Will there be a Warriors movie?

This is definitely the question we get asked most! Right now, I have to tell you that there are no Warriors movies in production and no definite plans for one no matter what you’ve read on the internet! We have had discussions with production companies but nothing has been quite right yet. And since we believe that you deserve the best possible movie, we’ll wait until we can make a Warriors blockbuster!

Will there be a Warriors video game?

We’d love to see a video game featuring the Clans! But if there were ever a Warriors movie made, any video games would arise from that, using images and scenes from the film. So we have to wait and see if there’s going to be a movie first! Sigh. So, no, despite what you may read online, there is no planned video game for a gaming system.

Will there be a Warriors online game?

Yes! Right now we are in the process of creating an online Warriors game, which will be released sometime in late 2010. More details will come as they are available, but we’re all very excited to share this with you and we hope you’ll be excited to play!

How do the Erin Hunters write/work together?

First of all, there are four Erin Hunters! (For the earlier series, there were three Erins, but now we’ve added to the team, hooray!) Individually, we are Vicky Holmes, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland. Tui is the only Erin who lives in the US; she has her own website at www.tuibooks.com. Vicky came up with the original ideas for Warriors and Seekers, and still creates all the characters and storylines; Kate, Cherith and Tui take turns writing the full-length manuscripts. Vicky then edits to make sure they sound like “Erin” throughout, and are consistent with all the other stories. Kate, Cherith, and Tui have never met, although they keep in touch via email. Vicky knew Kate and Cherith already through her work as an editor, and when she realized she wouldn’t have enough time to write all the Warriors books herself, she called upon Kate and Cherith because she knew they were hugely talented writers who love cats! Tui started off as the editor of Warriors at our publisher, HarperCollins, but when she left to write her own books, Vicky snapped her up to work on the first Field Guide, Secrets of the Clans, followed by some of the Seekers books.

How do you come up with the names for the cats? Can my cat be in a Warriors book? Will you use my cat’s name?

With difficulty! Honestly, it gets harder as we use up more and more names! We start with two lists, one for the first part of the warrior name and one for the second part, of words which occur naturally in the feral cats’ world (like leaf, feather, pelt, stripe, brown, mud). Then we put them together and hopefully come up with new combinations. Your letters and fan sites are a great source of names, too. If you are in a role-playing-game on the internet, watch out, because we might put your name in one of the books! Please do send us your own ideas, or the name of your cat, but I’m afraid we can’t promise they’ll appear because I don’t think we could come up with enough characters for all of them, not even if we the series lasted for a hundred books!

How did you come up with the original idea for Warriors?

About seven years ago, HarperCollins approached me (Vicky) and asked for a fantasy series about feral cats. I must confess I wasn’t very keen at first because I don’t read fantasy and although I love all animals, including cats, I’m more of a dog person. But once I started working with the characters, I realized I could give them human issues such as starting at a new school (Rusty joining ThunderClan), falling in love with the wrong person (Graystripe and Silverstream), and being bullied by someone who should look after you (Ravenpaw and Tigerclaw). Once I stopped thinking of the series as a “fantasy” and just let the characters take me where they wanted, everything got much easier, and the stories started to tell themselves.

How do you come up with the ideas for the books?

From human situations, as I mentioned above. Also, Kate and Cherith bring their brilliant knowledge of cat behavior to make the lives of the Clans as realistic as possible, and very easy to imagine. Sometimes I start to plan a new book by figuring out which cats can die (*evil grin*), and sometimes I look back at what happened previously to see what the characters should do next. (The ones that don’t die, anyway!) I always start a new series by planning out the six book arc, which is a rough outline of what will happen throughout the whole series and where we need to end up on the last page of Book Six. Once that is in place, I plan each book individually, working out an exciting story that can be contained within the book as well as adding more details to the overall arc. It’s a bit like building a giant jigsaw puzzle, but without knowing the picture before you begin!

Where are the Warriors books set?

The first series was set in a place called the New Forest, which is in the county of Hampshire in the south of England, close to the coast. If you look at a map of the New Forest, you’ll see the same road layout as on the Warriors maps, although we made up Highstones because there are no mines in this area. This explains why the cats mostly encounter British wildlife such as foxes and badgers, rather than raccoons or elk. However, for The New Prophecy, we invented a completely new landscape with mountains and a lake, neither of which can be found anywhere near the real New Forest.

What advice would you give a young writer?

Read! And then read some more! The best way to learn about good writing and bad is to experience as much of other peoples’ writing as you possibly can. Explore all sorts of genres, from fantasy to detective fiction, contemporary writing and books from the last century, and all different styles, including newspapers, blogs, and even advertising copy. Then have a go at writing in as many different forms as you can, from the school magazine to fan fiction to letters to your grandparents. There are so many different ways of being a writer that you shouldn’t just focus on one sort of fictionsuch as feral cat fantasies! You might be brilliant at writing sports reports or movie reviews, for example. Finally, remember to leave your keyboard or your pen every so often and go out to explore what real life can offer! You need to have things to write about, and not everything can be found in your imagination. Kate, Cherith, Tui, and I have all had other jobs as well as writing, and lead busy lives with children, friends, and hobbies so we have lots of experiences to draw on when it comes to making up characters and stories.

Do you have a cat or any other pets?

VICKY: Although I grew up on a farm surrounded by cats of all sorts, from tiny semi-feral kittens born on the rafters of the barn to an elegant lilac-point Burmese called Algernon who was convinced he was a person, I don’t have cats at the moment. I have a dog! She’s a delightful Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Missy, and I adore her shamelessly.

KATE: I had three cats, until the eldest died last year. He was a grumpy old man called Willow, and if the elders in my books all seem a little grouchy, you can blame his influence. We have two cats now, a brother and sister. The sister, Flower, is kittypet through and throughher proudest achievement to date is murdering a toilet roll. She woke me up at 3 a.m. meowing loudly about her bravery and dropped the shredded mass on my bed. Her brother is definitely warrior material, though (and more a Tigerstar than a Firestar, I suspect).

CHERITH: I also have two cats. Since I got them after I started writing Warriors (after my previous much-loved cat went to hunt with StarClan), I gave them warrior names. They appear in the books as Brambleclaw and Sorreltail. When I first got Bramble I was struck by how much he looked like Tigerstar in the books, but I couldn’t bear to think of this little furry scrap as being so evil, so I thought perhaps he might be the son of Tigerstar. And that’s the seed from which Vicky created that whole plotline. Bramble is very quiet and dignified–maybe he’s thinking about all his Clan duties–while Sorrel is a noisy, attention-seeking little madam, and also a fierce hunter. She keeps trying to build a fresh-kill pile in my kitchen!

TUI: I don’t have any cats–my dad was very allergic, so we grew up with dogs instead. (In order: Sasha, Sam, Sam, Katy, Redsy, Caledonia, and Cashew!) Right now I have a dog named Sunshine, who is a small, white yorkie-poodle mix and absolutely perfect.

Who is your favorite Warriors character?

VICKY: I have two sorts of favorites. Ravenpaw is the cat who is most similar to my own personality, because he’s shy, says dumb things under pressure, and is much happier living outside the Clan rather than in the middle of a busy community governed by rules (the warrior code). However, Yellowfang has been my favorite cat to create story lines for because she is such a difficult, complex, and private character. She’s much more than just a grumpy old medicine cat!

KATE: Yellowfang is always my favorite (though Graystripe’s a close second). She’s a great character to write, much more so than Firestar, who I find a bit fretful and angst-ridden. Indeed my nine-year-old son, after reading the first series, said it should be called Worriers, rather than Warriors.

CHERITH: I like Leafpool a lot, because I feel she’s like me in many ways. And I have a very soft spot for Dustpelt, because he’s a loyal Clan catalthough to begin with he didn’t like Firestar–and because I like his sharp tongue.

TUI: Can I answer for both Warriors and Seekers?! My favorite character from the beginning of Warriors is Brackenfur, because he’s loyal and trustworthy and often more heroic than even our central hero cats. (The scene where he tries to chase after poor Snowkit in A Dangerous Path gets me every time!) I also love reading about Jayfeather, because he’s so unusual and troubled in his strange way.

Can you come to my school for a visit?

Vicky has visited bookstores and schools across the US several times to celebrate the launch of different titles in the Warriors and Seekers series. She comes back around once a year to tour new locations and to revisit popular locations, meeting the fans and talking about all of the books so far. You can check out the official website, www.readwarriors.com, for all the latest tour information, including past tour blogs and any upcoming dates. Hopefully Vicky will come to your school or local bookstore soon!

I found some mistakes in my Warriors book. Why?

Since starting the series in 2003, there have been more than forty Warriors and Seekers books, including separate story arcs, mangas, special editions, and field guides. With all of this, you can imagine how many characters and story lines there are to keep track of! While each book is carefully checked and double-checked by the author, the editors, and others, we are only human and sometimes mistakes can slip through. We love your sharp eyes and always listen when you’ve found a mistake so we can be sure to fix it for next time!

Will you use my idea for your book?

We love the fact that so many of you are inspired to create your own stories about the world of the Clans. Unfortunately we are unable to borrow any of your ideas for the series because copyright laws insist that we use only our own characters and stories. But please keep writing the fan fiction–there are plenty of places to post it online, so other fans can enjoy it!

Why did you kill my favorite cat?

Because the story needed the cat to die, tee hee! All stories need drama and conflict to keep people turning the pages, and a tragic death is one of the best ways to capture a reader’s attention. But remember that our cats don’t vanish forever once they die–good-hearted warriors reappear in StarClan, offering advice and affection to their former Clanmates, while evil cats go to the Place of No Stars, the Dark Forest where forces are rising to cause more trouble than the Clans have ever known….

How many more Warriors books are you going to write?

As many as we can without running out of fabulous ideas and engaging characters! Seriously, we don’t exactly know, but since we’ve only just begun the fourth Warriors series, Omen of the Stars, and are planning a second series of Seekers, there will be plenty more books for the next few years!