GalleyCat caught up with Mead, finding out more about the conclusion of Vampire Academy and the start of her new series.
Q: How did it feel to end the Vampire Academy series?
A: It’s a mixture of things. It’s sad certainly. At the same time I always knew the story was going to end at this point. When I first sat down to write it, I conceived the overall arc as lasting about this long. I knew it was going to be five or six books. It feels right to end it.
I wouldn’t want to extend it, beat it into the ground for the sake of sales or popularity. I wanted to end it on a high note. I’d rather have people wishing the series would’ve gone on than to say ‘Oh my god, why didn’t they kill it sooner?’
You know, there’s things like that; there’s TV shows and books like that. In some ways this does feel like the natural thing. At the same time, I want to start new projects so there’s sort of excitement there for me to move on to something else.
But, it is hard to leave a world that you built so much into and to start fresh into something new. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted. By book three of a series, everything’s already done for you and you’ve got your character development well on its way. So, yeah having to leave that behind is hard.
Q: You announced recently that you intend to write a spin-off series from Vampire Academy. Can you tell me anything about that?
A: It’s going to be called Bloodlines. It’s set in the same universe so we’ve got all the same world buildings, same rules, same everything…In some ways the series isn’t even ending because we’re still there and Rose will have cameos.
Q: How has Rose evolved throughout the series?
A: I think Rose has evolved; she’s grown up a lot. She’s learned a lot more self-control. Especially when we first meet her, she’s very trigger-happy and very impulsive; doesn’t think through her actions. I think she has a greater sense of when to put that control switch on.
I also think she’s gained a balance by the end of the series of her own duties and her own needs. Where do you sacrifice yourself for others and where do you have to be selfish and take care of your own needs. It’s a balance she’s been fighting throughout the whole book and she finally gets that.
Q: A lot of people are going to be asking who you would cast as Rose and Lissa in the Vampire Academy movie. Not me; I want to know if you were the casting director who you would pick for the sexy, smoldering Dimitry Belikov and the quirky, yet lovable Christian Ozera?
A: You know, I’m going to disappoint you because I honestly would probably rather see it cast with unknowns. There’s no actors out there I can think of; I think the actors that are very popular right now are so defined as themselves I can’t put them into the roles of my characters. I sort of need unknown actors to take in and flesh out those roles. That’s what I would prefer, but I don’t know what will happen whenever the film begins. Nothing’s happening on it right now.
Q: You work on three book projects simultaneously. What’s a working day for Richelle Mead like?
A: To manage three series like that, you really have to treat it like a day job or a kind-of night job. For me, really my day is just about putting in the hours. You know, I get up, I have breakfast, and then I go to work in my office. It’s that easy or hard depending on how you want to look at it. I try to sync up with my husband’s hours, he works 9 to 6, so I try to work during that period. And yeah, it’s really just a matter of making sure you’re doing something each day.
It’s very easy when you’re your own boss or working for yourself to take today off and watch TV. When you’ve got three series and a deadline every three months or so, it just becomes crucial to put in those work days. So that’s the key. I think a lot of people think it’s a lot more leisurely being a writer than it is.
Q: Besides Bloodlines, what’s next for you?
A: That’s the only thing new. I’ve still got my two adult series going on. My Georgina Kincaid series is going to be ending in September. The same thing, which is what I envision the story as is where it needs to end. So, it’s time for it to wrap-up. For a while I’ll probably be doing one adult and one young-adult series. My Dark Swan series is still going on. So, more books.
Disclaimer: The content of this post has been edited since it was first published.
Full Disclosure: This GalleyCat contributor has interned at Penguin Group (USA) in the past.