In Carrie's words, "I was born in California, but grew up all over the country, a bona fide Air Force Brat. I currently live in Colorado, with my miniature American Eskimo dog, Lily. I have a Masters in English Lit, love to travel, love movies, plays, music, just about anything, and am known to occasionally pick up a rapier. I've never been a DJ, but I love writing about one."
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Steel by Carrie Vaughn
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: Available Now
It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her. This was the tip of a rapier.
Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure. The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain. Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.
1) Thank you Carrie for giving me the opportunity to feature you! Your latest YA book, Steel sounds amazing, what inspired you to write it?
CV: I wanted to see if I could write a pirate story. I think I was watching one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and decided that I wanted to write something a little less fanciful and more realistic and gritty. Also, as a fencer, I wanted to write a pirate story that had lots of sword fighting in it. I made my main character a competitive fencer, and she's based on some of the students at a fencing school here in Boulder, who are teenagers who compete in tournaments all over the world. They're really good!
2) In your novel, Jill, the main protagonist magically transports to the early eighteenth century. Was it difficult transitioning to a different era?
CV: Not entirely. I did a lot of research, read a lot of books on piracy and sailing in the 1720's. Because Jill is discovering the world at the same time the readers are, I could really focus on what she knows, what she learns, and how the two worlds are very different.
3) Out of all the characters in Steel, who was your favorite creation? If you could hang out with them for one day, what would you do together?
CV: After the main character Jill, it would probably be Captain Marjory Cooper, the captain of the ship that Jill finds herself on. I based her on the tough women pirates who actually lived during that period. I would want to hang out on her ship and hear her tell stories.
4) I see you also write adult books, do you prefer writing that genre or Young Adult books? Out of all the books you've written, which one is closest to your heart and why?
CV: I don't really have a preference -- some of the stories I write are naturally Young Adult, some are naturally adult, and I see it more a matter of categorizing them after the fact than a difference in how I write them. Steel and my previous YA book, Voices of Dragons, just worked a whole lot better with teenage main characters, and themes of coming of age, and so on. They really needed to be YA. I'm not sure which of my books are closest to my heart. In some ways the first one I ever wrote, which never got published, is still close to my heart because it was the first. They're all close to my heart for different reasons.
5) Are your currently working on any other projects?
CV: I always have a bunch of projects going on. I'm still writing books in my Kitty series, about a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show. I have a couple of stand-alone books coming out -- Discord's Apple in 2010 and After the Golden Age in 2011. And Steel, of course, in March 2011. I also usually have short stories coming out in various anthologies.
6) Do you have anything you want to say to your current and future readers?
CV: Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my books!
Thank you Carrie for the chance to feature you!