We are so excited to have the amazing and talented Caitlin Kittredge here with us today! If you are looking for a dark, gritty and unique UF to dive into, then look no further than the Black London series. Today marks the release of the fifth book in the series so please help us celebrate with Ms. Kittredge and give her a warm welcome to UTC!
Let’s get to know you! Tell us five things about yourself that may shock or amuse us!
Let’s see…I don’t really have any shocking secrets, but I’ll do my best to amuse you:
1. I can dislocate some of my toes, which serves no purpose other than to gross people out
2. I’ve seen the movie Showgirls 12 times
3. I played classical violin for 10 years and was going to be a music major, but changed my mind in high school
4. My favorite karaoke song is “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce
5. Joss Whedon literally ran into me once at ComicCon. I found out A) He’s very nice and B) I’m six inches taller than him
What can you tell us about Soul Trade the fifth book in your Black London series?
Soul Trade takes Jack and Pete to the English countryside, where they find that things are far from idyllic–that in fact, a zombie uprising is underway, and it may just be the beginning of something much worse, that could swallow up all of England, making it a realm of the undead and the things that feed on them, if they don’t put a stop to it.
Your Black London series is one of my favourite UF series, it is dark, gritty and I am never quite sure who the good guys are, what inspired you to write something so intense?
I guess my natural tendency is to not keep things light. I’ve always been a fan of fantasy novels that examine the world the way it really is, with the fantastical elements added. While I love all things grim and gritty, I hate stories that are unrelentingly grim with no high notes. You don’t have to throw in an HEA, but the human condition is not devoid of hope or happiness, so I try to mix in a few bright spots with the darkness that permeates Pete and Jack’s world.
Jack Winter is such a fascinating character and not someone you would usually cast in the role of a “hero”. Is he hard character to write, what gave you the idea to write someone like him?
He can be hard to pin down, yes. I started off wanting to write a story with a hero who was kind of a jerk–not the “alpha male asshole” stereotype…a hero who genuinely had zero interest in being the hero. Jack isn’t fundamentally selfish, but his life and his abilities have made him one out of necessity. He’s also conflicted, because his better nature keeps sucking him into situations where he could easily end up dead. His bastard side, though, ensures that he’s a match for the really bad people and creatures that inhabit the Black. Jack could easily have been the bad guy in a more traditional urban fantasy. I’ve always been really drawn to stories with antiheroes–the guys who just want to be left alone, who have no stake in being a white knight, and these books are my own exploration of that.
You also write YA Iron Codex series, how does that compare to writing adult UF books, do you ever have to hold back on something you are writing? How different is it to writing something that is for an older audience?
The experience is basically the same. It all comes down to character voice–characters in YA are younger, and therefore their voice and experience will be different. I never set out to censor myself writing YA–if something won’t fly, my editor will take it out. Writing for the adult market, the only real difference is in the level of profanity. You can let the f-bombs fly with abandon in adult UF, and in YA I’ve found that generally you have to be a little more careful.
Do you have playlists for your books?
I have character playlists, since I can just keep adding to them as time goes on, and I usually swap back and forth between Pete and Jack’s when I’m working on the London books.
Do you have a writing process? Do you have to listen to music, have complete silence, write only on a full moon?
My process is to try and write every day until the book is done. On a more serious note, I’m a big proponent of training yourself to write anywhere, so you can learn to hit deadlines and keep up a routine. Ideally, though, I do have some music or the TV going, and I prefer to be comfortable, which usually means my oh-so-glamorous sweatpants and slippers.
If you could live in another author’s urban fantasy world, whose would you pick and why?
I’d like to visit Richard Kadrey’s weird, twisted, Hellish version of LA from his Sandman Slim novels, but I wouldn’t want to live there–I probably wouldn’t last more than a day.
What does your writing workspace look like? Clean and orderly? Scattered with notes? Any visual would be nice.
Right now my office is undergoing renovations, so I write in my living room on my laptop. I am usually surrounded by bottles containing something caffeinated and/or covered in cats.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
About the Author
Caitlin Kittredge is the author of the Nocturne City and Black London urban fantasy series, and the Iron Codex trilogy, a steampunk adventure series for young adults. She lives in Massachusetts in a real-life Victorian mansion with her comic books, three cats and collection of Batman action figures.
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