Erin Hunter Answers Your Questions

The rule for medicine cats to not take on a mate, does that go for male medicine cats too? They wouldn't exactly be stuck in the nursery nursing their kits, they could still work. But are they still required not to take on a mate?


Hi Shademint! A male medicine cat could still work, but just because he can’t give birth to kits wouldn’t make him any less distracted! He would still be focused on the raising of his own kits, and by his mate’s needs. Plus, a medicine cat must treat all the cats in his Clan fairly; could you imagine how difficult it would be for a medicine cat to treat his own sons and daughters after a battle – and maybe have to make them wait for treatment after other more seriously-injured warriors?

Hi Erin! I've been wondering... how did the three of you meet? I think about A LOT! Please reply! Thanks!


Hello, Lilybreeze! This is Vicky here, so I’ll answer from my viewpoint. Before I started on Warriors, I worked as an editor of children’s books (I still do, in fact, in between being one of the Erins). Kate and Cherith were established children’s authors who were interested in working with me on a project. Kate started first on Warriors; for Book Three I realized that we needed another writer on the team in order to deliver the books fast enough, so I invited Cherith to join because I knew she loved cats, and even more importantly, would be able to write in a way that sounded like the combination of Kate’s and my style. Meanwhile, Tui Sutherland, the fourth Erin who wrote Secrets of the Clans and some of the Seekers books, was the editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books who worked on the finished Warriors manuscripts. After the early series, Tui left to write her own books, and I quickly asked her if she could join the Erin team as well! So the short answer is, I knew each of the other Erins through work, and now consider them to be my friends. The other Erins have never met (partly because they live far away from each other) but we all correspond by email.

Hi Erin,

I can't believe I'm actually talking to the person who created all those AWESOME books that I buy and read EVERY NIGHT!!!(when I can that is!!)

How long does it normally take to write a book?


Aww, thank you, Spottedfang! There are certainly plenty of books to read, aren’t there? If you read them slowly, that is (take note, those of you who are very proud about being able to read a whole book in one day!). It takes about two months to write the storyline for a new book, which includes details of what happens in every single scene, plus some suggestions for dialogue and character development. This is Vicky’s part! The final storyline usually takes up half the length of the entire book. Then the storyline goes to Kate, Cherith or Tui, who have about three months to write the first draft. Then the manuscript comes back to Vicky who spends a week or so carefully going through it, checking it all sounds like “Erin” and that the story works as she imagined. Sometimes she asks whoever wrote it to do a bit more work on it, but if all the words seem to be in the right place, she sends it to the editor at HarperCollins: Erica for Warriors, or Sarah for Seekers. Erica and Sarah go through the manuscript and ask for changes or additions to be made to make the book as perfect as it can be; sometimes Vicky does these changes on her own, sometimes she asks Kate, Cherith or Tui (whoever wrote the first draft) to produce a second draft. Then it goes back to the publisher for the final time, ready to be turned into a book, yay! So the entire process takes about six months in total, although we are always working on two or three books at once so we can produce more than two books a year.

Hey Erins, do you have any guide lines or rules when naming warrior cats?

When I first started reading the series, I heard something about how you were breaking your rules for creating warrior names. Are there any or is that just a fan based thing?


Hi Hawkclaw! Well, firstly we can only create names from words that cats know about – so you’re unlikely to find a leader with a name like Ferraristar! A warrior’s name comes in two parts, either or both of which can reflect something about the cat’s appearance, personality or habits, for example, ‘fur, ‘claw’, ‘heart’ or ‘stripe’, or something from the natural world like ‘fire’, ‘bramble’ or ‘cloud’. You can also have colours or something descriptive, such as ‘tall’, ‘red’ or ‘swift’. So Hawkclaw is a perfect example! These are the basic rules which we have followed throughout Warriors, although you might be interested to know that in the very first book, Tigerclaw was originally called “Hammerclaw” until someone pointed out that cats wouldn’t know what a hammer was!

Are greencough and whitecough actual sicknesses only with different names? If so, what are they?


They certainly are real, Basilstar, although we haven’t based them on a specific illness like pneumonia. Whitecough is a chest infection (coughing up clear fluids, feeling tired but still able to eat and drink), and greencough is a severe chest infection (coughing up green fluid--yuck!-- and feeling too ill to move, let alone eat or drink). This is why so many cats who catch whitecough end up developing greencough if it goes untreated.

Hi Erin! I’ve been thinking how do you come up with the names for Lusa, Toklo, Ujurak, and Kallik. And how do you say Ujurak??


Hello, Shapeshifter. Are you a Twilight fan as well, by any chance?! We took the names of the bears from Native American languages according to the area where they were born. So Kallik means “lightning” in Inuktitut, Silaluk means “storm” in the same language, and Taqqiq “moon”. Toklo means “two” in Chicksaw, because he is the second of twins. Lusa means “midnight” and Ujurak means “rock” – in other words, something strong and unchangeable, even though he can switch appearances at will. Ujurak is pronounced “oo-joo-rack”.

Okay. Starclan gives clan leaders their name and nine lives. They lose their lives to sickness and wounds, but what about age? Lets say a leader gets really old, do they die over and over again?


What happens if a leader dies of natural causes on their first life? Do leaders lose all their lives if they die of natural causes on their first life? I REALLY want to know!


Welcome to the FAQ pages, Foxcloud and Moonstar. In the natural world, animals rarely get to die of old age – they are more likely to die sooner than their domestic counterparts due to the harsh life they lead, without medication or a reliable source of food. Even very old warriors usually die because of something else, such as a disease or hunger or extreme cold. Leaders are even more likely to lose lives because they take part in most battles, and would go without food or medical treatment for the sake of a Clanmate in greater need. So it would be unusual for a leader to make it to a very great age with more than one life remaining. If they became very weak, say from being unable to eat or because their kidneys were failing, I think they could return once, but after that more than one thing inside them would fail and they would lose successive lives very quickly.

I heard this question during a book signing and im curious. Will there be a Albino cat sometime in the series? I think it would be really cool if there was. It would make the book really interesting.


Hi, StarShine! We are definitely considering an Albino cat, but we’re waiting for the right story to come along so that its unusual coloring can play a central role.

Lots of people have been wondering if Toklo and Lusa are going to fall in love, but I don’t think they are. Are they? I’m not the only one who wants to know.


Hello, Tigersoccerstar. I like that I can tell something about you just from your name! Although it might not make it onto a Warriors cast list… We very rarely give anything away about future stories, but I think I can safely reveal that Toklo and Lusa are not going to fall in love. They are different species of bear, so it would be a biological challenge. However, as a side note, grizzly (or brown) bears have been known to mate with polar bears. Their offspring are known as pizzlies!

How popular is Warriors?


That’s kind of tricky to answer, Pigeonheart! As popular as the readers make it, is the truth! New books always make the top ten on the children’s bestseller charts in America when they are first released, which is a good sign that a series is doing very well. In the UK, only the first series has been published so the books are less well known, although they have some dedicated fans. Warriors is much better known in America, and hundreds turn up wherever I tour, yet in the UK (where I’m from!) the popularity is more…subdued. That said, my very first UK event in October 2009 was a big success, so watch this space!

Hi Erin!!! Kallik is my favorite bear. She’s sooooo cute! I was wondering which one is your favorite one.


Hi Wildpaw!!! (lots of exclamation marks, yay!) We love all the bears for different reasons – Toklo for his loyalty, Kallik for her courage, Lusa for her humour, and Ujurak for his combination of young playfulness with untold depths of wisdom. I think perhaps we all enjoy writing about Lusa the most because she tends to do and say the funniest things.

Will you write about Horses?

Yes, they live in groups (herds), but they'd be different from Warriors. Horses aren't exactly really like cats, and they could travel their home every so often. Horses would be a very neat idea and I'd like to see a series about it sometime!

Willowfern (Your number one fan! 8D)

Are you a horse lover too, Willowfern? We have considered writing about horses because they are such beautiful, intelligent animals, but we were concerned that horses tend to run away when anything exciting/scary happens – we need our heroes to sprint toward danger, not vanish over the horizon in a cloud of dust! Also, cats have tiny paws which are handy for harvesting and using herbs, whereas you can’t do much with a big clumsy hoof. However, never say never! Maybe when we’ve written about some other animals, we’ll find a way to bring horses into their own series!

Are you going to do a Seekers Warriors Crossover?

― *WaterClaw*

Good question, WaterClaw, but the answer is no, I’m afraid. For a start, the cats would just be snacks to the bears! Also, animal species can’t talk to each other in either of the series (with the exception of a certain multi-lingual badger!), so it would be impossible to make the characters interact with each other. In addition, we have set the bears’ stories in the real world, with actual place names and a route charted on a proper map. The cats live somewhere that exists only in our imagination; it’s not a fantasy land like Narnia or Middle-Earth, but it has a mixture of British and North American wildlife and can’t be placed exactly anywhere in the world. So the bears would never be able to find it!

Hi Erin,

I love the Seekers books and was wondering if you are planning on expanding them, as with Warriors, or will the series end with six books? Personally, I love the Seekers books and would love to see more. Thank you for reading this and please keep writing!


Hello, Kec75! We’re thrilled that you like the Seekers books so much, and we’re pleased to be able to promise another series of six books, featuring what happens after the bears reach their destination in the frozen Arctic wastes and face the long journeys home. The first book (currently without a title, I’m afraid) will be out in 2011.
Erin xx
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