Richelle Mead, on tour for Spirit Bound, the fifth of six books in the awesome NYT Bestselling Vampire Academy series.
She's one of our favorite YA authors, so we couldn't have been more excited! Richelle's plane was delayed, so she arrived an hour late, but the huge group of fans of all three of her series [Georgina Kincaid (Succubus) and Dark Swan (Eugenie Markham/Storm Born) are her two adult series] had no problem waiting!
After Richelle read from Spirit Bound, she did a Q&A with the audience. Of course, we took fabulous notes for you, so check out the recap below to learn Richelle's take on Team Dimitri vs. Team Adrian, naming her characters and the books, what's next on her writing list, and plenty more!
1) In the Dark Swan series, will there be more of Dorian?
Yes—there are at least two more books left in the series. Richelle also went off on a side note about how both Storm Born and Vampire Academy are going to be made into graphic novels, due out in 2011. She told a story about how the art directors for Vampire Academy were afraid she’d be offended by some of the “racy” scenes in Vampire Academy (like the make out scenes), so they sent her that art first—they sent her a giant picture of a shirtless Dimitri!
2) What’s next, now that the Succubus series and Vampire Academy are ending?
Georgina’s story definitely has a concrete end to it. She thinks that after these two series end, she’s going to stick to writing one adult series and one teen series, because while she loves writing three series at once, it’s just too stressful and too much to handle in the end. For Vampire Academy, while Rose’s story is ending, Richelle said she is planning on writing a spin-off series set in the same world. She’s planning on taking peripheral characters from the VA series and bring them into spotlight. She said Rose will have a walk-on cameo or two.
3) What is Abe’s power? Can a dhampir ever have powers?
No, there is no way that dhampirs can have powers. Abe’s power is air. He had a scene where he used air in Blood Promise, but it ended up being cut.
4) What characters are supposed to be on the cover of Spirit Bound?
Richelle explained that the girl is Rose. She explained that they actually did a model search for the girl who is Rose on the covers, and every time it’s time to do another Vampire Academy cover they do a photo shoot with the girl. Richelle said she doesn’t know who the guy is supposed to be, that it was a photo from the shoot that everyone liked. She said that most people decide if it’s Dimitri or Adrian after they read it, and she likes that it’s kind of a mystery.
5) How do you pronounce Lissa’s full name?
Richelle prefaced this answer by saying that she doesn’t speak Russian or Serbian, and that she has a Midwestern accent, so this is just her own best guess. She pronounces it Vah-sih-lee-suh Drago (like the beginning of “Dragon”)-meer.
6) Who is your favorite character in Vampire Academy?
She said she’s obviously partial to Rose, because she’s spent so much time in her head. The most entertaining character for her to write is Adrian. With Adrian, she said, the dialogue just comes naturally, and she feels like she could just write him going off on Adrian-type things for pages and pages. She admitted that her editors often have to cut down her Adrian scenes because she writes so much!
7) Will Rose and Dimitri ever be together?
Richelle laughed and said that of course she can’t answer that question! That’s why there’s a book six, after all. She told a funny story about one of her friends who has a plan to make a “Team Steven” shirt and start coming to all her signings for Spirit Bound, telling people she had read Last Sacrifice and there was a new guy named Steven that Rose ends up with.
8) How do you make Dimitri and Adrian equally appealing? How do you get readers to be indecisive about who they like better?
Richelle explained that that’s the job of a writer. She tries her hardest to make the characters balanced—when one screws up, the other one does something nice, and vice versa. She makes sure that they each have something big, but different, to offer to Rose. Richelle also said that she knows she’s a little off when after reading a book all the sudden everyone has gone onto one side.
9) Will we learn more about what Abe does? Do YOU know what Abe does?
Yes, we will learn more about Abe’s job. Richelle explained that she knows what he does, but she’s still working out the logistics of it and the best way to write it.
10) Will we see Dimitri’s family in the last book?
No, and Richelle didn’t realize that so many people liked his family so much! She had never planned on having them come back, and they won’t reappear in Last Sacrifice. She did hint to them maybe showing up in a future spin-off, though!
11) How do you name your books?
Richelle said that with the Succubus books, it’s really easy. She just finds a good noun to stick behind succubus, and poof!, it’s named. With the Vampire Academy books, it’s a lot harder. Vampire Academy was originally titled Kissed by Shadows, but her editor didn’t think it was marketable as a series title. Her editors are really tough on titles, and pretty much every original title gets thrown out. (Sidenote: Spirit Bound is the only title that was accepted on the first go-around.) Then they spend two months mass emailing back and forth, thinking of words that are relevant to the book/series and sound good together, until something clicks for everyone.
12) Who do you like, Dimitri or Adrian?
Richelle said this is another question she can’t answer. She likes them both equally, but for totally different reasons.
13) Are ending the books on cliffhangers your idea or your editor’s ideas?
She is in charge of the overall plot of the story, and she likes ending her books on cliff hangers. She likes to leave people wanting more—like in Shadow Kiss, a lot of people wanted the book to end on a happy note and have the next three books be all frolicking in fields and playing with unicorns, but she knew she needed to end it on a pivotal, more heart-wrenching moment. She said a lot of people ask her if she likes happy endings, and she says she does, but she wants to make people work for them.
14) Richelle recently wrote a short story called “Blue Moon” for an anthology called Immortal. Will that short story fit into her Vampire Academy world at all?
The short answer is no, she doesn’t have any plans on continuing with the short story. She says she doesn’t like writing short stories because she doesn’t like being contained to just thirty pages—she likes to sprawl. She created a new vampire world for this short story, but she said she lost interest in it and doesn’t plan on continuing with it at this time. Even though she doesn’t like short stories, Richelle told us that she did get roped into writing a short story about Lissa’s parents, how they met and fell in love. It will be in an anthology called Kisses From Hell, due out in fall 2010.
After that, everyone lined up in groups to get their books signed. This process took hours, but Richelle had a smile for everyone and took the time to chat with each person and even answer more of her fans' burning questions one-on-one. Of course, we got our books signed, and we even got one signed for you guys! That's right, the FNC is giving away a signed copy of Spirit Bound, along with three other AMAZING signed books from bestselling YA authors for our 570 followers contest! We're announcing the contest officially tomorrow, so stay tuned for your chance to win!*
What's your favorite Richelle Mead book or series? What did you think of Spirit Bound? (Check out Frankie's review on her personal blog HERE.) And are you Team Adrian or Team Dimitri? Leave it in the comments!
* We love love love comments, but NO comments on this post will count as entries in our 570 followers contest. You must enter tomorrow on the official contest post. Thanks!