Everyone's favorite straight-laced alchemist Sydney Sage is back in Richelle Mead's latest "Bloodlines" novel "The Golden Lily," which hits bookstores and e-readers today!
After uncovering the misdeeds of a former Strigoi in the series' initial installment, Sydney is resettling into her new life at the Palm Springs boarding school where she's tasked with protecting royal Moroi Jill. But this is a Richelle Mead novel, meaning trouble is never far away from Sydney and her vampire co-horts (including "Vampire Academy" favorite Dimitri Belikov).
We recently called up Richelle to get the scoop on "The Golden Lily," the series' trajectory and that long-gestating "Vampire Academy" movie. Read our interview after the jump!
Hollywood Crush: What can fans look forward to in "The Golden Lily"?
Richelle Mead: I'd say the big things they can look forward to in this book are a lot more secrets about the supernatural world than we knew about in previous books. Those who were a little impatient with the slow-burn romance of book one, I think will be pleased with the way things develop in this, however those that are frustrated with Richelle Mead cliffhangers should prepare themselves.
Did you actually get reader responses frustrated over the lack of romance in "Bloodlines"?
No one was mad or upset or anything like that. It was very much a slow burn—that's the word I keep using. It was subtle, and there wasn't a lot of it so there were readers coming off of 'Last Sacrifice,' which you know was the completion of a huge romance, and just sort of being reset back to the beginning they were like, 'I would have liked to see a little more.' But I think most people are good natured about it, and I think it makes them more excited for it... I know people are hoping to see a little bit more, so I'm hoping they won't be disappointed.
I think all of my series are ultimately love stories despite everything—the action that's going on—so we'll see as the series progresses that that's the case as well.
Sydney is unlike many of your protagonists—I'm thinking Rose from "Vampire Academy" and Georgina Kincaid from your succubus series—in that she's much more reserved. Do you feel like you have to hold back when writing her?
I wouldn't say I have to hold back, but I have to find other ways for her to be strong and to assert herself, because one of the easiest ways is the kind of shouting-in-your-face confrontation or an actual physical confrontation, and that's not her style. You know, I think she is strong. I think she does it in quiet ways. And, again, to keep talking about the way the series progresses, we find her kind of bending the system and playing with the rules and finding ways to manipulate that world that others might not be aware of. Her strength comes in out-thinking. She doesn't need to be up in someone's face to assert herself.
Speaking of the series' progression, how many "Bloodlines" books do you anticipate writing?
I'm aiming for six books—no more than that, for sure. The other day I was thinking about, 'Oh, maybe I could do it in five,' but I think it's six at the moment.
Do you have your entire arc planned out, or do you let it take shape as you write?
I know where it starts, and I know where it ends, and I know the big beats along the way that have to happen to sort of move us along. Often those are the endings of the books, but sometimes it doesn't quite line up that way, which is why I say maybe five or six books. There's definitely an overarching plan and the details are what get filled in along the way.
I assume you've started work on book three.
I actually turned in the rough draft of book three a few weeks ago, and I expect to get it back any day now with revision notes. So we're going to be in full force for that soon.
You're definitely one of those authors who juggles multiple projects. What else is on your docket right now?
I'm working on a new adult series, which is scheduled to come out at the end of 2013. It's kind of a little futuristic/dystopian with a mix of supernatural stuff. It's a little different, but in some ways a lot of the elements and things I put into my books, people are going to recognize even with a different setting. The first book in that series is called, 'Gameboard of the Gods.' I'm doing a lot of research and groundwork for that now when I'm not working on [the third 'Bloodlines' book].
I know we ask you this every time we talk to you, but any news on the "Vampire Academy" movie?
No, there is not. It's exactly the same as always. Preger Entertainment, who is shopping it around in Hollywood, has not had any takers yet, so we're all still waiting. We still have the graphic novel franchise going on, which is cool...so that's the closest we'll get to a visual of the characters [for now].
At least we get to revisit some of our "Vampire Academy" favorites in "Bloodlines."
It's fun to be able to put them into different roles. It's neat to see our main characters through other peoples' eyes as they take on supporting roles. You never know, I might come back to Rose and Dimitri some day once I've had enough of a break. It's hard to let these guys go.
Will we see Rose in a "Bloodlines" book?
Yeah, for sure we'll see Rose.
Have you picked up your copy of "The Golden Lily" yet? Tell us what you think in the comments and on Twitter!