On May 12, 2007, members of Wands and Worlds had the privilege of chatting with the three people behind the Warriors series: editor and series creator Vicky Holmes, and authors Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry, who write under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. This transcript was edited to remove a lot of extra chatter. It was also rearranged so that if more than one author answered the same question, their answers appear together. Keep in mind that in general they didn't have a chance to see each others' answers before giving their own, so in some cases answers overlap.
On the characters
Question: Are there gonna be any kits from Millie and Graystripe? Answer: KateCary: Ooh, I don't know - but I hope so - they'd be fab! CherithBaldry: As far as I know that hasn't been decided. VickyHolmes: Oh yes indeedy. And they're going to have the cutest names in the world! Outcome: True, Blossomkit, Bumblekit, and Briarkit were born in Eclipse.
Question: Was Leafpool's name a reference to Spottedleaf? Answer: CherithBaldry: Yes. You'll find out more about this in Firestar's Quest. Outcome: Unsure. It is mentioned that Leafkit was in reference to Leafstar, the leader of SkyClan and "possibly Spottedleaf".
Question: Is Larchkit a boy or girl? Answer: CherithBaldry: A boy, as I recall. Outcome: False; Larchkit is revealed to be a she-cat.
Question: What is the deal with Cinderpaw? Is she really Cinderpelt? Is she going to go through the same accident as Cinderpelt? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, she is Cinderpelt, though she's also very much her own cat, with her own opinions and experiences. When Cinderpelt Mark One died, StarClan decided to give her a second chance at being a warrior, because even though she was a brilliant medicine cat, her true destiny was to fight for her Clan and maybe even have kits. Trust me, I thought long and hard before deciding to bring Cinderpelt back. I know it hasn't been a popular decision with everyone! Outcome: True; Cinderpaw is indeed a reincarnation of Cinderpelt.
Question: It doesn't seem like Bluestar and Oakheart liked each other very much in StarClan. Also, did Sasha and Goldenflower really truly love Tigerstar? Same goes for him. Answer: VickyHolmes: I think Bluestar and Oakheart fell out of love, especially when Bluestar gave up their kits. Yes, I think Sasha and Goldenflower both loved Tigerstar - without knowing what he was truly like.
Question: Why was Jaypaw born blind? Did he have an infection or was it just a genetic flop? Answer: VickyHolmes: It's genetic. Unlike Longtail - for a full account of how he lost his sight, poor chap, make sure you read Firestar's Quest! Outcome: True; Jayfeather was genetically blind.
Question: How is it that Jaypaw can see in dreams? Answer: KateCary: He has special gifts and this is one of them... CherithBaldry: It is his gift. VickyHolmes: It's a power that is unique to him, and is closely tied up with the prophecy about the Power of Three. I'm not sure we'll ever explain exactly why he has sleep-sight. It's just such a cool device to use in the stories!
Question: Was Cinderpelt in love with Firestar? Answer: CherithBaldry: Yes, which is why she found it hard to be sympathetic to Leafpool when Leafpool wanted to be with Crowfeather. VickyHolmes: Yup! But she was so brave about accepting her changed destiny, that she had to be a medicine cat instead of a warrior, that she didn't make a fuss about not being able to have a mate and just got on with being a good and loyal medicine cat. Leafpool could have learned a lot from her if she'd known about Cinderpelt's unrequited love!
Question: How did Longtail become blind? Answer: CherithBaldry: A rabbit he was chasing turned on him and scratched his eyes, and then the wounds got infected. Outcome: True, a rabbit scratched his eyes and they became infected, when he was on a patrol in Firestar's Quest.
Question: Why did Snowkit have to die? Answer: VickyHolmes: Well, he didn't have to, but I wanted Speckletail to move to the elders' den and I thought losing her kit would give her the extra nudge. Harsh, but true.
Question: Does Crowfeather really love Nightcloud or does he still love Leafpool? Answer: CherithBaldry: I think he loves Nightcloud but Leafpool will always be most special to him. Outcome: True: In Crowfeather's Trial, it is shown that Crowfeather loves Nightcloud as a clanmate and nothing more, but Leafpool will always be most special to him.
Question: All: Why did Crowfeather take another mate? Does he really love Nightcloud that much? Answer: KateCary: I think he thought it was the honourable thing to do - to take a mate from his own Clan, and I'm sure he loves her, but maybe not as much as Leafpool who was his first love... VickyHolmes: When Crowfeather went back to WindClan after trying, and failing, to run away with Leafpool, he was faced with a huge amount of mistrust and hostility from his Clanmates, who were afraid he would always be thinking about a certain ThunderClan cat. So Crowfeather decided to take a mate from his own Clan to prove his loyalty. He likes Nightcloud and admires her mothering abilities, but his heart will always belong to Leafpool, I think. Feathertail is important to him too, but she was his first love, kind of like a high school crush, whereas he could have been happy forever with Leafpool. Sigh. Question: Who is Tawnypelt's mate? Will we meet him in Dark River? Answer: CherithBaldry: I can't remember if I've ever been told this. KateCary: I've totally forgotten his name - but you'll find out in Dark River. VickyHolmes: Rowanclaw. I thought he deserved a starring role since the poor chap changed gender from Book One! Outcome: True.
Question: If Tigerstar had nine lives, did he lose all of them at once because StarClan *couldn't* heal him, or because they didn't *want* to? Answer: CherithBaldry: Because the wound Scourge gave him was just too severe.
Question: Why did StarClan give Tigerstar nine lives if they knew he was evil? Answer: CherithBaldry: Because he was the cat chosen as leader. StarClan don't comment on a cat's morals. Remember Brokentail. He kept the remains of his nine lives even though ShadowClan banished him.
Question: Why did Smokepaw stay in the allegiances when he died in Dawn? And why is he now Smokefoot? Answer: KateCary: Oops. Sounds like it might be another mistake....? VickyHolmes: This is all my fault. And the reason is because sometimes I get confused with all these darn cats and mistakes happen! CherithBaldry: Another one of those deliberate mistakes to keep you on your toes!
Question: Uh, whatever did happen to Applekit, Toadkit, and Marshkit? Tallpoppy's kits The name Applekit was so cute! And Toadkit and Marshkit were beginning to grow on me. Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh I expect they're still around. They just haven't appeared in any stories recently. You're right, they were VERY cute! Outcome: True, Applekit reappears in the allegiances of The Fourth Apprentice as a warrior, named Applefur. Toadkit also reappears in "The Fourth Apprentice" as Toadfoot.
Question: In book five, Runningnose had a vision that ShadowClan would have a glorious new future. Has that been fulfilled yet? Answer: CherithBaldry: The prophecy was sort of fulfilled when Tigerstar became their leader, but I think he then spoiled it by bringing in BloodClan and wanting to take over the forest.
Question: Did any cats other than Whitestorm die in the batlte with BloodClan? Answer: CherithBaldry: Not from ThunderClan. Darkstripe and Bone died.
Question: Is Scourge in the Dark Forest? Answer: VickyHolmes: Nope, because he doesn't believe in StarClan, and therefore has no concept of any sort of after life. His greatest strength (not being confined by a moral code) truly was his greatest weakness...
Cats outside of the Clans
Question: Will Ravenpaw ever get to be a Warrior? Answer: CherithBaldry: I don't think so. The warrior code isn't right for every cat, and Ravenpaw is none the worse for that. VickyHolmes: Nope. He's much, much happier leading an independent life in the well-stocked barn with Barley. Life in a Clan never suited him. And I must confess it wouldn't have suited me, either.
Question: Who would be leader when Stoneteller died? Answer: VickyHolmes: I think Crag would be. Outcome: True, Crag becomes the next Teller of Pointed Stones.
Question: When you guys finish with Warriors, will you start another animal fantasy series? Answer: VickyHolmes: I'm currently working on the second book in a six-book series about North American Bears, called Seekers. The first book will launch next summer (2008) Outcome: True.
Question: Will Ravenpaw ever come to the new land or play a role in the new arcs? Answer: CherithBaldry: I think we'll be seeing Ravenpaw again, but I won't go into detail. VickyHolmes: Much as I love Ravenpaw and miss him in storylines, he's so happy and settled in the barn with Barley that I can't make him trek all the way to the lake with any degree of conviction. But I'll mention him whenever I get the chance, I promise! Look out for him being super-helpful in the third Manga book... Outcome: True; Ravenpaw and Barley point Graystripe the way back to ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan and ShadowClan by the lake.
Question: What is the official name of the 2nd book of the Power of Three, "The Curse" or Dark River? Answer: VickyHolmes: Dark River. I have no idea where "The Curse" came from! Outcome: True.
Question: Why did Stormfur and Brook leave Tribe of Rushing Water after deciding to stay? Answer: KateCary: You will find out...eventually :) VickyHolmes: You'll find out in Book Three (Outcast). Thanks for being patient, I always intended to leave it a while before we found out because I wanted Stormfur and Brook to get very settled into ThunderClan's life before there was any question of them going back.
Question: How many Warriors books do you think there are going to be? Answer: VickyHolmes: Well, there's the next five in Power of Three, then another arc of six, plus Secrets of the Clans and Firestar's Quest. Next year there's going to be a special full-color illustrated book called Cats of the Clans - you heard it here first! Plus there'll be at least two more special editions, like Firestar's Quest, dealing with stories outside the main arcs.
Question: Is it true that Firestar's Quest is going to be huge with crinkly gold stuff on the cover? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, it's going to be huge and purest gold, but it's not crinkly. The expression "gold foil" for a book cover means shiny gold card. Outcome: True.
Question: When will Dark River come out? Answer: VickyHolmes: October, I think. Because that's when I'm coming back to the States, yay! Outcome: False.
Question: Will there be a female villain someday? Answer: KateCary: I hope so! CherithBaldry: I wouldn't be at all surprised! VickyHolmes: Without doubt! Outcome: True, Mapleshade appears as a villain.
Question: All: Will there be more about TigerClan/LionClan/LeopardClan? Answer: CherithBaldry: Not as far as I know. VickyHolmes: Yes, in Secrets of the Clans. You need to understand that there weren't really lions and tigers and leopards (I wanted to say, "bears, oh my!" there!) living in the forest many moons ago. These are just myths that the cats have made up to amuse kits over the seasons. However, more about the original cat Clans will be revealed in Secrets too! So many good things...
Question: All: What do you think of the idea of a prequel arc? It could be about how Tigerclaw became evil, and we could see stuff about younger Bluestar and Oakheart and Thistleclaw... Answer: CherithBaldry: It would be Vicky's decision, but it would be difficult to create a arc about the lives of these characters when they were younger, because we know what happened to them. VickyHolmes: There will almost certainly be a special edition (like Firestar's Quest, out in August, don't forget!) about Bluestar because I'm so fascinated by the story of her giving up her kits. She's a complex character and I want to follow her life from her viewpoint, possibly all the way up to her death. Outcome: True, Bluestar's Prophecy.
Question: Who is that strange cat that talks to Firestar in his dreams? Answer: KateCary: I think the answer to that is revealed in Firestar's Quest - Cherith and Vicky will know better than me CherithBaldry: The one who made the prophecy about the three? You'll meet him in Firestar's Quest. VickyHolmes: Read Firestar's Quest, all will be revealed! Outcome: True, Firestar meets Skywatcher in Firestar's Quest.
Question: Firestar will die in the fourth arc? Answer: VickyHolmes: Well, no cats live forever, and there won't be any more arcs after the fourth one (at least, I don't think there will be). But he might die sooner than that! Outcome: Yes. Firestar dies in The Last Hope. And there is a fifth arc, Dawn of The Clans.
Question: What would the fourth Warriors series be about or called? Answer: VickyHolmes: Gosh, we're not even halfway through Power of Three yet! But I have to confess that I DO know what the 4th arc will be about, and it will be about ThunderClan like the others. These are the cats I know most about, and it would be hard to change perspective for a main series. That's why I'm excited about extra books like the manga and Secrets of the Clans, because it gives us a chance to explore other points of view. For example, did you ever wonder how StarClan felt when Bluestar (Bluefur as she was then) gave up her own children for the sake of her career? You'll find out in Secrets! Outcome: No, not only about ThunderClan but about the Clans (StarClan included) and their battle against the Place of No Stars (The Dark Forest)
Question: Does the place where Tigerstar and Darkstripe live have a real name other then "The Dark Forest"? Answer: VickyHolmes: It's called The Place of No Stars.
Question: Do StarClan cats age? Answer: KateCary: I don't believe they do - what would they be aging towards? they've already died. It'd would be cruel for them to just get more and more crumbly CherithBaldry: No. Mostly a cat appears in StarClan the age they were when they died, except that old or sick cats have their strength restored.
Question: Are whitecough and greencough real sicknesses? if so, what would twolegs call them? Answer: VickyHolmes: In human terms, they are like a regular cough (whitecough), and a very severe infection like pneumonia, which is extremely dangerous to very old, very young, or nursing cats.
Question: Is there a leader of StarClan, or someone that the StarClan warriors always look up to for an answer? (Bluestar?) Answer: CherithBaldry: Originally there was, but this is one idea that got dropped. KateCary: I think there are too many big personalities in StarClan for any one cat to be leader. And I think they have enough wisdom to know that listening is just as important as talking VickyHolmes: No, there isn't. The reason Bluestar seems to be the leader is because she is the cat who most commonly appears to our central characters. However, that's because she is a recent influential ThunderClan cats. Different Clan cats appear to the other Clans, and might seem like StarClan's "leader" to them. StarClan doesn't have any hierarchy as such, except that cats stay as they are when they die, so kits stay as kits, etc. That means leaders will probably have the most to say, with the most authority!
Question: The books say there are footprints of cats around the moonpool. Does that mean that other cats used to live around the lake, and if so, where are they now? Answer: KateCary: The cats who left their paw-prints are from ancient times, long gone now CherithBaldry: Yes, there used to be other cats there. Who knows where they went? Outcome: True; It is mentioned in The Sun Trail that the group of cats left due to twolegs constructing nearby, and they were afraid of being eradicated or loose too much territory.
Question: What happens if other animals drink out of the Moonpool, do they see Starclan? Answer: CherithBaldry: I doubt it. Not even all cats see them. VickyHolmes: That made me laugh out loud! Lots of very confused sheep wandering around, going, "There are glittery cats talking to me..." I think the answer is no.
Question: Will Starclan and The Tribe of Endless Hunting ever meet? Answer: CherithBaldry: No, they walk in different skies. Though who knows, there might be a way of getting round that... VickyHolmes: No, because they walk different skies. Outcome: False, as the Tribe of Endless Hunting and StarClan meet in The Last Hope.
Question: Vicky, in a previous chat, you said Starclan cats could not be reincarnated(well, the word used was "reborn"), but you're hinting that Cinderpelt was. Did you change your mind? Answer: VickyHolmes: Did I say that? Well, I guess it's still true because Cinderpelt never made it to StarClan! She skipped straight into a newborn kit. Once a cat makes it to StarClan, they have to stay there, I'm afraid.
Question: How much time has passed in all the books? Answer: VickyHolmes: About five years in total - I counted it up before I went on tour so I knew how old Firestar was in case anyone asked. And someone did!
Question: Have you already decided on warrior names for all the current apprentices, or are you open to ideas? Answer: VickyHolmes: They all have names!
Question: If there was a warriors movie, would it be in anime, or computer animation? Answer: VickyHolmes: I suspect computer animation because those are the sort of companies we'd be most willing to move forward with on a movie script. But who knows? For once, this is something in Warriors that I don't control!
Question: Have there been any offers made by companies about making a warriors movie? Answer: VickyHolmes: Lots of offers, but none by one of the really big companies, and we're holding out for the best Warriors movie possible! Don't give up hope, but don't waste too much time speculating because I promise you'll be the first to hear when we have some real news about this.
Question: Is Goldenflower Ravenpaw's mother? She seems quite concerned about him in Into The Wild when he is injured. Answer: CherithBaldry: I don't think we ever said so. Goldenflower was a kind cat who would be concerned for any injured Clanmate. VickyHolmes: I'm not sure, to be honest. When I worked on Into the Wild, it was only intended to be a single book so I didn't think too hard about how the cats were related to each other! But it would be fabulous if Goldenflower was Ravenpaw's mom because then Brambleclaw would be his half-brother!
Question: What’s your favorite color? Answer: CherithBaldry: Blue-green.
Question: What is your favorite shipping (aka: who is your favorite couple) from any of the books/series? Answer: CherithBaldry: Leafpool/Crowfeather, because they love each other so much, but it's clear there's no way it'll ever Leafpool/Crowfeather, as I said a while back. And all through NP I was rooting for Brambleclaw/Squirrelflight. I was really glad to see Dustpelt with Ferncloud, too, after he was disappointed over Sandstorm. I don't think Dustpelt and Sandstorm could ever have made a go of it - they'd have clawed each other to bits! KateCary: Leafpool and Crowfeather - it's a shame that it never worked out (I also love Firestar and Sandstorm getting together - Firestar needed someone feisty) VickyHolmes: Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight because they fight so much! Happy, peaceful relationships are no fun to write about because nothing happens! I'm sure we're all very happy for Dustpelt and Ferncloud, and Sorreltail and Brackenfur, but let's face it, there's much more drama around difficult pairings like Leafpool and Crowfeather, or even Cloudtail and Brightheart (when Daisy appears on the scene). I also like Firestar and Sandstorm because their relationship is a lot more complex than we realize, thanks to Spottedleaf not leaving Firestar alone! You'll find out more about this in Firestar's Quest.
Question: Hey Kate, Who is your favorite cat? Answer: KateCary: Yellowfang was always my favorite, and Graystripe, but now I love Jaypaw - he's a great character, but I think Lionpaw is going to steal my heart in the end.
Question: Who's your favorite character in the books? Answer: CherithBaldry: Leafpool, though I love Brambleclaw too (he's my cat) and I have a soft spot for Dustpelt.
Question: What was your favorite book to write? Answer: KateCary: Dark River (the next PO3 book) - definitely.
Question: Who wrote Firestar's Quest? Answer: VickyHolmes: Cherith.
Question: Who is your favorite of the three kits of Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight, and why? Answer: CherithBaldry: Lionpaw, because he is so desperate to be a loyal ThunderClan cat, and he doesn;t understand what he's getting into. KateCary: Jaypaw is the most fun to write - but I have a soft spot for Lionpaw. He seems the noblest of the three so far... VickyHolmes: I love them all, especially the one who is going to be EEEVVVIIILLLL....
Question: What do you think Ravenpaw's warrior name would've been? Answer: CherithBaldry: I've no idea, though I think Ravenwing would be good.
Question: What is your favorite warrior name? Answer: CherithBaldry: Ooh, difficult one. Brightheart, maybe, because it's so good at describing what she is. KateCary: Birchfall.
Question: Whose perspective was it most fun to write from? Answer: CherithBaldry: I enjoyed Squirrelflight because she's so feisty and can be annoying. I also liked writing Leafpool's point of view, because I felt so close to her.
Question: About how many hours a day (normally) do you sit down and write? Answer: KateCary: I normally write while my son's at school - so about 6 hours a day (though to be honest - and don't tell Vicky - I spend a couple of hours faffing about. CherithBaldry: Normally about six. It might be more if I have a tight deadline.
Question: Who is your favorite villain who has appeared in Warriors so far? Answer: KateCary: Tigerstar of course - he was utterly fab and I'm glad he's back to haunt our new characters in the PO3 CherithBaldry: I enjoyed writing Hawkfrost.
Question: How long does it take you to fully edit each manuscript, approximately? Answer: VickyHolmes: It takes me about a month, often more, to come up with story lines, though I know roughly what's going to happen in every book before I start Book One of a new arc. It takes about a week to go through a first draft, and maybe a little longer for a second draft. Third drafts are much speedier because we're only ironing out tiny wrinkles by then.
Question: Who was your favorite/least favorite cat to kill? Answer: CherithBaldry: I really didn't want to kill Feathertail. But it makes an awesome ending to the book. The one I was glad to see the back of was Darkstripe. He was the pits. KateCary: Yellowfang - that just about broke my heart (it was ALL Vicky's fault!). VickyHolmes: Tigerstar's death was AWESOME (thanks to Cherith!). And Bluestar was soooo ready to die, after losing her sanity and gaining it again for one last heroic action. I was sad that Feathertail had to die, but I'll let you into a secret: her relationship with Crowfeather wouldn't have worked out. She was too old for him, and he wouldn't have had a chance to develop his own personality.
Question: Which cat from ThunderClan would you be married to? Answer: CherithBaldry: Brambleclaw. KateCary: Graystripe (sorry Millie).
Question: Who is writing which books in the Power of Three arc? Answer: CherithBaldry: Kate has written 1 & 2, I will be writing 3. After that I'm not sure.
Question: What Clan would you choose? Answer: CherithBaldry: It would have to be ThunderClan! KateCary: RiverClan - I love the fact that they can swim.
- Part 1 of the transcript at Wands and World
- Part 2 of the transcript at Wands and World
- Part 3 of the transcript at Wands and World
Notes and references
- ↑ Revealed on Wands and Worlds, the first paragraph.
- ↑ Revealed in Eclipse, page 158
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 510
- ↑ Revealed in Midnight, page 84
- ↑ Revealed in The Forgotten Warrior, page 217
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 31
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 22
- ↑ Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 295
- ↑ Seekers was published on May 27th 2008
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 146
- ↑ Dark River was released on December 26th 2007
- ↑ Revealed on the cover of Firestar's Quest
- ↑ Dark River was released in December
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 234
- ↑ Revealed in The Last Hope, pages 1-4
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