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Patricia Briggs
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Patricia Briggs   Patricia Briggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, which includes Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, and Silver Borne. She's also written a spin-off series called Alpha and Omega. Her urban fantasy includes shapeshifters, werewolves, and vampires.

Buy Patricia Briggs's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
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This episode originally aired on 12/03/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Patricia Briggs

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Bonus Question(s) that Didn't Air on the Live Radio Show

Note that you can also listen to this while you read it.

Matthew Peterson: Let me ask you a bonus question here.

Patricia Briggs: Okay.

Matthew Peterson: Iíll just ask a couple real quick ones. Whatís a normal day in your life?

Patricia Briggs: [laughs] I have eight horses and three kids, Iím not sure if there is any normal day in my life. But okay, well, this is what I strive for: I get up... my son is kind of in and out of the house; heís 22 and heís pretty much self contained. So I usually get up with my girls. They get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to school, and Iíll run around a little bit with them and stuff and kind of maybe laze around for an hour or so. But Iíd like to get to my office by eight oíclock. And then when I get to my office, Iíll play music and Iíll go and Iíll play some games on the computer and thatís a really dangerous thing to do.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

Patricia Briggs: [laughs] Yeah, I agree to laugh.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. I know.

Patricia Briggs: Yeah, yeah. But Iíve found that it just puts me in the right mood. You know, when you sit down to work, youíre in the wrong mindset for writing a book because when you write youíre actually engaging your playing mode. The left hand brain, the creative side.

Matthew Peterson: The creative side.

Patricia Briggs: And if you sit down to work, youíve got your editor in hand and thatís not a very comfortable companion when youíre writing the first draft. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah. Well, what type of games get you in the mood? What type of games do you play?

Patricia Briggs: I have two, and the reason I only have two that I play is because Iíve played these enough that I can stop when I need to. I donít get stuck.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: I play Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

Matthew Peterson: Ah.

Patricia Briggs: Which was the last good Might and Magic game. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Thatís an old one.

Patricia Briggs: There are like five or six now, I think.

Patricia Briggs: But Heroes 3 was awesome. Itís sort of like chess, except for fantasy players.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: And then I also have Solitaire. And thereís Might and Magic... I have one scenario I play, and it takes me about an hour to play it.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: And I can engineer things so that I win. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Yeah.

Patricia Briggs: Which is important for me. Iím not one of those equal opportunity game players. I want to win.

Matthew Peterson: I must win.

Patricia Briggs: Yeah, yeah. So I know that itís only going to take me that long. If Iím more eager to get into writing, sometimes Iíll just play a couple hands of Solitaire.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: It used to be that I would use whatever Solitaire that Windows had. But then I got Vista for business. Big difference that Iíve noticed between ďfor businessĒ and ďfor homeĒ is that theyíve took away all the games. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Took away all the games. Yep. [laughs] Yeah, they did a study once and found that the average worker was spending like an hour a day on, I canít remember what it was, but on Solitaire, or something like that. [laughs]

Patricia Briggs: [laughs] Yeah, so I have a Solitaire game that Iíve purchased to put on my business Vista.

Matthew Peterson: Well, youíre talking to a recovering video game addict.

Patricia Briggs: Ah! Okay.

Matthew Peterson: I donít even play video games anymore. But I was so into them when I was a kid. I was one of those kids that youíd . . . well, they donít really have the arcades anymore, but . . . youíd go to the arcade and I was the kid everybody was watching.

Patricia Briggs: Oh, way cool.

Matthew Peterson: You know, Ďcause Iíd put one quarter in and an hour later Iíd be done with the game, you know. That was me.

Patricia Briggs: Yes. Yes. Well, Iíve found that with video games, with a few games, and stuff I can get obsessed with/about them. And so I deliberately donít play any new ones.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: [laughs] I just stick to the old ones.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, I love the old ones.

Patricia Briggs: Yeah, theyíre awesome, but Iíve done them enough that they have lost a lot of their grip.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: You know what I mean? So then about an hour into . . . by nine oíclock I want to be in and writing. I want to get some stuff done.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Patricia Briggs: And then I pretty much play music, not so much to listen to. In fact, I deliberately listen to music that Iíve heard over and over again so that Iím not tempted to stop and just listen to the song. What I really want that to do is to get between me and the real world.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Patricia Briggs: And to cut out the real world. And then I write until probably 3 or 4. And sometimes I get like a page done, [laughs] which is really frustrating.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

Patricia Briggs: But my goal is five pages a day. And usually I can do that.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, good, good. Yeah, I know everyone writes at a different level and just crazy, you know. Some people it takes them years to write one book and others just a couple months.

Patricia Briggs: Well, part of it is experience. My first couple books, it took me almost a year to write. And I was writing pretty steady. It took me a year to write each of those, and now Iím down to where in a pinch I can write one in about three months.

Matthew Peterson: Hmm.

Patricia Briggs: I donít like to do that Ďcause Iíd like to have a little more time, you know. Because some of the good scenes donít come until the third or fourth revision. You think, ďOh, wait a minute, I can put a scene in here! This would be really cool!Ē

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Patricia Briggs: And you lose those moments when youíre trying to write under tight deadlines.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Patricia Briggs: And you know, some weeks I will get my total production... for some weeks itíll be three or four pages and some days, you know, on a good day, I can get forty-fifty.

Matthew Peterson: Wow.

Patricia Briggs: That doesnít happen very often. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. [laughs]

Patricia Briggs: Or Iíd be writing a lot faster than I am, but yeah, so itís just kind of a mixed bag.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, what youíre in the mood and what youíre doing, so . . . Well, thatís great. Thanks, Patty. I appreciate talking with ya.

Extra Material That was Cut from the Show Because of Time Constraints

Note that you can also listen to this while you read it (you'll need to fast forward past the bonus questions).

Matthew Peterson: You know your very, very, very first book was called Masques. Is that right?

Patricia Briggs: It is correct, yes.

Matthew Peterson: Itís kind of a different spelling, so thatís why . . .

Patricia Briggs: Yeah, youíd actually pronounce it like ďMasks.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Masks.

Patricia Briggs: Itís a regency ball. Itís like a costume ball.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. I actually had to look that up in the dictionary.

Patricia Briggs: Yeah, it was probably not a very good choice of title. The original title was with an ďskĒ and an ďs.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: But my publisher also publishes Dean Koontz, who had a Mask with an ďsk,Ē and despite the fact that I told them that I wouldnít mind if their bookkeepers got our numbers mixed up.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah.

Patricia Briggs: They werenít entirely good with that. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Thatís funny.

* * * * * * * * * *

Patricia Briggs: Iím a big Charles de Lint fan.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Patricia Briggs: A lot of times when I . . . okay I love Sherrilyn Kenyon and Charlaine Harris too, obviously. But Charles de Lint, you know, I started reading him in college and I just love . . . heís got such poetry in his work, I just love it. Itís really cool.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah, very interesting guy, too.

Patricia Briggs: Oh, yeah.

* * * * * * * * * *

Patricia Briggs: We were talking about it because Iíve been gradually . . . due to circumstances, like I have back surgery and moved and had a whole series of things going on. Iíve been kind of falling back on my production schedule, which was a problem for my publisher because they also publish Charlaine Harris and they publish Jim Butcher and they publish a lot of really top notch urban fantasy, and they donít like us to get off schedule because it really screws up their publishing. They donít want us to come out the same month.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, yeah.

Patricia Briggs: Theyíd like to spread us out. [laughs] So . . . weíre talking about it . . .

* * * * * * * * * *

Patricia Briggs: And we have three copies on my forums, you know. I put one up and a couple of my forum people put theirs up and so we ship them free, basically like a lending libraryĖthe last person that had it will ship it to you if you promise to ship it to the next person down the line.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, okay.

Patricia Briggs: So you know, trying to kind of alleviate the problem. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

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