Richelle Mead (06.03.2010)

Interview with Richelle Mead

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths. She received a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan, an MA in Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University, and a Master in Teaching (Middle & High School English) degree from the University of Washington. In the end, she decided writing was the way for her but believes all of her education prepared her for it.


Georgina Kincaid

Literatopia: Hi Richelle, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of our questions even though you’re agenda is very full: We read you’re currently writing books in three different series at the same time. "Succubus Blues" is the first book in your Georgina Kincaid series. What are these novels about? How many books will there be to the series?

Richelle Mead: The books are about a succubus, which is a type of demon who seduces men and steals their souls. After centuries of doing that, Georgina hates being a succubus—particularly since she can’t get close to any man. As the series begins, Georgina’s life grows more complicated when she falls in love and becomes the target of supernatural threats. There will be a total of six books in the series.

Literatopia: A succubus as a main character for a change makes your books different from all the vampire and werewolf-dominated Urban Fantasy out there. What made you opt for this dark creature in particular?

Richelle Mead: I did it simply because it was different. It’s a difficult and unusual thing to make a creature like a succubus sympathetic and likeable. I’ve always loved supernatural and paranormal stories, and this was a fascinating challenge to take on—particularly as a love story.

Literatopia: As a succubus, Georgina is a somewhat pathetic character – and as such very likeable. It's the character traits of your supernatural creatures trying to live as humans that make for the black humor of your series. How important is humor to your way of story telling?

Richelle Mead: Humor is very important to me, and I don’t think I could write anything without it. Humor permeates every part of our life, even during some of our darkest times. Part of what makes this series so great to write is the mix of different elements—that it can be both funny and heartbreaking. That sends me and the reader on a continual emotional rollercoaster.

Literatopia: Seth Mortensen, one of the characters in the series, is an author and is adored by Georgina. When they meet for the first time, he seems a bit weird and shy. Why did you choose an author for Georgina’s companion? Does Seth conform to a cliché or to a reality you wanted to portrait?

Richelle Mead: Seth wasn’t part of any cliché. When I first wrote the book years ago, I had no idea what an author’s life was even like! I chose an author because Georgina loves books, and I wanted that connection. I made Seth shy and quiet because it provided a nice contrast for her outgoing, charismatic nature.

Literatopia: There was a notice on the homepage of UBooks stating that "Succubus Blues" might be turned into a movie. Is this still relevant? How likely is an adaptation for the cinema? Which actors would you like to see in the movie? What do you feel and think when you imagine Georgina on a big screen?

Richelle Mead: Succubus Blues has sold film rights to Fox Television, but that isn’t always a guarantee that the book will ever become a movie or TV show. Many authors sell film rights over and over without seeing anything happen to the book. So far, there has been no movement with developing the book for film. It’s certainly something I’d love to see, and if it ever was a show, I have no picks for actors to be in it. All of the characters are so unique to me that there are no actors out there right now that I can picture for the roles.

Vampire Academy

Literatopia: "Vampire Academy" – a school for vampires. The title makes it sound like the series is directed more at a younger reading public? Where did the idea for a vampire school come from? What is this series about and who's in it?

Richelle Mead: The series is actually aimed for an older teen audience, though people of all ages read it. The title was something the U.S. publisher decided to use because it’s easy to remember and conveys the supernatural and teenage elements. The series is about a half-vampire girl training to be a bodyguard for good vampires fighting against evil vampires. Because she’s still in high school, it seemed inevitable that they’d attend a school specifically for vampires. That’s where the title came from.

Literatopia: Where did the idea come from to introduce two races of vampires? What are they and how do they differ from one another? What other supernatural creatures are there in Vampire Academy and how do they react to vampires?

Richelle Mead: These two races of vampires come from Romanian mythology. The Moroi are good, living vampires while the Strigoi are undead and evil. The series also has dhampirs, which are half-vampire and also come from Romanian mythology. In this world, dhampirs work with the Moroi against the Strigoi.

Literatopia: Has Vampire Academy ever been compared to "Twilight"? If so, does this bother you? Is Twilight about as popular in the US as it is in Germany at the moment (- hugely so)? Or are there other authors currently in demand?

Richelle Mead: Vampire Academy is only compared to Twilight because they’re teen books about vampires. They’re very, very different. I’m not bothered at all when they’re compared. Our books don’t compete against each other. Twilight is hugely popular here and has made other vampire series popular too—like mine and many others. We owe Twilight a debt.

Dark Swan

Literatopia: What can you tell us about the Dark Swan series? How many parts are there to it so far? And do you know whether these books will also be published in Germany?

Richelle Mead: The Dark Swan series is about a shaman who battles ghosts and monsters in our world and ends up crossing over to the fairy world and getting involved with them. The series will have at least four books and maybe more. These books will be published in Germany, and the first will be out in May 2010.

Literatopia: Do any of the sort of well-established, dark creatures, like for example vampires, feature in the Dark Swan series? Or do you dedicate yourself to other mythical creatures in this series? Which sort of creatures will your readers encounter?

Richelle Mead: There are no vampires in the Dark Swan series. The most common supernatural creatures are fairies and ghosts. Eugenie, the heroine, is part of a fairy prophecy and finds herself gathering both enemies and allies among them.

General Questions

Literatopia: What did it feel like to see one of your books on the list of bestselling novels for the first time? Did it come as a surprise for you? Had anybody – for example your publisher – predicted it?

Richelle Mead: It was fantastic! Based on previous sales and growing anticipation, we hoped the book might be on the list. No one ever knows for sure, so it was wonderful to see our hopes come true.

Literatopia: Did it take you long to find a publisher or did you get lucky the first time you tried? What do you think the chances are for Dark/ Urban Fantasy in the US? Is the situation comparable to the boom the genre experiences in Germany at the moment?

Richelle Mead: In the U.S., we get literary agents before publishers, and that’s usually the hardest part. Agents reject 98% of authors who approach them. I got an agent after about ten attempts—which is actually really good for an author. After that, the agent pitched the book to publishers, and we had a mix of offers and rejections. All and all, I feel pretty fortunate. Urban/Dark fantasy is HUGE in the U.S. right now. It’s been a pretty strong genre for the last four years and doesn’t look like it’s going to fade anytime soon.

Literatopia: What's on your agenda for the next few months? Are there any "great events" concerning Urban Fantasy in the US? What are they and will you be there? What are the chances of you ever visiting Germany to read from your novels?

Richelle Mead: My next few months are more of the same: writing books and touring when I have time. There are no “great events” I’ll be at, but the fifth Vampire Academy book (Spirit Bound) comes out in May, and my U.S. publisher will be sending me on a huge tour around the country for it. As for Germany, I’d certainly love to visit! But that’s up to my German publishers. :)

Literatopia: Do you like readings or are you too nervous to really enjoy these moments much? What was your first reading like? Did it go smoothly or were there some mishaps?

Richelle Mead: I love readings and book signings. I love them so much that I always accept when the opportunity comes—even though my schedule is so busy! I’m not nervous in front of the crowd, and the more people there are, the more energy there is. The events are actually pretty lively, and I don’t mind talking to fans and signing books for hours. My first reading went fine. It just had a lot fewer people than I see now: 20 instead of 200.

Literatopia: How do you like the UBooks covers on the German editions of the Georgina Kincaid series by the artist Agnieszka Szuba? Do you think they fit the series? How do you like the makeup of the Vampire Academy books published by Egmont Lyx?

Richelle Mead: I love them all. Both UBooks and Egmont Lyx have done amazing jobs with the art. I think they fit the series perfectly, and my American readers really love the covers too!

Literatopia: When and why did you start writing? How did you come to write Urban Fantasy? Are there authors of this genre who inspire you?

Richelle Mead: I’ve been writing my entire life. I read a lot as a child and always wanted to make my own stories, but it wasn’t until I was older that I gained the discipline to actually sit down and finish a book. I wrote urban fantasy because I’ve always loved fantasy and the paranormal. No authors in this genre inspired me because I actually didn’t know it existed until after I wrote my first book! I had no idea what a huge genre it would be.

Literatopia: Are there any real people mirrored in your fictional characters, like friends or family? Which character is most like you yourself?

Richelle Mead: No, none of my characters are based on friends and family. I think you get into trouble doing that! No character is exactly like me either. They all have little pieces of my personality thrown in, but no one is a perfect match!

Literatopia: On your homepage, you write that you’ve enjoyed reading since you were a child. What genres do you like? Is Urban Fantasy your only passion or do you also like, say, Science Fiction? Do you have a favorite book you think deserves to be mentioned here? What's it about?

Richelle Mead: I enjoy all genres. I’ve spent my life reading everything: fantasy, science-fiction, historical, contemporary, etc. Fantasy and science-fiction are my favourite to write, though I almost never read urban fantasy for pleasure. My favourite book growing up was The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s about King Arthur and isn’t urban fantasy at all.

Literatopia: What can your readers look forward to in the future? Will you stick with Urban Fantasy or will you try your hand in other genres?

Richelle Mead: All of my series have more books coming out, so there will always be something new. When one of the series finishes, I’ll probably start another. It’d be great to write another genre someday, but right now, I’ve got urban fantasy contracts keeping me busy for years! So that’s what you’ll find me doing.

Literatopia: Thank you, Richelle!

Autorenhomepage von Richelle Mead

Interview mit Richelle Mead (deutsche Version)

Rezension zu "Dark Swan - Sturmtochter" (Band 1)

Rezension zu "Dark Swan - Dornenthron" (Band 2)

Rezension zu "Dark Swan - Feenkrieg" (Band 3)

Rezension zu "Succubus Blues" (Band 1)

Rezension zu "Succubus on Top" (Band 2)

Rezension zu "Succubus Dreams" (Band 3)

Rezension zu "Succubus Heat" (Band 4)

Rezension zu "Succubus Shadows" (Band 5)

Rezension zu "Vampire Academy - Blutsschwestern" 

Dieses Interview wurde von Judith Gor für Literatopia geführt Alle Rechte vorbehalten!