Andrea Cremer Interview

Aug 10, 2010
I am pleased to have had the opportunity to interview author Andrea Cremer. She wrote the wonderful upcoming novel Nightshade. Here is the summary of Nightshade:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Coming October 19, 2010 
1. A book's cover really makes or breaks my interest (sad I know) and your cover is just... brilliant! How involved were you in the production of the cover?
Writers generally have little to say about their covers and just keep their fingers crossed that they don't hate it. That absolutely WASN'T my experience. My editor called me very early on to tell me what they were envisioning. When they asked Suza Scalora to photograph the cover I was thrilled. She is incredibly talented and a lovely human being (I got to meet her when she was on her own book tour in Minneapolis). At each stage in the process they sent updates and asked for my input. Being included in the process was fun and wonderful, but Penguin had a phenomenal vision from the start and I pretty much just kept saying "that's fantastic!" along the way.

2. What do the cycles of the moon in the book symbolize?
I can’t give away too much about this as it would be a spoiler for readers – but it’s tied into a significant event in the story called Blood Moon; it’s also a metaphor for the process of Calla uncovering secrets that build to the climax of the story; much like the waxing of the moon.

3. Did you have to do any research for the book?
Calla started it all because I wanted to write a story about a female character who wasn’t being pulled into a magical world – she was already in the middle of it, a leader and a warrior. The world of Nightshade came as I tried to figure out how someone like Calla, a girl who I knew was incredibly powerful, could be afraid and angry. What was controlling her? Why would she be fighting against her own destiny? I realized that she was facing off with something even more powerful than herself. That’s where my background as a historian came in. I teach early modern history (1500-1800) – a period of immense, violent change in human societies. This is the time of witchhunts, religious warfare, colonization, the Inquistion; all types of cataclysmic social transformation that turned the lives across the globe upside down. The more I thought about Calla I thought about the ways in which wolf warriors and witches could have intertwined lives.  The mythology in Nightshade is a blend of history and lore plus new twists I imagined along the way.

4. Alright, what about vampires? Any sign of them in your future books?
While I adhere to the phrase ‘never say never,’ I’m doubtful that I’ll write about vampire. I love reading about vampires and love vampire-centered films and television shows, but as yet I haven’t been inspired to write about them. I have lots of ideas for future books I’m excited about but within those books there is nary a vampire in sight.

5. Who/what was your inspiration for this book?
Nightshade is Calla's story and she was the inspiration for the book. I tend to write from characters and Calla was floating around in my head for a week or two before I started putting her story onto the page. I knew she was a girl who was also a wolf. I knew she was strong, but also in serious trouble. I couldn't figure out how someone so powerful could be in that sort of a fix. That's where Nightshade's world emerged, it was all about building a history and society that explained Calla's predicament

6. It seems that everywhere you look books about vampires, faeries, and werewolves are coming out. What makes Nightshade different?
A few things. First – there’s Calla. She’s a forceful and dynamic heroine who takes control rather than watching the world pass her by. Second – the world of Nightshade is a unique take on history, wolves, and witchcraft; it’s not what you’ll usually find in terms of werewolf tales. Third – Nightshade is told from Calla’s point of view, but it’s the story of her whole pack. Readers who’ve contacted me tend to comment on how much they loved the stories and lives of the supporting characters – they aren’t sidekicks, what happens to them is just as important as what happens to Calla.

Here are a few quick questions:

7. Favorite YA author of the moment?
Oh that’s so hard because I think there are so many wonderful authors writing in this field at the moment. If I had I pick one I’d say Libba Bray – not only because she is an amazing writer, but I’ve met her and she is an inspiring, wonderful, and hilarious person.

8. Favorite quote in Nightshade?
“Don’t ever, ever try to pet a wolf. It’s just insulting.”

9. Hardest part of being a published author?

Balancing writing, work, and the rest of my life.

10. Is there anything else about you or Nightshade that you think readers should know?
I’m just so excited for the book to be on shelves this October; thanks so much for sharing Calla’s journey with me!

Thank you Andrea for taking the time to answer my questions! Don't forget to pre-order your copy of Nightshade today and look out for my review of Nightshade in a couple of weeks!


  1. I'm late for hopping...

    But I'm glad I'm late! What a great interview and I already have the book on my TBR list. I can't wait for it to come out.

    I love the quote. :)


  2. EEk! I can't wait to start NightShade...YAy for the Penguin 5!


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