Category Archives: VA/Bloodlines Books
Richelle Mead told Buzzfeed 16 things to know about Vampire Academy!
1) How did you get the idea for this story, and what was the inspiration?
There’s no one real source for it, it was kind of a coming together of a lot of different elements. I had taken Eastern European mythology classes in college and there were a lot of great Russian/Romanian vampire stories. That was kind of where I found the Moroi and Strigoi story and then I turned that into my own world. That was one element of it. Another is that I had just really wanted to write a young heroine like Rose who was so funky and in your face and fearless. Sometimes too fearless, but who had the potential to transform throughout the series. So I’ve always wanted to tell a story like that, and when I decided to pick up on the Romanian vampire myth, it just seemed like a natural idea to merge the two and make that the backdrop of the story.
2) Where did the character Rose come from? Was she based on anyone?
Nope, she was just someone I wanted to write. You know, people say, “Oh, are you like Rose?” and if anything, I’m the opposite of Rose; I’m a much more cautious thinking person. Whereas Rose, you know, she’ll act first, ask questions later, and I just really wanted to write someone like that who was so spunky and bold and brave and follow her transformation. Despite her being so outgoing and fearless, it can sometimes get her into trouble and so throughout the series she needs to learn how to temper that and mature, and that’s a fun journey to do.
How about Lissa? Is she based on anyone?
Nope. I don’t base my characters off of anyone, I’m pretty sure you’ll lose friends that way because they’re never going to be happy with what you do to their characters. Lissa is from my head as well, she’s kind of a counterbalance to Rose, a calming influence, and I was really fascinated by the whole bodyguard thing combined with the bond and how it can enhance their friendship, and that helps me create their characters.
3) What was your favorite scene to write about in the first book?
Probably the whole ending sequence, which is a series of scenes, is my favorite. The endings are always my favorite when I’m writing a book. That’s what everything is building towards, all the clues, all the momentum, and so when I get to write that it’s really gratifying and it usually goes really fast, especially in comparison to the rest of the book.
Is that what you’re looking forward to most in the movie? Also, have you seen the movie?
Yes, I’ve seen a nearly finished version of it, not the final, but pretty close. The ending was what I was definitely looking forward to, and I love what they did with that. They helped resolve all the main action points, they tweaked a few things, which made it better on the screen and more fun to watch. So overall, I’m really excited about that.
4) Were you on set for the movie at all?
I was on set for about two days. They filmed it in London and I live in Seattle with small children, so I couldn’t spend a lot of time over there, but I did go for a couple of days and see some scenes with the cast and it was definitely a lot of fun.
What scenes did you see?
I saw Christian using fire magic in class, although of course there was no fire because they add that with CGI after, but it was a lot of fun to see the person he set on fire pretending to be on fire when there was no actual flames. The other scene I saw was an early scene where Rose and Dimitri have their first confrontation, so that was a big action sub-sequence I actually got to witness, which was pretty cool. They were in full stunt mode with harnesses and gear and all kinds of things there.
That must be so fun to watch everything come to life.
Yeah, definitely. They do so many takes and there’s so much detail into it when they’re filming, and it’s amazing to see what took three hours of filming pushed down into one minute of a scene, but that’s what it takes — you have to put a lot of time into it.
5) Who’s chemistry did you love the most on set? Did you see enough of it [to judge]?
I think most of what I saw was just the cast in general as a group, but they had really great chemistry and they all got along and they would go out together afterwards and they still keep in touch now after filming. You could just get that vibe from them when you were around them on set and you can tell they really like each other and they joke with each other, and I think that translated really well onto the screen, that camaraderie they had. I just loved that they had fun doing the filming! I would hate to have an amazing movie that everyone hated to make, but they loved what they were doing and it really shows.
Yeah, and I can totally see Zoey portraying Rose’s personality of like, this sassy and bold character.
She does! She’s got that same fiery attitude. I always say people know when she’s in the room because she has that kind of magnet to her.
6) Did anyone reach out to you to get more info and fact-check for the movie?
Yeah, Mark Waters, the director, would fact check with me. If he needed more clarification about somebody in the world he would ask me. Also occasionally there would be a question like, if they did “x, y, or z,” would that affect some future book I wrote, and that was a nice courtesy for them to do that and check in with things. For the most part, though, they did their movie; I didn’t screen write or produce or anything like that, which is totally fine by me. It’s a daunting business, so I would just let them do it.
7) Are there any big changes, or is it pretty true to the book?
I think it’s pretty true to the book. There are changes, of course, which happens with book/film transition because they’re different mediums. And also, when you’re trying to make a story that will read well on screen to new viewers, you have to change some things. So yeah, they changed some things, but there was nothing major. They didn’t alter a critical plotline or something that people are expecting to happen from the books that isn’t going to happen; all the big points are there, and every change they did make was smart and they had a reason. It wasn’t just like, “Let’s mess with this story.” There was always a reason for why they changed something, and I really appreciated that.
8) Vampire Academy seems to have a pretty dedicated fan base, but looking through internet comments about the trailer, it seems like people are pretty split on the comedy angle and worried that it’s just a Mean Girls with vampires. Do you feel it’s like that? Do you think it’s still serious?
Yeah, it’s just like the books as far as being mostly serious with a good, healthy sense of humor. I’ve tried to reassure people that it’s not a comedy, it’s not a parody, but I know people are still worried. It was a marketing decision to play up the humor because there’s a lot of very serious paranormal YA books that have not done well, and if those weren’t pulling in a new audience there wouldn’t be a reason to think we would as well, and so this was their approach to get people outside of the readership. I mean, the books themselves have more humor than some of our other series that are out there in this genre, and so they really played that up in the previews. Also, they certainly cited the Waters brothers’ credits a lot to try and draw in their fan base. It actually worked, and it scares the fans because they know it’s a serious story, and they’re worried — but they shouldn’t, and it’s pulled in new viewers and I think that’s great. So I think when fans get to the theaters to see it, they’ll understand that it was just a marketing angle; they [the trailers] were highly edited commercials and previews and there’s still plenty serious and plenty dark and they don’t need to worry.
!!!!!SPOILER ON THE SERIES IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT ALL, BEWARE!!!!!!!
9) Is there a character you wish you had or hadn’t killed?
No, I stand by all my decisions. I think there’s a lot of readers who want me to have a lot of remorse for some of the characters, or they want me to cry. They ask me a lot, “Did you cry over that?” and I’m just like, “No, I really didn’t,” and they’re like, “Ah, you’re so heartless.” But you know, I don’t kill people arbitrarily; there’s a reason. It moves the series along or affects someone’s character development, so, for that reason I don’t feel so bad if it’s serving a greater good and wasn’t put there to traumatize fans. I feel bad more for the fans actually than I do the characters. I get a lot of fan emails from people, especially when they read Frostbite and Shadow Kiss. So to them, I am sorry, but hopefully they felt better by the end of the series.
Yeah, I was really torn about Mason, but I eventually understood and came to terms with it.
Yeah, it’s tough. It was really hard meeting Cameron Monaghan knowing what happens to Mason. Cameron is such a nice guy, and so the whole time I was on set ,I kept thinking, Oh, poor Cameron.
Does he know?
Yeah, he knows.
Is there anything you would change about any of the books?
No, I’m happy with the characters and plot. I think as a writer there’s always a part of me that’s like, I could have revised that or hammered out the writing a little, and things like that, but there’s no choice or storyline I wish I had altered; I like how it all turned out.
10) So in the first book, there’s a scene where Rose and Dimitri are in the car and he explains that if he were turned Strigoi, he would want to be killed. Did you always have his fate in mind for Shadow Kiss?
Yeah, I had the series planned out when I wrote the first book. I knew that was going to happen and how things were going to resolve, so that was definitely seeded early on.
Was it the same for Sonya Karp? Did you always know she would be turned back [to a Moroi]?
Yep, I knew we would revisit Sonya a lot.
11) Was it fun to write Dimitri’s evil demeanor in Blood Promise?
It was hard, actually! It was one of the most difficult writing paths, I’d say, having to write evil Dimitri. And he has quite a following — like, there are people who wish he stayed evil, which surprises me. But yeah, that was especially difficult because I needed him to still be compelling and eventually be likable when he was restored. It was a really tricky balancing act to do that to someone, and to show that side of them.
Besides writing about Dimitri’s Strigoi phase, was there any scene or book that was particularly hard to write?
The first book in any series is difficult to write because you have to get to know a new character, so I think as far as the next most difficult thing that I had to write, [it] was Bloodlines, the first book in the spin-off series of Vampire Academy, just because it was a transition for me to be writing about the same world but to be writing from a different character’s point of view — because I was so used to doing Rose’s voice when talking about Moroi and Strigoi, and so that required a whole new mind-set for me, and you really have to get to know that new character in that book. By the second book it was easy again since we were in our groove, but that was probably my next most challenging thing.
12) Does Dimitri end up reconnecting with his family later on?
That is a question I’m asked so much. And I’m surprised because I never thought that much about it, I guess, when I finished the series, but people are so excited to know if he did. There is actually just a short story out in an anthology called Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction and it’s got a bunch of stories by a bunch of different authors and I have one in there called Homecoming and it actually is about Dimitri and Rose going back to Russia after Last Sacrifice and seeing his family.
13) So toward the end of Last Sacrifice, Rose and Lissa discover they are no longer bonded. Was that a hard thing for you to write [emotionally]?
It was actually kind of a relief because I think it would be easier on them in the long run, to be free of each other in that way. They needed to go on and try to live their own lives, and their friendship would still endure even without that, so I was OK doing it.
And Lissa’s darkness will remain and possibly worsen?
Yeah, she has to fight it on her own now; all spirit users do, they have to carry that burden. She’s still got it.
Can anyone take it from her by using the spirit power? Like the couple in Russia in Blood Promise?
It can certainly help to lighten it, but as long as she’s a spirit user, it’s always going to start creeping back. But yeah, there are definitely ways to try and mitigate it without the spirit power and also with her choices and how she uses it.
14) Is there anything else you can tell us that happens to the characters beyond the books? Like things you imagined?
No, I can’t tell you because maybe I’ll write some more books about them! I have to keep that under wraps, but I’ve definitely thought about what would happen to the characters after the fact. And then in Bloodlines we touch base with them, we find out what’s going on with Rose and Lissa and all that, so we don’t quite leave them as it is, but I’ve definitely thought about other things in the world.
15) So for the other books, should they continue being adapted to film, whose character are you most excited to see on screen?
Adrian, since he’s the next big one that’s introduced. I’m looking forward to that but I’m sure it will be controversial no matter who’s picked because that’s how it goes. People will always have their favorites and they may or may not get chosen, but I’m excited to see what happens with that.
Do you have a dream casting for him?
Nope, I’ve never had a cast in mind and I think it makes it easier on me, and I’m pretty flexible on who ends up there.
Check out the interview here: Buzzfeed
Richelle Mead talked to Page Views about the movie, The Weinstein Company and the current vampire market!
PAGE VIEWS: Your series has become a cult classic for YA and fantasy readers, to say nothing of the global reach of the series. When you were writing “Vampire Academy,” did you ever think it would have this kind of scope and popularity?
RICHELLE MEAD: No, I really didn’t. At the time I was writing it, I’d also sold a couple of book series for adults, and I thought that was where the main focus of my career would end up going. “Vampire Academy” started off as a side project for me, almost as an experiment. I’d been a teacher before getting published and really enjoyed being around adolescents, so I thought it’d be fun to work in something for that age range. I had no idea it would take off like it did—or attract people of all ages!
PV: But the main point of conversation is the upcoming movie of the same title. When you were penning “Vampire Academy,” did you ever hope it would be translated into a big-screen blockbuster produced by none other than Harvey and Bob Weinstein?
RM: Honestly, my goal while writing it was just getting the book done and finding readers for it! Scenes often play out cinematically in my head, but I really wasn’t thinking much about movies at that point—or even after the series became successful. The book-to-movie business is a tricky one, and lots of authors sell their options to Hollywood and never see any results. Things can fall apart at any point in the process. So, I always had a painfully realistic approach to things and really didn’t believe it was happening until filming began.
PV: Did you have the chance to meet with the Weinstein brothers? Why do you think the entertainment moguls were drawn to your story in a media sphere full-to-bursting with other vampire series, both on the big screen and in television?
RM: I haven’t met the Weinstein brothers personally, but working with their company has been a really wonderful experience. My understanding is that Harvey’s daughters are fans of the books, which was a big draw for them initially. We also have so much talent working on the project—particularly director Mark Waters and screenwriter Daniel Waters—that I think their involvement really made people take notice and realize this wasn’t your typical supernatural project.
PV: The film is directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls,” “Freaky Friday”), a filmmaker known for his comedic direction. Do you see your series as a comedy, or one with comedic elements only? The first book is pretty dark.
RM: The book’s not a comedy, and the movie certainly isn’t either. But the humor is definitely there. And that humor is very important to me in the series. When I set out to write it, I wanted a story that would be gripping and heartbreaking but still have attitude and funny moments that border on absurd. I have a twisted sense of humor, and the characters do too. I think mixing light and dark elements like that makes for a more realistic story and keeps readers on edge too—which I like. They might be laughing with the characters one moment, only to be shocked by some drastic turn of events in the next.
PV: Are you happy with how the film has turned out? Have you seen the final cut?
RM: I’m extremely happy with it, in all aspects. Both director Mark Waters and screenwriter Daniel Waters really understood the tone I was going for—that dark, action-packed story spliced with bits of humor—and managed to balance all those elements perfectly. I’m also really thrilled with the cast. Fans will particularly be pleased to know that almost every major scene in the book gets shown in some way.
PV: What would you say to critics who say the market is already ossified with vampires and the undead?
RM: I’d say people have been saying that for ages, and yet, vampires keep holding our fascination. Bram Stoker, Nosferatu, Bela Lugosi, Dark Shadows, Anne Rice, Buffy…it goes on and on. This recent spike in popularity is nothing new. The vampire mythos keeps evolving and discovering new takes on the material.
PV: What has been your role in the production of the movie? What’s it like seeing something you’ve imagined being played out in real life? Did you have any hand in the casting, or other parts of the film?
RM: My role has mostly been advisory, which I’m fine with (and which is pretty normal for authors in book-to-movie adaptations). I didn’t do any casting, screenwriting, etc. Movies and books are different mediums, and they require different mindsets. Director Mark Waters is a fan of the books and extremely respectful of the material. He wasn’t afraid to fact-check with me, and he would also ask if certain decisions of his might affect future books, which is a courtesy not many authors get.
PV: While the series is billed as YA novels, the story – about Rose Hathaway, dhampir (a child of a human and a vampire) who enters into an illicit affair with her instructor – is much less tame then, say, the storyline of the “Twilight “series, which has often been touted as teaching readers abstinence until marriage. Is that something that will be portrayed in the movies, as well as Lissa’s (Lucy Fry) self-mutilation?
Yes, both the illicit romance and self-mutilation are in there, and both are treated as serious subjects with consequences. It was never my intent to glamorize either of them, and I think writers shouldn’t be afraid to approach edgy topics, particularly when you’re examining all aspects of them.
PV: Fans are always anxious when a series they love comes to the big screen. Do you think your fans will be happy with the end product?
RM: I think most will be happy with it. It really is a true adaptation, and the movie-makers did a great job of keeping a lot of fan-favorite scenes in there, which are amazing to see on the big screen. Probably those who will be a little disappointed are fans whose favorite scenes were cut, but seeing as most of the original material was indeed left in there, I don’t think fans have too much to worry about.
Source: Page Views
Richelle Mead has been interviewed by The Young Folk to talk about the movie.
Richelle has been interviewed by Popsar and talks about the movie and the origin of Vampire Academy!
POPSUGAR: Lissa and Rose are such developed characters in the book; how involved were you in the casting process?
Richelle Mead: I wasn’t involved in the casting process at all, which is pretty typical, but I’m thrilled with the way casting was done. Director Mark Waters was a big fan of the books and he really gets it. They were not only very selective of each character as an individual, but also how the actors interacted with each other. They would stick these different Lissas and Roses in pairs to see how they interacted, and the results are great.
PS: Were you on set a lot, or did you kind of just let them do their thing?
RM: I visited once for a couple days. They filmed in London and I live in Seattle and have small children. I jumped over there for a quick weekend, but I got a lot out of it. It was incredible; there are so many moving parts to a movie. There are so many people working on it, and the crew was meticulously setting up everything, complete with library posters on the walls. They work long hours and have lots of takes.
PS: How does it feel for you watching all these people work on something that was originally your vision?
RM: It goes back and forth. For a second it’s totally normal, then all of a sudden you’re like “What’s going on?” It’s crazy. It was definitely reassuring to see all that dedication. It brought a whole new dimension for me as a creator. There was an emotional scene with Rose and Lissa, and it really struck me seeing it played out in front of my eyes in person. I thought, “Oh, this is why people love the books, and this is why I love them too.”
PS: How did you go about creating rules for the vampires? They’re slightly different than the vampires in other pop culture, like Twilight.
RM: The world is loosely based on a Romanian myth I found. It was a scrap of a thing that references these two families, the Moroi and the Strigoi, and damphirs I’d heard of before. I really like the idea of two kinds of vampires, the living and the dead kind. If you go back to the earliest roots of vampire myth, it’s always very dualistic. I just took the idea and built from it. I tried to imagine what it would look like if you were a living vampire who didn’t kill for your blood but you still needed blood and you were living in the US. What would your world look like?
PS: If you could describe each of the classes of vampire in one word . . .
RM: Strigoi are evil, Moroi are complex, and damphirs are balanced.
PS: After seeing the movie, what are you most proud of as a writer?
RM: The characters really translated well onto the screen. It’s always my biggest goal as a writer to make characters that, before you fall in love with them, you want to know everything that’s going to happen to them. That’s what hooks me as a reader. I put most of my work into the characters when I write, and I was so thrilled that the actors nailed it.
PS: What is the biggest change they made from the book to the movie?
RM: I can’t pinpoint one big one; it’s mostly a lot of little things throughout. They didn’t radically alter major plot points or change the ending. There is a handful of things where either they had to trim down a scene or if something didn’t play well visually, they may have enhanced it. One big thing that has thrown a few people off is that there are a few flashbacks and dream sequences that have been added on. When people see those in the trailers, they get confused and a little nervous because they think there’s been some radical plot alteration, but really it’s just something to help clarify the movie. This is a movie that you’re going to look at and know instantly what book it’s from. That’s not always the case with adaptations.
PS: Finally, what’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
RM: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love that. I watch it over and over.
Richelle Mead has been interviewed by Fangirlish and talks about the movie and MTV Movie Brawl!
There have been quite a few clips and stills that have been released. What has been the general feedback on social media and what do you think of them?
Richelle: I am a huge fan of everything that I have seen. I have read the script and I have seen an early cut of the movie. I have the big picture to look at. To me, it is very true to it and I think people are starting to feel that way the more they see actual footage from the movie. I think some of the advertising was confusing to some fans who didn’t quite understand the angle that they were going for – it looked like it had more humor than they were expecting. It was kind of an attempt to differentiate it from Twilight and some of the other supernatural works out there. Vampire Academy is a very funny book. It is also a very serious, heartbreaking book too. It does have its sense of humor, so they were really playing up that angle in the advertising. I think once fans have started to see these clips, especially in the last couple of weeks – there has just been tons of them and new trailers and all sorts of good stuff- I think they are seeing what I have been seeing for a long time. It really does capture that dark tone, the humor, the romance, the action. It’s a big balancing act both in the book and the movie and I really do feel like they got that. Daniel Waters, who wrote the script, understood what I was trying to do in the book. He captured that in his screenplay, I feel.
What scene are you most excited to see on the big screen?
Richelle: I am most excited about the ending. Endings are my favorite part to write of the book. It’s what everything is building towards – all the clues, all the mysteries. It’s when everything comes together for me as a writer. Then also, it goes extremely fast. I can slave over a book for weeks and then write an ending in a couple of days. I was super excited to see that on film. The draft that I have seen of it – I thought it was just really wonderful what they did. They got all the action, it follows all the main points that are in the book. They added a few things that don’t take away from anything, but make it look really neat on screen. I think fans are really going to enjoy that.
When you write, do you write the ending first?
Richelle: No, but it’s what I am always building towards. I am always thinking of it. It is what I am most excited about. I write very linearly. I know people who will jump around and then can piece it all together, but I am not one of them.
The MTV Movie brawl has been going on, and the power of the Vampire Academy fans. It’s knocked out some pretty heavy YA hitters. How does it feel to see all your fans come together to make sure that you are represented and you win?
Richelle: It is really incredible to see what they do. It’s exactly what you said, they have hit out some really big titles. I don’t think readers have the same understanding of these fandoms and readership as we do on the publishing side. We see sales numbers. We know who is big and who is not. Vampire Academy has a huge following, but it really is dwarfed by some of these other ones. Divergent is much bigger and The Fault in Our Stars is, as well. I really don’t even know if the readers understand what they have pulled off. It just blows my mind.
When I saw some of the people we were up against, I thought “oh my gosh, I know those numbers and there is no way.” And they still do it. They do it very honestly too. There have been some scandals with people using bots for some other movies to get votes. The VA Fans though, they are clicking each and every minute. It’s that pure love and passion that they are doing that with. I have said for ages I have the best fans for my books and it is true. The fact that they organize these worldwide things – voting marathons, pictures going around – it’s crazy. It’s so global. It’s humbling. It’s just incredible that they do this – that they form friendships with each other in different places, just for the sake of seeing this book that they love put up on this altar. It’s incredible.
Do you think after Bloodlines #6 comes out, will you exit the Vampire Academy world? Will you write a different series in it?
Richelle: That is the million dollar question. It is being tossed around now, because I am nearing the end of Bloodlines. Book five is almost put to bed and it is going to be time for six. It is hard, it is tricky. It’s a decision that is going to need to be made very soon. So all I can say is stay tuned. Definitely something I am still figuring out.
If you had a theme song that would describe the journey to getting the movie made, what would that be?
Richelle: I would say Eye of the Tiger. It’s been a lot of work. People have no idea what goes into making a movie. I still don’t. I have only scraped it based on what I see from people I have worked with in Hollywood. It’s a hugely complicated process. There are so many things that have to come together at just the right place at the right time. I have a huge respect for that business after what I have seen. It is very easy for people to go online and weigh in on what is good and what is bad, but it just blows my mind what it takes. It’s not just like go make a movie. It is hard, it is very hard. I just feel really lucky to have had such great people to work with on it. But definitely a long journey.
When your readers want to relax we read, but being as you are a writer, what do you do to relax? Do you read?
Richelle: I do read, but not as much as I used to. When I do read, it is not in my own genre. It is more relaxing for me to read in something else. Fantasy, historical. I don’t read about vampires for fun. Also to relax, I love reality TV. I think it’s because it is unscripted. Don’t get me wrong, I watch plenty of other shows that are scripted and have storylines, but I find myself analyzing them and thinking of plots and reveals and pacing. Reality TV is just such mind candy – there is no ulterior motives going on, there is no subplots, foreshadowing – it’s just there and it’s ridiculous. It gives my mind a break after a day of analyzing character motives in my own work.
Can I ask what your favorite reality show is?
Richelle: Probably Project Runway. It actually isn’t one of the most ridiculous ones out there. That’s actually a pretty smart show. But I do, I love Project Runway. I am also a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, which is slightly ridiculous at times. They are addictive. I like them a lot.
I know that you just had a baby, so fans are wondering are they going to be able to see you at the premiere?
Richelle: I am not coming to the premiere. He’s just too little to bring. I am just not comfortable bringing a baby on a germy airplane and also I couldn’t leave him, him being so young either. We’re just going to be staying in Seattle and we’ll hear about the premiere from people who get to go to it. Hopefully this will just be motivation for Frostbite to get made and then I can go to that premiere.
If you could say anything to your fans right now, what would you say?
Richelle: I would thank them for their support along the way, just with all of this. It’s amazing. I was touching on this earlier, but I feel so, so lucky to have people that love these books so much that they stand up for them and read them over and over. They write to me and I never have time to write back, but I read all the messages and it’s overwhelming that they have enough passion for these books and these things I create that they allow me to keep doing it. So I thank them and hope that they will stick with me for more books and they will give the movie a chance. I think it’s a lot of fun and I really love what I have seen of it.
Talking to Tearaway, a New Zealand-base site, Richelle Mead explains why she chose to write, gives her impression on the movie and why she wrote about vampires.
I definitely have to plan out my stories in advance! I know some writers who can do amazing things on the spot, with no plan at all, but I’m not one of them. If I try that, I get lost, so I like to make a really detailed road map for myself and plan out each chapter. Knowing how the book ends helps me do a better job with its beginning. This is true for entire series as well. When I’m working on the first book in a series, I almost always know how things will wrap up in the last book.
On why she chose vampires:
Before I wrote Vampire Academy, I’d already started two adult series, one about demons and one about fairies. I needed a new paranormal creature to work with for my teen series, and vampires fit the bill, especially after I’d studied Eastern European folklore at college. I’d learned some great Romanian vampire myths that I liked, so I decided to try working them into a series. At the time this was happening, vampires hadn’t hit their current phase of popularity, so I had no idea what I was getting into. It was very lucky timing.
On if she had other ideas for Vampire Academy story:
The big parts of the series’ storyline stayed the same. This goes back to planning things in advance. I knew what all my big moments would be throughout the series, and I held true to those. A lot of the little details and subplots were filled in along the way and had some fluctuation, but overall, the last book in the VA series ended the way I’d expected it would when I sat down to write the first book.
On what made her start to write:
I didn’t need encouragement, so much as self-discipline and life experience. I’d wanted to be a storyteller my entire life, even from childhood, but it took many years for me to be able to have that patience to sit down and finish a substantial book. I also can’t emphasise the importance of experience and living life. So much of what goes into a book are little things—emotions and insights you pick up by being out in the world. I wrote Vampire Academy when I was thirty and couldn’t have created the same book when I was twenty.
On if the characters are based on real people:
No, I think writing people you know into your books is a good way to lose friends! If they don’t like the way the story goes, things could get ugly really quickly. Certainly, things my friends and family have done have helped inspire character actions in my books, but I’ve been careful not to write anyone specifically in.
On what makes a good story keep going:
I think it all goes back to having a plan. If you write a book and already know it’s part of a larger story in a series, it’s easier to make sure each of those successive books plays an important role and isn’t just there to capitalise on the first book’s popularity. I can often tell when I read the later books in a series if the author had planned for the story to go in that direction, and those always come across stronger to me than series where an author pulled out the ending at the last minute.
On her favourite own book:
My favorite books are always the big game changers in my series and often fall in the middle: Shadow Kiss, The Fiery Heart, and Succubus Dreams especially come to mind. When I plan my series, I often use the first book or two to establish the world, and then the big drama when things really go awry for characters happens in the middle. I love that, being able to turn the world upside down. Unfortunately, those are often some of the most heartbreaking moments in the series, which can be hard on readers. I get a lot of love and hate from those middle books—often in the same email!
On why she chose to write about Sydney:
There were a couple motivations at play. One was I wanted to look at the Moroi world through fresh eyes. Rose, in the Vampire Academy series, has grown up in this vampiric world and thinks it’s totally normal. When she’s our narrator, she doesn’t think twice about feeders or nighttime schedules. Sydney, as a human, has an outsider’s perspective and a completely different attitude. I think it’s useful for the reader to see the Moroi from both sets of eyes, and it really expands the world. Another reason I wanted to use Sydney was to practice writing with a different style of narration. Rose is very much act first, think later—which can be a lot of fun. But it’s also fun to delve into Sydney’s head, where she’s such a careful thinker who analyses her every action. And while a kickass heroine like Rose is inspiring and amazing to follow, I think that a lot of my readers have to act like Sydney in the real world, using brains more than brawn. I wanted to show that there was more than one way to be strong and that it doesn’t always involve fists.
On what she wanted to do as a child:
I actually wanted to be a writer when I was that age, so my ten-year-old self would hopefully be pretty pleased! My second choice job then was to be a teacher, which is what I did before I became a full-time writer. So, I feel very lucky to have been able to have both jobs in my life. Both are the kind of careers where you’re always working on something new and have to come in with a creative approach. That really appeals to me, and I love the different options I have every day with being an author. That being said, there’s also a complex business side to being an author, and it takes a lot of discipline since you’re often working on a book publisher’s schedule. I don’t think my ten-year-old-self ever had any idea that part of the job was coming! It can make things difficult at times, but there’s no other career I’d rather have right now.
On the movie:
The movie’s been a lot of fun, and overall, I’m really pleased with it. My role has mostly been advisory, which is pretty normal for authors. I’m a book expert, and the movie people are movie experts, so I’m happy letting them do their jobs. It’s great that they do consult with me, though, and I’ve been asked questions about costumes or if certain changes will affect future books. Some authors never get asked that, so I’m super grateful they bring my opinion in. Books and movies are very different mediums, so changes are inevitable, but we’re pretty lucky in that most changes that have been made are small and are for the sake of time or to make something more interesting on the screen. All the main plot points are still there. And I can’t say enough about how wonderful the cast is. They look like their characters, but more importantly, they really understand their characters. In fact, some of them have the same personalities in real life! It’s been amazing watching them bring these roles to life and see how much they really love being part of the movie.
Check it out here: Tearaway
Daisy Masterman is an an Australian actress who played in commercials, school plays and is mostly known for playing Sydney Sage in the Bloodlines books trailers!
She was kind enough to give us an interview, thank you so much!
Tracey: How long have you been acting for? Is acting something that you have always wanted to do?
Daisy Masterman: I’ve been acting basically since I came out of the womb because as a child I was such a little drama queen. I dabbled in a lot of different things but it always sort of centred around the performing arts. When I was younger I would change my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up basically every week. I would be watching a television show or movie and want to do whatever job they had. So one day I would want to be a doctor, the next, a wedding planner, the next an advertising executive, etc. When finally I realised what I really wanted to do was be the actor that got to do all those different things.
Tracey: What was it that drew you to play the role of Sydney?
Daisy Masterman: Sydney is such a great character to play. I love her intelligence and how strong she is. I’ve said this before but I really admire how she goes against the grain and follows her own heart regardless to what she’s been taught or told. I think her anal-retentiveness is a also a really fun, quirky character trait, and it’s something I can relate to! Sydney’s not your typical heroine, she does things in her own unique way and I like how different she is to anything I’ve come across before.
Tracey: Had you been a fan of the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines books before taking on the role of Sydney?
Daisy Masterman: I hadn’t read any of the books before taking on the role but since playing Sydney I’ve read all of the Bloodlines series and absolutely love it. Before the trailers though I had no idea what a big community/fandom there was out there for the books so that was a big surprise to me.
Tracey: What’s it like working with our very own gorgeous Adrian Ivashkov….Nic Wheeler?
Daisy Masterman: Nic is great to work with and we have a lot of fun together on set. If you’ve seen some of the behind the scenes videos from the trailer filmings you’ll know what I’m talking about. On there you can see some of the stuff we get up to, and that’s only the stuff we get on camera! He definitely makes me laugh!
Tracey: What was your reaction when you read the ending of The Fiery Heart?
Daisy Masterman: Oh stop. I can’t even handle it. And I had to keep quiet about it for ages because no one else had read it yet!!! It’s torture waiting for the next book – Richelle is cruel!
Tracey: What do you hope for Sydney and Adrian in Silver Shadows?
Daisy Masterman: I don’t want to give away any spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read The Fiery Heart yet, but basically that they both kick some butt.
Tracey: For anyone out there wanting to become an Actor, what advice would you give them?
Daisy Masterman: Work hard, really hard. Seriously. It’s a tough industry to break and it’s not going to happen if you’re not putting in all that you have. Always keep learning, try to get as much experience under your belt as possible, and most importantly, be on time, and know your lines.
Tracey: How would you best describe Sydney? Do you feel that there are any similarities?
Daisy Masterman: We have a bunch of things in common but we also have a lot of differences. For one I don’t have a boyfriend that’s a vampire, I’m probably more addicted to tea than coffee, and I (unfortunately) don’t have magical witch powers. I think that I share her compulsion to want to overly organize things and also her need to be in control all the time, although hopefully I’m not quite as bossy and uptight as she is!
Tracey: How long does it take to film each Teaser Trailer? Or do you film it all at once?
Daisy Masterman: The trailers are filmed all at once, and this usually takes a couple of days. They’re long and tiring days but we manage to get a lot done and it’s always really fun. After that it goes into post-production, this is a really difficult part that takes a long time because of all the editing that has to be done to put together each individual trailer clip. We don’t film the scenes or trailers in order so this chopping and changing business is done later, and then it gets released for you guys to see And me too. Because I don’t see it until you all do!
Tracey: Depuis combien de temps êtes-vous comédienne ? Avez-vous toujours voulu être comédienne ?
Daisy Masterman: Je joue la comédie depuis que je suis née car enfant, j’en faisais des tonnes. J’ai essayé différentes choses mais cela a toujours tourné autour de la comédie. Quand j’étais plus jeune, je changeais d’avis sur ce que je voulais faire plus tard quasiment toutes les semaines. Je regardais une série ou un film et je voulais faire le travail qu’ils avaient. Un jour, je voulais être docteur, le lendemain, une organisatrice de mariage, le surlendemain, une publicitaire… Jusqu’à ce que je comprenne que je souhaitais devenir une actrice qui ferait toutes ces choses différentes.
Tracey: Qu’est-ce qui vous a attiré dans le rôle de Sydney ?
Daisy Masterman: Il est tellement chouette de jouer un personnage comme Sydney. J’aime son intelligence et sa force. Je l’ai déjà dit mais j’admire vraiment qu’elle aille à contre-courant et qu’elle suive son cœur, peu importe ce qu’on lui a enseigné ou dit. Je pense que sa maniaquerie est un trait de caractère bizarre et marrant, je peux m’y identifier ! Sydney n’est pas une héroïne typique, elle fait les choses à sa manière et j’aime le fait qu’elle soit différente de tout ce que j’ai pu voir auparavant.
Tracey: Etiez-vous fan des séries Vampire Academy et Bloodlines avant de jouer Sydney ?
Daisy Masterman: Je n’avais lu aucun des livres avant de passer le casting mais depuis, j’ai lu toute la série Bloodlines et j’adore. Avant de jouer dans les trailers, je ne savais pas à quel point il y avait une telle communauté de fans derrière, cela a donc été une grande surprise.
Tracey: Ça fait quoi de travailler avec notre magnifique Adrian Ivashkov…Nic Wheeler ?
Daisy Masterman: C’est chouette de travailler avec Nic, on s’amuse beaucoup sur le plateau. Si vous avez regardé quelques vidéos des coulisses lors du tournage des trailers, vous savez de quoi je parle. Vous pouvez y voir ce qu’on fait, et c’est seulement ce qu’on enregistre ! Il me fait vraiment rire !
Tracey: Quelle a été votre réaction à la lecture de la fin de The Fiery Heart ?
Daisy Masterman: Arrête. Je ne peux pas le supporter. Et j’ai dû me taire pendant longtemps car personne ne l’avait encore lu ! C’est une vraie torture d’attendre le prochain livre, Richelle est cruelle.
Tracey: Qu’espérez-vous pour Adrian et Sydney dans Silver Shadows ?
Daisy Masterman: Je ne veux pas spoiler pour ceux qui n’ont pas encore lu The Fiery Heart, mais j’espère qu’ils vont vraiment se battre.
Tracey: Pour ceux qui souhaitent devenir acteur, quels conseils leur donneriez-vous ?
Daisy Masterman: Travaillez dur, très dur. C’est sérieux. Le milieu est difficile et rien ne se passera si vous ne donnez pas le meilleur de vous-même. Continuez à apprendre, essayez d’avoir le plus d’expérience possible, et par-dessus tout, soyez à l’heure et connaissez votre texte.
Tracey: Comment décririez-vous Sydney ? Avez-vous des points communs ?
Daisy Masterman: On a certaines choses en commun mais aussi beaucoup de différences. Pour commencer, je n’ai pas un petit ami vampire, je suis probablement plus addict au thé qu’au café, et malheureusement, je n’ai pas de pouvoirs magiques. Je pense partager son obsession pour organiser au maximum les choses et le besoin d’avoir toujours le contrôle sur tout, même si j’espère ne pas être aussi autoritaire et coincée qu’elle.
Tracey: Combien de temps faut-il pour filmer chaque teaser trailer ? Ou les filmez-vous tous en même temps ?
Daisy Masterman: On les filme tous en même temps, et ça prend en général deux-trois jours. Ce sont des journées longues et fatigantes, mais on parvient à faire beaucoup de choses et c’est toujours amusant. Le tout part ensuite en post-production, c’est une étape difficile qui prend beaucoup de temps car il faut tout éditer et mettre ensemble chaque clip du trailer. On ne filme pas toutes les scènes ou les trailers dans l’ordre donc le coupage et la mise en commun se fait plus tard, et ensuite, on le met en ligne pour vous et pour moi aussi. Je ne le vois pas avant vous !
Photo: Daisy Masterman Facebook Page: Here
Interview: Tracey Hollington
On Facebook: Daisy Masterman
On Twitter: @DaisyMasterman
On Instagram: Daisy Masterman
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