Note: STARLIGHT, the New Prophecy, is #2 on the New York Time’s children’s bestseller list as of 4/13/06.
The series, WARRIORS, is the work of author Erin Hunter, who is actually the nom-de-plume of two writers, Cherith Baldry and Kate Cary, and the brainchild of Victoria Holmes, editor for Working Partners LTD. With 10 books in the series and more titles on the way, the cat-clan craze is sweeping the ’tween set.
Kathleen and Therese chatted with Cherith, Kate, and Vicky about writing for children and why this series has resonated so deeply with their readers.
This post has recently been updated so that parts 1 and 2 can be read together here.
Q: Our school-age daughters are crazy about your WARRIORS series, and they were both surprised that Erin Hunter is actually two people! How did you both come together as writing partners? Can you talk a little bit about how your process works and how you work to make two voices into one?
CHERITH: Kate and I aren’t writing partners in the sense that we collaborate. We each write individual books within the same series. We were both brought into Warriors by our UK editor, Vicky, who had the original idea. Now we discuss the storylines with Vicky and she makes sure that what we write is consistent.
KATE: It is Vicky, our editor, who brought us to the project – she is the “hub” of Warriors. Cherith and I have never met! I suspect we were chosen for the project because we both instinctively had the right voice, so it comes to us both quite naturally. We take it in turns with the writing – for the first series, I wrote Into the Wild and Fire and Ice, then Cherith took over for the third book, I did the fourth, and Cherith did books 5 and 6. Vicky works hard to keep continuity – there’s a big cast list and it changes and grows all the time! Cherith probably has her favourite characters, just as I do. Sometimes it’s hard to put a character into someone else’s hands; but I trust Cherith to retain the essence of characters I’ve created (like Yellowfang and Graystripe) and I hope I nurture the cats Cherith has created (such as Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw). Fortunately we have Vicky at the centre of it all to keep an eye all the cats and make sure they don’t stray from their original nature.
Q: Vicky, did you think it was risky, bringing two authors together to work under one name? [Read more…]