Richelle recently participated in a Reddit Chat with fans. Here is the transcript:
Vampire Academy Q’s
Q: Richelle, My wife LOVES your books and she saw the trailer for the movie and is a bit nervous. Will you please reassure her that everything is going to be okay? Please and thank you. :)
A: It’s definitely going to be okay! The advertising thus far has been highly skewed toward the humor in the movie because sadly, paranormal YA movies haven’t done well in the theaters this year. The hope is to show how funny and edgy VA is to new viewers who are turned off by all the others out there. But she and others can rest easy! All the serious moments, action, and romance from the book are there in the movie. I read the script and was so relieved at how true they’d stayed to my work!
Q: When you first knew your books would be a movie, who did you wish would be cast? How do you feel about the cast now? Also, what’s your favorite Christmas song?
A: I didn’t do any casting in my head because I didn’t want to be disappointed. :) As a result, I LOVE who was chosen! This group is so dedicated to their roles. They’ve researched and really gotten into the heads of their characters. It’s so much more than just a job to them, and I couldn’t be happier. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” believe it or not!
Q: There has been some early test screenings of Vampire Academy. When will you get to see the movie?
A: Ha, great question! I’m told I’ll get to see an early draft of the movie “very soon.” It’s not in its final state yet, but if they’ll let me talk about it, I’ll definitely report on what I think to you guys. So far, I’ve just seen scattered pieces of footage, but I’ve really loved everything I’ve seen.
Q: Is there a scene in the VA film you’re most looking forward to seeing?
A: I’m really looking forward to the ending. I’ve seen glimpses of what they shot, and it looks amazing. The endings are always my favorite parts to write because all that suspense and mystery just comes tumbling out, and things move so fast. I’m also really excited to see Lissa and Christian’s scenes in the attic. I’ve seen previews of those, and they’re so beautiful. Plus, Lucy and Dominic have great chemistry!
Q: hello richelle. my sister and i both read your books both VA and bloodlines, its actually one of the few things we can bond over. was wondering will i cry like i did in the books?
A: Do you mean, will you cry at the movie? If you cried at certain parts in the books, then you may also if they make it to the screen. I don’t usually hear about many tears when people read the first VA book, but if Frostbite and Shadow Kiss become movies, I have a feeling a lot of people will be crying in the theater at those endings!
Q: Thanks for writing some of my favorite books. Can you tell us any scenes that were cut from the first book and didn’t make it in the movie?
A: Not off the top of my head! Just little things here and there that were cut for time reasons or because they weren’t as interesting on the screen as on the page. For example, Rose doesn’t research St. Vladimir in books as much in the movie as she did in the novel because that would get boring after a while in the theater. So, they have her do more online research about him and do some fun things with it–like the infamous scene of her hiding under the desk with Kirova’s laptop.
Q: How you do think Vampire Academy will fare in the current young adult adaptation market, which some believe to be over-saturated? Are there things that they’re doing to make it appeal to more in that it’s not just another vampire film? Personally, I’m a huge YA fan, so I don’t mind, but in regards to a wider appeal than just the book’s fanbase.
A: Great question and definitely one we’re concerned about because a lot of YA paranormal/fantasy films haven’t done well this year. The marketing team is really trying to show its edgy and humorous side in the advertising, in the hopes of appealing to those who role their eyes at “stupid boring melodramatic vampire films.” And it’s actually been very successful in getting new interest. It’s made fans of the books a little nervous, worrying that the movie is a comedy, but I can assure, that’s not true! The movie itself has all the same amounts of drama, action, and comedy as the books, but the advertising looks off-balanced to those who haven’t read the script.
Q: How is it like seeing the book turn into a movie infront of your own eyes?
A: It’s been incredible. For me, the books will always be the reality, but I’ve loved seeing things brought to life that go behind what I visioned. Like, when I write a scene in a classroom, I don’t think much past the desks and characters’ conversation. But when I was on set, the movie people had every detail planned out: backpacks, books, library signs, assignment handouts, etc. It’s amazing to see it become reality!
Q: What did you think when they took “Blood Sisters” of the title of the movie?
A: I was fine with it. They make their decisions after a lot of research and work with test audiences, so I knew they were doing it for good reasons. I just feel bad for any confused fans!
Q: Do you feel like the actors and actresses selected fit who you imagined? I think Danila, Zoey, and Lucy are all going to do such a great job! Are you nervous for the premiere?
A: Thanks for reading! And yes, I’m in love with the cast, not just because they look the parts but because they really understand how the characters thing. That was a fear for me–that we’d have an actor who was a perfect physical but didn’t “get” the unique personality of who they were playing. Danila, Zoey, and Lucy not only understand their characters, they’re also a little like them in real life. :) And they are SO passionate about this film, it’s incredible.
– Read more of the Reddit Chat under the break –
Q: Hey Richelle, i was wondering if the movie is going to have the Bond between Lissa and Rose in it. I am a BIG Fan!! Also, im an aspiring author, do you have any tips about: getting published, editing, etc.
A: Yes, the bond is definitely there! It’s too crucial to leave out. :)
It’d take ages to talk about writing and publishing, but I can say the best place to start is just by writing a little each day to make sure you finish your work. Don’t overthink if people will want to read it. Write the book YOU want, and your passion will help make it good. For publishing tips, check out Absolute Write’s forum, and never pay anyone to publish you. Good luck!
Q: How do you feel about the movie? I know you say the script is true to the book but what about the actors/actresses?
A: The actors/actresses are also spot-on. In fact, if you scroll back a few questions, I just answered about them, so I hope that helps explain it! (Sorry to send you back, but I’m almost out of time). I really am thrilled with the work everyone’s done on this movie.
Q: Neil and Olive can have children? because they are a special couple thanks for the answer
A: There’s been lots of speculation about this–and others who’ve been affected by spirit magic. So far as we’ve seen, the dhampir rule still holds…but then, who knows how far he’s gotten with her yet? :)
Q: Will we get more EDDIE?
A: We’ll continue seeing Eddie in the rest of the Bloodlines series, in about the same amounts. He’s so awesome, though, that he really deserves his own series. I just wish I had the time to write it!
Q: Hi, I really enjoy your books, especially Gameboard of Gods. Which book was your favorite to write?
A: Shadow Kiss and The Fiery Heart were big favorites because they have such dark and powerful endings. That being said, if you’re a Gameboard fan, you’ll be happy to know that The Immortal Crown (Gameboard’s sequel) has a pretty hardcore ending and is quickly becoming a fave too. It comes out May next year.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration to write your novels?
A: I’ve always loved reading, and I think when you’re around stories all the time, you eventually want to create your own. The inspiration comes from life–things I’ve studied, things I’ve seen, things I’ve felt. Sometimes it’s a matter of just asking, “What if this happened?” It all gets mixed together into the books.
Q: Thanks for beeing an amazing author! You really made my tenaage period a bit easier =) My questions to you all the way from the new day in Sweden.If you could choose to be one of your VA/Bloodlines characters for one day, whom would it be and why? If you could visit just one more place on the eart, where would you go?
A: I don’t think I’d want to be any of my characters! I make their lives too hard, and they have too many problems. :) But believe it or not…Scandinavia is one of my top places I would love to visit. I’d love to have a vacation in your country, its neighbors, and Iceland. The culture and mythology are so fascinating to me. I just have to wait for my kids to get a little older, so we can have a big family trip!
Q: What is the book that ignited a passion for reading and writing for you?
A: As a writer, I of course love books more than movies, but I can say I think you’ll enjoy this adaptation. I know it’s hard since you guys haven’t read the script like I have, but they cover many of the beloved parts. It’s hard to pick one book, but one of my favorites is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read it in high school, and it really opened my eyes to a whole world of religion, mythology, and gender roles. That’s gone on to influence what I read and write.
Q: My question is about The Fiery Heart. Of course, we’ve all be following Adrian and Sydney’s romance. Although I love how it goes back and forth between perspectives and thought the scene at the Inn was well done, I wondered if there was a reason you chose to show it through Adrian’s eyes? I always thought when it finally happened, that it would for sure be through Sydney’s. You know, first time and all…
A: SPOILER (Had to put that for anyone who hasn’t read it yet!). It was just kind of the way the POVs plot worked out. I map out the book’s main storyline in advance, as well as Sydney and Adrian’s individual plots, and then just alternate chapters from there. It worked out that his POV was the one, but I actually kind of like it that way because we know how experienced he is but was able to see just how special that moment was and that she wasn’t just another girl.
Q: What are some of your favorite Mythology stories?
A: I’m a big fan of Norse and German mythology and loved reading those epics in college. The Nibelungenlied is a huge favorite of mine, as are many of the Icelandic sagas. I also love all things Celtic and Arthurian. Thomas Malory’s King Arthur tales are some of my favorites.
Q: Hello Richelle, just wanted to say thank you for writing Vampire Academy, it’s my favourite series and I love it so much! If you could choose only one book to read, what would it be? :)
A: A book I can read over and over again is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s a King Arthur novel told from the women of his court, and it had such a powerful effect on me as a teen. Plus, it’s almost a thousand pages long, so hey, if you can only read one book, might as well make it a long one! :)
Q: Whats the plot of a book you’ve always wanted to write but never found the time to?
A: I wish I could tell you because there’s one that’s REALLY eating me up right now…but since I might get to write it some day, I have to keep it a secret and surprise people!
Q: I’m a HUGE fan I have all the VA books and the Bloodlines books!! Will there be a little dhampir in the near future? With Adrian and Sydney. Also, is there any way you can come to Orlando or Tampa for a book signing?
A: Ha, Adrian would certainly love a little dhampir, but if you’ve read The Fiery Heart, you know they’ve got a few problems to deal with before they can do anything like that. :) I probably won’t be in Florida for a while (I’m pregnant and won’t travel much this coming year), but I’ve done events in Orlando, Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale and always had great turnouts, so my publisher likes to send me there. Fingers crossed I’ll visit again!
Q: Hi, Richelle! Will we ever see Mia in a series again? She ended up being one of my favorites and I miss her!
A: Aw, Mia! I love her too. She may have a few upcoming cameos, but I don’t have any big plans for her…yet.
Q: in Fiery Heart we get Adrain’s point of view along with Sidney’s, why don’t we ever get a look at Dimitri’s point of view (other then the released bit) for VA?
A: Honestly, I just like keeping Dimitri mysterious. That’s part of his appeal, and I think if we knew what he was thinking, he might become a little less godlike to us. Part of the great dynamic with him and Rose also is that she always says what she’s thinking, whereas he’s more reserved. Writing in his POV would lose that effect.
Q: Do you think the mainstream obsession with vampires in modern times is due to a wider audience and more accessible forms of media or is selling vampire obsession more about timing?Dracula came out before the internet. The Vampire Chronicles peaked at the very advent of mass internet access. Since then Twilight took over the masses. Kindles became abundant. Where do you fit in?
A: The internet and word-of-mouth certainly have played a role, but vampires have been hot for a very long time. In high school, when all we had were dial-up bbs’es and no internet flooding, Anne Rice was all the rage. I personally think the recent peak of interest has been that vampire myths have been crossing genres. I knew a lot of people who would say no way to anything fantasy or sci-fi, but they loved romance so much that Twilight hooked them anyway, and they were able to “overlook” the paranormal part because they loved the story so much. And then, without realizing it, they got sucked into the genre. My books draw on little read Romanian myths, which help them stand out, but I think their sense of humor also lends appeal to those who would normally say, “Ugh, this paranormal stuff is so melodramatic.” And so again, we find people trying a genre they might normally turn away from.
Q: I know it seems impossible, but is the rule for Dhampirs not being able to have children, something that is definite? Are there no loopholes?
A: That’s a question many have asked! I never give away future spoilers, but I can say lots of big things are happening in the Moroi world in the Bloodlines series.
Q: Have you figured out what you will be doing when Bloodlines ends?
A: Yup, I knew how the Bloodlines series would end when I start writing the very first book. It’s BIG and will take a lot of people by surprise.
Q: So I haven’t read your work, but looking at amazon it seems like you are a very well received author. I was hesitant when I saw ‘Vampire’ in the title, because I feel like this craze has been way overdone. What are your thoughts on all the vampire madness that has invaded the fiction scene since your first book?
A: I definitely understand your wariness! I’m still kind of amazed myself at how it’s all taken off, but I can say that there are some really excellent vampire series out there and that many authors have taken a unique spin. So, don’t be afraid to try them because believe it or not, they aren’t all just copies. Mine, for example, are based on Romanian myths about two societies of vampires in the world, and I work pretty hard to keep a healthy blend of humor and darkness in them. Other authors are doing their own cool things, and I think half the appeal is that there are just some really excellently written books out there right now…that happen to have vampires in them.
Q: Hi Richelle! What YA book series did Eugenie get for Jasmine? Was it Vampire Academy?
A: It should’ve been! I wasn’t thinking of anything in particularly. I totally missed that advertising crossover opportunity. :)
Q: Are any of the characters in VA based on real people in your life? Love the books btw!
A: Not so much. I think writing your friends into your books is a good way to lose your friends, if they don’t like how the story turns out! I did, however, go to school with a guy who dressed just like Abe Mazur. (But their personalities are pretty different!). :)
Q: What books/authors have influenced your writing? :)
A: When I was young (elementary/early middle school), I loved historical girl books, like Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. Once I was in high school, I moved on to fantasy and sci-fi. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley was a huge influence, and I also really loved the Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. You can blame them for my love of cliff hangers!
Q: Do you find it hard writing introductions? It’s one of the things I have the most trouble with when writing and I was wondering if you had any tips? Thank you so much, I absolutely love you and your books :)
A: I don’t mind introductions or endings–those are my favorite parts. Middles are where I struggle! I can say that a good rule of thumb in writing is to start your book or story as far in the future as you can and try to do it in the middle of action. It’s definitely a hard thing to learn, and don’t worry if you struggle sometimes. Writing is a constant learning process. Good luck!
Q: Hello Richelle :) I have been reading your books for years now and I absolutely love the Vampire Academy and Dark Swans series! Well my question is, what inspired you to start writing book based on mythology? Did you know since you were little that you wanted to write books like that? Thanks so much Richelle!
A: I loved mythology since I was little. I don’t know why! Maybe it was because I grew up with older brothers who played D&D and watched fantasy movies while babysitting me. :) My Dad used to bring me garage sale books about Greek mythology, and I read them all right away. So, it eventually just felt natural to incorporate myth into my books!
Q: Hey, Richelle! I was wondering how you came up with the names for Russian characters, Dimitri’s family in particular. Thanks, Oksana
A: Just from name books and internet searches! :) Oksana is a great name, by the way.
Q: I just want to say I love your books! They are fantastic! Already finished Fiery Heart, Love the way you ended it!! I was wondering where your inspiration for the character Adrian came from? If anywhere.
A: Nowhere in particular! He was initially meant just to be another love interest for Rose but took on a life of his own–which doesn’t happen a lot to me. Usually, I keep a tight reign on my characters, but he just took over and became full of so much depth and life. I love him. He’s definitely one of my favorites.
Q: This is a super silly insignificant question, but it seemed as if Dimitri hinted that his dad was royal, any chance you could quench my curiosity and say what family?
A: It’s not silly, and it will be revealed…someday… :)
Q: How do you conjure the emotional depths of the characters? They all seem so realistic that I am curious to know whether you take emotional challenges you’ve had in your life and make the characters experience similar moments or if you try to create depth of character from experiences other people that you know have gone through.
A: I’m almost out of time, but if you skim back a few questions, I just answered something very similar. Sorry to redirect you, but I wanted you to have some kind of answer before I logged off! I’m so glad the characters feel real to you–it’s definitely my goal!
Q: Were you a writer before the tween vampire obsession?
A: I wrote paranormal books for adults (one series about demons, one about fey) before writing for teens. I wrote Vampire Academy right before the YA vampire genre really took off, and I’m so glad I did. If I’d known how big that genre was going to be, I think I would’ve been too scared to put something out there like that. I wrote my first vampire book in ignorance and am lucky I got in just ahead of the boom.
Q: Do you have any plans on writing more about Lissa as a queen and her life with Christian? they are my favorite characters so I would love to know more about them.
A: They have appearances in the rest of the Bloodlines series for sure, and after that, I’m still deciding what’ll happen when Bloodlines ends. So, who knows? We may have a lot more to see from them! :)