As the author of the “Kitty Norville” urban fantasy series Carrie Vaughn has built a career and a following, and her origin story as a writer includes the 1998 Odyssey Writing Workshop and a long string of short story publications, including a Hugo Award nomination for “Amaryllis” and multiple appearances in George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards superhero book series. In 2011, Tor published her superhero novel After the Golden Age, and now Vaughn is out on tour for the January 7, 2014-published sequel, Dreams of the Golden Age. That tour reaches Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books on Friday, January 17th at 7:30 pm [Facebook event]. In conversation with Hillsborough author James Maxey for the “Coming to Town” interview series, Vaughn talks about the novel, larger than life heroes, comic books on television, and more. Enjoy!
Interview by James Maxey
In After the Golden Age, you construct a world with several powerful superhuman heroes, but they turn out not to be the focus of the story. Instead, you tell us the story of Celia, the daughter of a pair of famous superheroes, who has no powers and no grand heroic intentions and is trying to make a career as an accountant. What appealed to you about Celia that you chose to make her the heart of the story instead of one of the costumed do-gooders?
To put it simply, Celia’s story was the most interesting. There are more than enough stories out there about costumed do-gooders. Thousands of stories. There are even quite a few stories about the children of costumed do-gooders. I wanted to do a couple of things with Celia: first, overturn the trope where the child of superheroes doesn’t have powers but then acquires them somehow — Celia never gets powers. And second, tell the near-universal story of the person who has never been able to live up to her parents expectations. I wanted to tell the story of someone living in a superpowered world, who is trying to reject that world. Most superhero fans dream of living in a superpowered world, but Celia is a person who has had entirely too much of that world.
Since Dreams of the Golden Age is set twenty years after the first book, are any of the heroes from the first book still active? Or has Commerce City been hero-free for a while? Or does the city even need these heroes, if the Destructor is finally safely locked away? Read the rest of this entry »
This evening (Thursday, Dec 13) at 6 pm the Orange County Main Library in downtown Hillsborough will host the storytelling event of the winter season, “Winter Tales” [Facebook], featuring original stories, poetry, and songs composed for the event by five local authors. (Along with cookies and hot cider!)
“Join authors Mur Lafferty, Alex Granados, Gray Rinehart, Becca Gomez Farrell and James Maxey for an celebration of the holiday season with original stories, poetry, and song.”