Erin Hunter Chat #6 Transcript - postchat and bonus questions Submitted by Hani | 24 / Jul / 2009 Series: Authors (Last, First):
This is part 3 of 3 of the Erin Hunter chat #6 transcript. To start at the beginning, please go to:
Redfeather: alright, tme to go!
Wildtail: Bye Cherith!
Scorchtail: What a great Chat!
SpottedFlame: May starclan light all of your paths!!!!
eaglefeather15: it's all over.
Shiningfur: Thank You, Erin Hutners!!
Lilacheart: Thanks Sheila!
Lightstreaqk: That was fun ::happy
spottedstar: well, i guess the chat's officially over...
Brambleflower: they're all gone ;_;
Lilacheart: Shanks Magic!
Vixenfur: That. Was. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fluffypelt: that was fun!
Streamflow: Its over...sigh.
Skywing: thanks for getting us a chat.
SpottedFlame: now we have to wait for next year
Minou: Thank you Sheila and Magic for setting this up! And Coal!
Whisperheart: That was awesome... Thank you Sheila and Magic! ::happy
Hawkstar3: hey what happens to the preasked questions?
Skywing: Race To Memberchat
Fernstar: I Experienced Total Awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vixenfur: Next year... Blahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hawkstar270: Well, now I must go for sleep. *whispers "No" before leaving*
Sandcloud: Thank you Sheila and Magic!
SpottedFlame: yeah thanks for setting this up
Scorchtail: I think that this one was the best one yet!!! So Epic!!!
Lakestorm Wright left.
Cloudy Havoqk: sorry, sheila & Magic
wildclaw118: wait didnt vicky say she sent answered questions to sheila
Waterstripe: I'm going to go
SpottedFlame: this was fun
Fernstar: ill leave too i guess
Spottedshadow: We should have these twice a year!!!
Flametail von Karma left.
Vixenfur: Bye Water!
Waterstripe: Thanks Shelia and Magicyop
Cloudy Havoqk: to memberchat?
Fluffypelt: bye guys,im gonna leave now
eaglefeather15: This chat was awesome. I can't wait to read the trandscript for my questions
Streamflow: Thanks you to all the other fans for sharing this with me!
Fernstar: bye everyone
Silverclaw: Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ah ha ha !
Fernheart: goodnight bye everyone =[
Phantomwing: Bye everyone! I'm leaving too.
Vixenfur: Bye Fluffeh!
Silverclaw: erg ::headcomp
Fernheart: i'm leaving
Vixenfur: Bye Ophantom!
spottedstar: bye everyone!!!
Sunstreak: I have to go now, finish packing for Maui
Whisperheart: I gotta go now... bye everyone! Thanks again Sheila and Magic! ::happy
Silverclaw: I love you everyone!
Fernstar: thanks for putting up with us sheila and magic
Fluffypelt: bye guys!
Sunstreak: Bye everyone! ::happy
SpottedFlame: may starclan light al of your paths
Hawkstorm: *watches as everyone slowly leaves*
Storme: I gotta go. Bye everyone. :)
SheilaRuth: Ok, thanks so much for coming, guys!
Hawkstar3: what happened to the preasked questions?
Vixenfur: Bye Whisper
Nettlepaw: Yeah, it was awesome. Thanks everyone, you've been great company
Sunstreak: See ya!
Vixenfur: Bye Storme!
eaglefeather15: thanks for being awesome, Sheila and Magic.
crescentmoon: Thanks Magic & Sheila
Lilacheart: Thanks for organizing this, Sheila!
Scorchtail: Thanks sheila for setting this up!!!
Lilacheart: And Magic
Vixenfur: Bye Nettle!!
Scorchtail: And magic!!!
Streamflow: Bye everyone! I'm going to have dinner! Good night!
Silverclaw: Watching all of my friends leave
Vixenfur: Bye Scarlet!
Nettlepaw: See ya!
Shiningfur: Thanks Sheila, Magic, and everybody else! I can't belive I got All my questions answered. I feel so excited now...my favorite authors... :)
Soundstorm: Thanks for organizing this, Sheila and Magic!
SpottedFlame: 3 hours went so quick
Vixenfur: Bye Stream
Iceclaw: Thanks guys!
Wildflower: Thank you admins for the chat!
SheilaRuth: Some of the presubmitted questions were answered during the chat. The ones that weren't, Vicky is going to send me the answers to add to the transcript.
eaglefeather15: You all were so cool@
Sunstreak: Auf weidersehen!
Spottedshadow: That was really, really fun. Thank you so much, Sheila and Magic.
coalfang: Eh chat #6 is another success ^.^
Morningleaf: Mat starclan light everyones path, and thank you Sooooooo much, Sheila!
crescentmoon: Happy Birthday Shiningfur
Scorchtail: Now we can look forward to the next one!
Cloudy Havoqk: To Member_chat!
Cloudy Havoqk: Away
Whisperheart: Bye, everyone. =P
Scorchtail: to the member chat!
Cloudy Havoqk left.
Vixenfur: Tooooo Member Chat!
Amberminnow: Is the chat over?
Minou: People are leaving like crazy O_o
eaglefeather15: Everyone is going bye-bye
SpottedFlame: may starclan light you paths and bring good luck to every clan, even if u r my enimies
Spottedshadow: The number is going down, down, down.
coalfang: i'll be back later, im gonna shower.
coalfang: Peace Xd
Minou: k, cya coal!
Scarletpetal: byebye coal
eaglefeather15: bye Coal
RIP Lucas left.
Brambleflower: Well, Ravenfur and I are leaving now so, Bye Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Minou: I'm going to member chat! cya!
Spottedshadow: That lasted almost 3 hours!
Shiningfur: Now I really feel like a true member of W&w!!!
Wildflower: This teh the thrid chat I had been in- I'm old!
SheilaRuth: Lol Wildflower
Wildtail: Fifth chat for me.
SpottedFlame: this is my 1st one
Spottedshadow: 1st for me.
Scarletpetal: 1st for me x_x
Nettlepaw: My first! And hopefully not my last...
Rainripple: Oh no! I left for dinner and all the erins are gone!
eaglefeather15: 1st for me! Yayyyy!
Wildflower: but this is teh first I stayed for over an hour
Hawkstorm: i think this is my 5th
Wildtail: Went to four last year.
SpottedFlame: what happens noe?
Wildflower: it was cool
Amberminnow: My first Author chat!
Shiningfur: Three hours, now, at this minute.
eaglefeather15: So... are we all just gonna chat here?
Spottedshadow: I wanna be the last to leave.
Morningleaf: I Loved my first author chat!
eaglefeather15: It's all so quite
crescentmoon: 1 of my questions got answered - that I saw anyway - but Vicky was answering someone else's question & added info that answered mine.
SheilaRuth: Some of the members went over to member chat. If anyone is new, you can get there by clicking on "roam" right above the chat room and then "room List" from the menu
Riverstripe: hi Sheila
SheilaRuth: Hi Riverstripe!
Riverstripe: when did the Eh chat end?
Morningleaf: I gtg. bye everyone!
SheilaRuth: Just a few minutes ago
Wildflower: Hey, River!
eaglefeather15: Cuz Erins went bye bye
Silverclaw: I've been here3 hours! Wow!
Amberminnow: Bye Every1!!
SheilaRuth: Kate left about a half hour/45 minutes ago, Tui left a little later, and Vicky and Cherith just left
Spottedshadow: I've been here 6 hours..
Riverstripe: Sheila, when did I leave?
SheilaRuth: I don't remember, sorry.
Vixenfur: Is anyone coming to member chat?
Shiningfur: Yawn...i'm tired. Well, type to you all later. I'm heading off. May Starclan light your paths!
eaglefeather15: Sheila, this chat was so awesome. Thank you for putting it all together. I never knew I'd ever be able to join this- and I made some great friends. *sniff* You all have been so nice.
Vixenfur: Bye Shiningfur!
Vixenfur: Yes. Thank you so much Shelia!
eaglefeather15: Bye, Shining!
SheilaRuth: Thanks, Eaglefeather! I'm glad you could come. I hope you'll stick around on W&w and stay a member.
SpottedFlame: thanks shelia i know it was alot of work to put together
eaglefeather15: Your welcome, Sheila
Riverstripe: I will stay!
Spottedshadow: Doves are peaceful.
Rainripple: I like the name Dovekit
Minou: What's going on in here anyway...?
Vixenfur: I dunno.... tanking shelia
Silverclaw: I just wanna be the last!
eaglefeather15: Well, I think I'll be heading off now. It's 10:00 Pm here! Wow.
Minou: tanking?! ::laugh
Vixenfur: Bye Eaglefeather!
Minou: Cya Eagle!
Silverclaw: here it's 9:00
eaglefeather15: Thank you everyone for making my evening a memorible one!
SheilaRuth: I'm going to go, too. I'm exhausted. I don't know how the Erins do it! If I'm this tired, I can't imagine how tired they must be.
Vixenfur: Bye Shelia!
Scarletpetal: lol byebye
Wildtail: Bye Sheila!
Minou: Bye Sheila! Thank you!
Silverclaw: bye. );
Wildflower: thank you, sheila!
Wildtail: And thank you!
Spottedshadow: The good thing is, when they're so tired, they give more spoilers away.
SheilaRuth: Thanks, guys! Cyaz soon!
SpottedFlame: thanks soooooooo much
Nettlepaw: Yeah, I'm exhausted too. I'll turn in for the night
Silverclaw: you're going?
Vixenfur: Bye Nettlepaw!
Spottedshadow: Bye, Nettlepaw! Kudos to you for staying up so late!
SheilaRuth: Bye Nettlepaw! Thanks for coming!
And now, for the bonus questions and answers! Vicky sent me answers to all the pre-submitted questions that didn't get answered during the chat, and here they are:
Iceclaw (Q): When is the main series of Warriors books going to end?
VickyHolmes(A): I can’t say for sure – we’re definitely doing a fourth series (Kate’s about to start writing Book Three), but beyond that, who knows? Maybe I’ll have some more ideas, maybe I won’t…
Losty (Q): Are you ever considering bringing the old territories back into the series somehow?
VickyHolmes(A): Realistically, it’s too far for the cats to go back to the forest, plus it will be vastly changed because of the road expansion that drove the Clans out in the first place. We all miss the forest territories, though, which is why we love setting Super Editions and stories in the Field Guides there!
muffins (Q): What happened to Leafpool?
VickyHolmes(A): Lots of things! Heartbreak, betrayal, conflict, losing the cats most precious to her… Not sure where you’ve read up to. But she’s in the fourth series, if that helps!
Tumble (Q): What are some of your favorite warrior names that you've used?
VickyHolmes(A): I love Echosong and Leafdapple from Firestar’s Quest. I like Graystripe, too; it looks very nice on the page.
Silentstorm (Q): Will you be doing more tours?
VickyHolmes(A): Oh yes, most definitely. Not sure when – I’ll keep Wands and Worlds posted the minute I hear anything!
Riverstripe (Q): Is the third cat in the prophecy Dovekit, Ivykit, or still Hollyleaf?
VickyHolmes(A): I think I can safely reveal that it’s Dovekit.
Hazelleaf (Q): Are all of the Three reincarnations of super important ancient cats ( one for each ancient tribe, or something) or is that just Jayfeather?
VickyHolmes(A): Only Jayfeather has that very, very strong connection with the ancient cats (I’m reluctant to say “reincarnation” because I’m not sure if that’s exactly true here).
Vixenfur (Q): Is the rumor about the fifth series called "A New Reign" true? (i doubt it)
VickyHolmes(A): Definitely not true! I don’t even know for sure that there will be a fifth series yet, so it couldn’t possibly have a title.
Vixenfur (Q): (to Tui Sutherland) For Seekers, are you planning on making any super editions? If so i think you should do one about Nisa or one other bear mom?
VickyHolmes(A): I need to jump in and answer this one! We don’t have any Seekers Super Editions planned, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one. I agree, it would be lovely to give one of the bear-moms their own story. Hmmm, ideas!
coalfang (Q): Will starclan be in better order to help the clans during ‘Omen of the Stars’?
VickyHolmes(A): StarClan is still in crisis, I’m afraid, but they won’t let the other Clans down when it comes to the crunch.
Skywing (Q): Jayfeather can see StarClan. Lionblaze; The Dark Forest. If Hollyleaf truly is dead, can Ivykit/Dovekit see the place where she walks? As she doesn't deserve the place of no stars, or StarClan.
VickyHolmes(A): Oh you’re all so impatient! Wait for the story, people! All will be revealed (eventually).
Skywing (Q): Does Hollyleaf become TOOTS main villan? (XD TOOTS) (Such as, 1: Tigerstar, Scourge, Bones. 2: Hawkfrost 3: Sol 4: Hollyleaf?)
VickyHolmes(A): Interesting idea. Tee hee, did you think I’d reveal such a huge part of the next series?
Lakestorm Wright (Q): It's been rumored that the third book of OotS is called Sky of Chaos or Dusk at Dawn and that the sixth Seekers is Sea of Chaos. Are either of these rumors true?
VickyHolmes(A): These rumors are most definitely NOT true. “Sea of Chaos”? Who comes up with these?!
Wolf (Q): Do you take readers' criticism and suggestions and apply them to the story? If so, can you give an example? (Just seeing if we make an effect on the storyline/characters/names at all xP;)
VickyHolmes(A): Actually, I do listen! There are some things that I have very strong ideas about so nothing you say could make me take them out of a series :-), but I can tell you that the first series became more romantic, with more space given to burgeoning relationship between the young cats, after lots of readers said that was their favourite bit. You know me, I’d be happy to have nothing but doomed love and war from start to finish, but I have relented enough to give you a few happy shippings! Oh, and I really do use the warrior names that are given to me when I’m on tour. Or indeed, the names that I find online…Step forward, Lakestorm!
Adderfang (Q): Where does Scourge walk, in the Dark Forest or somewhere else?
VickyHolmes(A): Scourge had no faith in StarClan or the Dark Forest, and no cats that knew him believed in StarClan or the Dark Forest, so I’m afraid Scourge is nowhere at all…
jays wing (Q): How do you feel about Twilight?
VickyHolmes(A): I presume you mean Stephenie Meyer’s fabulously successful vampire series, rather than The New Prophecy Book Five (great story, shame about the cover – cats in guts, anyone?). I must confess that I haven’t read the Twilight series, but I have heard lots of good things about it. I am in awe of any writer who can capture the imagination of a whole generation, especially the older teen readers who are notoriously hard to please!
FrostfootDreamleaf (Q): Are Breezepelt and Heathertail mates?
Morningleaf (Q): Will sasha or ravenpaw be coming back into the main series?
VickyHolmes(A): Hmmmm. As with SkyClan, or the possibility of central characters going back to the forest for a book, I fear the distance is just too far to make this likely.
Hawkstar3 (Q): Okay just curious heres a little question it would seem that Jayfeather was from the tribe when it lived by the lake and another one was in the clans who went to the forest and the last one was a third group but my main question is: Midnight said TRIBESSSSSS. Meaning there is more than one group by the name tribe is this correct if so will you give us an example(I'M A HUGE FAN)
VickyHolmes(A): Hang on a moment while I untangle that super-long question! (You said it was “little”! That was a lie!) Yes, Midnight said Tribes (plural). And yes, there is more than one ancient group of cats that influenced the modern Clans. So far you’ve met the Ancient Cats by the Lake and the Tribe of Rushing Water; you’ll learn about the others in Omen of the Stars. Aha, another evasive answer from Vicky! I should really just copy and paste “No comment” into all of my replies. :-)
Minou (Q) (to All, but especially Vicky): In regard to Hollyleaf, do you consider her the evil one? Was she really evil, or just angry and confused? Also, if she isn't the "Evil One", is she alive and going to come back as evil or is she dead and one of the others will become evil? (btw Hollyleaf looks adorable on the cover of Sunrise =D)
VickyHolmes(A): I’ve said before that none of my cats are truly evil – not even Scourge or Tigerstar, although it might take a few books to reveal the parts of their history that sent them in a particular direction. Hint: see Code of the Clans for a big clue about Tigerstar’s crazed hatred of kittypets! As for Hollyleaf, she was definitely angry and confused. She felt that she had been backed into a course of action that, however repulsive to her, was the only way she could save her Clanmates from knowing that the warrior code had been trampled in the dust. Sadly, the more she learned, the more she realized that there was no way to save them from this terrible knowledge. I’m not going to give away anything about what, if anything, lies in Hollyleaf’s future beyond Sunrise…
Wildtail (Q): (For Vicky) What do you enjoy the most while you're on a tour?
VickyHolmes(A): Meeting you guys, OF COURSE! However tired, jet-lagged or hungry I am, the sight and sound of several hundred crazy Warriors fans hollering my name makes me feel like king of the world. If you’ve ever been to an event, you’ll know that I smile smile smile constantly. Believe me, that’s genuine glee!
Lightstreaqk (Q): Vicky: (I wrote you a letter a few weeqks ago :D) Hollyleaf was either crushed by the caves when they actually caved in, or while lost in the tunnels, right? Would her spirit wander the tunnels forever, liqke Fallen Leaves, or will it go somewhere else? In the summary for Sunrise, it said someone would be 'lost forever' Is that what it meant?
VickyHolmes(A): Not sure I can reply to this without giving too much away! But yes, “lost forever” referred to Hollyleaf as she appeared to her Clanmates at that time. Hint, hint.
crescentmoon (Q): Why is it called Sunrise when nearly everything seemed to end?
VickyHolmes(A): Good question! Originally, it was called Cruel Season, but our editor at HarperCollins felt that this was too dark and gloomy for the final book of the series. She wanted something that offered hope for the future, a shaft of light on the troubled Clans that would give them energy to keep going into the fourth series. Sunrise was suggested, and that’s what we ended up with.
Eveningmist-Tau (Q): Will SkyClan ever make an appearance in the Omen of the Stars books? If so, will Firestar be forced to shock the clans with the news of the fifth Clan?
VickyHolmes(A): Much as I’d love to have SkyClan pop up in Omen of the Stars – and it is something I’ve considered at some length – I think the distance they’d have to travel to reach the lake is just too great. They’d be awfully lucky to find the Clans at the end of their journey! However, I do have some plans for Firestar to go, Ha! Thought there were only ever four Clans? You’re SO WRONG! at a Gathering when the other leaders are being particularly annoying.
RIP Lucas (Q): Is it more likely for Kallik to end up with Toklo, or Toklo to end up with Lusa?
VickyHolmes(A): Gosh, I haven’t considered any bear shippings, not between species, anyway. I’m not sure either of those pairings would happen, I’m afraid. There doesn’t seem to be much room for romance in Seekers, given their desperate quest for survival and all that.
Lightstreaqk (Q): Did Leafpool really leave ThunderClan? I didn't catch that... I was rereading the last few pages of Sunrise today while waiting for my little sister to get out of school. Firestar was all 'ThunderClan will survive! We will ALL move forward, despite what happened. That prey is eaten'
VickyHolmes(A): I didn’t notice her leaving in Sunrise, and she appears on the cast list for Omen of the Stars Book One, so I guess she’s still around.
Stormfang (Q): If Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf learned what they needed to from the mountains, what will happen to the Tribe? As Rock implied, the Tribe wouldn't be safe from the "intruders" forever. Will the Tribe be destroyed?
VickyHolmes(A): The Tribe is going to reappear in Omen of the Stars so it hasn’t been destroyed yet… Rock was giving a veiled warning that the Clan cats couldn’t take on responsibility for the Tribe. They have their own affairs to sort out by the lake. The Tribe needs to improve their own defences and secure their own borders if they want to survive.
Tanglefur (Q): (to vicky) Hi! Did you like our poster we gave you at the Frisco tour? And i cant remember, did you say you WERE going to use 'tanglefur' in the next series, or you could see it BEING used?
VickyHolmes(A): Hi again! Yes I LOVED your poster from Frisco! I sent it to Kate or Cherith (sorry, I can’t remember which because I divide everything equally so they each got a giant poster after I brought two home from the tour). Tanglefur hasn’t appeared yet but he’s on his way, don’t worry! It’s a great name. Kate, would you like to give birth to him in Omen Three (as it were…)?
Streamflow (Q): To Vicky: I s Dovekit a reincarnation of Dove's Wing? You know, the cat who was Jay's Wing's sister in the ancient tribe.
VickyHolmes(A): Interesting question, but no, she isn’t. I don’t want to go too far down the reincarnation theme because it’s not a central part of the cats’ mythology. Cinderpelt’s reappearance as Cinderheart was the result of StarClan giving the medicine cat a chance to live her life as a warrior. Jay’s Wing and Jayfeather are kind of one and the same cat, although that’s got a bit muddled in my head since I planned the story.
kaboomkat (Q): When you tell your artist you need an illustration, do you tell them anything else except the appearance of the animal? For instance, the attitude, so they know how to draw their expression? I noticed that on the cover of Code of the Clans, Blackstar looks rather Blackstarish, with his usual irritated demeanor translated into his expression xD. I think this would be cool to know ;D
VickyHolmes(A): All the artwork briefs (detailed requests for what we want in the picture) come from our editors at HarperCollins, but I try to make suggestions if I know what I want in advance. I think Mr McLoughlin, our superb artist, is given physical descriptions and also some information about the situation, eg. stalking through the night, looking scared, being brave. So I guess he must have been given some clues about Blackstar before he created the Code cover!
Nettlepaw (Q): Would any of the Erins consider touring in the UK? We'd love to have them at my bookshop!
VickyHolmes(A): Both Cherith and I have visited a few bookshops and schools, and had a wonderful reception every time. All visits are arranged through our publisher, so if you’d like us to visit, please contact Gillie Russell at HarperCollins UK and put in a request!
Quailfeather (Q): Since Leafpool is not a Medicine Cat anymore, will StarClan stop sending her dreams and prophecies?
VickyHolmes(A): I don’t think I can answer this without giving too much away. I will say that there are cats in StarClan who are sympathetic to poor Leafpool’s clash of loyalty, and who see no reason to cut her off just because her Clan have learned the truth about what she did.
wildclaw118 (Q): (To Vicky) Are you sure Jayfeather and Cinderheart wont be mates there were some real interaction between them in eclipse
VickyHolmes(A): Gosh, that’s a shipping I haven’t thought about! Er, the answer is yes, I’m sure.
Spottedshadow (Q): To Vicky: I'm a bit confused about the fourth apprentice. If either Ivykit or Dovekit is the fourth apprentice (I have a suspicion as to which kit it is, from the book covers, but I won't say anything), who are the other three? I'd assume they were Lionblaze, Hollyleaf, and Jayfeather, but if Hollyleaf isn't really included anymore... and also, they aren't apprentices anymore. And, is the fourth apprentice the third cat mentioned in the phrophecy? Because if the third cat in the prophecy is the third apprentice, the fourth apprentice could be a problem... maybe even evil. It seems like finding out your sibling was included in a prophecy and you were just normal might be hard to take...
VickyHolmes(A): SPOILER ALERT FOR SUNRISE: Ack, too many numbers in your question! I think it’s generally known now that Dovekit is the cat referred to as The Fourth Apprentice. The other three are Jay, Lion and Holly, because all four have been “apprentices” to the Prophecy. However, Holly was never part of the prophecy, which referred all along to Jay, Lion and Dove. Gasp! So four apprentices, but only ever three cats who were part of the prophecy. And you’re right, learning that your littermate was part of a super-powerful prophecy while you’re not could send any cat down the path of evil…
Rainfall (Q): To Vicky: Can there ever be a cat with the same name as another in the past? For example, could another warrior ever be named Stonefur or could there be another leader known as Redstar?
VickyHolmes(A): Oh yes, some names are repeated, although not within the same Clan (hopefully). There was an Ashfur in ShadowClan in series one for example, so technically you could have leaders with the same name. We’d try to avoid that, though, because we get confused enough about the characters already!
Phantomwing (Q): All Erins: The are several apprentices in every Clan who should be warriors (and in Kestrelpaw's case, a full medicine cat) by now. Can someone rectify this? To help you out, those apprentices are: Icepaw and Foxpaw of ThunderClan, Kestrelpaw of WindClan, Owlpaw of ShadowClan, and lastly, Minnowpaw and Pebblepaw of RiverClan.
VickyHolmes(A): Ah. Thank you. We’ll sort this out, I promise. Kestrelpaw is Kestrelflight now, if that’s any consolation.
Dawncloud (Q): When you wrote the first book, did you have the whole series planned out?
VickyHolmes(A): The straightforward answer is no, because Into the Wild was originally planned as a single book! Rusty would become Firestar by the end, and that would have been all you’d ever have known about the cats of the Clans. But to make the story interesting for me personally (because as most of you know, I’m not the greatest cat fan in the world), I put loads of extra stuff in the storyline like war, politics, revenge, doomed love, religious conflict – and the publisher said, Wow! There’s enough here for six books! So we ended Book One with Fireheart becoming a warrior, and spread out the rest of the story over another five books. For the next three series, I came up with a general idea of what would happen over all six books before planning book one, but things always change and we often end up with a wildly different book five, for example, than the one I originally imagined. However, the general direction remains the same, in that I know where I want the series to end up before starting the next one.
Cometstorm (Q): (To Vicky) Will any of the cats ever get rabies? I think that would be cool if they suddenly went crazy and went on a killing spree, and it could help bring down the numbers in the *coughoverpopulatedcough* ThunderClan.
VickyHolmes(A): ThunderClan is NOT over-populated! The reason there seem to be more cats in ThunderClan than the other Clans is that the cast list in each book generally only features the cats that actually appear in the story. That’s why cats pop up in the other Clans without appearing as apprentices first, for example. So ThunderClan doesn’t need a killing spree, not least because if we had fewer cats, all future kits would be related to each other, eek. Rabies is an interesting issue, and I’m giving away my Britishness by not including it in the series so far. You see, we don’t have rabies in the UK! We’re very proud of being an island, and VERY careful about which animals we let in so that we don’t get rabies and other highly infectious animal diseases spreading across the country. It wouldn’t occur to me to give the cats rabies because that doesn’t occur to any animals here. As a side note, if you want to bring any animal into the UK, it has to stay in quarantine – a special kennel separated from any other animals and monitored by vets – for six months before you can take it to your house. This is to give any infectious diseases time to develop so the vets can be certain it is truly healthy and won’t endanger native animals.
Brambleflower (Q): What would happen if a twoleg happened to wander around the forest and stumble upon one of the clans' camps?
VickyHolmes(A): They’d get the surprise of their life when they saw all those little cat houses and a den full of neatly laid-out herbs! Seriously, there would be a danger that the Twoleg would want to take the cats away, as happens in the forest when the road expansion starts. Not necessarily to kill the cats, but to rehome them and prevent them from multiplying out of control. Of course, some Twolegs would be enchanted to see a little community of cats, and tiptoe away again, leaving them in peace. It’s something that might happen in future books, but to be honest I like keeping Twolegs as far away as possible because the Clans’ lives are hectic enough without them!
Brambleflower (Q): How is Breezepelt dealing with the news that his father had a mate from a different Clan and had three kits with her?
VickyHolmes(A): One word: BADLY.
Rainripple (Q): Will there still be chapters from Jayfeather's point of view in 'Omen of the Stars'? (pleasepleasepleaseplease...)
VickyHolmes(A): Yup! There will be four viewpoints in Omen: Jay, Lion, Dovepaw AND Ivypaw. Phew!
(But so much fun to write because it means we can include even more action.)
Dawnstripe27 (Q): A lot of times when your cats grow up, they start to lose some of their spunkiness. Its always really sad for me to read about a character that used to be so awesome, being so void of interesting characteristics. Like, Squirrelflight- in TNP she was so spunky and energetic. Now, she's miserable and has no personality. I know her life is ruined, but whats interesting is reading about how when lives break down like that, how different personalities react. Squirrelflight always struck me as the kind of personality that would, of course, feel awful in the situation, but would never regret what she'd done and would never let sorrow overcome her. She'd take whatever was thrown at her with strength and retaliation. Instead, she had the typical reaction: she was overcome with grief and couldn't even take care of herself anymore. Crowfeather is the same, in a way. I remember when he was my absolute favorite character, he was mean and hilarious. Now he's like completely void of personality. Do you think you might ever make the characters more like the way they were as apprentices? I know they 'grew up' and all, but growing up doesn't necessarily mean conforming to a perfect and expected personality. Will Squirrelflight and Crowfeather and Berrynose, and all those characters will ever be like their old selves again?
VickyHolmes(A): Gosh, I’m really sorry you feel that way. I agree that these characters have changed as they have gotten older, but I’d hope they haven’t lost any of their personality. Have you read Sunrise? I think Squirrelflight’s character bursts out in her confrontation with Ashfur - can you imagine how much courage that took on her part? And it also has echoes of her impetuousness - leap first, look later - that we saw on the quest to find Midnight. We see less of Crowfeather’s personality now simply because we see less of him - he’s busy keeping his head down in WindClan. When we do see him, on the border or at Gatherings, he’s super-conscious of what his Clanmates might think if they see him being friendly toward ThunderClan cats, so he’s even more aloof than before. No chance of seeing his fabulous dry humour, I’m afraid! Another thing to bear in mind is that these characters were central in The New Prophecy, but have now moved back to let new, younger characters center stage. Holly, Lion and Jay are the focus of the stories now, so their characters will seem the most vivid and appealing. That’s one reason why I chose to roll the Clans on one generation for each new series; older characters would have different concerns than our young readers, and there’s a limit to how much adventure you can expect from one cat in a lifetime! New characters bring fresh, youthful voices and different perspectives, opening up a whole new raft of story possibilities, and keeping the tone of the narrative sprightly and immediate, without getting bogged down in things like childcare, Clan leadership, or politics.
Scarletpetal (Q): What happened between Daisy and Spiderleg? I mean it was REALLY sudden, like just popped up O_o
VickyHolmes(A): Yup, it was kind of a one-night affair, and Spiderleg was pretty aghast when Daisy announced that she was expecting his kits. I wanted to reflect the fact that in real life, cats don’t mate for life, and pairs wouldn’t raise their kits together in a cosy little family. Obviously longer-term relationships work better in the series, but I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to let some realism creep in. Also, I saw great story potential in Spiderleg being a reluctant father - usually a tom is super-proud of his kits and very affectionate toward his mate, but Spiderleg doesn’t want anything to do with parental duties! This leads to the strength of Daisy’s character coming out, as she forces him to confront his responsibilities, while being a great single mom. There’s a cat for all of us!
A big thank you and lots of hugs to all the Erins: Vicky, Kate, Cherith, and Tui, from all the members of Wands and Worlds!