Happy Book Birthday to Carrie Vaughn’s delicious KITTY MIX-TAPE

Cover design by Elizabeth Story

TOR.COM celebrates the birthday with an excerpt from Carrie Vaughn’s KITTY’S MIX-TAPE.

“Kitty Busts the Feds”

“I’m just saying if anybody should know about this, it oughta be you, right?”

Putting my elbows on the desk, I rubbed my scalp and winced at the microphone. “Yes, you’re right, of course. If anyone ought to know the effects of recreational marijuana on lycanthropes it should be me, even though I’ve never actually tried the stuff, even though I live in Colorado. I’m so sorry to disappoint you.”

I wasn’t sorry, and I seemed to be completely unable to steer the show off this topic.

“All right, checking the monitor . . . and all the calls are about pot. Okay. Fine. Matt, are we violating any FCC regulations by talking about pot on the air this much?” Pot might have been legal in Colorado, but the show was syndicated all over the country and I didn’t want to get any affiliate stations in trouble. On the other side of the booth window, Matt, my engineer, gave me a big shrug. I figured if I was in trouble, Ozzie, the station manager, would have called by now to ax this whole line of discussion. “What the hell, NPR has done a million news stories on pot, right? It’s not like we’re telling people how to get the stuff. Next caller, you’re on the air.”

“I mean, if you don’t live in Colorado how do you get the stuff—”

“I cannot help you with this. Next call, please. Linda, what’s your question?”

“Hi, Kitty, thanks so much for taking my call. There really are so many medical applications for cannabis, especially in terms of reducing anxiety and alleviating chronic pain, it seems that if we wanted to look anywhere for a cure for lycanthropy it would be with CBD oil.”

For John Scalzi’s WHATEVER, Vaughn contributes THE BIG IDEA.

Sometimes a big idea is the culmination of a lot of other ideas. Sometimes, it happens toward the end of a process rather than at the start.

I wrapped up my series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty five years ago. . .but I had some loose ends. A handful of short stories connected to the series that hadn’t yet been collected anywhere, some crazy rough drafts that needed finishing. . .  I wanted to pull them all together and get them out in the world.

Collecting a decade’s worth of material is a chance to reflect on characters and a world I’ve lived with for quite a long time now (the first Kitty short story appeared in Weird Tales in 2001). How did I do? What did I miss? Would I change anything? Is there anything left to mine?

Heck, there’s always something left to mine! These are ideas, not molybdenum. They propagate. Short stories are the perfect form in which to explore maybe not big earth-shattering plots. But ideas. Weird ideas that don’t fit in a novel outline, that might not work stretched out over three hundred pages but might pack a punch at 30 pages. For example:  What happens when a werewolf goes to her 10 year high school reunion? I don’t know, let’s find out!

If you missed the October 9 Book Bar virtual event with Vaughn and Kevin Hearne, the full video of the conversation can be found on the event site.