Krysti over at YA and Wine and I feel so incredibly appreciative to have been able to sit down with Katharine McGee and Kendare Blake last week. We are still absolutely giddy that we had the opportunity to have such a fun and fascinating conversation with these two incredible authors! They are both such intelligent and talented women, and getting to listen to them talk about books, writing life, etc. was a treat. We’re thrilled to get to share some of the highlights with you guys! (Make sure you read all the way through because there may or may not be a surprise at the end of this post!!)
When asked to describe their books in five words, Katharine described The Thousandth Floor series with: Glittering, High School, Multi- POV, Futuristic, Drama.
Kendare described the Three Dark Crowns series with: Triplet Queens With Power Murder.
Though Kendare doesn’t believe in endings (she says there is just a point where the author stops telling the story), she did know the last line before she ever started writing Three Dark Crowns, which is “I’m a poisoner.” In the context of the story that is just SUCH an incredible closing line. It gives us chills just thinking about it!
There is such a dynamic and captivating cast of characters in The Thousandth Floor. The
character that was most challenging for Katharine to write was Rylin, because of how passive she needed to be in book one. Katharine really enjoyed writing Watt & Nadia and gets a lot of feedback from readers about how Watt’s chapters are their favorites to read, because they get two POVs in one. We couldn’t agree more!
For Kendare, Mirabella was the most challenging of the three sisters to write, but she is
becoming easier to relate to as she undergoes her character ARC of self discovery and is really figuring out who she is. Arisinoe is the character Kendare most relates to, because “she is a smart ass and eats a lot.”
Katharine worked in publishing as an editor from 2010-2014 before landing her book deal for The Thousandth Floor. She worked on books like Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries.
Although, Three Dark Crowns isn’t Kendare’s first set of novels, the story behind the development of it is quite unique. Let’s just say it involves the rituals Queen bees have when it comes to relocating her hive, and about five Seattle dogs.
Kendare is a pantser, while Katharine is a plotter. When describing her approach to writing, Kendare said, “the story is the boss, the story takes control.” It was so neat to talk to two authors with such opposite approaches to their writing process, both of which clearly produced phenomenal results and New York Time Best Sellers!
When Katharine set out to write her novel, she wanted to write a book about the future that wasn’t post-apocalyptic. She wanted to write a book where the future was actually better than our current world. She recommends that readers interested in learning about more positive potential futures check out Kim Stanley Robinson’s take on the new utopias.
Here is a YouTube
video where he discusses the topic.
If Katharine could cast any character from any other novel to appear in The Thousandth Floor, she would choose either Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, Lestat from The Vampire Lestat, or Lorek Byrnison from His Dark Materials.
Kendare was also a fan of Lorek Byrnison (clearly Sarah and I NEED to read His Dark
Materials). She would also want to cast Falcor from The Neverending Story, and if she could incorporate an element from another novel into her own, she would choose the pet cemetery from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.
The Thousandth Floor has some pretty incredible world building, with some mind-blowing tech. If Katharine could have any element of the tech in her real life, she would choose the Hyperloop Train, because she loves to travel. On this under-water train you can travel to Europe in just a couple of hours! She would also love to have self-driving cars, and if she could share a glass of wine with any character from her novels, she would share a glass of rosé with Calliope.
Kendare would like the food and high teas from The Thousandth Floor.
We also talked television shows, and what everyone’s favorite shows are to watch. Katharine’s favorites are Game of Thrones, The Crown, and The Magicians. Kendare’s favorites were Game of Thrones, Outlander, House of Cards, and The Walking Dead.
Our interview did not take place in the library as we planned, because they were closing by the time the event was over, so we had to do a last minute change in venue. These authors were incredibly good sports about it, and Kendare even told us about one of her more unique experiences during an interview. When she recorded an episode of First Draft (my favorite podcast ever from Sarah Enni), they were in a venue where people were doing Wookiee karaoke in the background. We did not know that Wookiee karaoke was a thing, but we are determined to check it out now!
Thanks so much for reading, you guys! And HUGE thanks to Katharine and Kendare for taking time out on their busy tour schedule to hang with us! Best night ever!
* One signed copy of One Dark Throne
* One signed copy of The Dazzling Heights
Have you read The Three Dark Crowns Series or The Thousandth Floor Series? Who are some of your favorite characters from each series?