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Who reads this stuff anyway?

A couple weeks ago, at a party, I was accused of not knowing what was in my own books. The debate was over an incident that allegedly took place in Vampire Academy, and two people swore I was wrong. No, Jay and Penny. You guys were wrong. That did not happen. Amusingly, it did happen in an earlier draft, but you guys wouldn't know about that.

But it brings up an interesting question of how well an author knows his or her own books. At the RT Convention last year, Mary Janice Davidson's husband noted how he had to start keeping track of character and world data for her because some was slipping through the cracks. I've also read books by other authors and been shocked to discover them contradicting themselves throughout the series. I've always been aghast by this, sort of like a, "Hey, don't you pay attention to your own writing?"

But you know what? I'm starting to understand it, particularly with the VA books. Those books undergo much more rigorous editing than the succubus ones and see a few different (and often distinct) drafts along the way. With all those changes, I forget what stays and what goes. When I was in my crunch for Frostbite last fall, I decided to do a blitzkrieg read of Vampire Academy the day before deadline. Holy crap, was I surprised. Who knew some of that stuff was in there? Not me.

But it's amazing how you can lose track and forget things as an author. I mean, as their creator, I feel I know my characters better than anyone else. I feel them. Yet, it really is easy to forget things for a lot of reasons, particularly when something is a new addition put in at the last minute. I must say, however, that it's very rare--for me, at least. I have a good memory, and I remember obscure things. But every once in a own stuff catches me by surprise.

Right now? I'm completely blanking on how the Moroi school day lines up with daylight hours. VA readers will know that vampires are up and around during our night. But, they inevitably have to be awake during some daylight, and I cannot remember how the schedules match up. It seems like the sun was always going down when Rose and Dimitri were doing their 'morning' practices because I was always writing poignant sunset descriptions. So, I'm thinking the school day starts at 7pm or something. The times are never mentioned in the book, but it's still a detail I need to have straight in my own head when I have the gang walking around after school. Is it black out or not? Not sure.

I'm skirting the issue in this draft of Shadow Kiss right now by simply never mentioning what it's like outside. I just say it's snowing because that's a safe bet. I suppose one of these days I'll actually have to sit down and re-read this Vampire University or Vampire Adult Ed or whatever it's called series. I think I heard someone say it's pretty good, but maybe they were talking about that one book by that one guy whose name I can't remember.

Did somebody order more succubi?

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Something unprecedented has happened. Okay, not unprecedented. It happened once before. That time was in 2005, when the first title I suggested for a book got accepted by an editor with no challenge. The book? Succubus Blues. That phenomenon has never happened again. Every other book since then, in all my series, has had a title change.

Until now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the name of the fourth Georgina Kincaid book: Succubus Heat. I suggested it, and my editor thought it was great! First try. This is pretty exciting, as you might imagine, and reaffirms my feelings of ownership over my books and--


Some of you may have noticed that I've never mentioned a fourth succubus book. In fact, my website only lists three of them. Well, that's about to change. Ready?

I just sold three more [unwritten] books in the Georgina series to Kensington Books! That brings us to a total of six in her series, and I'm pretty excited about this. I love all of my novels, but Georgina's series--my first one published--is always going to be my baby. It's a dizzying thing to think how much I went through to get Succubus Blues published a few years ago. Now, I've fulfilled my original contract and started another. Ah, children. They grow up so fast. This means we'll have Georgina stories through the next couple years, and I couldn't be happier.

I also have to say: I couldn't have this new contract if not for the support of Georgina fans and readers! You wanted her, and we've got her. Books are no good in a vacuum, and I'm so lucky to have all of you reading what I write. Thanks so much for giving me the chance to keep telling her story.

And everyone knows that a new contract calls for a new Betsey dress. Either that, or a Barack Obama donation:


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I was asked to be in two anthologies today, which is pretty sweet. Peeps Caitlin and Jackie were also invited to their own respective anthologies today, and Kat's been working on some stuff for one for a while now. All of us have different anthologies with different topics and different publishers. And something occurred to me.

There are a lot of anthologies out there.

I don't know if this has always been the case or if I'm simply paying more attention now, but it seems like anthologies are running rampant in urban fantasy and paranormal romance. The topics are legion too: demon romance, vampire holidays, etc. As a writer, this is pretty awesome because it's all good fun for me. I like writing stories and novellas--they give me a chance to step back from the larger, more complex story arcs of the novels. But as a reader...well, I have a confession. I rarely read short stories or the anthologies they come from. When I'm hooked on an author, it's because I'm hooked on the 'big' story in their novels, and self-contained shorts tend to make me impatient. Of course, patience has never been one of my virtues.

Clearly, not everyone thinks like me (which is probably a good thing), and I know lots of people who love it when authors release stories and novellas that give a small taste of the characters between novels. So, here's my question. Er, questions. Where are you guys on this? Do you read both stories and novels, one or the other, etc? Do you find when you pick up an anthology because of one author, you end up discovering another? How do you feel about self-contained short stories that require no knowledge of an author's other books vs. ones that play a role in the actual series?

So many questions, I know. And here's some more that are completely unrelated:

Why is there such a lack of Richelle Mead fan art out there? I've found exactly one picture of Rose. Sigh. What am I suppsoed to make LJ icons out of? Is this going to require another contest?

PLEASE! Mark all spoilers in your comments.

*If you have questions about books, release dates, tour dates, or anything else, please check my website instead of leaving the question in comments or using LJ mail. You're more likely to find an answer!.*

I have red hair and subsist entirely on Kona coffee.

Other crucial information--such as my books, background, and appearances--can be found by clicking the links below.

Please note: I am HOPELESSLY behind in responding to e-mails and LJ comments right now. Be patient as I catch up!



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