When Andrea Cremer began writing what became her first published series, she didn’t have a particular audience in mind. She wanted to write a coming of age story, which she says is particularly well suited to teenagers but still resonates with readers of all ages.
“I don’t think of my books as being written for young readers, and the readers I hear from range from age 10 all the way to grandparents,” Andrea told Cracking the Cover.
The author of the Nightshade trilogy — “Nightshade,” “Wolfsbane” and “Bloodrose” — has been making up stories and writing them down for as long as she can remember. “Dreaming up other worlds seems to be an inherent part of who I am,” she says.
But to do get those worlds from her head to paper takes some strong coffee and her iPod — Andrea listens to music during the creative process and compiles soundtracks for each of her novels. When she gets in her groove while drafting, she writes all day. “I often forget to eat until I notice it’s getting dark outside,” she said.
That drive comes through in Andrea’s writing and is in part why the ebb and flow of her books feel so natural. Another reason for that — she typically knows how her books will end when she first begins to write them.
“I knew how the Nightshade trilogy would end from the first page of the first book,” Andrea said. “I need to see the entire story, going across multiple books, in order to write. That’s also why my books, except for the final book, have such wicked cliffhangers.”
It would seem that Andrea always knows where her story arcs are going, but she admits there were surprises for her as the writer at various points throughout the process. She was quick to reiterate, though, hat was not with the case with the end of “Bloodrose.” Andrea knew exactly where she was going with that.
“Bloodrose,” which was released Jan. 3, brings Andrea’s trilogy to a close, and the emotional struggle in it was one of the most challenging elements she dealt with.
“I’m still heartbroken about many things that happen in Bloodrose,” she said. “It’s my favorite of the trilogy, but in many ways it’s a bittersweet book. I have a hard time talking about it.”
In the end, however, Andrea said that seeing all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place — for better or worse — made it all worth it. And it’s not as if she’s is leaving the Nightshade world behind.
Though the trilogy has come to a close, Andrea says there are more books to come set in the same world as Nightshade. The books will focus on different times, places and characters. And readers won’t have to wait long — “Rift,” which reveals the origins of the Witches War, will be published this coming August.
“I’m very happy with Nightshade — it’s a world I couldn’t love more and I will be thrilled to be identified with it,” Andrea said. “I do hope, however, that readers will come with me on adventures in other worlds and with other characters.”
And those other worlds and characters are already in the works. Andrea’s working on “The Invisibility Curse” with David Levithan, and she has a new series, starting with “The Inventor’s Secret,” set to published in fall 2013.
Andrea hopes her fans, who she says are absolutely wonderful, finish her books inspired to find the “courage to be themselves without compromise.”
“My books are about finding your self and figuring out how to live in a world that is complicated and often full of deception,” she said. “I think that’s a process we all go through and it’s relatable even if Nightshade is a world full of magic and fantasy.”