Exclusive Interview: “Setting His Cap” Author Aaron Rosenberg


Sometimes the best character in a story isn’t the one the story is about. Sometimes, there’s someone just as interesting in a supporting role. Or someones, as the case may be with Aaron Rosenberg’s comedic urban fantasy novel Yeti Left Home, in which the titular cryptid wasn’t the only interesting supernatural person.

Which brings us to Setting His Cap (paperback, Kindle), a prequel to Yeti centered around one of the interesting characters the yeti met when he left home.

In the following email interview, Rosenberg discusses why he decided to write this prequel, as well as his plans for more yeti-related stories.

Aaron Rosenberg Setting His Cap Yeti Left Home

For those who didn’t read it, or the interview we did about it, what was Yeti Left Home about, when and where does it take place?

Yeti Left Home is set in modern-day Minnesota, specifically in and around the Twin Cities.

It’s about a Yeti named Wylie Kang who really just wants to be left alone to live his life. He’s not interested in hurting anybody, he just fishes and hunts and traps and has a small cabin by the lake. But some strange and terrible murders happen near him, and a Hunter comes poking around, specifically after any supernaturals in the area, so Wylie runs. He hides in the Twin Cities, and is surprised to discover a whole community of cryptids there — and even more surprised to learn he likes it. But there are more murders, the Hunter is still after him, and Wylie realizes he’s going to have to solve them himself if he’s to get any peace.

And then what is Setting His Cap about, and when does it take place in relation to Yeti Left Home?

In Yeti, the first other cryptid Wylie meets is a Red Cap named Knox Adair. Knox becomes his friend and guide, introducing him around and helping him settle into city life. When they meet, Knox is already part of the Twin Cities cryptid scene, and seems really comfortable there.

Setting His Cap is the story of how he wound up there himself, and why a Red Cap — a creature known for its violent tendencies because it can only survive as long as its cap is literally soaked in blood — is now a chill, funny, freeloading street artist.

Did you set out wanting to write a prequel to Yeti Left Home and Setting His Cap is what you came up with, or did you have the idea for Cap and then realize it would work well, or maybe even better, as a prequel to Yeti?

Oh, I knew I was doing a story connected to Yeti, so I thought it would be cool to do a prequel and show the personal history of one of the other characters we meet in that book.

I wanted to give readers a chance to learn who one of the characters in Yeti was beforehand, and how they got to where they are in that book. Knox seemed like a good place to start. I knew the basics of his backstory myself, there are a few hints to it in Yeti, but this was a chance for me to flesh that out. I love the whole group Wylie has started to gather around him, so I was excited at getting to delve into Knox a bit more on his own.

Yeti Left Home is a comedic urban fantasy story. Is Setting His Cap as well?

Setting His Cap is a little darker, I’d say. Still urban fantasy, definitely, but the subject matter makes it a less upbeat read. That’s just because of the specific story involved, and also because Knox is a bit more intense than Wylie.

Are there any writers who had a big influence on Cap but not on anything else you’ve written, and especially not Yeti Left Home?

Not really. I do have a few stories where I’ve deliberately modeled them after something else, or someone else — I’ve got a novel coming out this year that’s “If Jane Austen wrote a female pirate captain,” and right now I’m writing a book that’s basically a Scooby- Doo adventure — but those are exceptions. More often I just come up with a story I think would be cool to do. I mean, I’m always influenced by everyone I read, which is why I think all writers need to be avid readers, and both of these books benefit from my reading people like Craig Shaw Gardener and John DeChancie and Travis Baldree and so on, but I didn’t sit down with these and go, “I want to write these like such-and-such would.”

What about non-literary influences; was Setting His Cap influenced by any movies, TV shows, games?

Both this and Yeti were heavily influenced by the TV show Eureka and its sister show Warehouse 13, because that was the exact kind of vibe I wanted for them: fun, engaging, great characters, some humor but also some drama and even some chills.

Aaron Rosenberg Setting His Cap Yeti Left Home

As we’ve been discussing, Setting His Cap is the prequel to Yeti Left Home. But you wrote it second. Do you think people should read it second, the way some people think you should watch the Star Wars prequels after they watch the original trilogy?

Yeah, I’d read Yeti first. Because then you can read Cap and gain more insight into Knox, who he is, where he came from, how he got this way.

Of course, if you read Cap first, when you meet Knox in Yeti you’ll be all, “Ooh, it’s Knox!”, so really either way works.

Also, is it the end of the story? Like, do they form a duology, or are they the first two parts of a trilogy…?

No, definitely not the end. I’m going to be doing a second Yeti novel this year, and probably a short story about one of the other characters as well. But the main storyline is definitely Wylie and his circle of friends. There might be other prequels, but those will be supporting material, adding more depth and insight to what’s going on in the Yeti books.

So, do you know what the other books will be called and when they’ll be out?

I haven’t locked down the next book’s title yet, but it will be something like Yeti Settled In or Yeti Got A Job, along those lines. All of the main books will start with “Yeti” like that. It’ll be a direct sequel to Yeti Left Home, taking up right after that one ends.

In the aforementioned interview we did about Yeti Left Home, you said you thought that book could work as a TV series. I assume then that you feel the same about Setting His Cap, right? Or rather, that Yeti and Cap should be a single show.

I would still love to see Yeti as a TV series. And Cap would make a great flashback episode, or flashbacks scattered across several episodes. Though you could do it as a prequel TV movie, that’d also work. But it’s a shorter story, with fewer characters and only Knox as the focal point, so I wouldn’t do it as a whole separate series.

So, is there anything else you think people need to know about Setting His Cap?

Just that I built Cap so it can certainly be read on its own and enjoyed even if you never read Yeti, but I do think it’s more fun if you’ve read Yeti first and are curious about Knox’s life before he met Wylie.

Aaron Rosenberg Setting His Cap Yeti Left Home

Finally, if someone enjoys Setting His Cap, what novel that was written as a prequel would you suggest they check out next, and do you think they should start with that book or go back to it after they read the main book?

Ah, that’s tough. I generally think people should read books in the order they were written, since that’s the order the author wanted them to be in. Of course, probably the best-known prequel is The Magician’s Nephew, which was published as the sixth of the Chronicles Of Narnia but takes place well before all the others, and C.S. Lewis himself agreed that the series should probably be read with that one first. Still, Lewis admitted that he hadn’t intended to do a series at all, and so hadn’t worked out the order of subsequent books. These days I think it’s more likely for an author to plan out their series in advance, though, so prequels are either already mapped in or added in such a way as to not interrupt the main storyline.



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