Richelle Mead Q&A on Reddit!

—I didn’t put the full Q & A, only ones related to VA/Bloodlines! Click the link for the full Q&A—

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1sr3kc/im_richelle_mead_author_of_the_bestselling/

RM1

Q: Will we get more EDDIE?

A: We’ll continue seeing Eddie in the rest of the Bloodlines series, in about the same amounts. He’s so awesome, though, that he really deserves his own series. I just wish I had the time to write it!

Q: As someone in their late 20s Vampire Academy is an incredibly guilty pleasure of mine. A reread is like hanging out with an old friend.

How has the Twilight series impacted the genre and do you feel it affected VA at all? Where did your inspiration for the structure of your vampire world come from? Do you have an idea of the origin story of the Moroi and Strigoi? Did you feel any pressure to add werewolves 😉

I was incredibly impressed with Gameboard of the Gods. I really hope you continue the series. I could see from reviews on Goodreads that some VA fans were taken a bit aback by the dramatically different direction you took. Was that something you anticipated?

A: Twilight helped the genre, I think, because it made a lot of people who said they’d never read anything realistic or paranormal realize that those books actually have a very human component. Those readers in turn were more open to my books and so many other great authors in the genre. I hadn’t heard of Twilight when I wrote VA, though, and I’m really glad. My idea came from Romanian myths I’d read in college that I developed, and I think if I’d had any idea what was about to happen with the vampire genre, I would’ve been too scared to write for it. My timing was lucky. I was sending VA to publishers right when things got big.

Glad you liked Gameboard! I was just working on its sequel today (The Immortal Crown), which comes out in May. I wasn’t entirely surprised by the reaction. Gameboard was influenced by the huge sci-fi and fantasy epics I read growing up, which are very dense and can take work to get into. That’s a different style from my paranormal stuff, and it can create a learning curve for those who’ve never experienced it. A lot of my fans converted over, though, and even if some didn’t, new ones joined up, so it’s all good. 🙂

Q: Where did you begin studying mythology? I’m studying to be a high school English teacher but I really want to write a book one day.

A: I studied mythology when getting my bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan and then also when getting my M.A. at Western Michigan University. Lots of schools offer great classes in their religion, history, and cultural studies departments. Take a look, and good luck!

Q: When you first knew your books would be a movie, who did you wish would be cast? How do you feel about the cast now?Also, what’s your favorite Christmas song?

A: I didn’t do any casting in my head because I didn’t want to be disappointed. 🙂 As a result, I LOVE who was chosen! This group is so dedicated to their roles. They’ve researched and really gotten into the heads of their characters. It’s so much more than just a job to them, and I couldn’t be happier.”God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” believe it or not!

Q: Are you still considering writing a VA/Bloodlines spin-off? A moroi protagonist would be great since we haven’t personally get into their head yet!

A: I’m still deciding what to do after Bloodlines! There’s a lot of options, and I’ve actually set up the ending for me to go a lot of different ways. Hang in there, and we’ll find out together. 🙂

Q: Richelle, My wife LOVES your books and she saw the trailer for the movie and is a bit nervous. Will you please reassure her that everything is going to be okay? Please and thank you. 🙂

A: It’s definitely going to be okay! The advertising thus far has been highly skewed toward the humor in the movie because sadly, paranormal YA movies haven’t done well in the theaters this year. The hope is to show how funny and edgy VA is to new viewers who are turned off by all the others out there. But she and others can rest easy! All the serious moments, action, and romance from the book are there in the movie. I read the script and was so relieved at how true they’d stayed to my work!

Q: Whats the plot of a book you’ve always wanted to write but never found the time to?

A: I wish I could tell you because there’s one that’s REALLY eating me up right now…but since I might get to write it some day, I have to keep it a secret and surprise people!

Q: Hi, I really enjoy your books, especially Gameboard of Gods. Which book was your favorite to write?

A: Shadow Kiss and The Fiery Heart were big favorites because they have such dark and powerful endings. That being said, if you’re a Gameboard fan, you’ll be happy to know that The Immortal Crown (Gameboard’s sequel) has a pretty hardcore ending and is quickly becoming a fave too. It comes out May next year.

Q: Where did you get the inspiration to write your novels?

A: I’ve always loved reading, and I think when you’re around stories all the time, you eventually want to create your own. The inspiration comes from life–things I’ve studied, things I’ve seen, things I’ve felt. Sometimes it’s a matter of just asking, “What if this happened?” It all gets mixed together into the books.

Q: There has been some early test screenings of Vampire Academy. When will you get to see the movie?

A: Ha, great question! I’m told I’ll get to see an early draft of the movie “very soon.” It’s not in its final state yet, but if they’ll let me talk about it, I’ll definitely report on what I think to you guys. So far, I’ve just seen scattered pieces of footage, but I’ve really loved everything I’ve seen.

Q: Thanks for being an amazing author! You really made my teenage period a bit easier =) My questions to you all the way from the new day in Sweden. If you could choose to be one of your VA/Bloodlines characters for one day, whom would it be and why? If you could visit just one more place on the eart, where would you go?

A: I don’t think I’d want to be any of my characters! I make their lives too hard, and they have too many problems. 🙂 But believe it or not…Scandinavia is one of my top places I would love to visit. I’d love to have a vacation in your country, its neighbors, and Iceland. The culture and mythology are so fascinating to me. I just have to wait for my kids to get a little older, so we can have a big family trip!

Q: Richelle, I don’t have a question but I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for creating a series Vampire books I couldn’t put down! I love the Vampire Academy books dearly and recommend them to all of my friends who also read young adult fantasy. I’m excited for the movie, though I am a little skeptical that it may not do the books justice. But I’ll be seeing it nonetheless! Edit: I did come up with a question. What is the book that ignited a passion for reading and writing for you? Thank you 🙂

A: Thanks for your comments! As a writer, I of course love books more than movies, but I can say I think you’ll enjoy this adaptation. I know it’s hard since you guys haven’t read the script like I have, but they cover many of the beloved parts. It’s hard to pick one book, but one of my favorites is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read it in high school, and it really opened my eyes to a whole world of religion, mythology, and gender roles. That’s gone on to influence what I read and write.

Q: My question is about The Fiery Heart. Of course, we’ve all be following Adrian and Sydney’s romance. Although I love how it goes back and forth between perspectives and thought the scene at the Inn was well done, I wondered if there was a reason you chose to show it through Adrian’s eyes? I always thought when it finally happened, that it would for sure be through Sydney’s. You know, first time and all…

A: SPOILER (Had to put that for anyone who hasn’t read it yet!). It was just kind of the way the POVs plot worked out. I map out the book’s main storyline in advance, as well as Sydney and Adrian’s individual plots, and then just alternate chapters from there. It worked out that his POV was the one, but I actually kind of like it that way because we know how experienced he is but was able to see just how special that moment was and that she wasn’t just another girl.

Q: Hi, Richelle! Will we ever see Mia in a series again? She ended up being one of my favorites and I miss her!

A: Aw, Mia! I love her too. She may have a few upcoming cameos, but I don’t have any big plans for her…yet.

Q: in Fiery Heart we get Adrain’s point of view along with Sidney’s, why don’t we ever get a look at Dimitri’s point of view (other then the released bit) for VA?

A: Honestly, I just like keeping Dimitri mysterious. That’s part of his appeal, and I think if we knew what he was thinking, he might become a little less godlike to us. Part of the great dynamic with him and Rose also is that she always says what she’s thinking, whereas he’s more reserved. Writing in his POV would lose that effect.

Q: How you do think Vampire Academy will fare in the current young adult adaptation market, which some believe to be over-saturated? Are there things that they’re doing to make it appeal to more in that it’s not just another vampire film? Personally, I’m a huge YA fan, so I don’t mind, but in regards to a wider appeal than just the book’s fanbase.

A: Great question and definitely one we’re concerned about because a lot of YA paranormal/fantasy films haven’t done well this year. The marketing team is really trying to show its edgy and humorous side in the advertising, in the hopes of appealing to those who role their eyes at “stupid boring melodramatic vampire films.” And it’s actually been very successful in getting new interest. It’s made fans of the books a little nervous, worrying that the movie is a comedy, but I can assure, that’s not true! The movie itself has all the same amounts of drama, action, and comedy as the books, but the advertising looks off-balanced to those who haven’t read the script.

Q: Is there a scene in the VA film you’re most looking forward to seeing?

A: I’m really looking forward to the ending. I’ve seen glimpses of what they shot, and it looks amazing. The endings are always my favorite parts to write because all that suspense and mystery just comes tumbling out, and things move so fast. I’m also really excited to see Lissa and Christian’s scenes in the attic. I’ve seen previews of those, and they’re so beautiful. Plus, Lucy and Dominic have great chemistry!

Q: Hello Richelle, just wanted to say thank you for writing Vampire Academy, it’s my favourite serie and I love it so much! If you could choose only one book to read, what would it be? 🙂

A: A book I can read over and over again is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s a King Arthur novel told from the women of his court, and it had such a powerful effect on me as a teen. Plus, it’s almost a thousand pages long, so hey, if you can only read one book, might as well make it a long one! 🙂

Q: I’m a HUGE fan I have all the VA books and the Bloodlines books!! Will there be a little dhampir in the near future? With Adrian and Sydney. Also, is there any way you can come to Orlando or Tampa for a book signing?

A: Ha, Adrian would certainly love a little dhampir, but if you’ve read The Fiery Heart, you know they’ve got a few problems to deal with before they can do anything like that. 🙂 I probably won’t be in Florida for a while (I’m pregnant and won’t travel much this coming year), but I’ve done events in Orlando, Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale and always had great turnouts, so my publisher likes to send me there. Fingers crossed I’ll visit again!

Q: hello richelle. my sister and i both read your books bothe va and bloodlines, its actually one of the few things we can bond over. was wondering will i cry like i did in the books?

A: Do you mean, will you cry at the movie? If you cried at certain parts in the books, then you may also if they make it to the screen. I don’t usually hear about many tears when people read the first VA book, but if Frostbite and Shadow Kiss become movies, I have a feeling a lot of people will be crying in the theater at those endings!

Q: Do you think the mainstream obsession with vampires in modern times is due to a wider audience and more accessible forms of media or is selling vampire obsession more about timing? Dracula came out before the internet. The Vampire Chronicles peaked at the very advent of mass internet access. Since then Twilight took over the masses. Kindles became abundant. Where do you fit in?

A: The internet and word-of-mouth certainly have played a role, but vampires have been hot for a very long time. In high school, when all we had were dial-up bbs’es and no internet flooding, Anne Rice was all the rage. I personally think the recent peak of interest has been that vampire myths have been crossing genres. I knew a lot of people who would say no way to anything fantasy or sci-fi, but they loved romance so much that Twilight hooked them anyway, and they were able to “overlook” the paranormal part because they loved the story so much. And then, without realizing it, they got sucked into the genre. My books draw on little read Romanian myths, which help them stand out, but I think their sense of humor also lends appeal to those who would normally say, “Ugh, this paranormal stuff is so melodramatic.” And so again, we find people trying a genre they might normally turn away from.

Q: Can I have your autograph? I Love your books! I’ve been following you since I was a freshman in High school.

A: You can have my autograph if I’m ever signing near where you live! 🙂 You can also order books from a local store I work with, and I’ll personalize books to you before they ship: http://richellemead.com/shop/shop.htm Thanks for reading! Glad you like the books.

Q: Thanks for writing some of my favorite books. Can you tell us any scenes that were cut from the first book and didn’t make it in the movie?

A: Not off the top of my head! Just little things here and there that were cut for time reasons or because they weren’t as interesting on the screen as on the page. For example, Rose doesn’t research St. Vladimir in books as much in the movie as she did in the novel because that would get boring after a while in the theater. So, they have her do more online research about him and do some fun things with it–like the infamous scene of her hiding under the desk with Kirova’s laptop.

Q: I Love Bloodlines! why wait until July? Can i have hope that Syd getting pregnant?

A: It takes a while to write these, and I actually write pretty fast compared to some authors. 🙂 If you’ve read the ending of The Fiery Heart, you’ll know that Sydney and Adrian have a few other problems to deal with before they can think about kids! Stay tuned.

Q: Richelle, the ending to The Fiery Heart was killer. and I love just love the Bloodlines series. I love Adrian’s character. What made you chose to pair Sydney and Adrian? Trey and Angeline? Eddie and Jill?

A: It’s all about balance. I think the best couples bring out different sides of each other and help each other become better people. That’s definitely what happens with those couples, especially Sydney and Adrian. They seem like such polar opposites, and then when they’re together, they just complement each other so beautifully–and have really funny dialogue. I confess, I love couple I can write those kinds of conversations for. 🙂

Q: I know it seems impossible, but is the rule for Dhampirs not being able to have children, something that is definite? Are there no loopholes?

A: That’s a question many have asked! I never give away future spoilers, but I can say lots of big things are happening in the Moroi world in the Bloodlines series.

Q: Have you figured out what you will be doing when Bloodlines ends?

A: Yup, I knew how the Bloodlines series would end when I start writing the very first book. It’s BIG and will take a lot of people by surprise.

Q: are you planning about writing more for the new tfh characters in the next books? because we really love all of them 🙂

A: I would love to give everyone their own series! But I’m limited by time and contracts, so we’ll have to see what happens. A lot of things could go down after the Bloodlines series end, and I’m still deciding which way to go.

Q: So I haven’t read your work, but looking at amazon it seems like you are a very well received author. I was hesitant when I saw ‘Vampire’ in the title, because I feel like this craze has been way overdone. What are your thoughts on all the vampire madness that has invaded the fiction scene since your first book?

A: I definitely understand your wariness! I’m still kind of amazed myself at how it’s all taken off, but I can say that there are some really excellent vampire series out there and that many authors have taken a unique spin. So, don’t be afraid to try them because believe it or not, they aren’t all just copies. Mine, for example, are based on Romanian myths about two societies of vampires in the world, and I work pretty hard to keep a healthy blend of humor and darkness in them. Other authors are doing their own cool things, and I think half the appeal is that there are just some really excellently written books out there right now…that happen to have vampires in them.

Q: Are any of the characters in VA based on real people in your life? Love the books btw!

A: Not so much. I think writing your friends into your books is a good way to lose your friends, if they don’t like how the story turns out! I did, however, go to school with a guy who dressed just like Abe Mazur. (But their personalities are pretty different!). 🙂

Q: How is it like seeing the book turn into a movie in front of your own eyes?

A: It’s been incredible. For me, the books will always be the reality, but I’ve loved seeing things brought to life that go behind what I visioned. Like, when I write a scene in a classroom, I don’t think much past the desks and characters’ conversation. But when I was on set, the movie people had every detail planned out: backpacks, books, library signs, assignment handouts, etc. It’s amazing to see it become reality!

Q: what did you think when they took “Blood Sisters” of the title of the movie?

A: I was fine with it. They make their decisions after a lot of research and work with test audiences, so I knew they were doing it for good reasons. I just feel bad for any confused fans! 🙂

Q: Hello Richelle 🙂 I have been reading your books for years now and I absolutely love the Vampire Academy and Dark Swans series! Well my question is, what inspired you to start writing book based on mythology? Did you know since you were little that you wanted to write books like that? Thanks so much Richelle!

A: I loved mythology since I was little. I don’t know why! Maybe it was because I grew up with older brothers who played D&D and watched fantasy movies while babysitting me. 🙂 My Dad used to bring me garage sale books about Greek mythology, and I read them all right away. So, it eventually just felt natural to incorporate myth into my books!

Q: Hi Richelle! I have read almost all of your books and I’m a huge fan of your writing! You’re super witty and reading your books is a great way to relax. (I have reread Vampire Academy, Bloodlines, and Georgina countless times). I am a huge fan! I absolutely love you! Please never stop writing! I am waiting very impatiently for the next Age of X novel. What inspired you to write something like the Gameboard of the Gods? It’s very unique I find and different from a lot of the dystopian/futuristic/paranormal-type books out there right now. P.S. Did I mention you’re awesome?! Sorry about the fan-girling. :p Also, congratulations for the second baby! 😀

A: Thank you! I grew up reading epic fantasy and sci-fi, and I actually thought that’s what I’d end up writing. The lighter paranormal stuff was a surprise–though definitely a path I love as well! Gameboard kind of reflects on those big, complex sci-fi epics I read, but I ended up mixing it with some of that paranormal style I’ve gotten used to…and there’s the result! I hope you love the next one (The Immortal Crown), which comes out in May and has a BIG ending.

Q: Hi Richelle!!! I am such a huge fan!!! I love the VA series and my best friend and I have sort of claimed the lives of Lissa and Rose. 🙂 We know we could never be as cool as them but still..it’s nice to dream. So, do you feel like the actors and actresses selected fit who you imagined? I think Danila, Zoey, and Lucy are all going to do such a great job! Are you nervous for the premiere? Oh… btw… You are amazing!

A: Thanks for reading! And yes, I’m in love with the cast, not just because they look the parts but because they really understand how the characters thing. That was a fear for me–that we’d have an actor who was a perfect physical but didn’t “get” the unique personality of who they were playing. Danila, Zoey, and Lucy not only understand their characters, they’re also a little like them in real life. 🙂 And they are SO passionate about this film, it’s incredible.

Q: Hey Richelle, i was wondering if the movie is going to have the Bond between Lissa and Rose in it. I am a BIG Fan!! Also, im an aspiring author, do you have any tips about: getting published, editing, etc.

A: Yes, the bond is definitely there! It’s too crucial to leave out. 🙂 It’d take ages to talk about writing and publishing, but I can say the best place to start is just by writing a little each day to make sure you finish your work. Don’t overthink if people will want to read it. Write the book YOU want, and your passion will help make it good. For publishing tips, check out Absolute Write’s forum, and never pay anyone to publish you. Good luck!

Q: Hey, Richelle! I was wondering how you came up with the names for Russian characters, Dimitri’s family in particular. Thanks, Oksana

A: Just from name books and internet searches! 🙂 Oksana is a great name, by the way.

Q: Hi Richelle, I just want to say I love your books! They are fantastic! Already finished Feiry Heart, Love the way you ended it!!

I was wondering where your inspiration for the character Adrian came from? If anywhere.

A: Nowhere in particular! He was initially meant just to be another love interest for Rose but took on a life of his own–which doesn’t happen a lot to me. Usually, I keep a tight reign on my characters, but he just took over and became full of so much depth and life. I love him. He’s definitely one of my favorites.

Q: This is a super silly insignificant question, but it seemed as if Dimitri hinted that his dad was royal, any chance you could quench my curiosity and say what family? Thank you for writing such amazing stories!!

A: It’s not silly, and it will be revealed…someday… 🙂

Q: How do you feel about the movie? I know you say the script is true to the book but what about the actors/actresses?

A: The actors/actresses are also spot-on. In fact, if you scroll back a few questions, I just answered about them, so I hope that helps explain it! (Sorry to send you back, but I’m almost out of time). I really am thrilled with the work everyone’s done on this movie.

Q: Were you a writer before the tween vampire obsession?

A: I wrote paranormal books for adults (one series about demons, one about fey) before writing for teens. I wrote Vampire Academy right before the YA vampire genre really took off, and I’m so glad I did. If I’d known how big that genre was going to be, I think I would’ve been too scared to put something out there like that. I wrote my first vampire book in ignorance and am lucky I got in just ahead of the boom.

Q: Do you have any plans on writing more about Lissa as a queen and her life with Christian? they are my favorite characters so I would love to know more about them.

A: They have appearances in the rest of the Bloodlines series for sure, and after that, I’m still deciding what’ll happen when Bloodlines ends. So, who knows? We may have a lot more to see from them! 🙂

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