London for the (Paranormal) Literary Tourist
Guest Post by Carrie Vaughn
In Kitty Steals the Show, our intrepid heroes travel to London. I wanted to tell this story for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to show, at least a little bit, what the supernatural looks like in another country, in the world of the series. I wanted Kitty to meet the Master vampire in a foreign city and see what the alpha werewolves are like there. Expand her world by showing supernatural politics overseas.
Second — I wanted to go to London. Plain and simple.
I studied abroad in Britain in college at the University of York, so I’ve been to London before, as a student and as a tourist a couple of times since then. Now, finally, it was time for me to write a book that takes place there, and I was overjoyed at the prospect. I could have set the conference that forms the centerpiece of the novel in any major international city — Paris, Berlin, Rio Di Janeiro, Tokyo. But I picked London for the simple reason that I love it. And I knew exactly where I wanted to go once I got there.
Without revealing any spoilers, here are a few locations from the book that you should definitely visit to get a flavor of Kitty’s London:
Hyde Park: A sprawling oasis of calm in the middle of city, famous for meandering bridle paths and various hidden monuments. A natural location for werewolves to gather.
Kensington Gardens: Adjacent to Hyde Park and home to the Peter Pan statue placed by J.M. Barrie himself, as well as many other treasures.
Mayfair: This has been London’s most exclusive neighborhood for centuries, a collection of quiet lanes, spectacular architecture, casually parked Aston Martins, and celebrity sightings. If werewolves love Hyde Park, vampires love Mayfair.
Dulwich: A quick train ride south of London, this suburb features some hidden gems, as most little towns in Britain do. Old churches, a tiny but amazing art museum, a Victorian park with feral parrots — and it’s the home base of London’s vampire Master.
These next locations aren’t specifically settings in the book, but they’re must-see spots if you’re at all a fan of the supernatural:
Whitechapel: Jack the Ripper’s famous haunt. ‘Nuff said.
Ghost tours: You can find them for nearly every old neighborhood in London. Pick one. Perhaps in Whitechapel? If you dare…
Soho: Take a walk through this colorful neighborhood. Your hair must be perfect, and you must raise a toast to Warren Zevon.
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus: Retrace David’s tragic final hours on your very own An American Werewolf in London walking tour.
Most of all, enjoy yourself! London is a city full of stories waiting to be told.
KITTY STEALS THE SHOW
by Carrie Vaughn
Published on 7/31/2012 by Tor
Kitty has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies, taking place in London. The conference brings together scientists, activists, protestors, and supernatural beings from all over the world—and Kitty, Ben, and Cormac are right in the middle of it.
Master vampires from dozens of cities have also gathered in London for a conference of their own. With the help of the Master of London,Kitty gets more of a glimpse into the Long Game—a power struggle among vampires that has been going on for centuries—than she ever has before. In her search for answers, Kitty has the help of some old allies, and meets some new ones, such as Caleb, the alpha werewolf of the British Isles. The conference has also attracted some old enemies, who’ve set their sights on her and her friends.
All the world’s a stage, and Kitty’s just stepped into the spotlight.