Look who stopped by:
Andrea Cremer author of Nightshade.1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m originally from northern Wisconsin, a little town nestled on the south shore of Lake Superior. I’m a Leo. I love horses, trees, and thunderstorms. I spent a lot of time in school and have a Ph.D. in early modern history – a degree I put to use both in my writing and in teaching at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
2) What was the inspiration for writing Nightshade?
Calla started it all because I wanted to write a story about a female character who wasn’t being pulled into a magical world – she was already in the middle of it, a leader and a warrior. The world of Nightshade came as I tried to figure out how someone like Calla, a girl who I knew was incredibly powerful, could be afraid and angry. What was controlling her? Why would she be fighting against her own destiny? I realized that she was facing off with something even more powerful than herself. That’s where my background as a historian came in. I teach early modern history (1500-1800) – a period of immense, violent change in human societies. This is the time of witchhunts, religious warfare, colonization, the Inquistion; all types of cataclysmic social transformation that turned the lives across the globe upside down. The more I thought about Calla I thought about the ways in which wolf warriors and witches could have intertwined lives. The mythology in Nightshade is a blend of history and lore plus new twists I imagined along the way.
3) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Nightshade?
My favorite pastime as a child was running through the woods and making up new worlds with my brother and best friend – our house was right next to a forest – and that love of the outdoors made me relate to the joy Calla feels in being a wolf.
4) Was Calla's character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character?
Calla is wholly original. The only character based on anyone is her younger brother, Ansel, who is loosely based on my own little brother J.
5) How many books do you plan on having in your Nightshade series?
Nightshade is a trilogy. Wolfsbane (book 2) will be out July 2011 and Bloodrose (book 3) in spring 2012. There will also be a companion novel, a prequel about the origins of the Witches War, in fall 2012.
6) What do you plan on doing in the future?
After Nightshade I hope to write a steampunk trilogy that I describe as ‘historical dystopian;’ mostly, I just want to keep writing!
7) What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading a YA manuscript that I’ve been asked to offer a blurb for. I can’t share what it is – but it’s great and will be out in 2011!! One of the cool perks of being an author is that you get to read fantastic books before they’re published ;)
8) Who are a few of your favorite authors?
Writers who’ve had a major influence on my thinking and writing are Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Kingsolver, David Eddings, and Marion Zimmer Bradly. A few of the many YA authors I admire are David Levithan, Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, Richelle Mead, Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, and Libba Bray.