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Author Patricia Briggs on how she writes & who she’s reading now! April 7, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Fun stuff, News.
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(Patricia Briggs reads from SILVER BORNE in Huntington Beach on Tuesday)

When Patricia Briggs sits down to write her Mercy Thompson books, she doesn’t know how the stories will unfold.

Patricia Briggs reads from SILVER BORNE Tuesday in Huntington Beach.

“There are a lot of great outliners out there, but I can’t do it,” Briggs told about 80 fans at a book signing of SILVER BORNE in Huntington Beach on Tuesday night. Instead she takes a character, gives them a problem and sees how it works out. And she does it again and again until she feels her story is right. “It means that I write a lot of pages that I probably throw out.”

That method seems to work well for Briggs, whose fans praised her Tuesday night for fresh story lines, world building and complex and magical characters in the series, whose heroine is a vampire-stalking coyote shape shifter. Briggs writes two books a year but admits the pace can be grueling. She finished SILVER BORNE — book No. 5 in the Mercy Thompson series — right at Christmas. There are times when she gets so tired she can’t read her writing or anything else. “The first draft is always the hardest because I don’t know where it’s going. But revisions are fun. That’s where I see the subplots and characters.”

Briggs spent the first part of the evening reading from SILVER BORNE (see video clip below) and taking questions before signing books. Here’s what she said on other topics:

On the Mercy Thompson books:

Stefan: The vampire is in his ‘not very happy place right now. He’s been betrayed at a very basic level.” He’ll be back though.

The magical walking stick: “It has to show it’s ugly dark side — and it has one.”

Mercy’s family: Look for her mother and sisters to show up more in the next books.

The Walkers: Are aware of Mercy and are watching her. “I don’t know if we like them (the Walkers) yet,” Briggs says. Readers will find out in the next book in the series RIVER MARKED, due in 2011.

Books for the signing!

On what she’s learned since publishing her first book:

–Be respectful and kind to everyone you meet
–Watch what you say (in the publishing world)
–Read books from a lot of different genres

Early influences?

Laurell K. Hamilton (author of the Anita Blake series). “She made this genre what it is. I picked up GUILTY PLEASURES with that cheesy cover. … I love her books and read them all.” Also, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher — all very popular authors today, too.

Among the many books she read as a kid, one sticks out: MAINLY IN MOONLIGHT: Ten Stories of Sorcery and the Supernatural by Nicholas Stuart Gray. (Published in 1965) For it’s fairy tale/scary qualities.

What’s she reading now? (What books are in her suitcase!)
MASTER OF NONE by Sonya Bateman. (It’s about a genie and she really likes it!)
CHANGES by Jim Butcher (She’ll pick up a copy on her way out.)
KITTY GOES TO WAR by Carrie Vaughn (Not released yet)

Why does she know so much about coyotes, dogs and wolves?

She studies them. At her home in Washington she’s got 38 acres of vineyards where coyotes build their dens. Some nights she can hear 16 to 18 coyotes howling. She also used to live in Montana and was around many wolf-dog mixes. “Wolves are very smart and only become dangerous when afraid.”

Fans follow along as Patricia Briggs reads from SILVER BORNE.


This Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach always seems to snag really interesting authors. Next up: Jim Butcher and CHANGES, book No. 12 in the Dresden Files. He speaks Saturday (April 10) at 3 p.m. at the bookstore on 7881 Edinger Ave.

Miss this? Will Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson make it to the big screen? CLICK HERE to read.

Shout-outs! A special hello to Cassie, Christina and Van! Great to meet other fans, artists and writers!

Cool pics: CLICK HERE to see Cassie’s very cool and complete slideshow of the event (Thanks Cassie! That is one awesome camera!)


1. cleverblue - April 7, 2010

It was awesome meeting you. Great coverage on the book signing! I’ll be passing this site along to all my book buddies 🙂

I look forward to reading more from you site!
take care!

Diana McCabe - April 7, 2010

Hey — thanks for the great photos! Was fun meeting everyone! I’d like to go to the Jim Butcher talk on Saturday at 3 but might have a schedule conflict so probably won’t make it! Thanks for visiting the blog! Always looking for folks who want to contribute — it’s just a hobby blog but it’s fun! (Your stuff is great!!!!!)


2. van p. - April 7, 2010

Great post Diana! You had everything she said pretty much word for word 🙂

Diana McCabe - April 7, 2010

Thanks. It was really fun to see her. I liked that she read from her book for a little bit, too!

Now — I just have to finish the last few chapters of SILVER BORNE!


3. Marianna G. - April 7, 2010

Aw! I wish I could have gone!

Diana McCabe - April 7, 2010

That particular B&N in Huntington Beach gets a lot of good authors. Jim Butcher is coming Saturday. It’s a lot of fun to talk with other book fans, too!!!!!

4. Book pick: ‘Wilderness’ fascinating look at woman who turns into a wolf « Paranormal Romance - April 11, 2010

[…] Author Patricia Briggs on how she writes & who she’s reading now Will Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson make it to the big screen? Book pick: ‘Young Brothers’ series packs lots of fangs and fun! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Wolf Hunt in Idaho and MontanaThe Grandmother and the Wolf […]

5. Kylie - April 25, 2010

I love Patricia Briggs books, especially her Mercy Thompson books, i’m addicted to them.. i believe i read like 1 of her whole books in one night, there so addictive 😀 i cant wait for the next one really, because honestly i love reading her books… and i especially want to learn more about her and Adam but i wish she got with Samuel, but Adam is great to! 🙂 cant wait

6. The next Mercy Thompson ‘River Marked’ cover, now due out in January 2011 « Paranormal Romance - September 14, 2010

[…] Author Patricia Briggs on how she writes & who she’s reading now […]

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[…] SILVER BORNE (Book No. 5 in the Mercy Thompson series … my story/video of her from book signing) by PATRICIA BRIGGS […]

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