Andrea Cremer is the author of the Nightshade series. Below is a complete transcript of her interview with Cracking the Cover for the release of her new book, “Bloodrose.”
Background — Have you always wanted to write? Why?
I’ve been making up stories and writing that down for as long as I can remember. As to why – I really don’t have an answer, but dreaming up other worlds seems to be an inherent part of who I am.
Why write for young readers?
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. I did want to write a coming of age story, which I think is particularly well suited to a teen audience but resonates across many age groups.
Do you have any rituals? Do you write all day?
To write I need strong coffee and my iPod – I listen to music while I write and create soundtracks for each of my novels. When I’m drafting I do write all day – I often forget to eat until I notice it’s getting dark outside.
I tend to know how my books will end when I first begin writing them. I knew how the Nightshade trilogy would end from the first page of the first book – 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.
The ending of your series has a surprise twist. Without giving anything away, were you surprised where the story took you or did you always have plans for this?
As I mentioned above, I knew the end from the very beginning. There were surprises along the way, but they happened at various points in the plot, not at the end.
How has your writing evolved from when you first started until now?
I’m more aware of editorial issues when I write. I try to get my editor a cleaner manuscript now than I was able to when I first submitted Nightshade.
The emotional struggle. I’m still heartbroken about many things that happen in Bloodrose. It’s my favorite of the trilogy but in many ways it’s a bittersweet book. I have a hard time talking about it.
There were, however, many, many highlights in Bloodrose. Mainly it was about seeing all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, for better or worse.
Is it going to be hard to set aside your Nightshade world?
I won’t be setting it aside – though the trilogy has come to a close, there are more books to come set in the same world as Nightshade. They will focus on different times, places, and characters. The first book, RIFT, reveals the origins of the Witches War and will be published on August 7 of this year.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the follow-up to RIFT, which is titled RISE. I’m also co-authoring a book, THE INVISIBILITY CURSE, with David Levithan. And I have a new series, starting with THE INVENTOR’S SECRET, that will be published in fall 2013.
People identify so much with your trilogy, do you think it will be hard to “make a name for yourself” outside of it?
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. I do hope, however, that readers will come with me on adventures in other worlds and with other characters.
I’ve been lucky to avoid the crazy – my fans are absolutely wonderful and I am so thankful for them!
Why do you think your books resonate with readers?
My books are about finding your self and figuring out how to live in a world that is complicated and often full of deception – 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.
What do you hope readers bring away from your book?
Courage to be themselves without compromise.
Did you have a favorite book or book that really resonated with you as a young reader?
Calla and I have the same favorite book: Watership Down by Richard Adams.