>Interview with Richelle Mead – Romantic Times Feature

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Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Micmass market and in urban fantasy and young adult genres. Sea Lion Books LLC recent roster of authors include: International Bestselling author, Paulo Coelho, New York Times Bestselling authors, Richelle Mead and Richard A. Knaak plus more to be announced in the upcoming months. Contact higan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time. Her adult series are published by Kensington Books. The Georgina Kincaid Series (Succubus Blues, Succubus on Top, Succubus Dreams, and Succubus Heat), Dark Swan Series (Storm Born and Thorn Queen) and YA series, Vampire Academy, (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, and Spirit Bound).

Vampire Academy: A Graphic NovelQ: With so many various writing conferences and cons nowadays, authors seem to have several options to fill their schedules. What is it about Romantic Times that made you add this event to your busy schedule?
A: There are two parts to it. One is that some of the most devoted readers I’ve ever met attend RT. My first RT was in Houston, a month after my first novel came out. I made connections with readers there who have stayed with me this whole time, and it’s wonderful to return to that energy and enthusiasm. That kind of networking is what makes my job great. As for the other part of RT’s appeal…well, let’s face it. There aren’t many cons where you can get all sorts of business done by day…and have Faery Balls and Mr. Romance pageants at night.

Q: As far as busy schedules go, do you find time to read for yourself? If so what are some of your current favorite books?

A: The usual answer is no—reading becomes a luxury when writing is demanding. With my pregnancy, however, my insomnia is worse than usual, meaning I have a lot of late nights to catch up on reading now. I rarely read in my own genre and have been sticking to epic fantasy and sci-fi. Right now I’m reading Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey.

BloodlinesQ: So many adults are enjoying the YA genre now. Do you feel like your writing has messages for the targeted audience of young adults, or do you keep in mind the cross-over audience as well?
A: I think the messages easily apply to both audiences. I try very hard not to “talk down” to my YA fans. The characters are teenaged, sure, but many of their experiences and emotions aren’t entirely different from those that adults face. Teens are often more mature than they’re given credit for, and I simply try to tell the story that’s within me, without worrying too much about which audience it’s for.

Q: Do you ever get “star-struck” meeting other authors or have “fan-girl” moments?

A: There are a lot of authors who are my peers in the genre and started out at the same time, and I admire them immensely. There’s so much talent out there right now. They almost feel like co-workers in a way, which is kind of nice in a solitary profession. We keep in touch via various internet methods, and some of the glamor fades because we all know exactly where everyone’s coming from. Now, moving away from my contemporaries to the authors of my childhood…yes. Totally star-struck. I was recently reading an article about Sweet Valley High creator Francine Pascal’s return to writing, and I felt with absolutely certainty that I ever get a chance to meet her at some event, I will probably faint. I know she’s probably just as real as the other authors I know, but the lenses of my younger years are always going to make her larger than life!

Q: Since Romantic Times has an emphasis on romance, who are some of your favorite romantic couples of fiction, or ones perhaps you’ve created?

A: I’m old school: Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, no question.

Q: Are there certain things you feel you need to have in order to write, like snacks or music?

A: Mostly I need calm and quiet. I’m easily distracted, so the less going on in my environment, the better. That’s especially true for music—I just can’t work with it. Probably the only things I truly need are cats and caffeine.

Vampire Academy Signature Edition: A Vampire Academy Novel
Q: Writing seems to be such a personal thing, is it hard to send your work out into the world? How do you deal with getting feedback from so many different people?

A: It is personal, but if you decide to get published and expose your work like that, you have to be ready for all that’s going to entail: the good and the bad feedback. I hardly ever read reviews anymore, and even if I hear something negative, I’ve kind of reached a point where it rolls right off me. I want my readers to love the books, absolutely, but at the end of the day, I have to make sure *I’m* happy with them.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to young adults (on anything), what would it be?

A: To value themselves, in all things.

Q: What is your opinion on the steady popularity of supernatural elements in YA fiction? Do you think that the Vampire (were’s, angels, demons, fairies) trend is here to stay?

A: It’ll change form and evolve, I’m sure, but the YA (and adult) fascination with the paranormal isn’t going anywhere. The mega-popularity of things like Harry Potter and Twilight often give the illusion that this trend is “new,” but it’s not. These subjects, in various forms, have long intrigued people and will continue to do so.

Q: As writers of Young Adult fiction, teens (and some adults for that matter) can get kind of obsessed with characters and the authors that created them. Do you enjoy the fame and attention you have gained from writing or is it more of a nuisance?

A: A nuisance? No way. It’s wonderful and flattering (and even unbelievable) that readers can become so dedicated to the worlds and characters I’ve created. I’m grateful and delighted by their enthusiasm.
Q: What is next for you? Any exciting news you could share…or tease us with?
A: This is a busy year! One of my adult series (Dark Swan) is being made into a comic in May, and that’ll be followed by a Vampire Academy graphic novel in August. Also in August, we’ll see the last book in my Georgina Kincaid series and the first of Bloodlines, which is the spin

*Special Thanks to Richelle Mead for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer questions. We wish her all the best! You can visit Richelle Mead on the Internet at http://www.richellemead.com/

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