Richelle Mead's Blog, page 11

January 4, 2013

Pausing from Book Club (another will go up later today) to get you up to speed on some things. First, if you're wondering what Book Club is, it's a re-reading of Bloodlines and The Golden Lily as we count down to The Indigo Spell on February 12. I'm posting commentary and backstories on each chapter as we go. Some people thought I was posting Indigo chapters, but alas, no. Still--there's lots of cool stuff, so check it out!

In other news, if you really want some torture, check out Penguin Australia's Indigo Spell teaser trailers. They post one a week and have acted some pretty swoon-worthy scenes from the book!

Lastly, I'll be doing some Twitter chats this month for Penguin's book club. They're pretty short, but I'll try to get to as many questions as I can! The dates and times are here. As you'll see, each chat has a topic we'll try to stick to for Bloodlines, so we'll see how that goes. Exciting stuff!

And, I suppose I can't forget to mention that if you can handle it, the first two chapters of The Indigo Spell are here.
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Published on January 04, 2013 08:47 • 625 views

January 3, 2013

Book Club Disclaimer:
Spoilers ahead! I'm not recapping these chapters in Bloodlines and The Golden Lily, but I do refer to some things that happen in them. These posts are to give some commentary and behind-the-scenes info for people who want to read along (or re-read) with me or walk down memory lane. If you haven't read the books, you might have some surprises ruined. So maybe go grab a copy and read along as we count down to The Indigo Spell! :)

Bloodlines, Chapter 4

Whoa, this is a long chapter, not to mention a parade of some of our favorite characters—and a nice way to sum up Rose: “She was like a tropical flower in this dark, stuffy room. One that could kill you.” I know it was hard for a lot of people to switch away from Rose’s point of view, but I actually like seeing her through other people’s eyes. You can’t always trust your narrator, so it’s interesting to see if people view themselves the way others do.

Fun fact: when I first switched the book to just Sydney’s POV, I was going to make Lee be her love interest (he was going to be human but still have the same dark background that Moroi Lee does). I did it because I was worried that if Jill was no longer one of the narrators, he wouldn’t get enough air time. He and Sydney were so badly matched, though, that I soon scrapped that idea. And I don’t mean badly matched in a love/hate way. It was boring. They just had nothing of interest at all between them, so I had to shelf her romance and give Lee back to Jill, where he belonged.

In closing, how nice is it that Abe gives Adrian a pep talk about how talented and capable he really is? When the father of the girl who broke your heart tells you you’re a cool person, that’s a pretty big thing. Especially when that person is a flamboyantly dressed pirate-esque vampire.
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Published on January 03, 2013 08:51 • 691 views

January 2, 2013

Book Club Disclaimer:
Spoilers ahead! I'm not recapping these chapters, but I do refer to some things that happen in them. These posts are to give some commentary and behind-the-scenes info for people who want to read along (or re-read) with me or walk down memory lane. If you haven't read the books, you might have some surprises ruined. So maybe go grab a copy and read along as we count down to The Indigo Spell! :)

Sydney gets her car! The inspiration for Latte came from a Subaru dealership that I have to drive past almost every time I leave my house. They had a brown station wagon parked out front for months, and that became Sydney’s car. I love contradictions in characters, so I created Sydney’s love of cars to contrast with her otherwise stoic academic personality. People often ask if I’m a car person because of the details I write about them for her (especially in the next book), but the answer is no. I had to research it all. My only experience with cars is driving them.

Sydney’s mom only gets a quick nod here, but I like that someone in this world has a normal parent. Everyone else’s are either dead or extremely eccentric. Ahem, Rose.

And…there he is! Our first glimpse of Adrian in the series. Writing Sydney’s first impression of him here was tricky. I needed her to find him attractive, but it couldn’t be done in a way with her falling all over herself or melting with lust. She’s nowhere near anything like that yet. So, her likening him to a work of art is pretty much in character with her: clinically admiring someone’s good looks, then moving along. Naturally, I didn’t have to do any editing of Adrian’s wonderful snarky self. “Are you guys here to convert me or sell me siding?” is one of my favorite lines in the book.
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Published on January 02, 2013 18:20 • 663 views

January 1, 2013

Book Club Disclaimer:
Spoilers ahead! I'm not recapping these chapters, but I do refer to some things that happen in them. These posts are to give some commentary and behind-the-scenes info for people who want to read along (or re-read) with me or walk down memory lane. If you haven't read the books, you might have some surprises ruined. So maybe go grab a copy and read along as we count down to The Indigo Spell! :)

Happy New Year! I’m going to do an extra-long post for these two chapters since they straddle the same scene.

I can’t say enough how hard it was starting a new series, even one that was a spin-off from an established series like Vampire Academy. Bloodlines was especially problematic because I changed its direction part-way through my first draft. This was originally going to be told with rotating third person POV through Sydney, Adrian, Jill, Eddie, and Angeline (who was going to appear one book sooner). Ambitious much? The scope of that soon became overwhelming, especially since I didn’t have much experience with third person. I also got pregnant in the process, and those new physical complications sealed the deal: I had to change things up both for my sanity and to make a better book. And so, Bloodlines was redrafted as first person through Sydney’s eyes.

I’m actually so glad it turned out this way because Sydney's been a fascinating character to delve into--and these first chapters show it right away. I opened the book with this scene because I really wanted to show just how messed-up the Alchemists are. When we first meet Sydney in Blood Promise, she’s paranoid around vampires and generally just stiff and uptight--and now we see why. It was important to me to immediately show this glimpse at her dysfunctional upbringing so that you get where she's coming from. Her attitude isn't something inherent to her personality; it was driven into her by the Alchemists, and those people don’t mess around with those who step out of line. The threat of that looms over Sydney throughout the series, raising the stakes (no pun intended) on the transformation she begins to undergo.

This chapter also sets up the series premise surrounding Jill, based on events that we learn have taken place after Last Sacrifice. I purposely left a lot of threads hanging in that book around Adrian, Sydney, Eddie, and Jill. In fact, it’s pointed out in the last chapters that these characters are people who all had their lives seriously altered (not necessarily in a good way) by Rose’s actions. They’re the casualties of Rose’s happy ending, and I felt it important that they get their own shot at happiness. That, and it was hard for me to walk away from the Moroi world. I wanted to keep going with this saga, and Bloodlines let me continue with it, this time through a human’s eyes.
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Published on January 01, 2013 12:34 • 1,114 views

December 23, 2012

Okay, if you missed it, there are all sorts of goodies circulating in anticipation of The Indigo Spell, coming out February 12, 2013: Chapters 1 and 2! Here are links to them, with two versions of each. The Scribd version is nice and neatly formatted but doesn't always open on phones or in certain browsers. The text one, hosted on my site, is less pretty but usually always work.

I'll warn you, Chapter 2 is already making people swoon and pass out from all the Adrian charm.

Chapter 1 - Scribd and Text

Chapter 2 - Scribd and Text

AND, one more treat: Adrian's seduction advice, from Chapter 15.

Here's what else is going on. Starting on January 1, I'm going to kick off the Bloodlines Book Club as we count down to The Indigo Spell's release. I'm going to re-read the first two books, and every day, I'll post commentary or a little story about each chapter (two chapters on weekend days, since we're in a crunch for time--it's so close!). They won't be summaries or anything--mostly just my thoughts about what was going on when I wrote those chapters. I'll post my ramblings on this blog and mark them with spoiler warnings for those who haven't gotten that far. So, if you want to read along with me and get the backstory on the series, dig out your copies of Bloodlines and The Golden Lily! And if you haven't read them yet, it's not too late to ask Santa for them. Then we'll all be ready for Indigo in February!

One more note about The Indigo Spell--people have been asking if you can order signed copies from University Books again. The answer: you sure can. They're taking pre-orders now, and I'll sign them for you so that they can ship out on release day. The info is here, and they do ship internationally.

Hope you guys like the Indigo excerpts!
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Published on December 23, 2012 12:22 • 2,971 views

December 14, 2012

Those on Facebook know I offered a challenge recently to help my pal Morgan Rhodes get to 1000 likes on FB. Morgan is the author of the amazing new book Falling Kingdoms and also wrote The Vampire Academy Ultimate Guide (under her code name Michelle Rowen). And guys did! She crossed 1000, and as a reward, I give you this snippet from The Indigo Spell of Adrian offering Sydney some helpful advice about seduction.

From Chapter 15 of The Indigo Spell

Adrian looked over at me again. “Who knows more about male weakness: you or me?”

“Go on.” I refused to directly answer the question.

“Get a new dress. One that shows a lot of skin. Short. Strapless. Maybe a push-up bra too.” He actually had the audacity to do a quick assessment of my chest. “Eh, maybe not. But definitely some high heels.”

“Adrian,” I exclaimed. “You’ve seen how Alchemists dress. Do you think I can really wear something like that?”

He was unconcerned. “You’ll make it work. You’ll change clothes or something. But I’m telling you, if you want to get a guy to do something that might be difficult, then the best way is to distract him so that he can’t devote his full brainpower to the consequences.”

“You don’t have a lot of faith in your own gender.”

“Hey, I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been distracted by sexy dresses a lot.”

I didn’t really know if that was a valid argument, seeing as Adrian was distracted by a lot of things. Fondue. T-shirts. Kittens. “And so, what then? I show some skin, and the world is mine?”

“That’ll help.” Amazingly, I could tell he was dead serious. “And you’ve gotta act confident the whole time, like it’s already a done deal. Then make sure when you’re actually asking for what you want that you tell him you’d be ‘so, so grateful.’ But don’t elaborate. His imagination will do half the work for you. ”

I shook my head, glad we’d almost reached our destination. I didn’t know how much more I could listen to. “This is the most ridiculous advice I’ve ever heard. It’s also kind of sexist too, but I can’t decide who it offends more, men or women.”

“Look, Sage. I don’t know much about chemistry or computer hacking or photosynthery, but this is something I’ve got a lot of experience with.” I think he meant photosynthesis, but I didn’t correct him. “Use my knowledge. Don’t let it go to waste.”
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Published on December 14, 2012 21:44 • 2,267 views

December 5, 2012

It's that time of year again, and if you want to give autographed Richelle Mead books for the holidays, you can order them through University Books. They sell all of my titles. For your best odds of getting them by Christmas, here's what you need to know.

If you live in the U.S., orders should be placed BEFORE this Friday, December 7, because I may not make it into the store again before Christmas. University Bookstore has free shipping, but that shipping is media mail, which can sometimes take a while--especially this time of year, when the post office gets busy. So, if I were you, I would pay for a higher shipping option--like first class or priority mail--to help your books ship faster (though again, who can control the post office??). It's not that much more money. You can still certainly roll the dice on free media mail if you'd like to. Normally, two weeks would be plenty of time, but like I said, it's hard to say this time of year.

University Books does ship outside of the U.S., but you'll need to contact them to discuss cost and speed. For all of you, please direct any questions about shipping and sales to the bookstore. Their contact info is on the info page. I really don't know anything about the nitty gritty of how the behind-the-scenes stuff works. I just come in and sign the books. :)

Hope that helps you guys out! Thanks in advance for any orders!
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Published on December 05, 2012 12:04 • 1,064 views

November 26, 2012

If you were online for one brief hour a few weeks ago, you may have gotten in on a charity deal I ran, in which I matched Red Cross donations and also promised to send some goodies (a framed Indigo Spell proof page and a couple of bonus books) to donors as well. The offer is over, but the follow-up is still going on, largely due to some wacky website shenanigans that end up sending me 84 orders instead of the original 12 planned. But hey, it's all for a good cause, right?

Here's the status. They're currently being assembled and should ship at the end of this week or early next week. Thanks for your patients! This is a big process. Arcane Vault is boxing and shipping them, but all the rest is my doing. Those who ordered them will get a shipping notice from Arcane Vault/Lasermach when they go out. You'll have them in time for the holidays!

I spent a good part of my Thanksgiving weekend working on these and am still at it today. If you're wondering what it takes to assemble 84 charity packages, allow me to give you a tour of my exercise room. I mean, Craft Headquarters.


1. Assembled Proofs in Glitter Frames
These are proofs that have been personalized or just signed for people that requested glitter frames. They're all put into frames and paired with Eugenie comics (one of the bonus books).

2. Proofs and Comics
This is a stack of unsigned proof pages, waiting to be framed, along with unsigned comic books.

3. Signed Proofs and Inventory List
Here are proofs that have been signed, as well as the master order sheet that tells me who ordered what, whether it's personalized, and whether glitter was requested. About half the orders are glittered, which is very brave of people since I have no artistic training.

4. Workspace
Here's where I assemble the signed proofs into the frames and pair them with comics. It's also where I put glitter on the decorated frames. FYI - I'm now an expert in glitter glues, by the way. Do NOT buy the Martha Stewart kind. They're overpriced, not as sparkly as others, and don't go on as well--though they do have great colors. Stickies brand has great sparkle and good precision, but after a few uses, they get hard to squeeze (at least for those of us with tendinitis). The best are actually the Crayola kids kind. Lots of sparkle, easy to use, and a $5 bargain at Target. Now you know.

5. Signed Books
This is the other bonus being included in each package. They're just plain autographed and will be paired with frames and comics during the final shipping and packaging.

6. Trash
This is all the packaging from the frames and glitter that I need to pick up. Right now my cats like to play in it.

7. Plain Framed Proofs
These are proofs assembled and framed, paired with comics, that didn't have glitter requested. They're separate because they can be stacked in a different way from the glitter ones.

8. Frames
These are frames still sealed in plastic, waiting to be opened and checked over.

9. Glitter Drying Station
The glitter glue needs a few hours to dry, so here's where my creations go during that process. Although I sometimes use the same design, the color schemes vary, so no two frames are alike.

10. Ready Glitter Frames
These are dry and waiting for proofs and homes! That glitter is pretty hardcore once it dries, but I've still got them separated by paper towels to prevent any of it rubbing off.

Not shown is my TV, to the left. I've been watching old episodes of the X-Files while doing this because I have them more or less memorized and don't have to look up very much. Good times.

Back to work!
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Published on November 26, 2012 13:42 • 1,115 views

November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! Word is getting around about my Goodreads Chat on Monday, November 26. I wanted to clear up a few things to help you out. The biggest one is that it's not technically a chat. Basically, there's a special group on GR that you can post questions anytime in--that day or even today. So, there's no real time it starts for you. That's why it's not like a live chat. On Monday, I will do my best to post answers! Please note: we're expecting a big turnout, and it may not be possible for me to get to all of them. Also, if there are a lot of duplicates, I may have to copy and paste some answers, so please don't take offense. I just want to answer as many as I can! The link to join is here.

Speaking of Goodreads...their annual awards are going on, and it's the final round! I've been lucky enough that you guys got me this far in a lot of categories. If you're interested in voting, here are my nominations:

Best Paranormal Fantasy - Shadow Heir

Best Young Adult Fantasy - The Golden Lily

Best Graphic Novel - Frostbite

Best Goodreads Author - Richelle Mead

Like always, though, there are lots and lots of good books and authors there, so I understand if you have a tough choice! :)
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Published on November 21, 2012 11:04 • 1,610 views

November 12, 2012

First up--a quick update about the proofs you kind Red Cross donors are getting. Slowly but surely, we are on our way! I cleaned out Michael's Crafts of all the frames on their shelves and then ordered fifty more that are coming in this week. Once we have those, I'll start printing and signing proof copies, and then...the glitter! Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, guess what? Today is my birthday, and I have a gift for you. Authors always have to work so far in advance when it comes to books that sometimes I forget you haven't read The Indigo Spell. Meanwhile, I'm already in the early planning stages of Bloodlines #4. Not sure if it's mean or awesome, but I thought I'd share a little of my progress: the title of #4. Are you ready?

Bloodlines #4 is called The Fiery Heart.

This'll make a lot more sense when you read Indigo, which I'm starting to get super impatient for. Come on, February! Lots of big things happen in Indigo, and you romance fans are going to pass out. You know what also might make you pass out? This:

The Fiery Heart is going to be told from both Sydney and Adrian's points of view. That's right. If you've ever wanted to get inside the crazy world of Adrian Ivashkov's head, this is it. It'll still be in first person, but the POV will alternate chapters. I'm so excited about this, it's not even funny. Well, actually...since it's Adrian, it'll be hilarious. I think you guys'll love it, and for those who still haven't made the transition to the Bloodlines series, now's your chance! #1 and #2 are out, and it's not too late to catch up before February.

Happy Richelle's Birthday!
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Published on November 12, 2012 10:19 • 1,434 views