I had a few really bad years in school, just from not fitting in and being bullied. It was kind of brilliant being a military brat, though, because when you're in that kind of situation, you just think, 'I only have to hang on for another year, because then we'll move. It'll be fine if I can just get out of here.'
All writing and publishing is very difficult, regardless of genre. There are going to be obstacles no matter what.
Grand Central really didn't want me doing anything under my own name but the 'Kitty' novels.
I didn't plan to write YA - I had a story that simply wasn't working as a straight-up fantasy novel.
I wanted to be Carrie Vaughn the awesome writer, not the chick who writes the 'Kitty' books.
I was born on Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento, but we moved around a lot.
I would ask, 'Have you read '1984'? Have you read 'Brave New World'? If so, I'm sorry, but you read science fiction.'
My parents are both huge science-fiction and fantasy fans - I was fed it.
Robin McKinley's 'The Blue Sword' was a defining book of my teen years, and I'd love to have more books like that in the world.
Writers can feel pretty powerless in the big corporate world of publishing, but sometimes our greatest power is the ability to say 'no.'
Don't hold back in your writing. Take risks. Go ahead and tackle that crazy idea that you think will never fly, because that may be the one that makes you stand out from the crowd. Keep pushing the envelope.
Have a picture in mind of the kind of career you want, the kind of writer you want to be. This will help you make tough decisions when you reach crossroads - choosing an agent, deciding to accept deals.
I admit, I'm suspicious of any career planning that involves chasing the next 'big thing,' just because it's so hard to predict what the next big thing is going to be a couple of years - or even six months - out.
I got a crash-course education in urban fantasy. I suddenly had to look up all these other writers I was supposed to be in a genre with. I instantly had to become an expert in this genre I knew almost nothing about.
I got into an argument with my original publisher. They wanted me to do 'Kitty' and nothing else. I wanted to do lots of things, not just 'Kitty' books.
If you sell yourself short before you even start, you'll never know how far you could have gone. Ambition is a wonderful thing and has gotten me farther than I ever thought I'd go.
What's interesting to me is how many vampire/urban fantasy authors are writing young adult series as well, often set in the same world as their adult books, but focused on a younger audience.
When aspiring writers ask me about how they should target their writing, I tell them to pay no attention to that kind of thing. It will restrict you. You will end up falling into stereotypes in an effort to tailor your work toward a perceived genre category.