Interview with: Kendare Blake

Hello!

Today I’m posting a very fun post, my first ever interview with an author.

Kendare Blake is the author of Three Dark Crowns and the Anna Dressed in Blood series, two well known books.

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1. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Well, middles, usually. A novel is a long, long thing, you know? And when I’m sitting in the middle of one, looking back at 45,000 words and then looking ahead and knowing there’s at least another 45,000 waiting, it can feel a little overwhelming. Like, BRING ME A GLASS OF THE GOOD STUFF overwhelming.
2. Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
A story comes to me over the course of several years. It’ll pop up as just a smidgen of a thing. A whimzy. A possibility. And I’ll think about it for awhile, a few minutes, basically until I get tired of thinking about it. Then, if it really wants to be a story, or a book, it keeps coming back. Every few months, say, I’ll think about it again. Then more and more often. And it becomes more and more insistent, more fully formed. I learn more things about it. Until one day, it’s ready, and I write it.
3. What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Typical working day: Get up, feed my cat and dogs. Surf the internet, check email, etc. Exercise dogs and cat. Go to office to write. Maybe surf more internet. Feed dogs lunch because the Doberman has acid reflux and has to eat every few hours. Write more, until evening, until my husband gets home, or until I’m done. I won’t set word count goals unless I’m on a deadline, which more often than not I am nowadays.
4. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Depends on the name. Arsinoe from Three Dark Crowns has meaning. Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood was because I saw Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe and the guy who played Cassio was hot.
5. How did you come up with the idea for Three Dark Crowns?
A swarm of bees. A bee ball, stuck to a tree at a book event. After questioning a beekeeper who happened to be on site, I learned that a queen bee will lay four or five queen eggs before she leaves her hive, and one new daughter queen will kill her sisters, and take over the old hive. And I really, REALLY wanted to do that to people.
6. What about Anna Dressed in Blood?
I wanted to play the new Silent Hill but couldn’t find anyone to play with, so I wrote a book with blood and guts instead.
7. Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most? Impossible question to answer! I have to understand all of their motivations, or the character makes no sense to me. But if you’re wondering which one I’m the most like…I’m like them all. And completely unlike them as well.
8. Besides Three Dark Crowns #2, are you working on anything?
Nope. Not yet. I’ll start another book as soon as Three Dark Crowns 2 wraps up in a month or so.
9. Who are your favorite authors?
Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Joe Hill, April Genevieve Tucholke, Trent Reedy, Bret Easton Ellis, Angela Carter…so, so many.
10. What are your favorite books?
Jane Eyre, We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Midwinterblood, The Vampire Chronicles, Short Cuts, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, so, so many more.
11. We all love the covers of Three Dark Crowns but, if you would need to choose one, which one will you choose and why?
I guess the US hardcover. Because it has all of the crowns on it so I don’t really have to choose between them! Of course, I just saw a sneak peek of the German cover and it’s also pretty rad. And there are more covers to come, so…for now, the US hardcover.
12. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? And I would answer, well, a pig probably. Pigs and I have a lot in common. We’re fairly smart, and low to the ground. Plus, and this is a bit personal, when I gain wait I tend to gain it in my back. Like, I get a fat back. Fatback. Pigs and I both make good bacon, is what  I’m saying. So if we’re ever in a horrifying apocalypse and I no longer want to live, you have my blessing to you know, cure up some delicious Kendare Blake bacon.
Thanks for having me by the blog!
Thank you for being so amazing, Kendare!
Hope you all enjoyed reading this!
Love,
Alexandra
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