Weekend Interview: Richelle Mead

Joining us in the League Lounge this week is the lovely and talented Richelle Mead, author of SUCCUBUS BLUES, VAMPIRE ACADEMY (YA) and the just out, sure to be a sensation, SUCCUBUS ON TOP.

Me: Welcome, Richelle. Might I offer you a cocktail from our Tiki Bar? An aperatif, perhaps? Something with a paper umbrella and a plastic monkey dangling from it?

Richelle: It's barely noon yet...but well, I am from western Michigan originally. And we have a saying back there: "Being sober before noon is like being sober after noon." I know--I don't really get it either, but I think it means it's okay for me to have a mojito.

Me: Yummy. Getting right into the business of Ms. Kincaid. As we last left our tasty morsel, she had dispatched the villain and enchanted the famous writer guy. Will we be exposed to copious descriptions of carnal canoodling?

Richelle: If your definition of canoodling involves pipe cleaners and tarps, then yes. Okay...I'm kidding about that, but I assure you, there's plenty of steamy stuff going on in the book. However, there's also a real plot. (I apologize in advance to any who find that disappointing). It involves Georgina going undercover in the suburbs to corrupt a conservative talk radio host, while also trying to save her friend from nefarious paranormal influence. And of course, she has her usual romantic woes afoot.

Me: Will we ever see Georgina all batwinged out and crimson-skinned ala Jacob's Ladder? 'Cuz that's what I'm into. (Like so...)

Richelle: I know you are, Mark. I read that bathroom wall. And as for Georgina...come on, I can't give away that kind of proprietary information! I gotta leave something a mystery for future books.

Me: Well, then. The writers that hang around the lounge--when they're not plastered and reminiscing about pez--love to hear a good first sale story. Go!

Richelle: I was in the middle of teaching an 8th grade lesson on The Battle of Lexington and Concord when my classroom phone rang. (There were never phones in my classes growing up...I'm still baffled by this). It was my agent, and as soon as she identified herself, I freaked out. She never called--we were always email people--and SUCCUBUS BLUES had gone on submission a week ago. I knew what the call had to be about. I told her, "I have to call you back." We hung up, and I stood there, still shell-shocked, in front of thirty 13-year olds, a student teacher, and a teacher aide. They all stared at me like I was crazy woman, and I finally blurted out what was going on. When the kids asked, "What's your book about?" I said, "Let's get back to the Revolutionary War." After class, I called my agent back and got the scoop on the offer. We accepted that day.

Me: You've got a new series on the horizon called Storm Born. Now, is that one of them new-fangled Urban Fantasy series the kids are all talking about?

Richelle: Yes, indeed. It's about a freelance shaman who battles fey and ghosts with both a Glock and a wand. She's my most badass character over the age of 18 and runs into romantic complications with a bondage-happy fairy king and a guy who's literally and figuratively a fox. She's also my only redheaded character, contrary to the popular belief that all my other heroines are redheads based off me.

Me: Wow. My Long Island Iced Tea is kicking in like a mother. You might have to entertain our guests with some witty writing advice, while I hit the head.

Richelle: Don't fixate on what's hot in the market or what you think'll make a lot of money. It'll only make you miserable. Write what you're excited about it. The proof is in the story you deliver, and good stuff will always sell.

Me: Last one. You've put out the call on your blog and website about naming your new YA book, might I suggest CLOGGED ARTERY? It's vampiric, yet suggestive of character maturity. Call Razorbill, now!

Richelle: Yes, yes...I can see where you're going with that. I think it would really speak to today's youth. I'll totally take it under consideration. But if anyone else has, um, other ideas, go check out the title debate over at my blog.

Me: Well thanks a ton for coming by, Richelle. We hate to see you go so soon but when Stacia and Jill get to dancing like that on the bar, no good ever comes of it.

You can visit Richelle at her blog (the link's up there so find it) or her website. Open most days and holidays, MC/Visa accepted. No personal checks.


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