Hi all! Recently, I was lucky enough to be in contact with the lovely author Kendare Blake. If you don’t already know, she’s the author of Anna Dressed In Blood, Girl of Nightmares, Antigoddess, Mortal Gods, Ungodly, Violent Ends, Slasher Boys & Monster Girls, and Sleepwalk Society. Kendare can be found on: Her Website // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter.
Kendare Blake is the author of several novels and short stories, most of which you can find information about via the links above. Her work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry. She was born in July (for those of you doing book reports) in Seoul, South Korea, but doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, as she was packed off at a very early age to her adoptive parents in the United States. That might be just an excuse, though, as she is pretty bad at learning foreign languages. She enjoys the work of Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Linklater, and the late, great Michael Jackson, I mean, come on, he gave us Thriller.
She lives and writes in Kent, Washington, with her husband, their two cat sons (Tybalt and Tyrion Cattister) and their red Doberman dog son, Obi Dog Kenobi.
I absolutely loved Kendare’s most popular novel, Anna Dressed In Blood, and you can find my review here.
Anyway, Kendare was kind enough to answer the set of questions I asked her, so read on for the interview!
Who are some of the authors who inspire you?
Oh, so many. All of them I’ve read, in some way. But in particular: Milan Kundera, Bret Easton Ellis, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Joe Hill.
What is the hardest part about writing?
When it’s not going well. Some days it just isn’t there. And those days are long and full of torment. The doubt isn’t fun either. Wondering if you’re writing something that anyone else will find compelling. Do you have a bag of diamonds, or a sack of rat turds? It’s sometimes shockingly hard to tell.
When did you first decide you wanted to become an author, and why?
I wanted to write when I was about…eleven, I think. So I wrote a novel, just to see if I could finish one. And I could! But even though I never really stopped writing, I studied to be other, more practical things, because I knew it was a long shot that the writing would work out. As for why…I don’t know. I read a lot, as a child. And writing is the only thing I’ve really been compelled to do.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, do you have any tips on overcoming this obstacle?
Nope. Never had it. I’m so grateful. It sounds terrible.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
Depends on the story. I would say I’m mostly pantser. Following the string through the trees. But when things get too complicated, I do sometimes draw charts to stay on top of them.
What was your favorite scene/chapter to write in Anna Dressed In Blood?
I loved writing a lot of scenes in Anna. Most of them, really. Cas made that book, and Girl of Nightmares, such a pleasure. I loved writing the scenes when Cas and his mom first hit Thunder Bay. When he talks about how haunted it is. I loved writing the scenes with Thomas being awkward. I loved the magic.
Are your characters based off of people you know, or are they just purely from your imagination?
Usually, purely imagination. Though they will share traits of people I know. Like Cas thinking he could climb the rocks at the waterfall. My husband thought that, the dope. And Thomas’ car, is my friend’s car from high school. And Hermes in the Goddess War drinks the same beer as another friend. And Tybalt is my cat, who just passed away this summer.
On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
It varies greatly. The initial draft usually takes anywhere from four to eight months. But given the varying times I completely rewrite it after that…you have to tack on another four to six.
Did you ever think one of your books would be made into a movie?
No, I didn’t! It’s still very weird to me that anyone is interested in turning Anna into something other than a book. It’s incredible. And Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett are fantastically talented producers. I’m hopeful (extremely hopeful) that it will keep on moving forward.
Are you working on any projects currently? If so, could you tell us anything about it?
Of course! I’m working on my new book, THREE DARK CROWNS. It comes out next fall, and is about triplet queens on a hidden island. One is an elemental, who can control the elements and call storms. Another is a naturalist, who makes things grow and communes with animals. And the youngest is a poisoner, immune to all toxins, but very good at using them to assassinate people. Only one can become Queen. And to do it, she’ll have to kill the others.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don’t stop writing. Write, write, write, and read, read, read. Learn. Get better. Never stop improving. And don’t get stuck up in your own head. Get it down on the page.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Nah, man, you are wicked thorough. Thanks for having me by!