Interview & Giveaway: Kendare Blake on Horror, Cartoons & All Things Poop?

September 9, 2013 Author Feature, Giveaway, Interview 4

We are so excited to have with us today Kendrare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares & Antigoddes. She was brave enough to let me interrogate interview her!

Kendare Books

Check out my reviews of Kendare’s books by clicking on the book’s title link above. You can also enter my Giveaway in the Rafflecopter beneath the interview for a chance to win ANTIGODDESS!

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 Q: Greetings & greetings, all hail the Mistress of YA Horror *chuckles* – is it horror really?

A: If that’s what the kids are calling it these days, then that’s what it is 🙂

Q: Do you agree with your books being tagged as horror? I didn’t find them horrifying. I know many readers shy away from books called “horror”. How would you define the horror genre and what type of books belong there?

A: I must admit, being someone with such a love of the strange and disturbing, I don’t think about frightening or offending, or causing anyone to shy away. Those are just the kinds of stories that come out of my head. I would agree with Anna being tagged as horror, though she’s shelved in the Paranormal Romance section just as often. ANTIGODDESS on the other hand is more dark fantasy, or mythological adventure. A hero’s quest.

When I think of horror, my definition is broad. Anything that has an element of the disturbed. This can be gory slasher books, quiet haunting books, particularly creepy serial killer books, tales of madness, or tales of the unexplained. And more that I can’t think of at the moment.

Q: So how does it feel? Are you all ooey gooey inside? When you saw that autograph line at BEA this year for ANTIGODDESS tell me what you thought!?

A: If by ooey gooey you mean so stressed out and nervous that I’ve developed hives on my face, then sure. Ooey gooey. But signing at BEA was incredible. It was so cool to meet everyone and the line! I wondered if they knew what line they were in. My only wish would be a few extra minutes with each person to chat. But there’s no time to chat at BEA signings!

Q: I was in torment stuck in another line. It having been my first year I didn’t realize I would have to line up over an hour early for books I was dying to get. Lesson learned. Did you happen to sneak into any lines? What did you think of your experience at BEA?

A: I was so sad to miss you! I’ve stalked BEA online and read people’s wrap up posts for years, and they have left me too terrified to try to get into anything, be it a panel or a signing line. And to be honest, I am such a slow reader that I feel guilty taking on too many early books. So I didn’t get any at BEA. Though there were many. MANY. That I wanted.

The entire BEA experience was a whirlwind. I spoke to a dinner full of children’s librarians alongside the likes of Susan Cooper and Jonathan Stroud, and got to meet one of the producers working on the film version of Anna Dressed in Blood. And of course it’s always great to see the folks at Tor, though my editor was struck down with a nasty case of strep 🙁

Q: As ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD was such a big success what sort of pressure have you felt with your release of ANTIGODDESS?

A: Well, I’ve tried to remain realistic. ANTIGODDESS is very different from ANNA. I was blown away by the warm reception that ANNA got. It’d be downright stupid of me to expect something so wonderful to ever happen again. But that doesn’t mean I’m not hoping that Athena and Cassandra will find their readers, or that I’m not hopeful that it will do well. I really love those tragic girls.

Q: Tell us all about your hobbies! I already know you love My Little Ponies. #smile

A: Well, I play some really crappy tennis. And I love it. Yes, I love My Little Ponies, though I own none from my childhood, and haven’t watched the new cartoon, even though I hear it’s funny as hell. I love old cartoons though. Like Gargoyles. And Sailor Moon. And I’m a real movie stalker. Love movie trivia.

Q: When coming up with snappy dialogue for your characters, what are some of your ways of doing it?

A: The characters talk in my head, and I write it down. I always imagine a scene like I’m watching a film, and more often than not, the dialogue that pops out of their mouths in my first imagining is the dialogue that makes it into the books. Because…that’s just what they said. Almost like it’s out of my control. I wish I had better tricks to share.

Q: Do you think you will give adult fantasy a try anytime soon or are you working on any adult books? There seem to be boundaries that are rarely crossed in YA fiction, do you ever feel constrained in your writing by them?

A: I have never felt constrained by YA. Maybe I would if I was still writing the sexy times. I used to write a lot of sexy times, and now, I don’t know. Where did the sexy times go? But violence and swearing and non-sexy behavior…I’ve never thought twice about it. When it happens, I write it down. As for working on adult stuff…I might be working on something now. Or it might turn out YA. Too soon to say.

Q: Young Adult fiction is so big right now. Unfortunately, some bookstores still aren’t taking the shelving of these by genre and just throw them all up into a “Teens” section. Knowing that sometimes people rarely venture into rows that aren’t their preferred genres – how do you think this is helping or hindering people when selecting a YA book?

A: It would be easier for people to browse the section if there were more separation of genre. Some people don’t like the categorization, but how else are you supposed to talk about a book really quickly to someone in there browsing? Of course maybe it helps some teens read outside of their chosen genre and discover new ones. Hmm. Interesting question. I’d have to go study this in action.

Q: What kind of questions do you ask your beta readers? And just how much does their feedback effect you as you continue to write? I would likely want to know at what point they were able to stop reading.

A: At what point they wanted to stop reading is a great question to ask. Whether they understood character motivation is another. How they felt about certain characters. If they were confused at any point.
And if I’m going to be honest, I don’t normally have beta readers, so I’m kind of going off the cuff here. I’ve had the opportunity to exchange ANTIGODDESS with a couple of fantastic novelists, but that’s the first time I’ve ever had the experience.

Q: When the world gets hit by the big magical whammy (not the post apocalyptic one hah!) what creature do you think you would morph into? Something with feathers?

A: Like, in my fantasies? Because in my fantasies I would morph into something excellent, like a black dragon, Drogon in Game of Thrones. Or that Pegasus that Sam Worthington rides in those overblown Perseus movies.
In reality, I bet I’d wind up that turtle from the Neverending Story. The one with the constant allergies who talks to itself in the third person all the time and spends its days covered in poop. That’d be my luck. But I’d like to think that I would eventually learn to enjoy the swamps.

Q: Lastly and more importantly what tasty tidbit of embarrassment do you have to confess to us? It doesn’t necessarily have to be book related. Lets see there are moments I get so anxious while reading that I skip to the back and read the last page. Non book related? – I can wiggle my ears.

A: You can wiggle your ears? Excellent. Book related: I had to read the opening pages of one of my favorite books (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) three times before I figured out what Kundera was going on about. Non book related: I have a tendency to get covered in poop. Dog poop, horse poop, once I was running an obstacle course and rolled through a metric ton of goose poop. I did NOT have a change of clothes with me.

– Thanks so much for joining us Kendare – I wish you oodles of success with ANTIGODDESS! You definitely deserve it!

Thank you for having me by, Tabitha!


Giveaway is sponsored by Tabitha and open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.


Find: Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

KendareKendare 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. WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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4 Responses to “Interview & Giveaway: Kendare Blake on Horror, Cartoons & All Things Poop?”

  1. DannyBookworms

    Wonderful Interview! I also remember the insane line for Antigoddess at BEA and just went straight ahead to another line!

    Horror usually turns me down as a label as I am easily frightened. I think Anna was darker and edgier than other YA books but I wouldn’t necessarily label is as horror. Paranormal with soms horror elements 🙂

    Anyway – I would also love being a dragon, but .. no – not going to happen haha!
    DannyBookworms recently posted…The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas – Blog Tour with Titus and Giveaway!My Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I didn’t really view Anna Dressed in Blood as horror either! I would have gone in the Antigoddess queue but I was stuck in another line at the time. I seriously underestimated how crazy the autographing area would be. If I go again next year I’ll be better prepared.