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INTERVIEW: Lounging around with Richelle Mead

Jen Karsbaek is the reader, writer, blogger, podcaster, and book club host behind DevourerofBooks.com and one of our SheKnows Book Club bloggers. When not reading or writing, she is likely playing with her toddler or tweeting @devourerof...

Richelle Mead talks the Vampire Academy book and movie

Richelle Mead is the author of the intensely popular Vampire Academy series, as well as a number of other books for young adults and new adults. She joined SheKnows to talk about her books and the upcoming Vampire Academy movie.

Vampire academy book coverSK: There are six novels in the Vampire Academy series. Does the movie just cover the first novel? If so, are there any plans to make all of them?

RM: Correct, the movie is just based on the first one.

They would love to, I know, and I would love to, but it will just depend on the success of the first movie. But that's always been in the back of everyone's mind. When Mark Waters and others cast it, they made a point to cast actors that were young, that were true to the characters' ages. If you're dealing with six books and all of them eventually get made into movies you don't want that problem where you have 35-year-olds trying play an 18-year-old in the last movie. So they were kind of looking ahead to that, just in case, to make sure these actors can track the whole way. And Mark, when they were filming and doing different things, he would even ask me questions, keeping in mind the big picture down the road, things like "would X affect Y?" We're all hoping, it just depends on what happens in February.

SK: Speaking of the casting, how did the actors cast track with your vision of what your characters look like?

RM: They were very close to it. I mean, no one's going to be able to take the image directly straight out of my mind — and if they did, I have a feeling I would have hundreds of fans telling me I was wrong anyway. It's so personal, it's so personal with books, and that's what's great about it. But I think they did a great job. Especially all the leads are so close to what I described, and not just in looks. I think that's something a lot of people miss. Everyone wants to be their own casting director for these movies when they see these. They look at head shots and match up the characters descriptions, but this cast was also selected on their personalities and abilities to act. Very hand-picked. They had unknowns where they needed, they had much more famous people where needed. It was all kind of on a case-by-case basis, who can bring that character to life.

And the leads! I was amazed meeting them, that they really seemed to capture the spirit of what I had written into the books. I'm really glad they didn't just go, "oh, she's blonde, she can play so and so." I appreciate that they went to that extra effort to get people who embodied their personalities.

SK: Is there anything else you'd like to share about the movie?

RM: I'm just a big lovefest when I talk about it, because I really am such a fan of everything they're doing. The other thing I would say, I see fans sometimes arguing about whether it is a romance, an action or a comedy. As I was saying, it is all of those things and what I would tell fans is to reassure them that they got all of those aspects into the movie, and that is why I'm so pleased with the script. Depending on how the marketing materials unfold over the next six months or so you're going to see different pieces of that. Fans should look for that. They may see some trailers that are really playing up the action, other trailers that bring out that fun snark and attitude. They shouldn't worry that they lost this or that, it's there, we're going to see it.

Richelle Mead head shot

SK: Before we go, let's talk about your more recent books you have out. We were looking at your Amazon page, did you really have three books already released this year and one more coming? Is that right?

RM: I have to think too, now, you've got me wondering. There will be three by the end of this year, two have come out. There's a spinoff to the Vampire Academy series that's currently active called Bloodlines. It takes some of the characters who were on the sides in Vampire Academy and puts them to the forefront. And we still actually see a lot of the leads from Vampire Academy in this series, so in some ways their story is still going on. The third book came out in February of this year and the fourth book will come out Nov. 19. That's called The Fiery Heart and that's a big book. The centers of a series for me are always where you pull the rug out from under the readers. It is when everything you thought you knew goes crazy. So there's a lot of good stuff coming out in that book, it is the hot book romantically, it is also sort of a dark book as far as delving into the characters' psyches as well.

The other book that came out this year in June is Gameboard of the Gods. That was the first in a New Adult series that's kind of a scifi-paranormal, for lack of a better genre description. I'm currently working on its sequel, which will be out summer of next year. The sequel to Gameboard will be out early summer 2014, and the next Bloodlines book, which will be number five in that series, will be out late summer. So we'll have just two books next year.

SK: Oh, only two books? With a little one at home and another one on the way you have to scale back to just two.

RM: There was one year I had four books out, that was nuts. That was the point where I had to start scaling back my schedule, so this is manageable by comparison. Ask me next year when I have two boys instead of one if two books is manageable, that might not be the case any more. But we'll keep going and see.

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