Coming to Town: Carrie Vaughn for Dreams of the Golden Age, interviewed by James Maxey

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!

Dreams of Golden Age comp

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 »


Release day: Witchbreaker by James Maxey

James Maxey‘s Dragon Apocalypse series has been a lot of fun so far — and yet every time I say that I feel remiss in focusing on the fun, and not enough on how creative these books are. Shapeshifters, incredible and bizarre powers, awesome relics, and of course mountain-sized primal dragons. The series started with Greatshadow in January — of 2012, just 11 months ago — and introduced our narrator, Stagger, briefly, before killing him. And then allowing him to continue to narrate the book, as well as the second book, Hush, which came out in late June, though it’s Infidel who gets the cover treatment on both:

Greatshadow (Dragon Apocalypse, #1) Hush (Dragon Apocalypse, #2)

And now, before 2012 is even over, a third book in the series is here just in time for your holiday gift card pleasure. First, the publisher copy for Witchbreaker: “Book Three in the stunning Dragon Apocalypse Trilogy — Five hundred years ago, the famed Witchbreaker, Lord Stark Tower, launched a war against the cult of witches, nearly wiping them out. Today, only a handful of women still practice the craft in secret. A young witch named Sorrow has dedicated her life to changing this reality, vowing to wipe out the Church of the Book and launch a new golden age of witchcraft. In pursuit of her goals, she bonds her soul with Rott, the primal dragon of decay, giving her nearly limitless powers of destruction. Unfortunately, tapping this power comes at the cost of her humanity, leading her into a desperate quest to find the greatest witch of all time, Avaris, in hopes of mastering her dark magic before it destroys her. But she’s not alone in hunting Avaris, as fate throws her into an uneasy partnership with a man who wants to be the new Witchbreaker. Can either of them survive their mutual quests when their journey leads them into battle with Tempest, the primal dragon of storms?”

Witchbreaker: The Dragon Apocalypse 3

Right away we know the series has moved to a new chapter. Gone is Stagger as narrator (for readers of Hush, we know his fate, but I’ll omit it here for those new to the series) and we are following the continued storyline of Sorrow, a young witch who featured large in the second half of Hush. She’s been using the technique of nailing various primal materials into her skull to gain mastery over the materials, and may have bitten off far more than she can chew with her latest nail. We’re in for more inventive powers, creative magic, and of course Maxey’s deeply human characters, with their flaws, passions, goals, mistakes, and costs. So! Whether you’re new to the series (in which case, welcome to the story of Stagger, Infidel, Menagerie, the primal dragons, and all the rest) or have been following along so far, it’s a Merry Christmas indeed as today sees the release of book 3, Witchbreaker. Get out those gift cards!

Listings for the physical book:

And listings for ebooks:


Tonight! “Winter Tales” in Hillsborough!

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.”

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 72 other followers