A few weeks back, one of my book buddies got addicted to Goodreads (a website for readers, books and recommendation). As soon as I sat next to her on the college bus, she burst forth about a YA series she had found with AMAZING reviews and ratings, and, she added with a wink, hot boys on the cover.
Those two things alone made me get all the published-till-now books of the Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer. Verdict: Get those books now!
I am so excited to have been able to interview Brigid for RR!
Welcome Brigid! Thank you so much for taking out the time to talk to us! Let’s start with some Rapid Fire questions:
Brigid Kemmerer is…
…the author of the Elemental Series, a Paranormal YA series about four brothers who can control the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, and their battle with those who want them dead.
What books are on your bedside right now?
I have a Kindle, so it’s a virtual stack. 🙂 I just finished reading Game by Barry Lyga, and I think I’m going to read The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller next.
You write to music. What are the top three songs in your playlist?
This is a tough question! “Something Beautiful” by NeedToBreathe is definitely a top one, because it always reminds me of my series. I’m also in love with “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert. Finally, I seem to be listening to “Demons” by Imagine Dragons an awful lot lately.
Your writer’s block breaker?
Sitting down and putting my hands on the keyboard. I just force myself to write something. Anything. I allow myself to write crap. I sometimes think THAT is the block: the pressure to write something good. There’s a delete key. I can write crap and fix it later. Once I tell myself that, I’m in a better place.
If you had to choose an element…
I love them all! There are fun sides to all.
The Elemental series in a nutshell…
The series is paranormal on the surface, in that it surrounds four brothers with special powers. That said, at it’s core, it’s really a story about family, and bullying, and figuring out who you are.
Four elements, and the spirit. The Elemental series sure does have an interesting plot. What brought it to life?
The first novel I wrote in high school was about four vampire brothers, named Michael, Nicholas, Gabriel, and Christopher. It was a silly story, but I still have most of it on paper. In my twenties, when I really began to take writing seriously, I wrote a few books but was unable to find a literary agent or a publisher. I couldn’t get those four brothers out of my head – but I didn’t want to do vampires again. I started tossing around ideas that would work with the number four. Four horsemen of the apocalypse. Four leaf clovers. Four, four, four. The four elements of earth, air, fire, and water seemed to work best—and I had a lot of ideas how I could make it fun. What teenagers wouldn’t want to be able to control the elements?
The books and most of the characters have had to put up with bullying. What inspired you to write on that particular theme?
I wasn’t really inspired to write a book about bullying at all. I’d just read so many books about uber-powerful beings who ruled high school and couldn’t be taken down. I wanted to turn that on its head. What if the powerful characters were outcast and ostracized for their abilities? What if, instead of having all the power, they struggled to control it?
Asking you to choose a favorite would be unfair but which Merrick brother did you have the most fun with?
I loved writing Gabriel’s book. He says what he wants to say and does what he wants to do, and it’s really liberating to write a character like that.
The books have taken YA fans by a storm (pun totally intended), what is the most interesting feedback you have received about the series or a specific part?
It’s always interesting seeing how people interpret my characters. For instance, in Breathless, the short novella that came out last month, it’s revealed that Nick Merrick has been hiding that he’s gay. I’ve seen reviewers say, “I saw it coming! Now all the little comments make sense!” and some readers say it came out of nowhere. My husband has the best saying: You can paint the picture, but you can’t tell people how to look at it. I have to remind myself of that constantly. Once the book is out there, it’s not for me anymore. It’s for readers.
After Spirit, we’ll get to read Nick and Michael’s stories (according to Goodreads, both are expected to be published in 2014), is it hard to change POVs, since the four brothers and Hunter have such distinct voices?
Believe it or not, it’s easy. They’re so clear in my head that changing from one character to the next hasn’t been a challenge at all. Sometimes it’s not easy being IN their head (Hunter’s book was really tough because he doesn’t know who he wants to be), but they feel very separate and distinct to me.
Breathless sure did pack a punch. Are there any more novellas?
Right now I don’t have plans to write any more. That said, I didn’t plan to write any initially, so…we’ll see. 🙂
Spirit is going to be out this month! How much of a kicker should we expect it to be?
Spirit has more action and more sexytimes than any of the other books (so far). I took some big risks in the end. You’ll have to let me know if they pay off!