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Erin Hunter Chat 6

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On June 27, 2009, the four writers who write the Warriors and Seekers series under the pseudonym Erin Hunter visited Wands and Worlds for an author chat. The four "Erins", as we call them - Victoria Holmes, Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, and Tui Sutherland, are Wands and Worlds favorites, and this is the sixth Erin Hunter chat that they've hosted.[1]

Information Revealed

On the Characters

ThunderClan

Question: Has Brambleclaw left Squirrelflight or are they still together just with some issues?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I’m not sure where you’ve read up to! Right now, in the book Kate is writing, let’s just say they have a lot of issues.



Question: What is going to happen to Leafpool? Can she really no longer be a medicine cat?
Answer: VickyHolmes: What happens to Leafpool after the end of Power of Three arc is a central part of Omen of the Stars, so I’m not going to give anything away, I’m afraid! But I think I can say that Leafpool fans won’t be disappointed (whatever that means!).
Outcome: Leafpool is listed as a warrior.[2]


Question: Did the character of Jayfeather draw inspiration from The Odyssey character Terisias (a blind prophet who lived in the underworld)?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Gosh, no, but I wish he had done! What a gorgeous classical reference.



Question: Have you ever considered a mega disaster that would wipe out a good bulk of ThunderClan? For people who love to kill off characters so much, you guys have been pretty merciful on ThunderClan's population.
Answer: VickyHolmes: I have considered it, yes, but I’m reluctant to have to populate an entire Clan with brand new characters (and all their names) when Kate, Cherith and I have spent so long getting to know the familiar faces! Also, we've had fires, floods, rampaging dogs, and major roadworks - those ThunderClan cats seem to dodge everything I throw at them! They are invincible!



Question: What is the name of the leader before Sunstar?
Answer: VickyHolmesPinestar. You can find out a little bit more about him in Code of the Clans, and lots more in Bluestar's Prophecy, this year’s totally fabulous Super Edition which comes out in August.
Outcome: True.[3]


Question: Does Leafpool take part in Omen of the Stars arc?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh, she’s most definitely involved.
Outcome: True.[2]


Question: The prophecy refers to the three as being "kin of Firestar's kin", but Dovekit and Ivykit are technically kin of his kin of his kin. How do you explain this?
Answer: VickyHolmes: “Kin” means “relative”, not just the closest generation. So your grandparents are your kin, your great-grandparents, your cousin’s children, their grandchildren – if anyone is linked to you by blood, they are your kin. Technically, the prophecy could have just said “your kin”, but that didn’t have the nice ring that “kin of your kin” does!



Question: Did you always mean to make Hollyleaf um... go out like she did? and thank you for all you did at the Naperville tour!
Answer: VickyHolmes: I’ll be honest (gasp! Actually, I’m always honest, I just sometimes hide a bit of the truth): in The Sight, Hollyleaf was absolutely and totally one of the Three in the Prophecy. I always wanted to send her into a place where she would end up doing something dreadful, but I thought this would come about because she misused her extraordinary powers. But by Book Three, I just couldn’t think what Hollyleaf’s power was. Jay and Lion had walked straight into their roles from the moment they appeared in my head, but Holly seemed to reject everything I offered her, from foreseeing the future to reading minds (unlike Jay, who senses emotions but can only read memories). Nothing seemed to fit – and I realized, literally overnight, that she was never meant to have a power. She wasn’t one of the Three, and the knowledge of this would help to crush her, along with all the other doom I had lined up for her. I love it when characters find their own destinies like that! And thanks for coming to see me at Naperville. Anderson’s is one my most favourite stores to visit!



Question: Is Pinestar Firestar and Scourge's father? Because if he is then Scourge, Tigerstar, and Firestar are all half-brothers! Also, that expands the list of cats who are "kin of Firestar's kin".
Answer: VickyHolmes: Wow, that would be amazing if Pinestar was Scourge and Firestar’s dad! Alas, he isn’t. But I kind of wish I’d thought of that…
Outcome: True, Jake is Firestar's and Scourge's dad not Pinestar


Question: In Sunrise when Leafpool stepped down from being a Medicine Cat, did she step down to a Warriors status, or was she banished?
Answer: VickyHolmes: You’ll find out in Omen of the Stars Book One! She’s still on the cast list, if that’s any consolation.
Outcome: In the allegiances of The Fourth Apprentice, she has become a Warrior.[2]


Question: What will happen to Cinderheart when she goes to StarClan? Will she divide or regain all her all memories?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I have been asked this several times, which makes me realize I should have figured out an answer before I came up with the idea of bringing Cinderpelt back! Whatever happens will depend on how much Cinderheart learns about her previous life, and how she feels about it. Hmmm, is that suitably evasive?
Outcome: In The Last Hope, when Cinderheart finally makes a choice, Cinderpelt separates from Cinderheart's body.[4]


Question: Why did you choose to kill Honeyfern?
Answer: VickyHolmes: You’re not going to be very pleased with me, I’m afraid. I needed a cat to be killed by a snake in order to have a reason to have deathberries in the hollow, so that Hollyleaf could threaten to kill Leafpool with them later on. I worked back from that scenario, thinking, hmmm, what would be an excuse for Leafpool to have deathberries in her stores when she is so strict about not having them in the camp? How else might she use deathberries? How about laying a trap for something that deserved to be killed? Like…a nasty ol’ snake that bit a helpless innocent cat? Leafpool or another cat might come up with the idea of stuffing a mouse with deathberries to lay a deadly bait for the snake. Now, who can I kill with a snake? Hmmmm… Poor Honeyfern. Sob.



Question: Will Half Moon or Brightspirit show up again in the fourth arc? If so, will Jayfeather pursue a relationship with one of them?
Answer: VickyHolmes: You’re all so desperate for Jayfeather to have a bit of romance! Hmmmm. Do you really think he’s cut out to be a romantic hero? To answer the first part of your question, we’ll definitely see Half Moon again (yay! I love the ancient cats!). I’m not sure about Brightspirit.
Outcome: True. Half Moon comes back in The Last Hope.[5]


Question: Will Tigerstar still be a problem for Dovekit and/or Ivykit in Omen of the Stars?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Tigerstar will always be a problem! Not even death can keep him down…
Outcome: True[6]


Question: Is Redtail Sandstorm's sire?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, it is.



Question: Who will Lionblaze's mate be?
Answer: VickyHolmes: You’re assuming that a cat with his kind of powers - and his unique destiny - can have a mate! Actually, I do have someone in mind. Wait until Omen Book Two for some clues!
Outcome: Cinderheart eventually becomes his mate.[7]


Question: Does Poppyfrost have a mate and kits or an important role in the future?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I like Poppyfrost, too! I don’t want to give too much away, but in Omen Book One she has a mate and kits, yay! She’s a lovely character, and is getting to play more of a central role because Kate, Cherith and I are very fond of her.
Outcome: True. Berrynose is the father of her kits in Omen of the Stars.[8]


Question: At the end of Sunrise, Leafpool leaves ThunderClan. Does this mean Leafpool is leaving the clans forever?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Does Leafpool leave ThunderClan at the end of Sunrise? Really? Where does it say that?
Outcome: True. She doesn't leave, but steps down and becomes a warrior instead.[2]


Question: Will Foxpaw get to be called Foxcatcher?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Sorry, he's called Foxleap.
Outcome: True.[2]


Question: How did Firestar lose two lives between The Darkest Hour and Firestar’s Quest? I asked this once before, and I now know that he lost one of them helping Ravenpaw and Barley with something, but the other one wasn’t explained. I understand that this was probably just a goof, but since it makes it correct that Firestar only has two lives left as of Sunrise, I’d like to know if you have any explanation.
Answer: VickyHolmes: It was a goof, as you so delicately put it. I find it so hard to keep track of Firestar's lives! Please, does anyone know how many he's lost so far? I keep forgetting!



Question: Why did you kill Hollyleaf?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Did I? Where does it say that? :)
Outcome: Hollyleaf was revealed to be alive in The Forgotten Warrior, but died in The Last Hope.[9]


Question: Was Cinderpelt in love with Firestar?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes she was, sigh. And he never realized! Stupid man-cat.



Question: Will Purdy stay with ThunderClan until he dies?
Answer: KateCary: Would you leave ThunderClan?
Outcome: True, he fights in the battle in The Last Hope and doesn't leave.[10]


Question: Were Jayfeather and Hollyleaf named after their real parents? But how would Firestar know to name Hollyleaf after her mother?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Leafpool gave Jayfeather his name as a medicine cat, so yes, she chose it because of Crowfeather. I imagine the parents of a new warrior have some say in their new name, so Squirrelflight would have suggested –leaf to Firestar for Hollypaw. Firestar would have seen this as a tribute to Squirrelflight’s beloved sister, little realizing that it was actually a tribute to Hollyleaf’s real mother!



Question: Will Thornclaw ever have a mate?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Hmmm, I think so. In fact, he might have one already, but it's so late that I can't remember.



Question: Will Millie ever decide to get a warrior name?
Answer: KateCary: I get the feeling that once Millie makes up her mind she doesn't change it, so I'm guessing not - but with Vicky, you never know for sure....
Outcome: No. Millie stays as Millie.


Question: Why did you choose Leafpool to narrarate Code of the Clans?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Because she's so calm and wise, and seemed like the kind of cat with connections to all the ancestors who were involved in the making of the code.



Question: Will Lionblaze and Jayfeather every forgive Leafpool and Squirrelflight?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I'm not sure, to be honest. It's something we're exploring in Omen of the Stars. I'm going to let the characters make up my mind, I think.



Question: When will Brightheart get an apprentice?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Soon, soon!
Outcome: True. When Jaypaw was training as a warrior, his first mentor was Brightheart.


Question: Will Toadkit become the medicine cat apprentice? He seemed to be interested in it.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Interesting suggestion, but no.
Outcome: True.[2]


Question: Is the fourth apprentice evil or good? Everyone assumes she's good, but it'd be interesting to have her be evil. I mean, no one said she was the third cat in the prophecy.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Very good point! And not one that I'm going to answer. If I told you everything that was going to happen in Omen of the Stars, you wouldn't need to read the books! And then how would Kate, Cherith, Tui and I afford to feed our hungry pets?



Question: In the Sight, after Jaypaw becomes medicine cat apprentice, Firestar promises Brightheart either Foxkit or Icekit as her apprentice, but in Outcast, the mentors are Whitewing and Squirrelflight. Will this play a role in the later books, or was it just an inconsistency?
Answer: VickyHolmes: It was an "inconsistency". As in, I forgot. Oops.



Question: Do you guys like Leafpool?
Answer: CherithBaldry: I like Leafpool a lot. Often authors will make the characters they really like suffer most. I don't know why, but it's often true.



Question: Will Foxpaw and Icepaw be mentioned as more of main characters or not?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Well, we're not going to see the story from their point of view, but they're definitely central characters now that the focus has shifted to the younger generation.



Question: Why did Berrynose's personality change so abruptly upon becoming a warrior?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I'm not sure it transformed completely, but he grew up a lot and settled down (up and down, tee hee).



Question: If Jayfeather went into the tunnels, and came out in Jay's Wing's time, where did Jay's Wing go? I mean, he had to go somewhere when he went into the tunnels, right?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh no, I was hoping no one was going to ask me about this! Cherith asked me exactly the same thing when she was writing Long Shadows, and I gave her a really convincing answer, but the details seem to have got lost in the fog of my mind. I think I meant that Jayfeather actually became Jay’s Wing – not a reincarnation, not a temporary possession of his body – and by making the decision to go back to ThunderClan, Jay’s Wing had to leave his own Ancient Clanmates to follow a path that he had set for them. Does that make sense? Probably not.



Question: How old is Firestar?
Answer: VickyHolmes: He's five years old - so not elder old, but middle-aged in Warrior cat terms.
Outcome: False, he is approx. 8 years old.[11]


Question: How old will Ivykit and Dovekit be in The Fourth Apprentice? And will Barkface be dead by then?
Answer: VickyHolmesBarkface will be dead; Dove and Ivy will be six moons exactly!
Outcome: True.[2]


Question: Who would take Brambleclaw's place as deputy if he dies?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Hmmm. Lots of good candidates! I think Brackenfur is an awesome senior warrior. But it depends on the circumstances of his death.



Question: How does Sorreltail feel about what has happened to her? Both her parents and brothers are dead, two of her kits died, and another might have become crippled.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, Sorreltail has had kind of a tough life, hasn't she? But she has her pure and constant love for Brackenfur (happy relationship, yawn) to keep her happy. Ha, I will punish her for boring romance!



Question: Do you believe that Ashfur was purely evil, or just kind of angry and crazy but overall a good cat?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Angry, misunderstood, brave, loyal - but I don't know if a good cat would have threatened to do what he threatened to do, if you see what I mean!



Question: Do you like Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, or Jayfeather more? Which do you like the least?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I love them all dearly because they all have such great story possibilities. Lion was a bit dull at first - the silent hunky one, yawn - but now he's much more interesting. Jay is probably my favourite to write about because of his spunky attitude.



Question: What exactly will Omen of the Stars be about?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Dovekit is the "fourth" apprentice, and the true third cat mentioned in the prophecy. As you can imagine, her sister Ivykit is none too pleased about her littermate's special destiny... And that's enough revelations!



Question: Is Dovekit the fourth apprentice?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yup!
Outcome: True.[2]


Question: Whose cats will the point of views be from in Omen of the Stars?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Lionblaze, Jayfeather, Dovekit, and Ivykit!
Outcome: True.[12][13][14][15]


Question: What happens to Leafpool?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Lots of things, some good, some bad.



Question: How do you think the Clan reacted when they heard about Hollyleaf's death? Were some happy because of what happened at the Gathering, as well as devastated that they lost a Clanmate? How would the other Clans react?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I suspect there was a fair amount of relief, if not exactly happiness. She caused a whole lot of trouble with her announcement. I'm not sure the other Clans would care a great deal, because they weren't directly affected - except poor old Crowfeather and his new family, who are probably praying for a meteor to land on ThunderClan!



Question: Why didn't Redtail tell StarClan about what Tigerstar did to him?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh, that’s a very good point! StarClan are wise enough to know that some things have to be sorted out by the Clans on their own, so that they have their own experiences to learn from. Also, the discovery of Redtail’s true murderer was vitally important for the destinies of Ravenpaw, Bluestar and Fireheart, so the fact that StarClan didn’t interfere meant each cat ended up where they were supposed to be.



Question: Since Cinderpelt was in love with Firestar, will Cinderheart have a crush on him?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Tee hee, I hadn't thought of that! I think she just might. Thanks for the idea!



Question: Can you tell us anything about who will become leader after Firestar?
Answer: VickyHolmes: No, I cannot tell you anything about who becomes leader after Firestar.
Outcome: Brambleclaw ends up becoming leader after Firestar's death in The Last Hope.[16]


Question: Do you ever plan on writing any more books about Brambleclaw, Squirrelflight or Crowfeather?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Well, they all appear in Omen because they all have a lot of unfinished business, but they won't take center stage, as far as I can tell.



Question: Will Firestar ever learn that Scourge was his half brother? Even if he does, will it matter?
Answer: VickyHolmes: No, I can't see of any way for him to learn that. If he did, I think Firestar would be pretty horrified at how such close kin turned out - after all, Princess wasn't a murdering psychopath with reinforced claws!



Question: Who would take Brambleclaw's place as deputy if he dies?
Answer: KateCary: Oh I hope it'd be Graystripe, but he may be passed it. I reckon Vicky would give it to Lionblaze.



Question: Does Squirrelflight have one white paw?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I've never pictured her with one white paw, but maybe it's mentioned very early on?



Question: Will Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight ever have kits, that is, once they get over their issues?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Not that I can foresee. Too much water under the bridge, if you see what I mean.
Outcome: False. Squirrelflight is revealed to be pregnant with Bramblestar's kits in the Bramblestar's Storm manga exclusive.[17]


Question: In The Darkest Hour when Whitestorm died, he was back in the prime of his life; however, Yellowfang went to StarClan and stayed old. Why is this?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Cats in StarClan are whatever age they were happiest. For Whitestorm, this was when he was a young warrior; for Yellowfang, it was when she joined ThunderClan and found peace.



Question: What's Icepaw's warrior name going to be?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Icecloud!
Outcome: True.[18]


Question: I've noticed that Hazeltail has been included a bit more in the books. Does this point to a significant role coming soon? And any possible love for the future?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Hmmm, I think maybe she's pushed herself to the front of the stage without me noticing! But perhaps I should reward her with something really exciting.



Question: Would Firestar really let his daughter leave ThunderClan?
Answer: VickyHolmes: If she truly wanted to, then yes. Firestar knows better than most cats that you have to be in the place where your heart feels happy.



Question: What exactly was Hollyleaf's power?
Answer: VickyHolmes: She never had one, because she was never part of the prophecy.
Outcome: True. She is not one of the Three.[19]


Question: Do you plan on killing Firestar next arc?
Answer: VickyHolmes: He's got a few lives to lose, so yes! Will he lose his ninth life? I'm not telling you.
Outcome: True, Firestar loses his remaining lives in the Omen of the Stars arc.[20]


Question: How did Goldenflower die?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Peacefully of old age between The New Prophecy and Power of Three.
Outcome: True.[21]


Question: Why did you just have Leafpool retire? I love her but I was expecting Hollyleaf to kill her.
Answer: VickyHolmes: How could she stay as a medicine cat, when she has broken the code so dramatically? And lied about her children? Leafpool has only herself to blame.



Question: Which cat (besides Cloudtail) would be most likely to resort to a kittypet life if given the choice?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I don't think Cloudtail would be a kittypet now. He's pretty well assimilated into the Clan. I suspect Purdy would quite like a kittypet lifestyle! Or Daisy, she likes being the center of attention.



Question: Why does it always seem like Longtail is still young and Mousefur is ancient when really Longtail should be older then her?
Answer: KateCary: Longtail is younger than Mousefur - he moved to the elders' den because he lost his sight, not because he was old.



Question: Why have none of the older warriors retired? I'm anxious to see some older warriors retire.
Answer: VickyHolmes: I know that they should, but I'm having too much fun with them. Also, if Dustpelt retires, for example, that means Firestar and Graystripe and Sandstorm should retire too, because they're all the same age. And that would be very inconvenient! It's quite a dilemma, I must say.




Question: What exactly do Dovekit and Ivykit look like? All I kinda know is that Dovekit is gray, and Ivykit is a tabby. Is that right? What are their eye colors?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Dovekit is gray, Ivykit is a silver tabby with dark blue eyes.
Outcome: True.[22]


Question: Will Ivykit be evil?
Answer: VickyHolmes: She'll be pretty miffed that her sister is getting all the attention, that's for sure!



Question: If Redtail's Sandstorm's father, why didn't she mourn for him in Into the Wild?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Not all cats are close to their parents, just like in real life. Some cats might not even be aware of who their parents are.



Question: Is the moon indeed sacred to the Clans? They have the Moonstone and Moonpool, two sacred places where leaders and medicine cats may speak with StarClan, not to mention the fact that the full moon is the sign of the truce during the Gatherings, so wouldn't it seem insulting to StarClan (and, if not, implying that a cat is an important figure, when, when the cat is still a kit, the mother couldn't possibly know that?) to give a cat the name Moon-? Also, on the warriors website (on the Ask Erin Hunter), you said Bluestar's mother's name was Duskflower, yet in the preview of Bluestar's Prophecy, it's still Moonflower. Which is correct?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Interesting question. The moon isn’t sacred as such – they don’t worship the moon, or believe that it has any special powers, but they do use it to mark the passage of time. The rest of importance comes from the fact that it is a source of light at night, which must seem pretty strange to the cats! It illuminates the Gatherings (a night when fighting would be difficult anyway because there would be less darkness to hide in), and shines on crystalline stones and still reflective pools where medicine cats can imagine StarClan gathering. So the moon has significance, mystery, beauty, but not actual power, if you see what I mean. Early on, we decided that the name “moon” shouldn’t be used by Clan cats not because it would insult StarClan, but because it would imply that a particular cat had more beauty and significance than its Clanmates. In fact (Warriors trivia coming up!) Bluestar was originally called Moonstone! However, a couple of references crept in to her mother being called Moonflower, most notably in Secrets of the Clans. Although I tried to change this to Duskflower in the website Q&A, there was a general feeling when we came to Bluestar’s Prophecy that we should go with the name that had appeared in previous books. So, uniquely, and kind of by accident, Bluestar’s mom is indeed Moonflower.




Question: Do Dove’s Wing and Dovekit have any correlation? Also, Half Moon has “strong haunches”, and her father bears an eerie resemblance to Cloudstar. Is this just a coincidence? Not to mention that Whispering Breeze “doesn’t mind getting her paws wet”. Is this implying something about RiverClan, perhaps?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Well spotted! I laid lots of clues about the future Clans in the community of ancient cats - so yes, some cats resemble cats we meet later on, some have characteristics that will feature in the modern Clans like not minding water. But Dove's Wing and Dovekit are not directly connected.
Outcome: False[23]

WindClan

Question: We saw Crowfeather's outward reaction to the discovery of his kits- what was his internal reaction? Does he care about his kits or Leafpool?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Rest assured that Crowfeather has a lot of feelings boiling under his fur! You’ll get more glimpses of them in the next arc, I promise.



Question: Does Heathertail still like Lionblaze? Or are her and Breezepelt really in love?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Poor Heathertail, I suspect part of her heart still belongs to Lionblaze even though she knows it is an Impossible Love (yay, one of my favourite things!). No way are she and Breezepelt in love! Although their relationship is more complicated than "just friends".


RiverClan

Question: Who are Mistyfoot's kits? They are mentioned in the first arc but never mentioned anywhere else
Answer: VickyHolmes: Hmmm. Kate? Cherith? Any ideas? Maybe they died tragically, and she’s too brave and stoic to mention them. Okay, hands up, I forgot about them.




Question: Is Leopordstar going to die any time soon, I would love to see a Mistystar.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Actually, I don't think I'm giving too much away to reveal that Leopardstar has just died in Omen of the Stars: Book Two! Mistystar is now the leader of RiverClan!
Outcome: True.[24]



Question: Was it really just pride that stopped Leopardstar from breaking her agreement with Tigerstar (when he was about to kill the half-Clans), or was there another factor--something she would never admit out loud--like fear?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Good question! Most definitely, Leopardstar was afraid of Tigerstar - but also in love with him, poor thing.




Question: Who is Mistystar's deputy?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Reedwhisker, one of the cats that Firestar and Graystripe rescued during a flood.
Outcome: True.[24]

ShadowClan

Question: Dawnpaw, Flamepaw, and Tigerpaw are Tigerstar's only grandkits. Will they have a huge role? Also, what are their warrior names?
Answer: VickyHolmes: They'll definitely have a very important role - Tigerstar will make sure of that! Oh gosh, can't remember their warrior names, I'm so sleepy! Tigerpaw is Tigerheart, I know that much.
Outcome: True.[2]


SkyClan

Question: Was Sky, the first leader of SkyClan, a male or female?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I feel that he was probably male, but I could be wrong.
Outcome: Clear Sky/Sky is revealed to be male in The Sun Trail.

The Ancients

Question: Will the character of Rock be told anytime in the future?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Not quite sure what you mean? He’ll definitely appear in Omen of the Stars, don’t worry. And look out for a fabulously dramatic scene involving Jayfeather’s beloved Stick of Wonder in Book One!



Question: In the Secrets of the Clans, it says that Stoneteller used to go to the Moonpool with two other healers from two other Tribes. What happened to these tribes? What were they called? Also, in Outcast, Stoneteller again says that they have never needed borders and patrols before. Does this mean that the three tribes lived together peacefully without any fighting?
Answer: VickyHolmes: The origin of the Tribe of Rushing Water will be explored in more detail in Omen of the Stars. Yes, there were originally more groups of cats living in the mountains – Stoneteller wasn't lying! I’m hugely excited about revealing more prehistory in the fourth arc. It opens up the stories in a whole new direction, and gives me lots more ideas than just following the Clans in their day-to-day lives by the lake (there are only so many foxes they can chase away!).



Question: If Jayfeather went into the tunnels, and came out in Jay's Wing's time, where did Jay's Wing go? I mean, he had to go somewhere when he went into the tunnels, right?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh no, I was hoping no one was going to ask me about this! Cherith asked me exactly the same thing when she was writing Long Shadows, and I gave her a really convincing answer, but the details seem to have got lost in the fog of my mind. I think I meant that Jayfeather actually became Jay’s Wing – not a reincarnation, not a temporary possession of his body – and by making the decision to go back to ThunderClan, Jay’s Wing had to leave his own Ancient Clanmates to follow a path that he had set for them. Does that make sense? Probably not.


Cats Outside Clans

Question: Whatever happened to Princess? Did she know that Firestar was leaving? I always hoped that Cody told her what happened.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, Cody explained everything, and although Princess was sad that she wouldn’t see her brother or son again, she understood why the Clans had to leave. Princess was a very important character because she was a fluffy kittypet through and through, yet sensitive enough to appreciate Firestar’s loyalty to the Clans, and his faith in the warrior code to lead him on the right path. I miss Princess!


Other Information

The Books

Question: Would you ever consider doing a BloodClan super edition? They're one of my favorite Clans and I would love to see a book devoted to them.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Alas, BloodClan are no more; only their fear of Scourge held them together as any sort of Clan. Their history before the battle with the four forest Clans is covered in Scourge’s manga, The Rise of Scourge, which explains how BloodClan came to be. Oh, and the remnants of BloodClan pop up in Ravenpaw’s manga trilogy, which comes out…er…soon. People always ask me when the books are coming out and I never remember!



Question: How did you feel when you were writing the Brightspirit scene?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I only provided the framework; Cherith wrote the actual scene. I was both honored and humbled to be able to remember Emmy Cherry like this, and I think the scene and character that Cherith created are perfect in every way.



Question: What was your favorite scene in the Power of the Three arc?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Without doubt, Squirrelflight’s confrontation with Ashfur at the top of the cliff. I wrote this scene before I started Power of Three: Book One, before I’d thought of any of the stories or characters, so the whole series was building up to this moment from page one of The Sight.
CherithBaldry: Like Vicky, I love the Ashfur scene, and I especially like the scenes where Jayfeather goes back in time to meet the ancient cats.


Question: Will old important characters have important roles in The Fourth Apprentice?
Answer: VickyHolmes: If they’re still alive, bwa ha ha ha. And even if they’re not, they can still shout encouragement from StarClan. Everyone keeps complaining that I kill all the young pretty cats, but haven’t you noticed I just whisk them off to StarClan so they can stay in the stories?



Question: Have you ever thought of having a few of your kitties rebel/revolt? Specifically against the way they're being ruled. Your books have human issues such as starvation, war, murder, etc, so I'm sure there's at least one cat who thinks independently and differently. Like freedom to vote, power to the felines, etc. I'm partial to the idea of rioting cats, though not if they've been previously dunked in water and placed on my lap.
Answer: VickyHolmes: Hee hee! A reader after my own heart! Happy endings are so dull, and quite unrealistic, to be honest. Life is fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t rely on what’s going on around you to make things perfect. I have a Buddhist quote on a postcard pinned to my dresser that I see first thing every morning: There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. It’s so true, and worth remembering when you get caught up thinking, I’d be happy if I had those jeans/a new iPod/a boyfriend, or IF I was thinner/taller/had different hair. Happiness doesn’t arrive in a box. It’s inside you all the time, if you look close enough. Phew, philosophical lecture over. :) Aha! Funny you should say this, SkyClan’s Destiny features exactly this theme! Civil war splits the newly formed Clan in two as Leafstar struggles to find a way for her Clan to survive among pressures and challenges that aren’t found in the forest. Also, we’ve had cats rebelling in the main series on a smaller scale, such as Mudclaw’s attempt to overthrow Onestar after Tallstar’s death. And how about Sol, turning ShadowClan upside down with his “fend for yourself” philosophy?



Question: The audiobooks read by Nanette Savard are fantastic, but why are they only for books 4, 5, and 6 of the New Prophecy? Will there ever be audiobooks for the other titles, especially the first arc?
Answer: VickyHolmes: This is a source of great bewilderment to me, and I’ve asked the same thing. Apparently, the HarperCollins policy is that audiobooks are produced once a arc has started selling in particular quantities – but the first audiobook is made from the most recently published book. Which is why they started with The New Prophecy Book Four, because it came out at the time when the series as a whole reached the target for audiobooks. I’m afraid I don’t know if any other books will be transferred to audio, but I have my fingers crossed because they are beautifully produced, as you say.



Question: In the prologue of Long Shadows, why were the original clan leaders only called by the first part of their names?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Because those were actually their names, and the tradition of adding –star hadn’t yet been thought up. The Clans developed slowly – if you think of all their rituals and practices, it must have taken years to think of them all! – so the original leaders kept their names just as they were. I’d love to do a Super Edition about the very early Clans so we can see how they started to take the shape that we recognize today.



Question: Will SkyClan or the Tribe of Rushing Water be coming back into the main series?
Answer: VickyHolmes: The Tribe will definitely pop up again! Not sure about SkyClan – at first I thought they would, not I’m not so sure about the likelihood of them making such a long journey. But don’t worry, SkyClan fans – this lovely Clan get their very own Super Edition next year in the shape of SkyClan’s Destiny! Cherith is writing that right now (and it’s going to be awesome).



Question: In the Secrets of the Clans, it says that Stoneteller used to go to the Moonpool with two other healers from two other Tribes. What happened to these tribes? What were they called? Also, in Outcast, Stoneteller again says that they have never needed borders and patrols before. Does this mean that the three tribes lived together peacefully without any fighting?
Answer: VickyHolmes: The origin of the Tribe of Rushing Water will be explored in more detail in Omen of the Stars. Yes, there were originally more groups of cats living in the mountains – Stoneteller wasn’t lying! I’m hugely excited about revealing more prehistory in the fourth arc. It opens up the stories in a whole new direction, and gives me lots more ideas than just following the Clans in their day-to-day lives by the lake (there are only so many foxes they can chase away!).



Question: When does Ravenpaw's triology take place?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Ravenpaw’s manga is set in the year between the first arc and The New Prophecy. It begins not long after Firestar and Sandstorm get back from helping SkyClan – Ravenpaw meets Squirrelkit and Leafkit on his first visit to the Clans in the manga trilogy. It’s been very useful having that year to fill with extra stories, but I’m concerned there won’t be room for many more!



Question: Are the cats from Jingo's "Clan" going to come back? I really liked those cats and I want to see them again~
Answer: VickyHolmes: I liked them too! I'd like to bring them back in Omen, yes.



Question: What role will beavers play in the fourth arc?
Answer: VickyHolmes: They pop up in the first book, The Fourth Apprentice, because they've built a dam upstream and drained the lake!
Outcome: True.[25]


Question: Will we ever learn about where Rock came from?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes you will! In Omen of the Stars Book Four or Five. Not long to wait!




Question: It's said that the SkyClan Super Edition will be entitled SkyClan's Destiny, and Allegiances of the Clans and Battle of the Clans the titles for the next two Field Guides. sfbookcase.com is given as reference for all three. Is the aforementioned website right about them?
Answer: VickyHolmes: At last, there is truth on the internet! Yup, SkyClan’s Destiny and Battles of the Clans will be out next year (late summer and early summer respectively). Allegiances of the Clans, all about the tangled romantic, political and platonic relationships in the Clans’ history, will follow in 2011. Which is very far away!
Outcome: Partially true. Allegiances of the Clans was never released.


Question: Will there be more than one villain in Omen of the Stars?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh yes. there will be lots of villains!


Clan Life

Question: What happens if a leader wants to retire? Can that leader keep his or her name that ends with -star, or does he or she need to use their warrior name again? Or can leaders even retire, if they still have more than one life left?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Leaders can retire – Pinestar does in Code of the Clans – but they have to go to the Moonpool and surrender all their lives except for one, otherwise the next leader won’t receive their full quota of nine lives. If a retired leader stays in the Clan, they have to revert to their warrior name (ie. without the –star).



Question: Back in the old days, apprentice training started at dawn. Kits AND apprentices used to bow in respect to elders and senior warriors. It was considered an honor to be allowed to eat with the senior warriors. A queen could have several litters and we'd never hear a word about the multiple fathers. Handling mouse bile was a punishment. But nowadays, queens become VERY attached to usually only one tom. Cats can eat with whoever they wish. Removing ticks from the elders has become a daily chore, and cats only bow in respect to the leader or medicine cat- and even then, not as much as they should. What has happened to all these traditions? Will they ever come back?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Okay, these are fair points, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Training still starts at dawn if you’re on an early border or hunting patrol, which usually involve most of the apprentices (seeing as there aren’t that many now). The warriors still tend to eat in their ranks, although I agree we haven’t made that obvious for a while. The whole multiple-father thing, although realistic, became too difficult an issue when it came to family trees, and also to the sense that our cats are seen by many readers (and their parents) as moral role models. You can figure out for yourself why we streamlined all the messy relationships, then! I don’t think tick-duty takes place every day – don’t forget, a lot goes on that we don’t see on the page. Finally, the reason cats don’t bow quite as much as they used to is because every other line started to include “dipped his head”, “dipped her head”, “bowed his head”, etc. Far too repetitive for my liking! So I cut down, although it still goes on.



Question: Is the moon indeed sacred to the Clans? They have the Moonstone and Moonpool, two sacred places where leaders and medicine cats may speak with StarClan, not to mention the fact that the full moon is the sign of the truce during the Gatherings, so wouldn't it seem insulting to StarClan(and, if not, implying that a cat is an important figure, when, when the cat is still a kit, the mother couldn't possibly know that?) to give a cat the name Moon-? Also, on the warriors website (on the Ask Erin Hunter), you said Bluestar's mother's name was Duskflower, yet in the preview of BluestarMedia:Example.ogg's Prophecy, it's still Moonflower. Which is correct?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Interesting question. The moon isn’t sacred as such – they don’t worship the moon, or believe that it has any special powers, but they do use it to mark the passage of time. The rest of importance comes from the fact that it is a source of light at night, which must seem pretty strange to the cats! It illuminates the Gatherings (a night when fighting would be difficult anyway because there would be less darkness to hide in), and shines on crystalline stones and still reflective pools where medicine cats can imagine StarClan gathering. So the moon has significance, mystery, beauty, but not actual power, if you see what I mean. Early on, we decided that the name “moon” shouldn’t be used by Clan cats not because it would insult StarClan, but because it would imply that a particular cat had more beauty and significance than its Clanmates. In fact (Warriors trivia coming up!) Bluestar was originally called Moonstone! However, a couple of references crept in to her mother being called Moonflower, most notably in Secrets of the Clans. Although I tried to change this to Duskflower in the website Q&A, there was a general feeling when we came to Bluestar’s Prophecy that we should go with the name that had appeared in previous books. So, uniquely, and kind of by accident, Bluestar’s mom is indeed Moonflower.



Question: Who, if anyone, 'created' StarClan and the Dark Forest? And what are the background/origins of them?
Answer: VickyHolmes: No single cat or creature was responsible for making StarClan and the Dark Forest. You’ll find out exactly how they came about in Omen of the Stars (book four or book five, I think). I’m really sorry that I can’t tell you now because I’m so excited about this element of the story!



Question: In the prologue of Long Shadows, why were the original Clan leaders only called by the first part of their names?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Because those were actually their names, and the tradition of adding –star hadn’t yet been thought up. The Clans developed slowly – if you think of all their rituals and practices, it must have taken years to think of them all! – so the original leaders kept their names just as they were. I’d love to do a Super Edition about the very early Clans so we can see how they started to take the shape that we recognize today.



Question: ThunderClan have the Highrock and now Highledge, but what do the other clans have?
Answer: VickyHolmes: In WindClan, Onestar stands on a boulder to address his Clanmates; in RiverClan, there’s a tree stump (from a small tree, like a hawthorn); and in ShadowClan, Blackstar stands on a fallen log. (Did that sound convincing? :))



Question: In Secrets of the Clans, you said that the four original Clan leaders (well, five actually, but the book only mentions four), were the ones who invented the Warrior Code, but in Code of the Clans, you said that the code was developed gradually, at different times. What really happened?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Erm, Code is correct - the original leaders got the ball rolling with the idea of the Warrior Code, but the individual parts evolved over future moons.


Warriors

Question: Have any of you ever wished to add something that couldn't be placed in the series because the target audience was too young?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Good question! I always say that I don’t write for children or adults, I just write about things that interest me, and strong characters in all different shades to bring those things about. The fact that we write about cats gives us the freedom to deal with subjects that wouldn’t normally be acceptable in a book aimed at younger readers that featured human characters – I’m thinking specifically of death, parenthood, intense political situations, violence, giving away your children, losing religious faith, madness… So joyously I don’t feel constrained at all about what I can include in the books, which is one reason why I haven’t run out of stories yet. However, there are two topics that will never fit into any of the books, and those are homosexuality and drug addiction. Not because the readers are too young (although I do have an opinion on the appropriateness, or otherwise, of these topics), but because they don’t sit easily in a series about feral cats.



Question: Tui, in your blog, as well as the autographed picture I received of Sunshine from the Brightspirit auction, you've shown a bit of an obsession with dogs. Would you (or any of the other Erin's) ever choose to do something dog related for a book?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Please can I answer this as well? Much as I love dogs), I’ve shied away from doing a canine version of Warriors so far because I feel it would be too similar in terms of storylines and set-up: Dogs live in close-knit groups organized by rank; they mark and defend their territory; they hunt for food and train the younger dogs. The main reason I chose to write about bears for Seekers was because they were so completely different from cats: independent, purely wild, solitary, at the top of the food chain yet at the mercy of humans’ destruction of their environment. I’m not saying that I’ll never write about dogs (or wolves!), but I’ve had my reasons for staying away from them so far.
Outcome: True and false. The original Erins won't write a new series about dogs, but a whole new cast of Erins will be writing Survivors, a story about dogs[26]


Question: Tui, in your blog, as well as the autographed picture I received of Sunshine from the Brightspirit auction, you've shown a bit of an obsession with dogs. Would you (or any of the other Erin's) ever choose to do something dog related for a book?
Answer: TuiSutherland: I am TOTALLY obsessed with dogs! That's why I'm doing the Pet Trouble series -- although I should warn you it's a lot happier than the Warriors & Seekers books. It's easier to be evil to cats or bears, because I don't live with one who would give me reproachful looks all the time! :) So I don't think I could do a dark animal fantasy about dogs, but it's fun to write about them being hilarious and mischievous instead. :) Although I'd never say never to anything :)



Question: Have you ever thought of doing warrior cat plushies/stuffed animals?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Actually, I want a plushy of ME! Like that’s ever going to happen. I think Warriors plushies, along with all other merchandise like stationery or clothing, would be part of a movie deal, and not somewhere HarperCollins would venture on their own.



Question: Any updates you can give us on the 'warrior movie' possibility? ;)
Answer: VickyHolmes: Oh, the fickle world of movie-making! Right now, there are no Warriors movies in production, or even under consideration. The economy is not in a healthy state for production companies to invest in a rather dark, intense animation about feral cats, apparently. I promise I’ll let you know if anything changes!



Question: Aren't feral cats nocturnal?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Yes, they are, but right at the start of the series we decided to make them diurnal because otherwise all the action would take place in the dark. We love our scenery! And also, it would make the cats’ experience even more remote from our own, when what I really wanted was to write about small furry humans with four legs. So I’m afraid you have to blame me for bending the laws of nature.



Question: How large is the lake the Clans live around?
Answer: VickyHolmes: About one quarter of a mile in diameter.



Question: Does Warriors take place in the present or some other time? And how long is the gap between the Tribe leaving the lake and the beginning of the series?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I imagine that Warriors takes place right now (unlike Seekers, which is set a little way into the future). The Tribe left the lake sixty years ago, I think.



Question: How long was it between the beginning of the Clans and SkyClan's being driven out? Is there a concrete number of years, like the thirty years between SkyClan's exile and present-day Warriors?
Answer: VickyHolmes: I haven't decided exactly how many years, but I'd imagine about twenty - slightly less than half the entire time the Clans have been in the forest.



Question: Do Dove’s Wing and Dovekit have any correlation? Also, Half Moon has “strong haunches”, and her father bears an eerie resemblance to Cloudstar. Is this just a coincidence? Not to mention that Whispering Breeze “doesn’t mind getting her paws wet”. Is this implying something about RiverClan, perhaps?
Answer: VickyHolmes: Well spotted! I laid lots of clues about the future Clans in the community of ancient cats - so yes, some cats resemble cats we meet later on, some have characteristics that will feature in the modern Clans like not minding water. But Dove's Wing and Dovekit are not directly connected.
Outcome: False. Dovewing is the reincarnation of Dove's Wing.[27]

The Authors

Question: Do you ever think of a soundtrack for particular books/characters/scenes? Like, while you're writing, do you think that certain songs would work well for this book/character/scene if it were ever made into a movie? I know I do that all time when I read, and also when I write - I was just wondering if you did the same. Also, if you do, can you give us some examples of your choices?
Answer: KateCary: I have perfect silence in my head while I write, except for sounds of the cats and forest I'm writing about - but I've seen loads of fan vids on youtube and I love the way you add soundtracks to the images!



Question: If your characters were human, which one would you want to spend a day with, go out to lunch, and talk to?
Answer: VickyHolmes: This is an awesome question! My favourite so far, I think. Hmmmm, who would I choose? I think it would have to be Cinderheart, because I’d want to quiz her and see just how much she knows about being a medicine cat. Then I’d say, Ha! Ever wondered how you knew all that stuff? I’d also like to meet Spottedleaf and say, Leave Firestar alone! You’re dead, and he’s got a mate! Enough mooning over him already!
KateCary: Yellowfang, of course, though I think the conversation would be a bit one-sided. She's a cat with a lot to say. I can just imagine her rolling her eyes when I say somthing dumb like I don't remember who was leader before Sunstar :)
TuiSutherland: I think Squirrelfeather would be funny company! And I kind of have a crush on Brackenfur, so maybe him, if we were both single. ;)

External Links

References

  1. Revealed on Wands and World
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, allegiances
  3. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, allegiances
  4. Revealed in The Last Hope, page 242
  5. Revealed in The Last Hope, page 1
  6. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 5
  7. Revealed on Kate's official blog
  8. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, allegiances
  9. Revealed in The Last Hope, page 300
  10. Revealed in The Last Hope, page 327
  11. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 15
  12. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 6
  13. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 23
  14. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 35
  15. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 119
  16. Revealed in The Last Hope, page 328
  17. Revealed in Bramblestar's Storm, page manga 2
  18. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 1
  19. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 6
  20. Revealed in The Last Hope, page 324
  21. Revealed in The Sight, allegiances
  22. Revealed in Sunrise, page 317
  23. Revealed on the Official Forum
  24. 24.0 24.1 Revealed in Fading Echoes, allegiances
  25. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 214
  26. Revealed at the end of The Last Hope
  27. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 264


Erin Hunter Chats/Forums
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - Forums 2010 - Forums 2011

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