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December 02, 2021
As many fans know, Erin Hunter is not one person, but a team of story writers, authors and editors who work together to create the series you love. The Warriors series was the brainchild of Vicky Holmes, an editor based in London. She created the world of Warriors in response to a request from publisher HarperCollins, who wanted a series about feral cats.
As she puts it, “I must confess I wasn’t very keen at first because I don’t read fantasy and although I love all animals… I’m more of a dog person. But once I started working with the characters, I realized I could give them human issues… Once I stopped thinking of the series as ‘fantasy’ and just let the characters take me where they wanted, everything got much easier, and the stories started to tell themselves.”
While Vicky wrote the plots for the books, she recruited two fantastic writers to flesh out the stories, Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry. Vicky knew Kate and Cherith from her work as an editor; they were both hugely talented, and big fans of cats. Kate and Cherith each brought a lot to the series, and they write all of the Warriors novels and Super Editions to this day.
Upon publication, the Warriors series was a huge success! And as demand for the stories has grown, so has the team of writers and editors who work on it. A story team was created to help Vicky write up the plotlines of the books, and edit the manuscripts when they came in. And new writers like Tui Sutherland and Clarissa Hutton—both of whom once edited Warriors at HarperCollins!—have come on board to write some of the novellas and nonfiction titles.
In 2017, Vicky took a step back from the series for health reasons. The story team now consists of five editors who come up with the story arcs and write detailed outlines for what happens in each of the books. Kate and/or Cherith then write up the manuscript, and it passes back through the story team for an edit, and then on to the editors at HarperCollins. Once each editor is satisfied with the story, it goes to a copyeditor, who makes sure all of the details are correct—and then it is published and goes out to the fans!
The Erin Hunter team has gone on to develop new series for Erin: Bravelands, Survivors, and Seekers. While the story team and writers are slightly different for each series, the process of creating the books—and the dedication to the natural world and showing animals’ interior thoughts—remain the same. The Warriors team adores the cats, and takes our responsibility to keep the series exciting and satisfying to the fans very seriously. We hope that you enjoy the books as much as we enjoy working on them!