She talks about planning out her books beforehand:
Mona: Are you a plotter, pantser, or a combination?
Richelle: I’m very much a plotter. I have to know where I’m going. I’ll have a series plotted out...where it going, but little details pop up along the way that I get detoured on, but I always come back to the outline.
Mona: Do you make a detailed outline?
Richelle: I do, I do. I need it both to keep me on track, and as I write, I want to drop hints along the way on things that I know are coming for the readers.
I can tell with some books where the big reveal or the big ending was made up as they went along. Sometimes they can pull that off, but I like to know what’s coming and give clues so the readers are like, “Oh, there it was.”
It turns out that Richelle actually has a a book stashed away, one that she wrote before being published. I'm very curious to find out what it's about!
Mona: How many books did you write before being published?
Richelle: Two. I had a graphic novel that got buried away, and the second one I still have. The next one got published.
Mona: I was going to ask if you still had any of them.
Richelle: I do. It needs work, but it would be nice to bring it out someday. I haven’t forgotten about it, but it’s still there waiting. As you practice your craft, you get better with every book.
Richelle answers a question about her favorite type of character:
The ones who are real...snappy. Those are the people with the best dialogue. There are a lot of guys, a lot of roguish guys in my current book, and it’s just one-liner after one-liner. It’s funny dialogue
I think we can tell that that's a favorite of Richelle's. :-) I've said it before, but it's one of the things I love about her books, her sense of humor.
Richelle also talks a lot about how she balances writing three book series at the same time, and having three deadlines to keep.
Mona: What interrupts or interferes with your writing the most?
Richelle: The time I spend working on previous books. I don’t think people realize you finish the book with the first draft and then it goes through a lot more drafting, then the editors send it back and you have to revise it. Right now, I’m writing the third Dark Swan book while also revising the last Vampire Academy book.
This is a really awesome interview, so read the rest of it on the Paperback Dolls blog.
That last answer made me think about an excellent series of posts that Stacia Kane wrote on her blog, detailing the process of publishing a book. There are so many more steps than a normal reader realizes, and you can learn a lot by reading it. You can find the first part here.