On August 16, 2008, the authors who write as Erin Hunter joined us once again for an author chat. This time, Tui Sutherland, who wrote Secrets of the Clans and Seekers, Book 1: The Quest Begins, joined us for the first time, along with veteran chatters Kate Cary, Vicky Holmes, and Cherith Baldry.
On the characters
Question: How many lives does Firestar have left as of Outcast? Answer: VickyHolmes: Five. I think. :)
Question: How did Firestar lose two lives between The Darkest Hour and Firestar's Quest? Answer: VickyHolmes: He loses one in Firestar's Quest and another in a fight helping out Ravenpaw and Barley. Outcome: True. Firestar looses a life fighting the Rat leader, and another in The Heart of a Warrior helping Ravenpaw and Barley.
Question: What happened to One-eye? Answer: VickyHolmes: She died peacefully in her sleep and is much missed by her Clanmates. :)
Question: What will be Hollypaw and Lionpaw's warrior names? Answer: VickyHolmes: Shall I tell you? Okay, I'm feeling generous! Hollyleaf and Lionblaze! Outcome: True. 
Question: What happens if a cat loses a life from old age? Answer: VickyHolmes: It's perfectly possible - it happened to Goldenflower, in fact. They go to StarClan, same as the other cats.
Question: How soon until the trio (Jaypaw, Hollypaw, and Lionpaw) get their warrior/medicine cat names? Answer: VickyHolmes: They all have their names by the end of Book Five: Long Shadows. Can you wait that long?! Outcome: True. Hollypaw and Lionpaw receive their warrior names at the end of Eclipse while Jaypaw receives his in Long Shadows.
Question: Can you give a hint on Brightspirit's role in StarClan in Long Shadows? Answer: VickyHolmes: She's going to come to Jaypaw to offer a hint which will help the whole of ThunderClan survive a deadly bout of greencough. Just in the nick of time! Outcome: True.
Question: Is Icepaw falling in love with Lionpaw? Answer: KateCary: I imagine Icepaw has a big crush on Lionpaw - who wouldn't. He's such a good hunter and so handsome!
Question: Will Lionpaw show signs of love soon? Answer: KateCary: I think he already has - with Heatherpaw!
Question: Would Poppypaw have died in The Sight if Jaypaw hadn't saved her? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, she would. I love that scene so much!
Question: Will Millie's kits will be named Blossomkit, Briarkit, and Bumblekit? Answer: VickyHolmes: The rumours are true! Outcome: True.
Question: Was Thistleclaw Tigerstar's father? Answer: VickyHolmes: No, but he was Tigerstar’s mentor. You’ll find out exactly who fathered Tigerstar in Bluestar's Prophecy, next year’s Super Edition.
Question: Would you consider making Thistleclaw the father of Snowfur's kit? Answer: VickyHolmes: Wow, brilliant idea! I think this might just be possible. Thank you!
Question: Is Mudclaw in StarClan? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, he is, because he wasn't evil enough to end up in the Dark Forest. I felt very sorry for him when Tallstar fired him from being deputy just moments before he died! I think he had a legitimate claim to taking over WindClan's leadership, even if he was a bit heavy-handed about making it. Outcome: True. 
Question: What was Tallstar's warrior name before he became Clan leader? Answer: VickyHolmes: Talltail Outcome: True.
Question: Will Barkface ever die? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, he is a bit of an old fogey, isn't he? I expect StarClan will come a' calling for him soon! Outcome: True. Barkface dies in between Sunrise and the first Gathering in The Fourth Apprentice. 
Question: What will Kestrelpaw's medicine cat name be and will he have any major roles? Answer: VickyHolmes: I haven't decided what to do with Kestrelpaw yet, but that's a great idea for his full name! Thank you! Oh hang on, I've just remembered: I think he's going to be called Kestrelwing. Outcome: False, Kestrelpaw's medicine cat name is Kestrelflight.
Question: Did Hawkfrost inherit his icy blue eyes from Tigerstar or from Sasha? Answer: CherithBaldry: From Sasha. Tigerstar's eyes are amber.
Question: Between the Original arc and the New Prophecy arc, what happened to Runningnose? Answer: VickyHolmes: Runningnose died (presumably of a cold!) and now pops up in StarClan, where he tends to hang out with Raggedstar, former leader of ShadowClan.
Question: Will Tawnypelt's litter become apprentices soon? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yup, as soon as they're six months old! They're apprentices in Book Five of Power of Three. Outcome: True.
Cats outside of the Clans
Question: Is Scourge related to Firestar in any way? Answer: VickyHolmes: Do I have to fess up? Actually, some of you have guessed it already, so huge special purrs for being so eagle-eyed! Scourge and Firestar are half-brothers! Quince’s mysterious mate, who’s mentioned as a ginger cat who loved gazing into the forest and wondering what was going on beyond the garden fence, also fathered another litter of kits with a different queen. And one of those kits was Rusty! (Another was Princess, of course.) These kits were born quite a lot later than Scourge, who is a couple of years older than Firestar. The clue was that Scourge’s father was fascinated by the woods, just like Scourge… and Firestar! So Firestar’s greatest enemy was actually his kin, and the only cat he has ever killed was his half-brother.
Question: Approximately how old was Scourge when he was killed? Answer: VickyHolmes: He was two or three years old - very young to have such huge power! And to be so evviiiilllll.
Question: In future books, will we find out more about why Fallen Leaves was destined to stay in the tunnels? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, we’re going to learn more about Fallen Leaves – who was only meant to feature in one book but is such a great character that I keep bringing him back! He’s surprisingly popular with you guys, too, which is always nice to see. You'll see him in Long Shadows. Outcome: True. 
Question: Why is Fallen Leaves' spirit stuck down in the caves while Rock and presumably all the other cats who died down there are with their ancestors? Answer: VickyHolmes: This is an excellent question, and one that I’m not sure I can answer. *looks embarrassed* I think it’s because Fallen Leaves didn’t acknowledge that he was dead, so his spirit thinks he’s still alive, wandering around underground.
Question: Are Socks, Ruby, and Quince still alive? Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, but Quince is pretty old now.
Question: How old is Barley? Answer: VickyHolmes: Barley is about three years old. Outcome: False. Firestar is over three years old, and Barley was alive when Firestar was an apprentice.
Question: Who came up with Rock? Answer: VickyHolmes: Rock was my invention. I wanted a mysterious cat that didn’t come from StarClan, and who didn’t fit into any of the Clan cats’ expectations of an ancestor. I decided to put him underground and make him blind and hairless because his physical appearance would be as startling and unsettling as the fact that he seems to know so much, without ever living in a Clan.
Question: Is Rock a God-like figure? Answer: VickyHolmes: Rock certainly has powers of omniscience (which literally means, “knowing everything”) but I wouldn’t describe him as God in the world of cats. One thing is important: he isn’t dead, and he doesn’t belong to StarClan. Though I’m not sure what he eats in those damp old caves… CherithBaldry: I don't think Rock is god-like. He didn't create anything, and his power is in what he knows, rather than what he does
Question: Are there any updates concerning the Bluestar Super Edition? Answer: VickyHolmes: I can tell you that it’s going to be called Bluestar's Prophecy, and Kate will be writing it. It will feature Bluestar’s life from being a tiny kit to just before Rusty joins ThunderClan. And you’ll find out a LOT more about Tigerstar and his early days! Outcome: True, Bluestar's Prophecy revolves around Bluestar's life from a kit to the moment before Firestar joins ThunderClan.
Question: Will SkyClan ever appear in any more books besides the special edition that will be coming out of the modern SkyClan? Answer: VickyHolmes: Not as far as I know, but I’d love to feature them at some point in The Fourth Apprentice because I love those cats dearly. Outcome: False. SkyClan was not featured in The Fourth Apprentice, and they have their own manga arc called SkyClan and the Stranger.
Question: Is The Fourth Apprentice a reference to the three - Jaypaw, Lionpaw, and Hollypaw? It sounds like D'Artagnan. Answer: VickyHolmes: Yay for spotting the Three Musketeers reference! I love that story, especially because it's about the one character who doesn't belong to the Three Musketeers! Yes, The Fourth Apprentice will be connected with our current heroes. But that's all I'm saying!
Question: Can you please tell us anything about the fourth arc?! Answer: VickyHolmes: Well, I can tell you that it's going to be called The Fourth Apprentice, and it will carry on from the Power of Three, book six featuring most of the same central characters. I haven't finished telling our heroes' stories yet, so I didn't want to move on to another generation and miss out on their happy endings - or otherwise. Outcome: False. The arc's title was later changed to Omen of the Stars, though The Fourth Apprentice is the first book's title.
Question: Who are the cats on the cover of Long Shadows? Answer: VickyHolmes: I don't have that cover in front of me! I think the main cat is Sol, a mysterious stranger who first appears in Eclipse. Sol is based on a real cat called Aslan, who is super-cool, and even basks on a stone slab in the sunshine!
Question: Will we ever see Midnight the badger again? Answer: VickyHolmes: She appears in the prologue for Long Shadows. Outcome: True.
Question: In Outcast, does the title refer to Stormfur and Brook being outcasts from their Tribe? Answer: CherithBaldry: Yes, it refers to Stormfur and Brook.
Question: Did you really change the sixth book of The Power of Three from Cruel Season to Sunrise? Answer: CherithBaldry: The publisher wants it changed. Far be it from me to speculate about why.
Question: When does Sunrise come out? Answer: VickyHolmes: It comes out next April. Outcome: True. Sunrise came out on April 21, 2009.
Question: Are female leaders allowed to have kits? Answer: CherithBaldry: She-cat leaders and deputies aren't allowed to have kits while they are in office. It would interfere too much with their duties. That's why Bluestar had to send her kits to RiverClan, because otherwise she would have been ineligible for the post of deputy. It's OK for them to have had kits before they become leader/deputy. Outcome: Unsure. It was stated otherwise in the previous chat by Vicky, plus Leafstar has kits and is still the leader of SkyClan.
Question: How do you guys come up with the names? Answer: VickyHolmes: Although we give a lot of thought to new names, we don’t have a system that’s cast in stone, so I can’t give you a secret formula or the absolute rules for acceptable/unacceptable names. We avoid using anything that doesn’t occur in the cats’ world, so when we came up with Copperpaw we were thinking very much of the color (though I guess we should have connected it to the metal as well, d’oh!). Sun has never been mentioned as a “sacred” prefix, it’s just not very common. But the leader before Bluestar was Sunstar, as we’ll find out in Bluestar's Prophecy. Outcome: True. Sunstar was the leader of ThunderClan before Bluestar. 
Question: What would happen to a Clan leader if they never used their nine lives? Answer: VickyHolmes: I think they'd die of old age nine times over.
Question: What time period does Warriors take place in? Answer: CherithBaldry: I've always felt it's more or less the present day.
Question: Is it really true that Warriors is going to be made into a movie, and if so, when? Answer: KateCary: Vicky says there are "talks" going on with a movie company at the moment! Fingers crossed!
Question: Are there any lines in Warriors that are influenced my other media? Answer: VickyHolmes: In chapter 22 of Moonrise, Talon quotes a line from Rambo (clue: it’s a very short line! Only two words!), and in chapter 22 of Sunset, the final exchange between Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost was heavily influenced by one of my favourite movies ever, Gladiator.
Question: Are Highstones and the Moonstone still in the old territory? Answer: VickyHolmes: No, they weren't destroyed because the road wasn't extended that far. The underground tunnels (abandoned mineshafts) wouldn't support heavy road-building machinery! So they're still there.
Question: What's your favorite Warriors book? Answer: CherithBaldry: That's hard! I love Forest of Secrets, because it was my first, and it was wonderful to get into the Warriors world. But I also really love Firestar's Quest.
Question: What's your favorite cat pelt color? Answer: VickyHolmes: I think gray and white, like Cloudstar in Firestar's Quest. Missy has woken up to remind me that as far as dogs are concerned, the only color worth mentioning is brindle, which is brown and gold stripes. CherithBaldry: My favourite cat color is tortoiseshell, closely followed by tabby.
Notes and references
- Revealed on the transcript at Wands and Worlds, first paragraph
- Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 461
- Revealed in Ravenpaw's Path
- Revealed in Eclipse, pages 317-318
- Revealed in Long Shadows, pages 252-254
- Revealed in Long Shadows, page 144
- Revealed in Eclipse, page 159
- Revealed in Night Whispers, page 4
- Revealed in Long Shadows, page 236
- Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 6
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 226
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, allegiances
- Revealed in Power of Three, page 81
- Revealed in Long Shadows, page 187
- Revealed in The Rescue, page all
- Revealed in Beyond the Code, page all
- Revealed in After the Flood, page all
- Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page title
- Revealed in Long Shadows, page 2
- >Information from amazon.com
- Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 4
- Revealed in The Rescue, page 47
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, pages 315-316
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