Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Kendare Blake

It's an absolute pleasure to welcome author and fellow Minnesotan, 
Kendare Blake to the blog today. :)

Hi Kendare, Welcome to Anna's Book Blog! I'm glad to have you here. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
Sure. Well…I grew up in Minnesota, so it’s cool to see a blogger from Pine City! I’ve lived in New York, London and now Washington, but I always wind up going back to Minnesota in between. It’s like getting called back to base, “That’s a ten four Big Chicken. Return to base”. It’s weird. I’m a big fan of Family Guy, Fringe and mayonnaise. It goes great on everything.

Anna Dressed In Blood is your latest release, can you tells us a little about it?
Anna Dressed in Blood is about a ghost hunter, Cas Lowood, and Anna Korlov, the dead girl the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood. She was murdered in 1958 and since then has haunted her old house, killing anyone who stumbles inside. Cas expects a usual kill. But Anna has no intention of going quietly.

When you’re not writing what kind of books do you like to read?
The best thing about being in between writing projects is that I get to read more. Read, read read. I am such an advocate. I enjoy a lot of philosophy. Right now I’m digging into Simone De Beauvoir’s THE SECOND SEX, and I don’t know how I’ve gone this long not reading it. I don’t stick to genres, but Joe Hill is great at horror, and Caitlin R Kiernan is always excellent at whatever it is that she does. Watch for her new book, THE DROWNING GIRL, then keep eyes peeled for her transition to YA. I do read YA, but if I name dropped all of them it’d eat up your blog. Oh yeah. Bret Easton Ellis. It’s mandatory to mention him whenever asked this question.

When you learned Anna Dressed In Blood was gonna be published, what was your first reaction?
Well, I was babysitting a sleeping child when I found out. Plus, my agent, Adriann Ranta, is very chill, so I think I said something like, “Really? That’s…That’s fantastic…Holy…Yay.” And then I listened with rapt attention as she told me the rest of the game plan, waiting for the other publishers to decide, etc, what would happen next, etc. Then I called the circle of friends, and of course no one answered their phone. So there was a lot of “Holy shit” texts. I think the only thing I told face to face was my friend’s Chihuahua. He smiled politely.

What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a book?
A self-imposed deadline. I work best under pressure, but only if it’s not real and only enforced by me. Second…a lack of procrastinatory activities. Once I start writing it isn’t a problem, but I procrastinate the beginning with the best of them. And third, a story that wants to be written. Because I’ve learned in the past that I just. Can’t. Force it.

How did you come up with your idea for Anna Dressed In Blood & did you find inspiration in anything or anyone while writing it?
Anna Dressed in Blood was born from the character of Anna. She’s the one I met first. Then it was Cas. Then it was the location of Thunder Bay. The rest flowed organically. Inspiration is a strange thing. I don’t have a conscious muse. And I don’t really understand where it all comes from.

Why YA? When you sat down to right this book, did you intend to write a young adult book?
I did. With my small press novel, SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, I didn’t know. The characters were college freshmen, an age group which I guess falls in limbo between YA and adult. No one really knew what to do with it. This time, and this story, was just suited to YA.

If you could give your lead characters one piece of advice, what would it be?
Hm. Interesting question, Anna. I don’t think Cas would take advice from me. But if he would, I’d probably tell him to develop his witchy side. He’s such a blunt instrument. And as for Anna, well, I know you live in an abandoned dilapidated house, but a rag and a little Lemon Pledge never hurt anyone.

I love the cover art, how well did they capture Anna on the cover? Is there anything you'd change about it?
I’m so glad you like it. I love it. Wouldn’t change a thing. Anna is captured so well, though I didn’t imagine her dress being quite so intricate and beautiful. They had some trouble with her hair, I guess, so I got to see versions where she looked like one of those Lucky Troll dolls, and Jessie from Team Rocket.

If you can, tell us what is up next?
Up next is the sequel! It should be released sometime in Summer 2012, as long as the world doesn’t end (I’ve got my eye on you, Mayans!). There’s also a secret project. But as of now it’s still secret.

Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Anna! I hope to get to meet you at the post-launch party at Scout & Morgan in Cambridge.

by Kendare Blake
Coming August 30, 2011

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.

Where To Buy:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound

To learn more about Kendare and her books, check out her website.

***Attention Minnesota bloggers and readers Kendare will be coming home for a post-launch party. Here is the info:

On: September 24th @ 11:30AM
Where: Scout & Morgan Booksellers
            114 Buchanan St N
            Cambridge, MN 55008


  1. Great interview. This book sounds so amazing. I can't wait to finally read it!

  2. Great interview! Looks like a good one!



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