Brilliant brilliant Warriors

I don’t think I’ve said anything on this blog yet about a series that is near and dear to my heart: Warriors, by Erin Hunter. But now seems like the perfect time to mention it because (a) there’s a new Warriors book coming out next week and (b) the mastermind behind the series is doing a book tour at the same time (yay!) (more on that in a minute).

Why do I love Warriors so much?

(1) Because it’s brilliant.

(2) Because it stars adorable, brave, noble cats!

(3) Because the person doing this book tour is just the coolest.

(4) Because the covers are phenomenal.

(5) Because I was the editor for the series (starting with the very first book!) when I worked at HarperCollins, so I’ve been working on it from the beginning…and even though it has a new official editor now (who is luckily wonderful), I still feel like it’s, you know, if not my baby, then at least a cherished niece.

If you don’t know about Warriors (and you totally should, by the way, because it is totally a New York Times bestselling series, hooray!), here’s a brief intro: It starts with Rusty, an ordinary kitten who dreams of prowling the wild and learning to hunt. One day he ventures into the forest and meets some wild cats, who tell him that there are four clans of warrior cats living in the forest, and invite him to join them. And then there are BATTLES! And ROMANCE! And INTRIGUE and BETRAYAL and FUR FLYING! And much much more!

There are six books in the original Warriors series, following Rusty as he becomes Firepaw (a ThunderClan apprentice), then Fireheart (a ThunderClan warrior), all the while fighting to prove that he’s as strong as any warrior despite his soft housecat origins.

Then there’s another six-book series, Warriors: The New Prophecy, following the adventures of the next generation of warrior cats as they grapple with an ominous prophecy.

And now there’s a new six-book series launching, Warriors: Power of Three. I won’t say too much about it, because anything I say would give away events of the earlier books, but I’ve read the first book, and it’s AMAZING, and the newest heroes are too terrific for words. I really think these books just get better and better all the time. Excitingly, there are actually lots of new Warriors books coming out this year: a manga trilogy (graphic novel cats!), a field guide all about the world of Warriors (behind the scenes cats!), and a stand-alone super-edition (super-cats!) (no, not really) (except in the sense of being heroic and valiant, of course). But if you’re already a fan, you know all of that!

And hopefully, if you’re a fan, you also know that there’s a book tour starting April 24th. Perhaps you also know that the author “Erin Hunter” is actually a couple of people who work together on the series. The one who’s coming for the book tour is Victoria Holmes, and if you’re looking for the real scoop on all things Warriors, she’s the one to ask. She is, basically, the brains behind the whole series — the voice/heart/soul of Warriors and the genius behind it all. Also, she’s just a wonderful, lovely person!

So if you’re in Washington D.C., Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois, Connecticut, or Massachusetts, you should come out and hear her talk! The full schedule is posted on (click on “News and Exclusives”). (This site is also a good place to learn more about Warriors if you’re not already part of the obsession) (like I fully am!). It’s going to be tres cool, and I know Vicky will be full of brilliant insider information about the books (although good luck prying spoilers out of her!). Yay Vicky! Yay Warriors!

All right, in other, less literary news, I think it’s time to admit that I’ve succumbed. Yes…I’m completely hooked on Dancing with the Stars. I talked myself into watching it at first by telling myself it would give me ideas for our first dance at the wedding, but truthfully, I just kind of love it. I love that everyone involved with it is a big adorable dork (especially the host, Tom, who is hilarious, and certain contestants, like Ian and Joey, who are too funny). I also love that the editing makes them all seem cute and lovable, instead of creating villains or focusing on squabbles like most reality shows do. I love that the music is almost always fun (even if it sometimes seems wrong for the dance) and that the celebrities try so hard and are so gracious, at least from what I’ve seen.

And you know, I didn’t think there was anything that could make me forgive Billy Ray Cyrus for “Achy Breaky Heart,” but he’s really darn cute on this show. The sweet, self-deprecating thing works for him, because I don’t think it’s an act. Like everyone else, I admire Heather Mills’s fortitude in doing this with only one leg, but I have to say, I’m pretty convinced that the costume designers HAAAAATE her. Surely that’s the only possible explanation for the completely hideous outfits she wears every week. The mambo outfit and the waltz outfit were okay, but everything else, especially this week’s sequined-silver-sack-over-a-pink-bathing-suit catastrophe, has just been sadistic. I don’t know what she did to the costume people, but I hope they forgive her soon, for our sakes.

I’ve been rooting for Laila Ali, who is riveting, but I think Apolo Anton Ohno’s samba with Julianne this week may have tilted my affections in their direction. Holy smokes! They are so fantastic! As we watch, I keep telling Adam: “Look, that’s going to be us at our wedding! OK, maybe not the part where she whips her leg over his head. Or the part where he throws her between his legs and halfway across the dance floor. Or the part where she does a back flip. I mean, if I weren’t wearing a long flowy wedding dress, sure. Hmmm. OK, perhaps we’ll just do the part where they stand and wave at the crowd.” This makes Adam look a little pale. I don’t know what he’s so worried about; he’s a much better dancer than I am. And I’m the one who has to do the full splits across the floor, not him. WHEE!

And did you all watch Drive this week, like you were supposed to? Wasn’t it exciting? As I expected, I totally loved it. Mystery! Intrigue! Stuff Happening! I love Stuff Happening. Hooray! If you missed it, guess what? You can get it on iTunes. Do it! It’s awesome!

All right, that”s all my nattering for this week. Don”t forget to check out Warriors, and come to one of Vicky”s appearances if you can!


Quote of the Day:
Ignacio: I”m going stir-crazy in here. I”m starting to forget the feel of rain, the smell of freshly mowed grass!
Hilda: Papi, we live in Jackson Heights. The grass smells like fried onions.
Ugly Betty