We have some fun stuff today. First up is an interview with the amazing author Patricia Briggs! Badass has been very fortunate to interview Patricia Briggs several years in a row. Even though we ask her questions every year — we don’t run out of them! There is just something about reading a Patricia Briggs novel, it is comfort, pleasure and joy. They are funny, exciting and always push the storyline forward. I have not been disappointed yet. You can read last year’s interview with Ms. Briggs and our interview with Ms. Briggs two years ago. So you probably already know this but today is the release day of Night Broken, the 8th in the Mercy Thompson series. This book is fantastic. In my opinion, it may be the best Mercy book yet. On Thursday, please join us because Badass will be reviewing Night Broken. And because we want to share this amazing book, we are raffling off a one hardcover copy of Night Broken. So if you want to win a copy your chances are good, so scroll down and play!
Below, Patty answers some questions I have been wanting to know for awhile. First, some good news about future Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega books. I love the covers for the Mercy Thompson books, but I had questions about the change in Mercy’s appearance over the years and for me, the difference between how she is represented on the pages and on the cover. So I asked — and Patty answered. Let me know what you think! Thank you Patty, your answers are amazing.
Regina: Welcome Patricia! We’re very excited to have you here with us at Badass Book Reviews Patricia Briggs!
Regina: You know I have to ask this, your fans all want to know (which includes me) – what projects are you working on? Do you have a plan for a future Alpha & Omega book? Mercy Thompson?
Patty: First of all, thank you for taking the time to interview me, it’s always a pleasure to chat with thoughtful and passionate readers like yourselves. Right now I’m just finishing up a few final edits on the short stories in “Shifting Shadows”, which is an anthology of short stories in Mercy’s world. The problem with writing, like any art, is that it’s never done, just abandoned. I thought I was all done with these stories, but I kept thinking of little changes that would make them better . . . and finally I decided to give them all one more pass. It’s been sort of fun to do this last pass – I remember the stories when they were rough and had many passages that caused a reader to stumble. This time they were fun to read, and told the stories I’d intended to tell. Doubtless, with another month, I would find some small improvements still, but they’re ready, and I’m happy with them.
I’m just starting on another Alpha and Omega. We’ve debated several titles, and agreed to continue the debate after the story has taken a more defined form. I can’t say much about the story, other than we just spent a week at a big horse show, and I’m considering it research. After this book is done, I’ve got another Mercy Thompson novel, and then I’ll need to negotiate another contract with my publisher. I’d like to write a book about Moira and Tom (from the Strange Brew anthology). One of the problems, however, with established series (and having three kids in college) is that the publisher may be far more willing to pay for books that they know will sell. So, for now, I’m not sure what’s coming next. I do not intend to stop writing either of my ongoing series unless I get tired of them, or get hit by a bus. And I don’t intend to get hit by a bus.
Regina: I love the mythology in your books – the Fae, Coyote and then the mythology in Night Broken. What sort of research do you do to incorporate such rich backgrounds into your stories?
Patty: Thank you! I’ve always loved mythology and fairy tales. My mother was a librarian, and my older sister used to read fairy tales to me every night.
I have a pretty diverse collection of books on fairy tales, everything from Lang’s “color” fairytales to scholarly works on legends of particular regions. One of my favorite things about being a writer is that I can buy strange books and spend hours searching for legends both popular and obscure. I can write the expenses off as research, and claim it’s work-related with a straight face – how cool is that?
Regina: So Tad really comes into his own in Night Broken. I would love to see him in a short story or in future Mercy books. Do you have plans for Tad?
Patty: I do. He is set to continue to be more of a main character in the next few books. I also have a short story that I’m stuck in the middle of, because I had one story in mind—and Tad had another. It will probably end up being two short stories eventually, but I stuck it on the back burner for a while to simmer. I’ll pull it out in six months to a year and see what happens.
Regina: When I first read the summary for Night Broken I was scared and frustrated for Mercy. But you wrote the conflict between Adam’s first wife and Mercy so believably. What more has to happen for the pack to fully accept Mercy or because of her nature will they always be at odds?
Patty: Strong characters have strong conflicts. The women in the pack are all big personalities and so is Mercy. The men of the pack are beginning to settle down and in Night Broken, Mercy gains an unexpected friend in the pack. But I don’t ever see a day when the whole pack marches to Mercy’s drum, because that just doesn’t happen in real life. They don’t march blindly to Adam’s drum either. No group as big and diverse as the werewolf pack ever is supportive 100% of the time—and I figure the werewolf part just makes that worse. I’m not saying that they won’t support Mercy when she needs them to, especially in front of their enemies.
Regina: Mercy is a character that I love. I. can read or listen to these books over and over again. One strong theme is that Mercy says she is not beautiful. This does not diminish Adam’s attraction to her or Mercy’s confidence in herself. This reminds me of the heroine in Masques and Wolfsbane and her interaction with the hero. I gotta say this increases the appeal of Mercy to me. So many heroines in fantasy or urban fantasy or beautiful, which is fine. But it is not real. The covers for the Mercy series are gorgeous but so is the representation of mercy on the later (not earlier) covers. I am curious if the image on the later books reflects your image of Mercy?
Patty: I started to write a quick reply, and then realized that I don’t have an easy answer to this question. Mercy, in my mind, is more about who she is than what she looks like. When I started writing her I gave her just enough details so that others could sort of imagine her, but those details weren’t really part of my image of her. Hmmm. That’s confusing. Try this, think about your very best friend. What comes to mind? Do you think of who they are, why you care for them and all the good times you’ve had or do you concentrate on how attractive they are? Mercy, for the first book at least, was just another imaginary friend I wrote about, and her looks weren’t that important.
Beauty, to me, is just a thing. A part of a character that has been overdone by Hollywood and by Fairytales (as much as I love them) to the point of rendering that attribute a little boring in a book—where the reader can’t see them anyway.
Dan dos Santos’s covers are amazing— I’ve always found his image of Mercy to be an everywoman kind of beauty. We did have a little discussion with Dan in view of the . . . generous nature of Mercy’s assets (ahem) on the Night Broken cover. Turns out that the model Dan has always used for Mercy has just had a baby… That being said, Dan and the art director have had an ongoing discussion about whether Mercy should be sexy or more athletic. I am deeply grateful that I have an artist and an art director who are both talented and smart. I respect them both and am happy to entrust my books into their care.
Regina: Thank you for the world you created and your time with these questions. Your books bring so much joy and escape.
Patty: A book unread is only half done—thank you for reading the books and for taking the time to chat.
Enter the Badass Mercy Thompson Giveaway! We are giving away one hardcover. Please note, winning copies of Night Broken will only be sent to a U.S. address.
Mercy Thompson Reading Order
1. Moon Called
2. Blood Bound
3. Iron Kissed
4. Bone Crossed
5. Silver Borne
6. River Marked
7. Frost Burned
8. Night Broken
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