Monday, June 8, 2009

Richelle Mead Interview

I was lucky enough to meet Richelle Mead, author of the very wonderful Vampire Academy series and am so very grateful that she took the time to answer some of my questions. So without further ado, here they are. And oh I can't wait to read Blood Promise.

Tell us a little about your most recent YA book, Shadow Kissed
Shadow Kissed is the third book in the Vampire Academy series. In it, our heroine Rose is starting to suffer some nasty side effects from the tragic events of the previous book. As the center book in the series, SK is also a turning point, in which a lot of big and shocking events occur.

How many titles can we expect in the Vampire Academy series?
There will be a total of six, likely to be followed by a spin-off series about different characters.

What can you tell us about Blood Promise without too many spoilers?
It's hard for me to talk about this, without giving away the ending to the previous book (in case people haven't read it). But in Blood Promise, Rose is trying to right the wrongs of the last book and finds herself going abroad to do it. This is the first book that doesn't take place at the school.

What led you to write Vampire Academy and did you do much research for the books?
Writing Vampire Academy was an off-hand suggestion by someone when I had some free time (which I don't have anymore!). I had no clue teen vampire books were on the verge of becoming so big. I did some research into Romanian myth to get the ideas for my two races of vampires, but like all myths, the details are sketchy--so I had to do a lot of improvising.

What is the difference between writing for adults and young adults?

There's actually very little difference in the two. Naturally, adults and teens are in different situations, and I have to tone down sex and violence for teens. But overall, I don't believe in "talking down" to my teen readers. Their emotions and thoughts are just as complex and intense as those of adults.

I like the complexity you give to some of your minor characters. That said, are we going to see more of Adrian?
You will definitely see more of Adrian! In fact, in Blood Promise, we see a lot of him and find him developing in new ways (but don't worry--he still has his bad boy thing going on).

Have you been surprised at the vehemence of some reactions to Shadow Kiss?

I'm not entirely surprised by the emotional reactions, mostly just the quantity since I'm still not used to how many people are reading these books! The nice thing is that even though people are shocked by the ending, they're still excited for the next book.

Have you thought about filming this series?
Sure, I'd love it, but it isn't anything I have any control over or can do myself. I have to be approached by film company, and they have to offer to buy the rights to make the movie (or show). So far, no one has, so keep your fingers crossed.

I know you write three series (although only one is YA). Do you write them at the same time? Do you ever get confused with your worlds? How do you keep them separate? And how do you have time for three series?
I try to write my first books one at a time, but the thing with publishing is that there's more than just writing the book. You're revising, editing, and proofing. So, I may be writing a new book, and then edits for the previous book will come in, and I have to work on both. I never get the worlds confused--they're very different to me. And as for having the time...well, it's my job and I'm under contract! You make the time, one way or another.

Which writers do you admire most and did they influence your own writing?
Growing up, my favorite books were the Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. They influenced me a lot in that I believe strong characters are the most important part of a book (even though you ideally want all parts to be good!). Those books also taught me not to be afraid to do shocking things in the middle of the series--as shown in Shadow Kiss.

What are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is pretty funny for a Jane Austen fan like me. I'm also about to start Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman since I frequently read more than one book at the same time.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring writers?
My advice is to keep with it. That sounds obvious, but a lot of people get frustrated or distracted and stop writing for a day...or days...or weeks. And then nothing gets finished. Even if it's only a page a day, you should keep with your writing. If you truly get blocked and can't go on with a story, then start something new. Keeping your momentum is most important.

If you haven't read the books (and they are very good), my reviews are here (Vampire Academy), here (Frostbite), and here (Shadow Kiss). And you can also see video of Richelle talking about Blood Promise here, and about Vampire Academy and her influences here.

Thanks Richelle.
And for those of you who have read the series and are eagerly waiting for Blood Promise, write and let me know what you expect or even hope will happen in Blood Promise. I know you must have theories...


Frankie Diane said...

Squee! You're so lucky you got to meet and interview her, great job on the interview and thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I cannot wait for Blood Promise and I really hope Rose and Dmitri end up together again.

Lenore said...

I also plan to read P&P and Zombies soon. Even my husband wants to read it (more so than the original for sure).

Anonymous said...

When will the next book in the Vampire Academy series be ready for released, I have read and enjoyed "Blood Promise", just a few hours after its release date of August 25, 2009.

I am looking forward to getting an advance copy when one is avialable.