Comic Con not only brings out great artists and comic book writers, but at NYCC you can also find some amazing fiction authors as well. This year RT's Morgan had the pleasure of speaking with Patricia Briggs, whose work spans from urban to medieval fantasy. Want to know more about Patricia's writing process and also get a sneak peek at what's happening with fan favorite character Mercy Thompson? Check out the interview below.
Morgan Doremus: Different authors bring different skills to their writing. I think, first and foremost, you are known as a storyteller. Someone who can really make her stories come to life.
Patricia Briggs: I am a reader first, so I write books that I would like to read. I always want my stories to feel real and since I am writing urban fantasy, this means I have to create a tension between the real world and the supernatural world. If the real world is very realistic, then it just makes the supernatural parts all the more plausible.
Morgan: Your stories have lots of fantastical elements including supernatural creatures like shapeshifters, vampires and ghosts ... These are all hallmarks of paranormal fiction, yet you firmly place your writing in the urban fantasy category.
Patricia: Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are kissing cousins. Urban fantasy is all about turning on the magic, where paranormal romance definitely focuses more on the relationship between two main characters. When that romance is drawn out it can get a little crazy — like a soap opera. The “I loved him, now I don’t” situation can make it hard to write charismatic characters, at least for me. I come more from the fantasy tradition where love lasts forever.
Morgan: Your most famous character, Mercy Thompson, has definitely found her one true love with Adam, but it was not always smooth sailing. Can you tell us a little bit about their relationship and how it grew and developed?
Patricia: I’m so lucky that everyday I get to play with my imaginary friends. Mercy was a complete three-dimensional character that just came to me. She has a strong, opinionated voice. And even through all of her books, while she has grown and changed, at her core she stays the same. Now she is married to Adam, who is dominant, but then, so is she. Neither steamrolls the other. They can still be who they are. I never want to take their relationship for granted. Ultimately, these stories are about two people that have different opinions and that’s where the tension comes from.
Morgan: Your other urban fantasy heroine is Anna from your Alpha and Omega series. How are Mercy and Anna the same and how are they different?
Patricia: Let me put it this way, if Mercy and Anna both walked into a room, it would be Mercy that would get noticed first and you might not even know Anna was there. Mercy is half Native American and has the coloring. She is tough with muscles. Anna has Irish coloring and freckles. She is has the “anti-superpower” of calming down everyone around her. She is incredibly sympathetic and would be the first person you would go to if you were having problems. Mercy is not calm. At all.
Morgan: You have said you are not a short story writer, but success with recent anthologies, including this month’s “In Red, With Pearls” from Down These Strange Streets tells a different story. Care to revise your statement?
Patricia: Writing short stories are still harder for me to write than novels. In fact, some short stories actually take more time to write than my novels, but I am going to have more short stories from the Mercy-verse. These will be told in the first person from other characters POVs.
Morgan: Anything else you can say about what will happen next in your Mercy Thompson series?
Patricia: There are going to be some real rule changes in book seven. Mercy is going to Boston where she will encounter serial killers, fey and be reunited with some people from her past.
For another NY Comic Con 2011 author interview, check out our one-on-one with Marjorie M. Liu. For more genre news and coverage, you can always head over to our Everything Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Page!