Thursday, October 24, 2013

10(ish) Questions With Author Kendare Blake!

Okay, so excuse me as I come down from a major case of fangirl overload. Kendare Blake recently became one of my favorite authors of all-time with her witty mannerisms, laced with some pretty dark tales. She's become the master of YA horror, some comparing her to the genius of Stephen King with her phenomenal novel Anna Dressed in Blood, and most recently Antigoddess. I was beyond honored when she recently agreed to answer a few questions for my blog, and can't stop laughing from her response to my last question. If you haven't heard of Kendare until now, do yourself a huge favor and buy her books. Seriously.

Was there something in particular that inspired you to write scary stories for a living, or did you just know you were destined for awesomeness?

Scary stories ARE awesomeness, aren't they? I don't understand folks who hate scary entertainment. As for what inspired me, I think I'm morbid and disgusting by nature. I don't find a lot of what I write terribly scary, but it's all fairly dark, and hopefully, disturbing. Stephen King was the first real novelist I read, along with Anne Rice and Bret Easton Ellis, so...let's just say I never had any desire to read a Babysitter's Club book.

Who was your favorite character to write so far? (And if your answer isn’t Cas, why not? You did an amazing job of getting inside a teenage boy’s head!)

I'm so glad you thought so! Though Cas is sort of a special case: a teen who hasn't hung around many other teens. Most of his interactions have been with adults, his mom, twenty-somethings and Gideon. I'm dodging this question, because I don't know who's my favorite to write. I love Cas and Thomas and Carmel and Morfran, just like I love Athena, Cassandra, Hermes, and weirdly enough, Ares. They've all surprised me at some point, and that's what makes it fun.

You’ve been compared to Stephen King, and as a life long fan of his, I think it’s well justified. What elements do you think make a best selling horror story?

I don't know. People are pretty easily scared, for the most part, so maybe the scares aren't as important as compelling concept. I know that my faves are the particularly clever ones, or the particularly twisted ones. Gore is optional, and it can be so easy to do poorly. Also, thank you! I don't think it's justified, but I'll take it.

Other than Sleepwalk Society, I believe your books have all been YA paranormal. Do you see yourself writing outside of the genre again anytime in the future? What's your favorite part about writing YA?
I'm sure I'll write outside the genre. What I'm working on now is outside the genre, and I don't know if it's adult or YA. You have to write the stories that want writing, you know? It's never a real decision. I'm not one of the writers who has three or four fantastic ideas to choose from. One at a time, it demands attention, and then on to the next.

My favorite thing about writing YA is that I don't think of it as YA. I think of it as writing. Same when I'm reading it. YA is just a label, a way of categorizing something that's way too broad and varied, but I understand why it needs to be categorized. Things need organization, right? 

When you’re not busy writing the next best seller, what are some of your favorite guilty pleasures?

Guilty pleasures, eh? I love going to restaurants. Love it. And I guess I still DVR General Hospital, the soap opera, because I heard it was going off the air and I used to watch it as a kid so I wanted to watch the end, and then the damn thing didn't die. So now I'm stuck watching until it finally does.
Although you grew up in the great state of Minnesota, and went to college in London, your bio says you currently live in the beautiful state of Washington. Please tell me you know Isaac Marion, and the two of you meet on a regular basis over beers!

I do not know Isaac Marion, though I would love to meet him on a regular basis over beers. I'd actually like to meet anyone on a regular basis over beers. That sounds nice.

What authors do you admire, and what would you crown your favorite book of all-time?

That's an impossible crown. The answer is always going to change. From day to day. Hour to hour. In the time it takes to reply to this question. The Mists of Avalon? Jane Eyre? The Stand? IT? NOS4A2? The Red Tree? The Unbearable Lightness of Being? His Dark Materials? The Iliad?

I admire Holly Black, Caitlin R Kiernan, Joe Hill, Milan Kundera, Bret Easton Ellis, and loads of others. Anyone who writes, really. There's always something to admire.

Is the sequel to Antigoddess your next release, and will there be a third Anna Dressed in Blood (there must be a way to make Anna permanently corporeal so she can run off into the sunset with Cas!)?
Yes, the formerly titled ARISTEIA is my next release. No word yet on what it's new name is. The Goddess War Book Two. I'm doing edits now, and I'm pretty excited about it actually. No plans for a third Anna, but I'm never taking it off the table. I miss them. You never know when Cas will show up and demand the attention again. He loves the attention.

You must watch horror movies considering how much you love writing horror. What are some of your favorites?
Hmm. I just watched Insidious: Chapter 2, and if you put both together, it's a pretty decent experience. Not scary, but not dull. I also like SINISTER, so James Wan is on my current sweetlist. The Descent about the girl-eaters in the caves was pretty scary, but I didn't ENJOY watching it. And I'll always love Freddy Krueger. Scream is great, too, but they should've left it alone after 2, or even the first one. And I'm pretty pleased that the slew of Japanese horror remakes has ebbed. The Ring was okay. The Ring 2 was stupid. The Grudge was silly, thank god it had Buffy in it.

And finally, who in the hell do you think is feeding rats to the zombies on The Walking Dead?

I think it's that creepy little girl who names them. She's trouble. Even her sister knows it. They should probably toss her over the fence, ASAP. Like, post-haste. Slingshot into the woods, the next time the walkers try their leaning and climbing trick. I mean, they're already out of piglets.

Thanks so much for having me by! 

Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master's degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn't make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

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1 comment:

Kayla DeGroote said...

Ohmigod I just love this interview! <3 Kendare Blake is amazing and did an interview on my blog recently as well and it made me love her more! And as the answer to the last question, I completely agree! It's the dumb child who is naming them! I just know it! I say we throw her in with the walkers and see if she can make some new friends! I bet she'd like that. DOWN WITH THE STUPID, ZOMBIE NAMING CHILD! I'm glad Kendare agrees with me <3

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