Chat With an Author Giveaways

Richelle-A-Palooza! Interview and Giveaway

Richelle Mead is an up and coming author in the growing Urban Fantasy genre. Her books for young adults and adults alike are well-written, quickly paced, and really stand apart with their brilliant characterizations. Given that I am a big ol’ Richelle Mead fangirl (I love all of her books), I was so very excited when Richelle agreed to an interview!

So, without further ado, we bring you the highlight of our week spotlight–a “chat” with Richelle Mead!

The Book Smugglers: Welcome Richelle, and thanks for sitting down to “chat” with us! Your newest release, Succubus Dreams, is now on the shelves in bookstores nationwide—can you give us a brief rundown of what to expect in this latest installment?

Richelle: What I keep warning everybody is to expect change! Big things happen in this book, things that alter the course of the series. I’ve said on my blog before that I have to make my characters keep growing; things won’t always stay easy for them. But, as an overview, I can tell you that Georgina has a lot on her plate in this one, per usual. She’s mentoring a newbie succubus, trying to figure out her love life, and also trying to figure out why her energy is getting sucked away in bizarre and vivid dreams.

The Book Smugglers: You currently have three separate series’ running—the Succubus, Vampire Academy, and Dark Swan books. All three feature strong but distinctly unique heroines. Of Georgina, Rose and Eugenie, who is your favorite to write?

Richelle: I like writing each of them for different reasons. Georgina’s probably my favorite because her voice is so similar to mine that it can be effortless at times. Rose is great to write too because her stories are planned in such detail that I can just zip along and not worry about getting stuck. And Eugenie’s fun because she’s the most action-packed of my heroines, so I can write all sorts of intense fight scenes for her—although, Rose is rapidly gaining on her when it comes to action!

The Book Smugglers: Also, all three of your different worlds deal with the paranormal and the fantastic in a contemporary setting; from succubae and angels, to vampires, shamen and the fey. Have you always been a fan of fantasy and mythology? What inspired you to write these paranormal creatures in an urban fantasy setting?

Richelle: Oh, yes. I’ve loved fantasy and mythology from childhood. I grew up on stories about unicorns and mermaids, and in elementary school, my teachers would defer to me for questions about world mythology. Then, as I got older, I gained a twisted sense of humor and a love of pop culture. Put those all together, and lo, you have my books!

The Book Smugglers: According to your website, you have degrees in General Studies, Comparative Religion, and Teaching! When did you decide that you wanted to become an author? How have your past experiences and education influenced your writing?

Richelle: Well, back when I was reading about unicorns and mermaids, I was also writing about them—like, from the age of 8 or so. I used to dream of being an author and eventually tried writing more sophisticated things in high school, but I could never finish them. In college, I studied all of the subjects you mentioned and strayed away from writing. Then, around my mid-twenties, I picked up writing again and had the discipline to finally finish things. I think my personal life experiences, as well as being exposed to all that subject matter in my collegiate studies, definitely were key in finally helping me complete projects.

The Book Smugglers: What’s a typical day of writing like for you?

Richelle: Embarrassingly lazy. My day is usually broken into segments of errands, working out, writing, etc. There’s no real schedule to it, though my writing increments are usually no more than 2 hours. This is both because that’s about how long it takes me to do a chapter and because my hands need the rest (according to physical therapists). So, in a given day, I may get up and eat, write, go to the gym, answer email, write, eat dinner, etc.

The Book Smugglers: Can you share with us the story of how your first novel, Succubus Blues, came to publication?

The idea came when I was listening to Anne Rice books while commuting to student teaching. I’d never read (or listened to) anything like that, something with a sympathetic paranormal protagonist. I started thinking it would be great to do that and make it funny, and slowly, the idea of Georgina came around. I wrote it pretty quickly but then slacked off in marketing it for a while. When I finally got back on track, I pitched it to agents and ended up with Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, who later sold it to Kensington in a pre-empt. I’ve been very lucky!

The Book Smugglers: Per your recent contest on your blog, who would be your ideal casting choices for some of your main characters (Georgina, Seth, Rose, Lissa, Dimitri, Eugenie…)?

Richelle: Seriously? I think I’d cast unknown actors (who would undoubtedly become stars!) for these roles, rather than anyone really famous. I will say, though, that I often think of Denise Richards and Gisele Bouchard when imagining Georgina.

The Book Smugglers: What are your future plans for your three ongoing series’? Any upcoming publications?

Richelle: My plans for the series are…to keep writing them! I’m contracted out through 2010, and eventually, I’ll have to make some decisions on what series will wrap up and what will continue. I had five novels and an anthology come out this year, and the last one of this set, Shadow Kiss, will be out in November. After that, I get a break until June 2009 when the next Georgina is out.

The Book Smugglers: What are you reading right now (and revisions don’t count!)?

Richelle: I’m currently reading Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb, which is high fantasy and very different from what I write. It’s great.

The Book Smugglers: If you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would you bring with you?


  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
  • Dragons of Winter Night by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • Succubus Blues…by me!

Richelle Mead has a MA in Comparative Religion and a passion for all things wacky and humourous. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and four cats.

Visit Richelle Mead online at her website or her blog Even Redheads Get the Blues.

A big Thank You again to Richelle for the chat!

And, as promised, we have one copy of Richelle’s latest release, Succubus Dreams up for grabs! In order to win, all you have to do is leave a comment here telling us what supernatural creature you would choose to be. Succubus? Vampire? Some other form of Demon or Angel? The contest will close on Saturday at midnight (Pacific Standard Time). Good luck!

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  • Fran
    October 10, 2008 at 2:55 am

    Hi Richelle! I love your Vampire Academy books. If I have to choose (and this is a hard one) I would be a Dhampir (especially if that means that I get Dimitri:))

    P.S. Hope your dad feels better.

  • Tasha
    October 10, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Hm…I think I would like to be a shifter of some sort, probably feline or wolf. Thanks for the interview! It mentioned that you are/were a teacher. What did you want to teach and what grade/level?
    Natasha A.

  • Nicola
    October 10, 2008 at 6:08 am

    I would definitely like to be a shape shifter, probably an owl or eagle.

  • Shannon
    October 10, 2008 at 6:50 am

    I love the idea of being a shape shifter. Changing your look, eavesdropping on people because the don’t know what you look like, and traveling “instantly” to another place. Wow what a convenient power. No painstaking hours on your hair ans make-up anymore. Ate too many sweets last week, no problem, just shift your gut back to an acceptable size.

  • Mandy
    October 10, 2008 at 7:04 am

    I’d like to be a vampire – I’ve always loved them since I was young. Like the idea of immortality along with sexiness.

  • kmont
    October 10, 2008 at 7:20 am

    First of all, Richelle – you exercise, so your days aren’t lazy!

    As for my supernatural bad self, I guess I’d be a witch. Always loved them and dressed up as one for Halloween when little most years.

    I’ve got Storm Born in the TBR pile and am itching to get to it!

  • Jess
    October 10, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Oooh, tricky. I’d probably also go for shape-shifting – it’s effective for sneaking into places.

  • JenB
    October 10, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I think I’d like to be a wolf shifter. I love the idea of changing forms and running in the wild. I’ve always loved dogs and pack dynamics.

    I think succubi are really cool, but I don’t think I’d want to be one. The hell thing, Satan for a boss…not really for me. lol

  • CrystalGB
    October 10, 2008 at 7:47 am

    I think I would be a shapeshifter of some sort. Maybe in the cat family.

  • RachaelfromNJ
    October 10, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Hi Richelle! Great interview!!

    I would definetely want to be a succubus. They’re sneaky, sexy, dangerous, and seductive!

  • Cindy W
    October 10, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Shapeshift would be awesome!

  • Thea
    October 10, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I’m loving some of the answers in here–sounds like shapeshifters are winning the popularity contest! 😉

    If I could be anything, I’d be a witch as well :p No real moral obligations to either ‘side’, but powerful enough to make a difference when it counts. Plus…witches are just cool!

  • dervampirtony
    October 10, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Hellooo Richelle. Your personal LJ stalker here.
    I would definitely want to be a vampire; I’ve liked them the most for as long as I’ve read fantasy books (since I was born). They are alluring, sexy, powerful and amazing. The whole drinking blood thing is cool, but I see it as more of a symbol for sucking the life force/energy out of someone (sort of like Georgina, I suppose, minus the sex).

  • Wendy
    October 10, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Hi, Richelle!

    I’d want to be a shifter, a lion or a tiger or something exotic like that! 🙁

  • Aymless
    October 10, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Woohoo… great interview ladies (as always)

    I wanna be a shapeshifter! That way I can be tall! *g*

  • ReadingIsSoMuchFun
    October 10, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I would be a vampire who doesn’t like to drink blood. I’d have the cool fangs, pasty skin, super human strength, but forget the blood drinking. LOL


  • alittletalent
    October 10, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    As weird as it sounds, I’d kind of like to be a Strigoi! It’s just so far different from being a human (not caring if you kill or not, no respect for conventional rules and stuff) that it would almost be cool (even if I would be evil). Of course I’d probably be killed by a Guardian eventually but what a life in the meantime!


  • ArkieRN
    October 10, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    A shifter. Either a varity of big cat or wolf.

  • mithah
    October 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I’d be a succubus ’cause sex, seduction, and soul-stealing sounds good to me! 😉

  • macbeaner
    October 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I would love to be a fairy if I had a choice in it 🙂

  • inthemotions
    October 10, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I love Richelle Mead’s books. Vampire Academy has a very special place in my heart. 😀

    I think I’d like to be a vampire. Immortal, strong, fast…. all that.

  • The Discriminating Fangirl
    October 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hmm… succubus would be fun, with the sex and the shapeshifting, but I’d hate to not be able to get close to someone I care about. So I’m going to go with… a witch. Does that count? They’ve got supernatural powers… 😉

  • rb
    October 10, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I will prefer to be a vampire. They have this mysterious allure that has always captivated me.

  • tetewa
    October 10, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I would pick to be a vampire, it would be great to be immortal!

  • Adelina
    October 10, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I would love to be a vampire because I’d have super strength and speed and heightened senses. I could kick major ass with those abilities. 😉

  • Cameron
    October 11, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Though this is a contest to win the Succubus Dreams contest, I would choose to be a vampire (specifically a Moroi). To be able to wield magic to move one of the elements would be amazing. I would not want to be a shape-shifter because I feel you’d lose part of yourself with the different identities and looks that you can take. Also, being a moroi vampire would be great because you’d be part of this evolving battle between the two sides (moroi vs strigoi) and also moroi vs moroi (the offensive vs. non offensive debate). I reckon it would be great to be part of something, and also know that pretty much the whole time I’d have someone with me (guardian), so I wouldn’t really feel alone.

    Wow, I’m going to dis-immerse my self from Richelle’s novels.

  • sarabelle
    October 11, 2008 at 5:12 am

    I would choose a shapeshifter, maybe a wolf or an eagle. Thank you for the great interviews

  • Christine
    October 11, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Hi Richelle!
    Fantastic interview ladies! 🙂

    I've been into shifters lately, any kind of cat or wolf.

    Thanks for the contest, Ana & Thea! 🙂

  • BellaVida
    October 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Great interview!

    I would love to be an angel just so I can travel to other planes of existence. Plus angels don’t have to be good all the time. ; )

  • Anonymous
    October 11, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Vampire Academy series absolutely rocks!

    I would want to be a vampire hunter / slayer / tracker

    – Obs

  • Lizzy
    October 11, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I would want to be an angel like Carter. Not one of the stick-up-your-butt ones, but the cool ones. Hang out, have fun, but no draw backs of not being able to be with your boyfriend because you might steal his soul.

  • DarlingDiva
    October 11, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Hello Richelle! I love your Vampire Academy books. If I have to choose I would want to be a Dhampir, especially if that means that I get Dimitri!!!

    I am sorry that I was not able to see you when you came out to Borderlands in SF. Tricia and I were sad to have missed you.

  • Carolyn Jean
    October 11, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks for the interview! This was fun to read. And Richelle, if you’re still out there, I really love your voice and I loved Succubus Blues. Okay, well what paranormal creature? I’m in a certain mood at the moment so I’m going to say succubus. At a different moment, I might go for werecat. No, werehyena. Or actually, change it to werecrow. Caw!

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    October 12, 2008 at 5:48 am

    I’d like to be a shapeshifter mroe than a vampire. Mostly because I can be anything I want.

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