|Love this cover|
Briggs was there to celebrate the release of Frost Burned, the seventh entry in the Mercy Thompson series, which was released this past Tuesday. Lucky me - we had a snow day in Chicago that day! It was like the reading gods and the snow gods colluded to allow me to curl up on my couch and devour Frost Burned in one sitting. I loved it and thought it was one of my favorite books in the series. During the event, Briggs read aloud a lengthy section of the book (spoilers redacted for those who hadn't finished the book) and occasionally paused to give insight into how she wrote the book. She chose a section told from Adam Hauptman's perspective, and I have to admit that it was pretty cool to hear Patricia Briggs read from the viewpoint of one of my favorite characters.
After she read for nearly 15 minutes, Briggs then moved on to a Q&A portion where she took questions from audience members. Longtime Briggs fans will undoubtedly know much of the following, but as a recent convert (I started reading her books in December) I found it fascinating.
- On character names and their pronunciation: Briggs said she doesn't care how readers pronounce names as long as they find them pronounceable. Bran's title is pronounced MarROK and the emphasis in Marsilia's name is on the second syllable. Interestingly, Briggs said she found Marsilia's name by using information from the Society for Creative Achronism. Marsilia's name was taken from Italian Renaissance tax records, making it completely appropriate for an age-old Milanese vampire.
|Patty rocks a purple tunic|
- On Mercy's tattoos and cover art: One reader questioned exactly how many tats Mercy had and Briggs provided insight into exactly how many the coyote shapeshift has. The only body art Briggs has mentioned in the books are the paw print on Mercy's stomach and the tribal bands on her biceps. Interestingly, though, Mercy's tattoos change from book cover to book cover and reflect the themes of the book. Undoubtedly diehard Mercy fans already knew that, but I found that detail absolutely fascinating.
- On geography: Briggs describes the geography of the Tri-Cities with complete accuracy, something residents appreciate. Many of the homes and buildings described in the books belong to Briggs' real-life friends, though she's been vague enough to protect her friends' privacy. She had the audience cracking up with her story about burning down one friend's house in a novel.
- On her future writing plans: Briggs is currently writing Mercy Thompson #8, Night Broken, which will be out in 2014. She is contracted for one more Mercy book and she said she will write those books until she's no longer excited by them (hopefully that won't happen!). She's also working on a short story collection and has two other Mercyverse books in the works - possibly an Alpha & Omega book, possibly a book about Moira and Tom from Hunting Ground. She also has other books floating around in her head including more traditional fantasy books.
- On audiobooks: She's a big fan of both performers who narrate her series. I totally concur with Briggs when she said that Mercy narrator Lorelei King "rocks." I lurrrve King's performances and have listened to her voice all the books. I'm not as much of a fan of Holter Graham's Alpha & Omega performances (my review here) and neither are some other listeners. Briggs is surprised by this especially because, as she said, "He has a very sexy voice."
- Other Mercy details: Briggs said the Mercy Thompson books are the easiest for her to write since Mercy has such a strong voice. Oh, and she has zero plans to make Mercy a werewolf (Hallelujah!).
After answer questions for half an hour, Briggs moved into a book signing. Again, the reading gods aligned and I was first in line to get my book signed. This worked to my advantage in a totally unexpected way. Briggs dates her signatures and she accidentally started to write the wrong date. As a result, I got a bonus, a super-cute mini coyote drawing. I walked away from the signing with a silly grin on my face and the rock-sold belief that Patricia Briggs is without a doubt the most charming, fun author I've met. Thanks bunches, Patty!