Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Author Spotlight: Kendare Blake

Please Welcome
Kendare Blake
Author of 
Anna Dressed in Blood!

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself.

Kendare: Sure. Uh...I speak absolutely no foreign languages. And that's not for lack of trying. I've tackled French, and Italian, and they both hate me. But I love traveling in both places, and the people seem patient as I stammer and spit on them. Um...Animals! I'm a big fan of animals. All sorts. Except spiders. They know what they did.

2) Could you tell us a bit about Anna Dressed in Blood?

Kendare: Anna Dressed in Blood is a horror novel chronicling the exploits of Theseus Cassio "Cas" Lowood, as he attempts to kill the title character. It's in his blood, you see. He has a sacred duty to kill the murderous dead. And nobody murders like Anna murders.

3) What was the inspiration for writing Anna Dressed in Blood?

Kendare: I wanted to go back to dark. Back to gore. It's what I started my adult reading career with (Anne RiceStephen King, Poppy Z Brite) and I hadn't written anything like it in years. Of course Anna Dressed in Blood has little in common with the work of Rice, King or Brite, but they're in the same vein. Vein. Crap is that a pun? So be it.

4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Anna Dressed in Blood?

Kendare: I think personal experiences go into writing just about everything. Except maybe extremely abstract, experimental stuff. But realism, where else do we get it but from our own experience of reality? Having said all that philosophical stuff, there was no personal, personal experience that went into it. Unless you count that I used my own cat. It's okay, he signed a release and everything.

5) Was Cas's character based on anyone or was he a purely made up character? What is he like?

Kendare: You can tell I'm a nerdy writer when my instant response to this question is to think how offended Cas would be if I referred to him as "made up". But yeah, he's made up. So what is Cas like? He's a loner, but not an outcast. He does what he has to do. Because of his vocation, I think he's sort of an adrenaline junkie.

6) What was your inspiration for Anna's Character? Could you tell us a bit about her?

Kendare: Anna whispered her name in my ear. She's a murderess. She's trapped. She's black-veined and dressed in blood. Cas has never met anyone like her. Oh, and I found her grave in a Finnish cemetery in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

7) What was your inspiration in the cover art for Anna Dressed in Blood?

Kendare: It was my editor's idea. She's excellent. I couldn't be happier with the cover art. They went through a few drafts, and there was a bit of a debate about the amount of blood that would be on it, but aside from me seeing every draft and saying, "ooh, pretty!" I had nothing to do with it. Oh. Except I did ask that her face not be on it. I like to leave it to the reader's imagination.

8) Do you plan to have Anna Dressed in Blood as a stand alone novel or part of a series?

Kendare: As it stands, it's a duology. I just finished writing Book 2 (currently untitled) and it feels like a duology. But sometimes it feels like a trilogy. We'll have to see.

9) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?

Kendare: I love Cas. I'm in his head the most. And he's got that...hero quality in him. I don't know. He's confident, but compassionate.

10) If Anna Dressed in Blood was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?

Kendare: My editor asked this too. Well, not dream cast exactly, but who I thought they looked like. I said Cas looked sort of like a younger Kevin Zegers from Transamerica, but I saw a trailer for Red Riding Hood and whoever that guy is would work too. As for Anna, that's a toughie. A younger Summer Glau comes to mind. Or a younger Shiri Appleby.

11) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

Kendare: Just recently started writing to music. I always assumed I'd just jack around and not do anything but jam to it. Turns out I'm more discliplined than I thought. I stream my college station sometimes, or playlists I make myself. Favorite bands include Kings of LeonThe StrokesWeezerThe Black Keys and Fleet Foxes. In girl world, Fiona Apple's voice is incredible. And Ani DiFranco. Florence and the Machine. Oh, and I love the 80's. What?

12) What do you plan on doing in the future?

Kendare: Writing, if all goes well. And traveling, to many and varied places. Except Australia. Too many poisonous spiders. Beautiful, but damn, the spiders. maybe someday I'll get over that phobia. Japan has that same spider problem. Did you know sometime around monsoon season you can find spiders the size of dinner plates in your apartment? And they bite? They hunt smaller insects at night. It'd be like listening to your cat chase mice, if your cat had double the legs.

13) What are you reading right now?

Kendare: Right now, I'm actually reading Michael Crichton's TIMELINE. I had a craving for that point he writes where the science ominously builds up, and then promptly caves in on itself. I love that. By the time this interview posts, I'll probably be through Maurissa Guibord's WARPED,Ty Roth's SO SHELLY and Courtney Allison Moulton's ANGELFIRE. Maybe Holly Black's collection THE POISON EATERS. And some Andre Dubus. If you like short fiction, he's not to be missed.

14) Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Kendare: Bret Easton Ellis. He's a satirist and a moralist, people. Get off his nuts. Caitlin R Kiernan. I hear through the grapevine that she might be turning YA soon, and that will blow my mind. Milan Kundera. He understands existence as best as one can. Joe Hill. 20th Century Ghosts was amazing. I didn't mention any YA authors, I know. But I can't play favorites there. Too many are high on my list.

15) Anything you would like to add?

Kendare: Yeah! You like owls? Have you seen the YouTube video of the Transformer Owl? If you haven't, go search it out. It is amazing, adorable and frightening all at once. Thanks so much for featuring me on the blog. I hope Anna Dressed in Blood doesn't disappoint.

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . . 
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. 
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. 
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

Anna Dressed in Blood comes out September 2011 from Tor Teen!

Where to find Kendare
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