It's no surprise that author Carrie Vaughn, who'll be appearing at Broadway Book Mall Sunday, holds a deep love for the nooks, crannies, and quiet hominess of local bookstores. She used to work in one. In the late '90s, the Longmont-based scribe had yet to launch her New York Timesbestselling Kitty Norville series, which centers on a Colorado radio personality who also happens to be a werewolf. Back then, Vaughn rang up customers and stocked shelves in the now defunct McKinzey-White Booksellers in Colorado Springs. "I worked there for a number of years right out of college," she remembers. A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, she used her position to champion the cause of the genres she loved: "I did a lot of evangelizing. We'd get a new person working in the store, and I'd have a cart of science fiction paperbacks, and they would sneer, 'Oh, I don't read that.' The other clerks would back away, because they knew I was about to throw down. I would ask, 'Have you read 1984? Have you read Brave New World? If so, I'm sorry, but you read science fiction.'"
Vaughn expounded on her passion for science fiction and fantasy my recent Westword cover story, "Strange New Words," but all it takes is a peek at her bibliography to realize how passionate she is about the genre.
From contributing to the superhero-themed anthology series Wild Cards, co-created and co-edited by Game of Thrones' George R. R. Martin, to her non-Kitty novels such as the poignant, mythology-steeped Discord's Apple, she's produced Hugo Award-nominated work that encompasses the scope of what science fiction and fantasy can do and say -- including drawing nonbelievers into her many worlds.
As for her unflagging enthusiasm for her chosen field, she says, "All writing and publishing is very difficult, regardless of genre. There are going to be obstacles no matter what. So why not do what I love?"
She'll be reading from her latest Kitty novel, Low Midnight, at one of her frequent and favorite local book haunts, Broadway Book Mall at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 18. Admission is free; for more information, go to broadwaybookmall.com.
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