Andrea Cremer’s debut novel, Nightshade, is one of those books that you know is going to be amazing, but you don’t realize just how much until you read it. From the first page, Ms. Cremer invites the reader into a thrilling, mystical, and fresh world full of amazing characters and relationships. Ms. Cremer kindly agreed to provide an interview for the site and I hope you all enjoy reading her answers and learning more about her and her writing!
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I’ve always written, from writing and acting out plays using puppets made from brown paper bags at age five, to keeping a journal, to finally writing a novel. I love that books broaden worlds and offer unlimited possibilities.
Your writing is so fluid and vivid. Do you think your writing has changed over the years?
What a lovely compliment; thank you so much!! One of the best things about writing is that your craft improves with each new sentence you write (or at least it should!) I hope that my writing gets better with each story and that I’m always growing as an author.
What has been your favorite part about being an author?
Being able to share my characters with readers – the worlds I create and the lives of those who populate them are very important to me. It’s so amazing to connect with others who are as excited about the stories as I am.
Where did the idea for Nightshade originate?
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.
Calla is such a strong female lead. What do you think is important in writing a strong female character?
Thank you! Calla was the inspiration for this trilogy. My favorite characters were always strong heroines – and I was weary of reading stories where the female protagonist kept getting dragged into adventures with the boy who had all the powers. I wanted this story to explore what it means to be a strong, independent woman in a world that often limits tries to limit female power.
I know you like listening to music while writing, so is there any song that best represents Nightshade or any of the characters?
I create playlists for all my books – music is integral to my writing process. You can find a partial playlist for Nightshade on my web site. Two songs that really capture the mood of the book are Florence and the Machine’s “Cosmic Love” and “Howl.”
What can you tell us about Wolfsbane?
Not much of anything – sorry! The story of WOLFSBANE is full of spoilers. You won’t have to wait a full year for it though; WOLFSBANE will be on shelves in July 2011.
I read that you like to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What character would you like to be and why?
I love Buffy!! Joss Whedon is a hero of mine and a huge influence on my writing. I realize this is incredibly unoriginal, but I would want to be Buffy. I adore her; I’d love to have super powers and rapid healing – plus Spike AND Angel J Willow is a close second because I’d love to have her witchy skills and awesome brain power. I couldn’t be a vampire because I like the sun too much.
What are three to five things your readers may not know about you?
I was born on a Tuesday afternoon. My favorite color is green. I adore thunderstorms. The character in Nightshade, Ansel, is the only character based on a real person – my own little brother.
For more information on Nightshade and Andrea Cremer, please visit these sites:
(author image taken from Andrea Cremer’s official website)