I had a chance to interview Patricia Briggs for my blog last year before her appearance to our local bookstore. She was the sweetest person over the phone, as well as answered all my questions thoughtfully. I later met her and thanked her in person at her signing.
Below are some of the questions from the interview, which focused on last years release Frost Burned.
Phone InterviewSNR: It's been a while since River Marked and Fair Game released, what is your process of getting yourself back into Mercy's world?
PB: Mercy is a really strong voice, I never have trouble getting back into the next book. She's not me but its like a very good friend of mine. It's like sitting down and talking with her.
Jess is becoming a more prominent character in the series, have you thought about a spin off for her?
PB: Well, I haven't at this point. It makes sense of her turning into a major character with Adam and Mercy living together now. She's a much more major part of Mercy's life than she was before. I certain could, I have kind of tentative place for a short story for her. The project I'm working on right now is a book of short stories, some are previously published and four or five are new. It's not going to be in that book, those stories I have already mailed out. But I could see her going out and getting involved in things that shes not up to. So probably not a full series following her but a short story where shes the protagonist.
SNR: The short stories that you mentioned, can you tell us a little more about what to expect in that?
PB: Sure, we thought it would be a good idea to collect all the short stories in the Mercy world, because, quite frankly its a pretty good scavenger hunt to find them all. I was originally going to put Alpha and Omega in that, but when we brought out Cry Wolf in hardback where we included Alpha and Omega in that. I thought that is was not appropriate to stick in in an anthology. I decided to put more original fiction in this one instead. The stories that are pretty much done are of Samuel's story and how he met Ariana, which brings Bran back in at the beginning and we find out a little bit more on how they became werewolves and things like that. Which should be fun. Its not a happy happy story cause we all know its not going to be right? But it's got a lot of information that fans have been asking about, so I thought I would let everyone in on some of the things I know about Samuel and Bran.
Another story is Ben's story, he's not ready for a happy ever after yet. But I tell people a little bit more about what really happened in London and he doesn't come out a shiny and clean choir boy in it. He's making progress, he's got a lot of time to make his change thanks to being a werewolf.
Also a Tad story, why he's changed so much since Mercy saw him last. If you haven't read Frost Burned yet, Tad comes on stage as a major player. I've known a lot about him for years but just never found the right place to bring him in.
Also going to do a Kara and Asil story. Kara is the girl from Blood Bound, where her father the reporter, is trying to find someone to help him with his daughter who was changed into a werewolf at a very young age. I've had a lot of fans asking about her over the years. I kept saying the next Alpha and Omega, the next Alpha and Omega. Then Fair Game jumped way ahead, so I have to do something for her and that's going to be a short story with Asil. Because he was absolutely the scariest person I could think to pair her with. (I can't wait for this anthology!! More Bran, Sam, Tad, Asil!! Yes please!)
SNR: Is there are chance that Mercy and Anna might meet in a future book?
PB: Well they know each other and they like each other quite a bit. I know it sounds a little freaky, in order to have the world hold together then I have to make up parts so I know how everyone is related to each other. I could say no no no, since its too many major characters, though I could see one coming in as a side character. That is more probable. Doing a book where they are both in the main plot, you've got Adam, Mercy, Charles and Anna that four protagonist. If I was a big fantasy writer it wouldn't bother me at all, its just a lot more juggling. Anna would fade into the back ground and I don't like that since I like her a lot. At this point maybe just one would come in as a side character.
SNR: With the graphic novels, what was the process with seeing from the beginning and adding faces to your characters. (Besides Mercy on the book covers)?
PB: It was kind of an interesting process. I had a really hard time getting them to actually have the artist draw the werewolves like "werewolves" not like man with a hairy face. They sent me sample art that was really well done, but it was like a woman coyote mix of Mercy and it was horrible. The artist was very good but it was not Mercy. Once we had a couple of good writers that started working with me, everything started to move along a lot better. We got an artist (Tsai) who was amazing, he was the one who generated most of the characters. Emily Woo took over and she worked with us a lot, getting the characterization pretty close to right. I'm aware, that I see people in my head and try to convey that to the artist on what they look like just doesn't work. Even if they captured those people right, that wouldn't be the people the fans have in their head. So at some point in time I just sat back and said that this is acceptable. What I really like is that we lost the sex kitten Mercy early on, that's not the first thing you notice about her in the comics, it made my heart a bit happier. ( We chat a little more about Adams appearance and how we picture him.)
SNR: How many more will we see in graphic novels?
PB: Homecoming did very well and was in the New York Times for three weeks at the top. The second Moon Called didn't do very well. We had some discussion on why that was and what to do about it. Ultimately we are doing one more with Nick (Dynamite Comics). It will be from a story outline that I gave them, so a new original story. Also Penguin Publishing and Random House , are starting out publishing graphic novels and I think they are going to take some of the original short stories in the anthology and put them into a graphic novel. We want to make sure the readers are getting something that they'll enjoy. (I was doing a happy dance at this point! Can't wait to see more of Mercy's world in Graphic Novel.)
SNR: How many more mercy books or even in the alpha and omega series will there be?
PB: I promise to stop writing them when I get bored. So far that's not an issue. I'm working on the next Mercy book which is called Night Broken it will come out this time next year. Then I'll do another book in the Mercyverse, maybe Alpha and Omega or might be something completely different. Then another Mercy book. After that its the end of the contract, that said I have no intention of stopping either series. I'm having a ball, I like these characters, they are really fun to write. I have no trouble finding story lines for them, I have no trouble sitting down and writing them. If I ever get to that point where I don't think I can do them justice, I may jump back into writing tradition fantasy again and then come back and hit them fresh. ( We chat a little bit more about Mercy and how much I have enjoyed them and how happy I am to hear that we have a lot more Mercy ahead for the fans. Briggs says "Thank you very much, I love playing with my imaginary friends and book tours are a fun way of meeting the friends of my imaginary friends. We have a laugh and talk about the signing that night and say out goodbyes until then.)