Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Interview: Patricia Briggs

I'm absolutely delighted to present an interview with the wonderful Patricia Briggs! Her #1 NYT Bestselling (woohoo!!) Mercy Thompson series is one of my absolute favorite new series - if you haven't read these books, you're missing out!!

The series order is Moon Called, Blood Bound & Iron Kissed. However, there's also a fantastic novella "Alpha and Omega" in the On The Prowl anthology. Follow the link for excerpts.

And now, onto the interview that Patricia was gracious e
nough to agree to despite deadlines!

1. I have a girl-crush on you and your writing. Please tell me that doesn't disturb you so I can continue to adore you from afar.

ration is always acceptable :) When it is mutual it is more fun *grin*

2. I know you have a book (Cry Wolf) coming out this year featuring Anna and Charles from
your brilliant short story in the On the Prowl anthology - I've heard that you originally only planned to write a novella about them. Did the fact that you'd done a novella make it harder or easier to write a full-length book about them?

A lot harder. First off, I wouldn't have made Charles a Flathead (one of the Salish people) though that was the most logical tribe for his mother to have come from -- there is a lot more information out there on other Native peoples. Also, Charles is more powerful than I usually prefer my characters to be -- it makes challenging them . . . well, more er challenging. Thirdly, I would never have left them where I did. The first chapter of Cry Wolf has to begin in Chicago -- and explain a lot of what happened in "Alpha and Omega". It all contributed to the very difficult time I had writing Cry Wolf. I like the final version, my editor liked the final version (though she maintains that the version before that wasn't bad), and one of my copyeditors wrote to tell me he liked it too.

3. Do you think you'll write more novellas set in Mercy's world?

Truthfully, I am not a short story writer -- and for me the novella is a special hell for writers. All the work of a book -- and you have to keep cutting the good stuff. It took me as long to write "Alpha and Omega" as it did "Raven's Strike" -- which is my longest book to date.

I do have a short story in Tony P. Kelner and Charlaine Harris's Wolfsbane and Mistletoe which should be out around Christmas next year. It's about David Christiansen, Adam's mercenary buddy from Moon Called.

I'll also have a short story in Strange Brew edited by P N Elrod about witches. I assume it will be out sometime in 2009. That brings my total short fiction ever written up to six. Five are published -- and one will never, ever see the light of day as it was not only horribly derivative, but a shaggy dog story as well.

4. What do you most love about the world you've created in the Mercy Thompson series?

I love to play in the "real" world. To take things I see in politics, in society and say, "what if". I derive a
terrific pleasure from using real places -- "Ah hah," I mutter "that's somewhere I don't have to make up from scratch!"

5. Do you think there really are things that go bump in the night?

Absolutely. I'm not sure about werewolves -- though one of my husband's coworkers claimed that not too long before Mike (my husband) started working there, some guy broke into the building (six story brick 1920's gorgeous building) setting off the alarms. When the police got there he was crouched on the ledge outside the second story windows. They brought him in and he claimed he was running away from werewolves. I'm also not sure about vampires (other than the humans who have convinced themselves) But ghosts and ghoulies? Absolutely. In fact I have six, six foot tall, thousand pound hairy beasts that guard my home . . . all right, they're horses -- but Speck chases off any coyotes, deer or antelopes who trespass.

6. Can you tune up a VW?

Nope. But I've worked as the tool handler for my husband as he worked his arcane craft. We've had three Jettas, two Vanagons, a Eurovan, and a Passat -- as well as a pair of Opel GT's (imported by Buick, built in Germany by Opel). Most of the mechanic stuff are things that have happened to us -- or friends.

7. A couple of writerly questions because I'm nosy: How do you write - do you plot out the
books or do you just run with it?

I just run with it. Though I've had to be a little more disciplined as my timelines for getting books finished has diminished. It's awfully easy to write yourself into a corner and have to delete 100 pages when you don't have an outline.

8. How do you keep track of your world? Do you have a series bible?

I have lovely people who do all the work for me. I was just sitting down (after Iron Kissed) to pull apart the three books and write everything down -- when my forum people got together and posted it to the web. So if you're curious, you can go to and head to the Forums
and look for the Mercy's World Topic. They have saved me thousands (okay, hundreds) of hours of work. Bless 'em.

9. Were you suprised at the wonderful reader reaction to the Mercy Thompson series?

Absolutely. We (my editor and I) knew it would sell better than the straight fantasy -- because Urban Fantasy was just selling better in general. When Moon Called sold out the first week and then made it to the USA Today list, we were over the moon. (pun intended) When Blood Bound hit the New York Times we were flabergasted. When Iron Kissed made it to #1 mass market . . . well, I'm not sure I really believe it yet. I keep waiting for someone to say, "Wait, we made a mistake!" but so far so good.

10. I don't think it's spoilerish to say that Mercy chooses between Adam & Samuel in Iron Kissed. Did you always know which one she'd choose?

N: I'm whiting out the answer for those of you who haven't read Iron Kissed and want to be kept in suspense! To read the answer, just select the text either with your mouse, or using SHIFT and the arrow keys.

No. Not until I started wondering why they hadn't killed each other in Blood Bound -- and why Samuel wasn't being pushy. I knew it had to be Samuel who was running the show -- as the most dominant he determines how he and Adam interact. And the only reason I could come up with was that he wasn't really, really in love with Mercy that way anymore. Mercy loves Samuel -- but not that way -- though if Adam hadn't been around . . . Anyway, I knew when I started Iron Kissed, but I didn't expect it to resolve when it did.

11. Can you give us a hint of what you have coming up for Mercy? Tell me you have plans to write lots and lots and lots more books! :-)

The next Mercy book will be Bone Crossed. We're back to dealing with the vampires -- and for those readers who have been complaining about Stefan's absence, he's a major player in this one. After Bone Crossed, I'm under contract for three more Mercy books. We'll see where it goes from there.

12. If you met a werewolf on a lonely night, what would you do?

I have no idea. My stupid reaction to sheer terror is rage. I have no idea why. So doubtless I'd do something really dumb and get myself eaten.

13. And a fun question to end on: What's your vice of choice? Chocolate? Cute men? Wine?

Well, my husband, in addition to being smart and funny, is very cute -- but probably not a vice since he makes me happy and doesn't cost me anything (marriage is a wonderful institution). Horses would probably have to be my vice of choice, since they are demanding, expensive and, like most people bitten with the bug (Mike calls us Pod People) I tend to get obsessive about them.

A huge thanks to Patricia Briggs for the interview!!


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! thank you for interviewing Patricia :) I love her Mercy books and cant wait for her alpha and omaga book to come out this summer.....

Kati said...

wOOt! I bought and read ALL of the Mercy books in seven days. The I read Alpha & Omega in about an hour.

I'm desperately in love with this series! Thanks so much for the interview. I'm looking forward to then next in both series.

Anonymous said...

Nalini you rock for doing this interview! I love Patricia Brigg's Mercy Series and look forward to the Anna and Charles Series. :) And thanks to Patricia for being part of the interview, you rock as well =^)

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks Patricia! I am a total fan of the Mercy series! It was one of those books where the cover caught my eye so I added it to my (rather large) purchase, but I couldn't put it down! I read it in a few hours and loved it!

Thanks Nalini! You seem to always get the best people over here! ^_^

Jackie (Literary Escapism) said...

I love this series. I'm so excited to hear the the fourth novel has a name (although I still want to know when it'll come out).

Thank for posting your interviews Nalini. They are so much fun to read. Can I recommend an author...Karen Chance. :)

On a side note, it's amusing to see that the interview is posted on Wednesday March 12th when today is actually March 11th [I'm in Detroit, MI, USA]. It really puts it into perspective how small the Internet makes the world. Fifteen-twenty years ago it would have seemed odd to read the writings of an author who lives in New Zealand. Now nobody even thinks about it. Strange.

Jenny Schwartzberg said...

Fangirl SQUEEEE! I adore Patty Briggs and have done so ever since I found The Hob's Bargain. The only one of her books I've never gotten my hands on is Masques. Her books are among my comfort reads!!! I can hardly wait for Cry Wolf. Thank you so much for interviewing her!!!!


PS if we get to vote on the next author interview, I vote for Mary Jo Putney.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for interviewing Patricia Briggs, her Mercy Thompson series is amazing, it sucks you in from the beginning and I can't get enough. I cried at the end of the last one and am looking forward to what may happen next!

Wendy said...

Love the interview! Briggs is one of my favorite authors ever and I can't WAIT for Cry Wolf! This is the first time I see the cover and I love it.

I know who Mercy chooses, mwhuahahah! And so do a few thousands others. :)

WandererInGray said...

Thanks for the interview!

Love the Mercy books, I can't wait for the next one. :D


Christine said...

Thanks for the awesome interview, Nalini & Patricia!

My very first car was a powder blue VW bug. I loved it... even though in college guys thought it was funny to pick it up and move it. Not so funny for me when I couldn't find it. ;)

Missy S said...


OMG!! I LOVE the Mercy series and have worked diligently to get all my friends addicted to your work. Though I have to admit that I'd love another book in your Dragon Bones series... that was the first I read of your work (of which I now own a copy of everything you've written). Yeah... I like your writing.

Nalini- thank you for doing the interview!!

Rhinoa said...

Thanks so much for sharing this interview. I love the Mercy Thompson series, it is easily my current favourite and it's great to know there are definitely more books planned. I loved Iron Kissed most, it really shows Mercy's human side despite her not actually being human...

Anonymous said...

OMG! Thank you so much Nalini! Is there a word for being better than the best!

I 'discovered' (I don't know how but I owe the person lots of Ben & Jerry's ice-cream :) the Mercy Thompson books this year and simply devoured them...when I got to the end of Blood Bound I was so desperate to read Iron Kissed that I texted my friend (who was on holiday) and asked if I could borrow her copy (I was feeding their fish so I didn't have to commit B&E :)

And thank you Patricia for being interviewed :) I LOVED Alpha & Omega and can't wait for Cry Wolf!

orannia *who thinks she may have scared Nalini and Patricia with her enthusiam*

Wendy R. said...

I absolutely adore the series and I can't wait for the alpha/omega series to come out.

Anonymous said...

Helen Gonzalez says.....

Oh My GOD!!!!! I love you Nalini!! Thank you for bringing this interview with Patricia Briggs onto your blog!! Thank you Thank You Thank You ( I am merrily jumping around with joy ) & Thank You Patricia for the awesome interview response, I've been a fan for so longgggg!!! I can't wait to hear more on my favorite mechanic!! All right everyone lets all join in with a Hip Hip Hooray!!
LoL Helen Gonzalez

Thea said...

What a wonderful interview, Nalini! I am (like everyone else here) a drooling fan of Patricia Briggs--ever since I read When Demons Walk. Can't wait for Bone Crossed!

Ashley said...

I love the Mercy books, but I could not get enough of Alpha & Omega. When I learned they were getting their own books I was soooooo excited. I cannot wait to read it. I've been waiting for it ever since On the Prowl came out.

Ladytink_534 said...

I love her books! I can't wait for Cry Wolf because the story in On the Prowl was really good. Really great interview!!!

Tigerlady981 said...

Wow, in the past two weeks, I've seen Patricia Briggs mentioned on two of the author blogs i read obsessively, yours and Richelle Mead's. As I said there, it's interesting to see how my favorite authors are linked. I just finished reading the Mercedes Thompson series and I find myself waiting anxiously for yet another book in yet another series. But I love you for getting this interview and writng the books you do, and I love reading Patricia's Mercedes Thompson series. I guess I'm going to have to go out and find the others to read as well... More for me to buy I guess, but worth every cent.

danetteb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danetteb said...

Awesome interview! I love Mercy's books and I'm looking forward to the spin off Cry Wolf.
Happy Dancing!

Hugs, Danette

Bridget Locke said...

Wow, Nalini, you are so lucky! I love the MT books & I wish I could ask Patricia a question. I'll post it here & see what happens. :)

My question is-What do you think of the controversy surrounding the end of Iron Kissed? I know a lot of readers who were turned off by it (I wasn't). Why did you decide to take that particular twist? If you could answer, I'd really appreciate it. :)

paperbackwriter said...


If you want the answer to your question (with Spoilers), check out the journal/blog entry a friend of mine (Diana Pharoah Francis -- who happens to be an awesome writer).

I've been trying not to address this too much, since I don't want to start an argument. And because I think that a reader's viewpoint is always right (for that reader).

I will say here, that I could have taken the easy road and left it out. I certainly didn't think, "My, I guess I'll throw a **** into the story so I can see what its effects on my readers will be." I Always write to the demands of the story.

And finally, yes, I do know that S.L. Viehl/Lynn Viehl uses this nickname (paperbackwriter) as her Internet name. But I've been using it to post on horse forums for years, and so seldom make blog entries that I've never bothered to change it.
All the best,
Patty Briggs

Nalini Singh said...

Patty, thank you so much for swinging by! And a HUGE thank you for the interview. :-)

Prue said...

wow, two of my favourite authors in one conversation :D Thanks for the amazing interview.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late to the party since this was posted a couple months ago, but what a special treat. Patty's Mercy Thompson series and Nalini's Psy/Changelings are my two favorite UF/PNR series. Can't wait to read much, much more from both of these awesome writers!