Catching Up With Anne Bishop
The Reading Cafe is thrilled to welcome back the wonderful Anne Bishop.
Anne has her new release, Written in Red being released tomorrow. This is the first book in her new series, The Others.
Let’s talk to Anne.
Hi, Anne. Thank you for taking the time to visit us at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your new release “Written in Red”, as well as to give us an update as to what else you may be working on.
TRC: You have just released the 1st book in your new fantasy series, The Others; can you give us a description of the premise of this series? Also, how did you come up with the idea of the series?
Anne: The Others series is urban dark fantasy set on a re-imagined Earth where the supernatural creatures—the shape-shifters, vampires, etc.—are the predominant predators throughout the world and control most of the world. Then there are the humans who have been granted land for cities but are always being watched for any potential wrongdoing.
The idea for the series evolved over several years. Whenever I read urban fantasy, I thought it would be fun to write a story about werewolves and/or vampires. But my early, flittery story thoughts were either similar to what was being written or didn’t hold my interest for more than a few days. And let’s face it, since writing a novel is a long investment of time, you want a story and characters that will continue to intrigue you for all the months that go into creating the story. So I held on to the thought that it would be fun to write about the furred and fanged and worked on the stories that called to me.
Then I began seeing things that looked interesting. In 2007, I was talking with some other women about teenagers who cut themselves and wrote down an idea of someone who might have visions of some future event every time she cut herself. In 2009, I saw a market square that I thought would be the kind of thing the Others would want in their Courtyard. I didn’t know who the Others were or what a Courtyard was, but I knew they would like boutique shops around an open space. This is how my brain builds a story: it finds interesting bits of shiny and ponders them for a while, putting them together in various formations until something clicks.
What clicked was the idea that the Others weren’t the hidden races; they were the dominant predators who ruled everything in the world except for the specific places where humankind had evolved. What clicked was the idea of girls who saw visions and prophecies every time their skin was cut. What clicked was the idea of humans being a minority species who are dependent on the tolerance of the Others for their survival. Once those ideas came together, the world and the characters began to emerge, and I found myself intrigued by the possibilities.
TRC: How many books are you planning for this series?
Anne: I just turned in the second book in the series, so there are definitely two. After that, it depends on the characters and what they tell me.
TRC: What have been some of the challenges or difficulties with research etc, as it pertains to The Others series?
Anne: Being geographically challenged, my biggest challenge in developing the city of Lakeside was creating a street map of the part of the city I needed for the story. The Courtyard, on the other hand, was fun to build. For a couple of months, half of my living room was an interactive map. I laid out the shape with masking tape on the rug, and had a few matchbox cars to drive around the roads. That became the template for the map that’s in the book. As for the rest of it? Since Namid is a re-imagined Earth, I didn’t have to worry about historical accuracy because the world’s history would be different. Cities are contemporary but not up-to-the-minute with technology, so I could pick and choose what humans would have. Basically I did the same kind of research I always do: I imagined what the world might be like and then looked up information as different bits captured my interest.
TRC: Written in Red (released today, March 5th) is the first booking this series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Anne: Meg Corbyn is a blood prophet—a girl who sees visions of the future when her skin is cut. After running away from the man who owns her, she ends up in the Lakeside Courtyard, the area of the city that belongs the Others who are tasked with the assignment of keeping watch on the humans. Simon Wolfgard, the leader of the Courtyard, hires Meg to be their Human Liaison. When the police start looking for a thief who looks like Meg, Simon has to decide if she’s worth a fight that could wipe out a city.
TRC: Would you like to share with us what you are currently working on?
Anne: By the time this interview goes up on the Reading Café, I’ll have turned in the second book about the Others and will be pondering what to write next unless the characters have already decided that for me. They tend to do that.
TRC: Do you still plan on revisiting some of your other series?
Anne: I check in with my characters on a regular basis to see what story ideas might be simmering. So it’s possible that I’ll revisit some of the other worlds, but I won’t know what or when until a story gains enough substance and rises to the surface.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Anne: Folks can check my website at www.annebishop.com for updates on conventions or news about the latest books.
Thank you, Anne for giving us an update on Written in Red, as well as what we can look forward to in the future. It was a pleasure having you visit us again.
Anne: Thanks for inviting me.
If you would like to learn more about Anne, you can visit her at the following links:
Anne is offering the Australian edition of Written in Red to one lucky member at The Reading Cafe.
1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page.
2. If you are using a social log-in such as Twitter or Facebook, please post your email address with your comment.
3. Giveaway open to USA only.
4. Giveaway runs from March 5 – 8, 2013