuscript is better than a perfect manuscript that’s not done. You can always go back and edit the damn thing. That’s the best advice I ever got (other than “Don’t be an idiot”, which is sound advice any way you slice it.)

Thanks so much for joining us, and the best of luck with both your Nocturne City and Black London series!

CK: Thank you, Kimberly!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews


jessewave said...

What a lovely interview Kimberly. Caitlin Kittredge sounds like the kind of author whose stuff I would really like and she's a very unassuming person. Great job!

Kimberly Swan said...

Thanks Wave! Sounds like another author for your wish list. :)

RachaelfromNJ said...

Great interview! I can't wait to try her books. :)

Kimberly Swan said...

Hi Rachael - Caitlin's was a fun and easy interview. :) Yes, you need to add Night Life and Pure Blood to your B & N shopping list!

Amberkatze said...

Looking forward to Pure Blood!!

Kimberly Swan said...

Hi Amber - A lot of questions are answered from the ending of Night Life, and of course there is lots of action going on. :)