Interview with A.C. Gaughen, author of <em>Scarlet</em>
[box type="note"]Leigh here! I've been dying to pick up AC Gaughen's debut Scarlet (Walker/Bloomsbury), since I first read the description on the Apocalypsies boards. Today, we're lucky enough to welcome her to Pub(lishing) Crawl![/box]
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
1. Welcome to the pub, AC. You're just a few days away from seeing Scarlet on shelves. What have the last few weeks been like and how do you plan to celebrate the launch?
Well, tonight I'm celebrating with family and friends in a little private party, which I'm really looking forward to—I'm terrible at taking time off and actually, you know, celebrating. But then comes the launch party, which is super exciting because it's being hosted by the bookstore I worked at as a teen (and essentially grew up between the bookshelves!). I can't wait!
2. They must be so proud of you! (And for the record, I'm a staunch proponent of taking time off to celebrate.) Can you tell us a little about the research that went into Scarlet? Did you revisit the Robin Hood mythos or did you focus on historical research? Were you surprised by anything you discovered?
I TRIED to do historical research—I mean, I did a fair amount on the middle ages, daily life, the layout of England at the time, but in attempting to do research on the man himself, I found that there's really no historical evidence that Robin Hood existed at all. Which was kind of a blow to how I perceived the story, but also really gave me the license I needed to cut to the heart of what Robin Hood is all about—retelling a story into virtually every generation that inspires hope for a future, working through virtually insurmountable problems to find your own happiness.
You know...if I did it right!
3. Man or myth, the Robin Hood legend is one that always seems to have fans. Who is your favorite Hood (Costner? Flynn? Elwes? That Disney fox that doesn't wear pants?) and why do you think the story draws us?
Controversial. I absolutely love Christian Slater (Will Scarlet in Prince of Thieves) which...I don't know what that says about Scarlet as a story. But I also love the pantless fox. And Carey Elwes, who unlike other Robin Hoods, can speak with a British accent. And...Flynn! And...even Russell Crowe. Who am I kidding, I love all Robins.
4. I have to admit, I had more than a little crush on Slater as Will Scarlet. Who would play Robin, Scarlet, and John Little in your dream cast?
Some totally unknown British actress with a punky attitude for Scarlet. Possibly Chase Crawford for Robin Hood. And Lucas Till for John. If they can both pull off British accents.
Not that I've thought about it.
5. Of course not. Writers never think about that stuff. We're too busy doing important writer things. I'm about to pick up Scarlet for the first time, what song should I cue up to get me in the right frame of mind?
The Wreckoning by Boomkat. That always got me in the mood to write!
6. And here's the video! (Is that Taryn Manning? Wikipedia says it is! Crazy.) So now that you're feeling feisty, given that your heroine is a thief, what's the one thing you might be tempted to steal (other than our hearts of course)?
I really want to pull off a successful bank heist one day. I don't think a stick 'em up version would be the most effective—even if it would be thrilling. I think there are a few loopholes in a digitized system that you can exploit if you're ballsy and motivated.
And in case this has raised any red flags, I'm not that ballsy, FBI agents. I may write about it though.
7. Yes, FBI, pay AC and her crack team of hackers no mind. I can't help but notice that Scarlet debuts on Valentine's day. Any advice for the lovelorn?
Since Scarlet will be my date on VDay, not really. Maybe get some knives, find a really grumpy angsty hero and make some magic happen?
8. Sounds like my idea of a fun night. Double date? Seriously, I've heard people are already clamoring for a sequel. What can you tell us and what are you working on next?
SO FAR, there isn't anything in the works for a sequel, but I have my fingers crossed. I've spent the better part of a year working on a totally different YA contemporary novel about teens and art in Boston. I don't really know what will make it out to the public yet, but I'm always writing!
9. Art, heists, hacking. With all of those ecclectic tastes, what would you name your literary pub?
Two Impostors. One of my favorite poems is IF by Rudyard Kipling, and there's this one line that both moves me and baffles me: "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same...yours will be the world and all that's in it."
How's that for pompous and erudite? All good literary pubs should be pompous and erudite.
10. Impressive, but what good will your highbrow ways do you when... Pub brawl! A fight breaks out. What's your weapon of choice?
A Flipcam. I want to watch the whole thing on camera later. I actually see a good number of fights in front of where I work (nights at a hotel) and the awful thing about them (other than, you know, paramedics and blood and injuries) is that they happen so fast you can't really tell how it's going down. And sadly I don't have access to the security tapes. Lame.
Clever girl! Out of the fray and ready to create a YouTube masterpiece.
We're celebrating the release of AC's debut on February 14th by giving away a Scarlet swag pack!
To win a copy of Scarlet (out next Tuesday!), Scarlet stickers, a t-shirt, and your choice of limited edition "Thief" or "Scarlet" comb, leave a comment below telling us which version of Robin Hood is YOUR favorite OR telling us which fictional character you'd choose as your valentine!
A.C. VAUGHN (www.acgaughen.com) has been a lot of things in her life. Freelance writer, wrapper (WITH a "w", sadly), hotel concierge, retail flunkie, telemarketer, non-profit board member and personal shopper are just the beginning of the list, but young adult novelist is without a doubt her favorite hat to wear.