A Night Out with Adrienne Kress and Morgan Rhodes

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Sometimes being a blogger and book person comes with wonderful perks … in this case, the chance to meet with amazing authors, especially authors of books that I really enjoy. Last week, I was offered the opportunity to meet with Adrienne Kress, author of “The Friday Society” and Morgan Rhodes, author of “Falling Kingdoms” along with a dozen or so other bloggers. After pizza and cupcakes (two of the cornerstones of blogging – the others are coffee and cocktails, apparently), and a fabulous opportunity to catch up, the event began.

Mmmmm…cupcakes.

Mmmmm…cupcakes.

Moderated by Faze Magazine, the discussion kicked off with a question about the writing process. Morgan Rhodes (aka bestselling author Michelle Rowan!!) explained that she works from an outline, and that she has a series bible already outlined with all the characters and major events. She knows where she wants to go, and how she wants to get there. Adrienne talked about her more free-form approach, but did give examples outlining some of the incredible research that she gathered (including some input from great stunt people). She works from a more basic outline, allowing minor characters to grow if necessary.

When asked if she was prepared to kill off any more characters, Morgan played a little coy, but then admitted that it might happen (argh!). However, she did say that there are characters whom she just couldn’t kill off – but the rest? Fair game, just as in Game of Thrones. Both authors admitted that deciding that a character must die is an emotional experience, but Morgan actually loves killing off characters, especially after writing romance with guaranteed “happily ever afters” in her alter-ego’s books. Adrienne said that the time comes when you just know as an author when that time comes to kill off someone, and it’s a pragmatic choice. Both authors admit to being a little teary when they come to the killing scene, even now after it’s written and done. After all, they’ve spent a lot of time with these characters in their respective heads.

The two authors kibitzed together, cracking jokes and finding all kinds of interesting tangents to discover, but still gave us lots of unique information throughout the evening. As for what’s next … Falling Kingdoms is first of an at least four book series, and Morgan is looking forward to taking us into different places in the next books. For Adrienne, The Friday Society is her “origins” book, and she has lots of ideas in her head for sequels – let’s hope they make it to the page soon.

Here’s a summary of some of the cool lightening round info we gathered from their ‘tangents’….

  • Favourite characters to write: For Morgan, it’s Magnus (he has such layers) and Cleo (she’s a princess, super spoiled but she does evolve!). If the audience response was any indication, Magnus is a favourite for them as well. For Adrienne, it’s all three girls (she refuses to pick just one) but also Officer Murphy (because he’s just so sweet – and I agree!)
  • Adrienne is absolutely adamant that the girls will not have romantic relationships with their male mentors. To her, it would just be icky! I have to say, I breathed a sigh of relief at this news. I’m so glad that she’s letting her characters continue to be strong role models without relying on the romantic relationship to “prove” who they are!
  • On pop-culture comparisons: Morgan doesn’t mind that her books have been referred to as “Game of Thrones for teens” – except that she feels some anxiety for people who will be disappointed that they are actually not GoT books! Adrienne agrees, as TFS is sometimes referred to as “Charlie’s Angels without Charlie” – it’s a great hook to get them into the book, as long as the reader understands that the books are very different.
  • What are you reading? Morgan is reading almost exclusively YA at the moment – just finished Indigo Spell, and she loves reading all kinds of YA. She’s about to start Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and the City of Bones series – a statement that the bloggers clearly approved of, judging from the sighs heard ‘round the room!! Adrienne’s reading taste is eclectic – before she wrote it, she read tonnes of YA, but now she finds it difficult to read. Sometimes she likes to read totally outside of the genre (except she loves Lesley Livingston, of course – who doesn’t?)
  • Adrienne was/is a reluctant reader – and Morgan agreed that she is too! Both Adrienne and Morgan admitted that ‘shiny things’ distract them – movies and tv are an excellent decompression after reading and writing words on a page.
  • Did you know that The Friday Society evolved from the initial trailer for Sucker Punch, the movie?
  • Chuck Bass was an inspiration/casting choice example for one of the characters in Falling Kingdoms … can you guess which one? Another name put forward for another character? Richard Armitage. Sigh. Morgan has awesome taste.

Thanks so much to Penguin Canada, Adrienne Kress and Morgan Rhodes for the great evening out – talking YA books with fellow book lovers is a fabulous way to spend a snowy Thursday in January. If you haven’t picked up these amazing books, then you need to do so now – check out the book trailers for each below.

The Friday Society

Falling Kingdoms