Interview with A.C. Gaughen, author of Scarlet

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!


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 Rafflecopter giveaway

A.C. VAUGHN ( 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.


49 Responses to Interview with A.C. Gaughen, author of Scarlet

  1. Christina Kit. Feb 10 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Definitely cake! And I LOVE the Beautiful Creatures series.

    • Christina Kit. Feb 10 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Now to answer the blog post question (there’s a different question in the rafflecopter – see above)

      For my Valentine? Hmmm…lots of great lit guys to choose from. I’d have to go with Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood.

      I don’t really have a fave Robin Hood..

  2. Julie Feb 10 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Great interview Leigh!
    Hi AC! My favorite Robin Hood would have to be Sean Connery as an aging Robin playing opposite Audrey Hepburn as Marian in ROBIN AND MARIAN. 🙂
    Can’t wait for SCARLET!!! 🙂

  3. Jenelle R. Feb 10 2012 at 7:13 am #

    Hahaha, awesome interview! Can’t wait to read Scarlet! 😀 As for the question, I want ice cold but seriously sweet faery prince Ash from The Iron Fey! *swoons*

  4. Bee Feb 10 2012 at 9:18 am #

    What a fun interview! I think Scarlett stems from a very interesting concept and I’m SO dying to read it. I can’t tell who my favourite Robin Hood is, since I watched the movies when I was really, really young and can’t remember much. Except that most of the guys were cute! So, I guess I’ll answer the second question and say that I’d LOVE to have Etienne St. Clair from Anna And The French Kiss as my Valentine! 🙂

  5. Meredith Anderson Feb 10 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Bahahaha! Okay, I’m pretty sure by now some of you expect my answer for my favorite fictional character. Chaol. *nods* Definitely Chaol. But if Celaena’s going to kill me for that, definitely Etienne St. Clair, who I can see already has at least one vote! *sigh* Oh, Etienne!

    Not sure about who my Robin Hood would be. Probably Men In Tights. It never fails to make me smile!

    Definitely excited for this book!


    • Leigh Bardugo Feb 10 2012 at 11:21 am #

      YES!! I’m so on Team Chaol! But I think Celaena could make quick work of both of us 😉

  6. Rowenna Feb 10 2012 at 9:55 am #

    This sounds like a great read! Will Scarlet was always one of my favorite characters because I wondered what was up with the sidekick who never seemed to have much backstory–now I know! My favorite Robin–definitely the 1930s Errol Flynn version. Nothing beats Basil Rathbone’s fencing and the shadow sequence (except maybe Una O’Connor flirting with Little John). Plus–Olivia deHaviland is not only the loveliest Maid Marian ever, she was wearing hilariously inaccurate lamé and glittery costumes–golden-age Hollywood perfection!

    • Leigh Bardugo Feb 10 2012 at 11:23 am #

      Love the vintage Hood!
      Speaking of anachronisms, does anyone remember the rather outrageous one spoken by Wil Scarlet in the Costner version of Robin Hood? Even as a kid I remember being like, Really?

  7. Katelyn Larson Feb 10 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Hmm, I haven’t seen many of the Robin Hood movies, and the only one I remember even remotely clearly is the animated Disney version. But I’m dying to read SCARLET and have been for a while now. It looks amazing 🙂

    This fictional Valentine question is killing me… I know that I’m going to pick someone only to realize I should’ve picked someone else ten minutes later. At the moment, I’m going with Peeta. Katniss probably needs him more than me and he’s carrying a whole lot of baggage, but the boy with the bread stole my heart. I love him to bits and pieces. From a contemporary viewpoint, I’d have to with the already mentioned Etienne, though its more because I think he could relate to me on things that not many people can than anything else. Plus, he really does belong with Anna… wouldn’t want to get in the way of that 😉

  8. Erin Bowman Feb 10 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Robin Hood Men in Tights will always hold a dear place in my heart. Nothing like some good slapstick comedy.

    As for fictional Valentines… How can I be expected to pick just one? I adore Cricket (from LOLA), and Perry (UNDER THE NEVER SKY), and I always did have a soft spot for Gale (HG). Also: Jonah Griggs (JELLICOE ROAD). OH, and I’ll throw another vote in for THRONE OF GLASS’ Chaol. Mmmm. *nods* (Celaena is going to kill me)

    Great interview, ladies! Thanks for hosting, Leigh 🙂

  9. Kelly Mills Feb 10 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    I love the Disney animated musical Robin Hood! I still remember the words to some of the songs. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway!

  10. Heidi Feb 10 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    My favorite Robin Hood retelling is The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. I’m SO excited for Scarlet! Thanks for hosting the lovely interview and giveaway.

    • Leigh Bardugo Feb 12 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      Haven’t read that! I’ll definitely check it out now. Thanks, Heidi!

  11. Ellen Feb 10 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Yours sounds like an awesome book! The fictional character I would choose to be my Valentine is either Etienne St. Clair or Sean Kendrick. I have a hard time choosing between all the hot fictional men out there. 🙂

  12. Erin Feb 10 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    I would want Adrian Ivashkov from Vampire Academy as my Valentine. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  13. Vivien Feb 10 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I want Dimitri Belikov as my valentine 😀

  14. Samantha Wekstein Feb 11 2012 at 4:17 am #

    Hmm my Valentine would definitely be Prince Charmont from Ella Enchanted!

  15. Jesse Owen Feb 11 2012 at 5:44 am #

    Fab Interview, I haven’t heard of Scarlet before but it’s going onto my wishlist – a female Robbin Hood sounds amazing!

  16. Brandi Ziegler Feb 11 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Definitely love Carey Elwes because like AC said he can pull off a British accent. Plus that version is just hilarious! I will always have a soft spot for Disney’s fox since that’s the first version of Robin Hood I ever got to enjoy. I’ve seen SCARLET around and I’m uber excited to read it now! How fun to have a V-day debut! Good luck AC! Thanks for the interview, Leigh. 😀 And giveaways are always nice!

    • Leigh Bardugo Feb 12 2012 at 5:33 pm #

      I haven’t quite been able to look at Cary Elwes the same way since he guested on Law & Order SVU. His American accent was pretty hilarious 😀

  17. Kelli Spear Feb 11 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I’ll take Eric Northman as my valentine!

  18. Orchid Feb 11 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    I think that would have to be Cary Elwes. He did a very nice job playing Robin Hood in the movie…although that’s the only version of Robin Hood I have seen (not counting Disney’s animated one).

    Loved, loved Scarlet and it was one of my favorite boks I’ve read this year (a sequel would be awesome, just saying). =)

    Lovely interview! So excited for the release of Scarlet, which is at the top of my list of books to buy.

  19. Giada M. Feb 12 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Errol Flynn has always been my favorite Robin Hood (The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)) and I would *love* to take him as my valentine. >_< Thank you for the interview and giveaway! 😀

  20. elena Feb 12 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    ooh, fictional valentine? That’s hard! I would probably pick Archer from Hex Hall.

  21. Muieann Feb 12 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Nice interview, definitely putting this on my to-read list.

    As for the answer to one of the questions; since I can’t pick a favourite Robin hood right now (though Cary Elwes is inching into the lead in my mind-poll) I’ll go with the fictional Valentine of Caul Shivers from Joe Abercrombie’s books. He seems like he could use a nice valentines card..

    • Leigh Bardugo Feb 12 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      Confession: I’ve never read Joe Abercrombie. I know, I know. I should be soundly pummeled. He’s on the list!

  22. Zoe Feb 12 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    This book sounds FANTASTIC! I’ve always really enjoyed the whole story, and I’m super excited to see an awesome retelling coming out of it.

    As far as RH retellings, I fell in love with the BBC TV series- the one with Jonas Armstrong- which made me super bummed when they ended up cancelling it. Men in Tights is probably one of my greatest guilty pleasures as well, because I mean… C’mon. It’s Cary Elwes.

    Anyway, totally adding this one to my to-be-read pile!!!!

  23. Rika Ashton Feb 12 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    I liked the BBC version of Robin Hood starring Jonas Armstrong…well, at least the first few seasons. (Also adored the Disney version.)

    My fictional Valentine would have to be Neal Caffrey from White Collar (TV series) or Draco Malfoy from the books (because I think he desverves a hug).

  24. Calamity & Chaos Feb 12 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Definitely the good ol’ Disney Robin Hood. I have always been such a huge fan of it, and forever shall I Stay!!!! <3 I simply cannot wait for Scarlet!!!!!

  25. Zara Alexis Feb 13 2012 at 11:53 am #

    If I could have one fictional character as my Valentine, I would choose the romantic love and passion from either Tristan of “Tristan & Iseult” and/or Edward Cullen from “Twilight.” (And it really isn’t just because I think Robert Patterson is good-looking!—I actually love the passionate character of Edward in the book. It’s TRUE!) Edward can “turn me” into a vampire any day!

    Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
    On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

  26. Hannah F-S Feb 13 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    My valentine would be Adam from Shatter Me.

  27. Jessica @ Book Sake Feb 13 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Oooh fictional character for my Valentine’s day? Hmmm. That’s pretty tough. I’m thinking Mr. Darcy might be a bit of a lovely date!
    – Jessica @ Book Sake

  28. Yael Itamar Feb 14 2012 at 12:10 am #

    Ah, I love thief books! I want this one!

    Favorite Robin Hood retelling? I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read/seen any. Unless you count Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and, well, it’s not really my thing.

    Fictional Valentine, then? Adam from Tempest, or any character played by David Boreanaz.

    Also, that’s an excellent name for a literary pub.

  29. Sabrena Feb 14 2012 at 11:00 am #

    I also haven’t really seen any Robin Hood movies, as far as fictional valentines go, I’d have to say Aiden MacRae would be mine ^_~.

  30. Jessica T. Feb 14 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Well, I’ve only actually seen one version of Robin Hood, which was the Disney animated version. But as for who I’d choose for a fictional valentine? Too many! lol, but if I had to choose, I’d pick Four from Divergent! Or Ash from the Iron Fey Series, or Tucker from Unearthly… er, I’m not so good at this choosing thing. 😉

  31. Katie @ Blook Girl Feb 15 2012 at 11:20 am #

    My favorite re-telling of Robin Hood is “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”. It cracks me up every time, even though I know most of the lines by heart. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out!

    I also have a soft spot for the Disney version 🙂

    Can’t wait for SCARLET!! Thank you for the interview post and giveaway.

  32. Katie A Feb 15 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – it won my fickle heart forever when Alan Rickman sold the line: “I’m going to cut your heart out with a SPOON!”

  33. Jasmine Stairs Feb 15 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Ummmmmmm. Augh. That’s a hard question. Those are both hard questions.

    I love ALL Robin Hood retellings! I can’t choose! Okay, for my Valentine, next year, I’d like… uh, I’d like… Jack, from Kiersten White’s Supernaturally. I imagine it would be a CRAZY Feb 14th. And then he’d conveniently forget about me. 😀

  34. Bahnree Feb 15 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    My favorite Robin Hood retelling is Princess of Thieves with Kiera Knightley. Not because of Kiera Knightley, but because of Robin Hood and Will Scarlet, who are all old BFFs and totally badass. 😀

  35. Tasha Feb 15 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Definitely the Kevin Costner version – accent dropping aside, gotta love the wild hair and Rickman theatrics.

  36. Tiffany M. Feb 16 2012 at 10:36 am #

    My favorite Robin Hood movie re tell is Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. To answer question #2 this week I have chosen Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse novels (not True Blood/yes they are different lol). That could change next week but he is my chosen for now! Thank you so much for doing this!!

  37. Gabriela Navarro Feb 16 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    My favorite Robin Hood retelling is probably “The Adventures of Robin Hood” with Errol Flynn, such a good movie, Russell Crowe’s movie was also pretty good!

    And I also loved the BBC’S series, I’m just such a geek for everything Robin Hood! lol
    And Scarlet seems so good, I know I have to read it!

  38. Kristie M Feb 16 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    My Fav Robin hood retelling is Robin Hood- the one with Russel Crowe. My fav fictional character that i want as my Valentine is Edward Cullen or Dimitri Belikov.

  39. natalia Sep 18 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    You should totally make a movie as for scarlett and being unknown with a British accent and a punky attitude I would rock at it.
    I am awesome with a British accent it sounds amazing
    I have read the book 8 times
    I am a really good at acting and after I read the book I had I faze where I acted like scarlett I didn’t eat anything and when somebody asked me to eat or do something I would say I eat when I’m hungry and I can take care of myself
    I have not been in any movies but I have been in tons of plays I am a straight a student
    I have a dog named scarlett 😉
    Please comment after me if u r doing a movie and are interested In interviewing me on the role

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