Patricia Briggs is mostly known for her amazing Mercy Thompson series, and the Alpha and Omega series. They both take place in the same world, and feature werewolves, Fae, vampires and a coyote shifter (walker), and Patricia uses Native American mythology. But before Patricia started writing these urban fantasy / paranormal romance series, she was well known for some lovely fantasy series. I still have to read most of those books, but I absolutely loved her stand alone novel The Hob’s bargain.
After Maia and I visited the Love Letter Convention in Berlin, we drove to Lüneburg to meet with Patricia Briggs, who was giving lectures at the University there. The Tuesday night one was open for the public, so we quickly made the decision to extend our vacation in Germany with two more days.
Patricia lectured about the use of mythology in urban fantasy, taking werewolves as an example. I really enjoyed the lecture, and afterward there was room for questions. We had made a long list of questions that afternoon, with the help of our good friend and fellow fan Sullivan McPig. But we did not have the chance to ask all of those questions, and we asked Patricia’s assistant Ann if there would be time for an interview for the blog in the near future, and she assured us there would be time for that. So, here are some of the questions we already asked, but as you will also enjoy the answers, we asked them again, and some new ones.
So here goes.
Aurian: Hi Patricia, thank you for making time for us again. We hope you enjoyed your time in Germany, and had a good trip back home. Did you like the stroopwafels we brought you?
Patricia: They were lovely—both the stroopwafels and Germany.
Maia: How many Alpha and Omega books are you planning to write?
Patricia: Hahaha, you are funny. A plan? Okay, really there is sort of a plan for the next few books, but I honestly don’t know how many books I’m going to write. That depends upon readers—and upon how long I stay interested. Right now all I can tell you is that there will be at least two more after the one I’m working on right now.
Aurian: Asil is a very intriguing character, and he has made appearances in both series now. Will he have his own story someday?
Patricia: I love writing Asil. I don’t know that he’ll have his own book, but I’ve written short stories with him as the main character and had enough fun with him that I’m virtually certain that he will have more short stories.
Maia: Can you describe a typical writing day?
Patricia: I get up and feed horses and then go out to my writing trailer – an elderly construction office trailer -- to start writing. I turn on music to block the sounds outside and then get started. Right now, as I’m finishing up a story, most of my work is really putting words on the page (rather than editing or research). I can do that for about four hours at a time before I have to take a break for an hour or two. Late in the book, like now, I might work in total for twelve to sixteen hours a day writing. About dinner time, I have to stop and feed the horses again. Then depending upon how far I’ve gotten, I’ll either hang out with my husband for a while—or go back to writing.
Aurian: I absolutely loved The Hob’s Bargain. Any chance of a sequel to that one, or just a book set in that world? In my opinion, to invent a whole world for just one book, seems a waste.
Patricia: Yes. I do intend to write a second book to the The Hob’s Bargain. And also I intend a third book to the Dragon series (Dragon Bones, Dragon Blood). For right now I’m fully occupied with Mercy Thompson and her friends so a new traditional fantasy will not be coming in the next year or two.
Maia: I am very intrigued with the Fae walking stick that keeps returning to Mercy, and you once wrote there are four famous Fae walking sticks. Will one of the other Fae walking sticks appear in the series?
Patricia: I have no plans for that—though in Night Broken Mercy’s walking stick seems to be absorbing some of abilities of some of the others. I won’t rule it out, though.
Aurian: Does Mercy have some Fae blood in her, and is that the reason the walking stick keeps returning to her?
Patricia: No. It’s just contrary. Mercy performed a service for a fae. She appreciates it—and her live is so interesting.
Maia: I have never read anything with a Volcano God before, how did you come up with that idea?
Patricia: I was looking up shapeshifting dogs—I had actually intended to use one of the Black Dogs that are part of fairy lore. Somewhere in my Internet research, I came upon the Canary Islands. I think I now own every book written on the Canary Islands – including the self published ones. Guayota seemed like a character I could base a whole story around—with the added bonus that he’s not been overdone.
Aurian: If Jessie wanted to have a pet, what kind of animal would the pack be able to live with and not eat? (besides Medea of course).
Patricia: Dogs do fine with werewolves as do most domesticated animals. Not cats (besides Medea), but horses, cows, sheep. Donkeys are not too fond of them—but donkeys are pretty smart animals. The pack would never eat a pet that belonged to Jesse—no matter how temping it was.
Maia: You use a lot of Native American mythology in your last books (Coyote, Thunderbird). Will there be more creatures like those? We both love the originality of it all.
Patricia: Mythology is maybe not the right word—“traditional beliefs” works better because there are a lot of people in my neck of the woods who believe in Coyote and the rest. Sure. I will use whatever feels right for a particular story. And with both Mercy and Charles being of Native American heritage, these beliefs are part of who they are.
Aurian: Is Mercy's halfbrother going to appear in more books, and will there perhaps be even more halfsiblings for Mercy to meet?
Patricia: Gary? I love Gary. I could not possibly resist putting him in another book. I don’t know if he’ll show up in the next Mercy book, but certainly in future books.
Maia: Are there plans for a new series
Patricia: Yes. A while ago, I wrote a short story for a blind witch who lives in Seattle called “Seeing Eye” set in the same universe as Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series. I liked the characters enough that I used them again as secondary characters in Hunting Ground. I talked it over with my editor, and I’m going to write at least one novel in the next couple of years with Moira and her boyfriend the werewolf Tom. I’m not sure it will become a series, that depends upon reader’s response and if I have time to keep three series going.
Aurian: What are some authors you love to read
Patricia: In urban fantasy: Jim Butcher, Kelly Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, Anne Bishop. For straight fantasy: Robin McKinley, Lois McMaster Bujold, Brandon Sanderson.
Sullivan McPig: My favourite paranormal creatures are zombies. Will you ever write about zombies in Mercy’s world? Or perhaps a were-pig?
Aurian: Thank you for those great answers Patricia, Maia and I sure hope to meet you again some time. Perhaps at the next Love Letter Convention, or if you are visiting Europe again for some research. Perhaps we can show you our Dutch “Witte Wieven”.
Patty – Thank you so much! It was lovely to meet you (two of you anyway) in Germany. Witte Wieven are very interesting ladies. I knew about the “Dames Blanches” and we have “white ladies” in the US - but I didn’t realize that they were Dutch, too. Hmm. Interesting. . .
Where to find Patricia?
website: hurog or patricia briggs
twitter: Mercys Garage
facebook: Official Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. In Fall 2010, Patricia made another foray into traditional fantasy, when Ace published a revised version of her very first book, Masques (2010), and its never-before-published sequel, Wolfsbane (2010), both of which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list for Mass Market Fiction.
In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson. The non-stop adventure left readers wanting more and word of this exciting new urban fantasy series about a shape-shifting mechanic spread quickly. Blood Bound (2007), the second book in the series, debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestsellers list. After the incredible success of Iron Kissed (2008), which landed at #1 on the New York Times list, the Mercy Thompson saga continued to win the hearts of readers and grew in popularity with the release of each book. Bone Crossed (2009), the fourth book in the series and first to be published in hardcover, debuted at #3 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list, where it stayed for four weeks. The most recent hardcover, Silver Borne (2010), debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list and stayed on the printed list for a total of three weeks!
Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series. The subsequent books were Cry Wolf (2008) and Hunting Ground (2009), both New York Times bestsellers. The third book of the Alpha and Omega series is Fair Game (2012) and debuted at #4 on the New York Times bestsellers list. For more information about Patricia Briggs and her marvelous novels, feel free to visit the author on the web: here.