Richelle Mead

Read more about Richelle Mead.

Interview By: Zollyanna

Date: October 28, 2007

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Hello Richelle,

The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview

We would love to get to know you

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?

I'm 30 years old-soon to be 31, gasp!-and originally hail from the Midwest. I taught middle school English before deciding to write full-time and now spend my days holed up in my Seattle home working on three different series.

If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?

Noo! I'm not sure I'd want to be any of them. They're all pretty neurotic. If I could have anything, I wouldn't mind Georgina the succubus' shape-shifting power, but I'm pretty sure out of all my characters, her life is the most messed up of all!

What's your favorite genre to read?

I'm actually burned out on the paranormal world. Lately, I like reading a lot of light, funny mainstream stuff. Surprisingly, I'm really getting into some YA books that fit this description.

Who or what influences you when you write?

No one thing, really. It's a mixture of my own drive and my ideals to write the best novels I can. That's usually what keeps me going! On bad days, it's remembering that I have a mortgage to pay that keeps me going. Although, joking aside, money can't really be used as the driving force behind writing. If you don't have passion for the work, it shows.

What do you do on a typical writing day?

It's actually pretty embarrassing. I usually get up, eat breakfast, and IM for at least two hours. When I finally get moving, I write for up to three hours and then take a break-usually in the form of a gym trip. By then, it's early evening and I get distracted by friends and dinner. Eventually, though, I'll settle back down and put in another shift of writing before bed. I usually get out ~2000 words per session.

When you have writer's block how do you break free?

Patience. There's no magical solution for me, I'm afraid-no beaches or meditation. I mainly wait it out and find other things to distract me. So, far it's always worked-knock on wood.

Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?

If you go to my website (, I just posted an excerpt of the next book, Succubus on Top.

Please tell us what you have planned next?

Mostly I'm tied up fulfilling obligations. I have three series under contract, so I write whichever one is due soonest and then move on to the next. Publication-wise, Succubus on Top comes out in January, followed by a novella in the Eternal Lover anthology and Vampire Academy #2: Frostbite in April. 2008's going to be a big year, though, and three more books are due out in the fall.

In 5 years, where do you see yourself? In general and in you're writing career.

In general is a hard question to answer.personal stuff is always in flux! For my writing career, I'm hoping for steadily increasing sales. I don't demand bestseller status (though certainly I'd love it!). Mostly I want my books to be popular enough that I can live off them and that fans are excited to hear more. I wouldn't mind possibly starting a new series in a different genre, but that's ambitious right now since my current ones already have me swamped!

Who is your perfect hero? And why?

Ah, I don't believe in perfection! It's imperfection that make us so great. So, my `perfect' hero or heroine would be someone with lots of imperfections-but who still manages to triumph!

What do you do for inspiration?

I don't do anything in particular, really. Inspiration sort of comes to me just from living. I'll be out in everyday life, and then some small idea will strike me. Later, another idea will come. I start piecing them together, and slowly, that's how the novels are born.

Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?

I'd actually like to write something mainstream, with no fantasy at all. My favorite things are dialogue and humor in stories, and while I love world building, it'd be nice to write something in which I could just focus on my strengths and not worry about magical powers and rules.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

I have a background in religion and mythology, so a lot of my research was done in grad school and now lives in my head. When I need more info, I tend to hit the books (I have a big library of that stuff), and the Internet is full of sources too. I don't mind the process, so long as I don't have to get too deep and technical. Otherwise, it starts to remind me of when I wrote my master's thesis.

When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.

I pretty much decided to submit as soon as Succubus Blues was finished in 2005. There didn't seem to be any choice in the matter. I had finished a book, and naturally it needed to be published! So, that decision was easy. The process of getting published was what was was long and required a lot of patience.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Oh.outline for sure! I can't be trusted to just start writing. I tried that once. The book went on forever and had no real plot! 800 pages of.hell, I don't know.

What was your first published work and when was it published?

My first published work was actually a short story called "Judy and the Mermaid." It was published in Childlife magazine when I was 9 years old. Of course, it took 20 years for my next publication, but as you can see, I knew where I wanted to go from an early age.

What type of book have you always wanted to write?

Well, like I said, mainstream fiction is intriguing to me. Growing up, I always thought I'd write high fantasy or science fiction, so it was kind of surprising to end up where I have. Honestly, I just want to write whatever book the muse is kind enough to send to me.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

Deadlines hinder her, I'm afraid. Back when there were no deadlines, I could churn out a 350 page book in 6 weeks. Now that I'm obligated to write a book in a certain amount of time-usually 6 months to a year, depending on the publisher-I tend to need the entire time. Fortunately, I get the college exam cramming bug the week a manuscript is due, and the muse usually kicks into overdrive.

What would you like to tell your readers?

Hmm…other than keep reading? I guess that I really, really, REALLY appreciate their support of me and my books! And that no one should be afraid to drop me a line. I'm slow at responding, but I love hearing from people and do eventually write back!

Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?

No critique group, just beta readers who read chapters along the way. It inspires me because if they like it, they'll demand more installments, and that kind of enthusiasm is great!

How can readers find out more about you and your books?

My website has all of that information and more! Plus, my blog is always up to date with the latest news. Thanks so much!