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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Anna vs Terminator: An Interview With Author KENDARE BLAKE!

Kendare Blake is one of those authors who is just so good at what she does she baffles me. No one is more original (or funnier) than Joy Preble. No one is more suspenseful (read: uses more evil cliffhangers) than Lili St Crow. No one inflicts more EMOTIONAL TRAUMA than John Green.

And no one can ever dream of comparing with Kendare Blake's creepiness! That's a good thing, by the way. Especially when one is writing on the YA horror/paranormal borderline.

She is also the only author who has ever managed to make me fall in love with two guys in one book! I'm still trying to figure out how she did that. It's rare that I fall in love with one . . .

Okay, maybe it's not that rare after all. I realise that everyone who actually knows me will be laughing their heads off and listing fictional guys right about now . . . but whatever. My point: Kendare Blake is awesome. And she's here to say hi! Yay!

Oh, and her book cover is gorgeous. And this one. And this one too.

So now that we've all stopped drooling over her covers (psst. Hey you in the corner! You've got a little . . . right there . . .), please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kendare Blake!!!

*crowd goes wild*

1) tell us a little about yourself and the Anna series.

There's not much to me, really. Anna, on the other hand, has hit the ground running. She was optioned for film this winter by none other than Stephenie Meyer and Fickle Fish Films. I've had the opportunity to speak with Meghan Hibbett one of the producers, and I couldn't be more excited about the project. She's a big fan, and very cool, so fingers crossed we get to see a finished film! 

2) there is a lot about voodoo & other similar stuff in the Anna series. How much research went into it?

More into voodoo than the witchcraft stuff. I actually knew most of that, having had many witchy friends. But I did have to bone up on the specifics of spellcraft. And I've been told I got a few things wrong.


3) why did you pick the locations you did (thunder bay, London...)? Is there really a suicide forest in Scotland?

I chose Thunder Bay because I wanted a moderately sized city close to Lake Superior. I thought the lake was going to play a big part in the book. Turns out it played practically none at all. Whoops. As it happened, I was close enough to Thunder Bay to take a research trip there, so I got a feel for the area and took a lot of photos. Fun trivia fact, it has the highest murder rate per capita in Canada. And it does have the best ghost stories.

As for London, I knew I wanted to take Cas out of his element, have him experience the stranger in a strange land component when it came to The Order. Since he's so used to moving around the US, that meant taking him a lot farther. And I used to live in London, so it was a blast to write about. 

The Suicide Forest is real. But it isn't in Scotland. It's in Japan, at the base of Mount Fuji. And as far as I know, the corpses don't chase you. But you can always hope.

4) Cas's mom (Cas has the coolest name ever, by the way) believes driving into unmoving clouds means things are going to take longer than you expect -- a superstition I have affectionately adopted. Are you superstitious at all?

I am SO superstitious. Paranoid, really. It gets worse every year. I'm convinced I become more nuts with every passing birthday. Somebody save me. Sidenote: So cool that you've adopted Mrs. Lowood's superstition! Another sidenote, I have no idea what Mrs. Lowood's first name is.


5) what's in Thomas Sabin's desk drawer?

Cigarettes. He'll never be able to quit. So with cigarettes comes a lighter. There's also a dog-eared copy of Slaughterhouse Five, and a few pictures of Cas and Carmel. And he keeps a journal. Leather bound.


6) who would win in a fight: Anna Dressed in Blood or Terminator?

I have no idea, but I want to see it! And we're talking old school Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator, right? Or at least Robert Patrick T-1000? Because if Anna has to fight that weird girl terminator from Terminator 3, she would just...not do it on principle. That girl terminator was NOT an improvement over the T-1000. (I am a Terminator nerd, clearly.)


7) would you be a black witch (like Thomas), a white witch (like Cas's mom), a ghost (like Anna), or a ghost hunter (like Cas)? Why?

How much fun would it be to be Cas? To have that natural power, that confidence with the knife in your hand? But...you'd probably die, and I would scream way more than he does. Every time I went into a house with something dead. Just knife out, screaming. That's how I'd roll. I suppose it wouldn't be that bad to be a ghost like Anna, as long as I was as strong as she is, but I have to imagine that I'd miss eating food. So...black witch.

8) what's the funniest/coolest/weirdest thing a reader has ever said to you?

I always think it's really cool when people tell me about their Anna nightmares. I love hearing those. I've never had one. She haunts everyone else, but not me. How rude.


9) Any advice for writing scary stuff?

Focus on what scares you. What about it in particular do you find disturbing? If you're afraid of zombies, why? Is it the vulnerable feeling you have fighting something that can infect you? Is it the idea of being eaten while you're still alive? Is it the thought of something dead latching onto your shoulders? Expand on that.


10) submitted by Abigail Miller: When and why did you start writing?

I started writing in school. In seventh grade I wrote a terrible novel about wild mustangs. I've always loved reading, and stories in general. It just felt like the natural thing. The only thing I've ever been really compelled to do.


11) what's next for Kendare Blake?


ANTIGODDESS releases September 10th in the US and the UK. It's the first book of The Goddess War trilogy, about dying goddesses and the havoc they wreak. Because when gods die, they get really, really pissed. The lead goddess is Athena, who is dying a death of feathers, filling her lungs, cutting into her throat. She's been living on the outskirts of humanity for a long time. But when a war between the gods threatens people she comes to care about, she's got to find out how much of a god she still is. And maybe learn how to be less of one in the process. 

Thanks very much for having me by, Hannah!!

Thank you, Ms Blake, for talking to us today! We wish you an amazing release for ANTIGODDESS!

Does anyone have an Anna nightmare to share? What did you think of the books? Share in the comments! And who agrees Mrs Lowood's first name should be Rowena? :)