Many of us dream of one day writing a novel. Bellevue-based author Richelle Mead acted on that dream years ago. In less than a decade she’s churned out 26 novels, and she shows no signs of stopping.
“I expect to be writing books for many, many years,” Mead says of her work, which most notably includes the popular Vampire Academy series of six novels for young adults. “[It’s got] nothing to do with Twilight,” she says of the subject matter. “For me, it was a personal interest in fantasy/sci-fi and a love of vampires. I wanted to play around with [the legend], little knowing what I would get sucked into with the whole vampire craze that was to come.”
While Mead’s novels belong to several literary genres, the sheer speed at which she produces her array of best-selling books seems to imply she possesses the sort of superhuman talent that belongs to a science-fiction novel. She does admit that now that she’s a mother of two—her sons are 2 and 4 years old—her former rate of three or four books per year has slowed to (a still impressive) one or two.
“A good day for me is 5,000 words, with my norm being more like 3,000,” she says. Her first wave of books often was written while she was in her pajamas. “I could write anytime I wanted,” she says. “If I wanted to stay up until 4 a.m. and get up at noon, that wasn’t a problem.”
While kids have curbed her output, they’re also an inspiration for the future. She may venture into children’s literature someday.
“My books don’t mean much to my kids at this point,” she says. “It’ll probably be 10 years before they can read those, so it’d be fun to have something they can read sooner.”
Right now, she’s trying a different genre. With The Glittering Court (Razorbill, $19.99), the first novel of a new fantasy series set in Elizabethan and frontier worlds, published in April, Mead’s bright future is to be continued.…
NEED TO KNOW
1. The Michigan native’s Georgina Kincaid fantasy series (for adults) is set in Seattle and features several nods to her adopted hometown. Mead says the heroine’s favorite bookstore is a cross between The Elliott Bay Book Company and University Bookstore.
2. Mead’s longest writing spree—fueled by a steady diet of coffee and Fruity Pebbles—was 15,000 words in one sitting.
3. Though dedicated, Mead’s fans are generally “well behaved,” says the author, adding that one of her most ardent devotees once came to a reading with her baby covered in temporary tattoos of symbols from Mead’s books.