Book Nerd Interview
Caitlin started writing novels at age 13. Her first was a Star Wars tie-in. Fortunately, she branched out from there and after a few years trying to be a screenwriter, a comic book writer and the author of copious amounts of fanfiction, she tried to write a novel again. Her epic dark fantasy (thankfully) never saw the light of day but while she was struggling with elves and sorcerers she got the idea of writing a story about a werewolf who fought crime.
Two years and many, many drafts later, she pitched Night Life to a bevy of agents and one of them, Rachel Vater, sold the series to St. Martin’s.
Caitlin collects comic books, print books, vintage clothes, and bad habits. She loves tea, loud music, the color black (especially mixed with the color pink) and ghost stories. She can drive a stick shift, play the violin and knows more English curses than American ones.
Caitlin lives in Olympia, WA with two pushy cats.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grow up?
It varied from day to day--I recall at various times desiring strongly (ie, for more than an afternoon) to be a veterinarian, an astronaut, a cop, and a professional sharpshooter (my mother LOVED the last one.) I didn't realize you could be a professional author until around middle school.
What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I was working a crushingly awful job and I needed a distraction, so in order to reclaim a tiny bit of power over my day I decided to get serious about writing a book.
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Everything can be an influence, but I'd say for me I was heavily influenced by fairy tales and folklore. My mother used to read those types of stories to me when I was younger, and I always wanted to write stories that would inspire and frighten readers in the same way.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've written 12 novels, and it's really hard to say which one is my favorite, although Street Magic and The Iron Thorn both hold a special place in my heart.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing The Iron Thorn?
I was surprised at how intricate the world became. I was expecting to write a straightforward scary fairy tale and I discovered as the draft went on that things in Aoife's world were far more complicated than that. Writing the history and hidden secrets in the book was my favorite part.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I'm lucky in that I hear from readers all the time, and the vast majority are so positive and so supportive that it makes me smile every single day. I'm always happy to hear from people who have read the book, unless their sole mission is to be a jerk. Then I just hit the ignore button!
What were your feelings when you saw the cover of The Iron Thorn?
I was so, so happy. It's my favorite cover hands down. Random House and the photographer did an amazing job, and I'm so thrilled with it.
If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Oh, as mean as I am to them, I'd never let them talk! They'd be mad at me!
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Right now I'm working on the third volume of the Iron Codex series, which is the final third of the trilogy.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
My favorite chapter was when Aoife and Dean are on the roof of Graystone, her family mansion. I loved the interaction between the characters and getting to use such a breathtaking locale as a backdrop.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Yes, inevitably real life influences my fiction. If you know me, you can see the places where it creeps in.
Are there any tips you would give a book club to better navigate their discussion of The Iron Thorn?
I'd recommend they might want to read a few Lovecraft stories to supplement their understanding of the world, and also discuss how steampunk can fit into a number of time periods and locales, not just Victorian England.
Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
I like Aoife a lot and I think she takes an incredible journey in the book, but my favorite character is Dean. He's so irreverent and so much fun to write.
Where did you get your idea for The Iron Thorn?
I wanted to write a steampunk story, but I didn't want to do something typical, so meshing steampunk and Lovecraft opened the door to writing the book.
What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
I've been asked practically everything at this point, and usually I'm pretty happy to answer whatever!
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
The title of my next book is The Nightmare Garden and it's the sequel to The Iron Thorn, where Aoife has to deal with the consequences of everything she set in motion by making a deal with the treacherous fairies who tries to destroy her world. It'll be out on 2/14.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Really, every time I meet someone who tells me they like my books, and that they've made a difference in their lives, it's so rewarding. It makes all the hard work worth it.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
I don't have a particular theme, but when writing the Iron Codex books I listened to the scores from Sherlock Holmes and Sweeney Todd quite a bit.
Favorite places to travel?
England, without a doubt. I've been three times and I'd go back in a heartbeat.
Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
That's a tough question! Being a co-author is a huge responsibility. I did co-author two novels with Jackie Kessler, who also wrote Hunger and Rage, awesome YA novels. We had a third book planned, but our publisher stopped at the second. I'd really love to finish that trilogy.
Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?
None at the moment, but I always update the front page of my site when I have an upcoming appearance: www.caitlinkittredge.com
Batman: The Animated Series
What is your favorite food?
Cheese fries and pie. It's a toss-up.
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
iPhone, wallet, pen, pants
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I just saw David Fincher's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in the theaters and thought it was a masterpiece. I've really been enjoying Revenge and Pan Am as far as new television goes.
What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
I went solo hiking in Arizona in 2010 and got pretty badly lost and dehydrated. I wasn't scared in a deep-down terror way, but I knew it was a situation where I really had to keep it together if I didn't want to get into worse trouble. I ended up hiking something like 13 miles without water to get back to the trailhead, and a thunderstorm was rolling in so it was pitch black. Definitely a tense moment or two in there!
In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.
Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.
The Iron Thorn is the perfect book to start a series. Caitlin Kittredge’s Iron Codex series is destined to be a favorite for many. It already has presented a very riveting story plot filled with remarkable characters. I loved the setting with all of its machines, gears, clockwork, and iron bridges. It was even more fascinating reading all the details that Kittredge has put in this book.
This was my first venture in the world of steampunk and I was not a bit disappointed. I found this to be an incredible novel with details so vivid but still maintaining the mystery of the story. There are many surprises along the way. Just as you thought that you have figured out what is going on, Kittredge throws the unthinkable in the next chapter and your mind scrambles to find where the loop belongs in the previous one. You will experience this all the way until the end.
The interactions between characters were solid and believable. You can’t help but to care for them especially the mystery surround Aoife and her family. Her boldness shows off her fierce and brave traits. Each character is crafted with care and has their own personality and intelligence. The world of Lovecraft is simply beautiful and fascinating to read about.
It is an entertaining story that is easy to follow. It will keep your interest level high with all of the loops that are presented. It is a great start to a trilogy and would make an outstanding addition to anyone’s bookshelf.
You can purchase The Iron Thorn at these following retailers:
Release Date: February 14, 2012
And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Caitlin for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive one Signed Copy of
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge.
a Rafflecopter giveaway