YA AUTHORS ON WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE A TEEN
Welcome to our first interview in the “Ever Wonder?” series! In these interviews, your favorite YA authors answer questions about what they were like as teens.
Today I’d like to welcome Kendare Blake, New York Times best-selling author of One Dark Throne, the much-anticipated sequel to Three Dark Crowns. If you look her up online, you’ll find out that she’s written two previous series, that her name is pronounced “Ken-dar” (like in DARth Vader), and that she gives her pets the very coolest names. But what about when she was a teen?
DC: Kendare, what are three words that you could use to describe your teenage self?
KB: Introverted. Sarcastic. Animal-loving.
DC: So, what does an animal-loving sarcastic introvert do for fun? Other than make sarcastic remarks about other people to their pets, I mean.
KB: I played ice hockey for a while. But really I was never into being involved with school stuff.
DC: Ice hockey! That is so totally rad. I love it. So, were you friends with all the jocks?
KB: I had friends from all walks. Academics, athletes, artsy types, stoners. Probably because I was all of those things.
DC: Wait…you were all those? That’s cool, but I’m having a hard time picturing what you looked like.
KB: I always dressed too old for myself. I had a whole phase where I wore my dad’s shirts. Also, wool trench coats, heels, slacks, etc. And I never did a thing with my hair. Which, hey, I still don’t!
DC: K, so I’m imagining a Katherine Hepburn sort of look, the quiet sarcastic kid in the back that everyone liked.
KB: Here’s an embarrassing photo. Maybe that will help?
DC: Excellent! Dad’s shirt, I assume. But how about as a student? What was your favorite subject?
KB: English. It was far and away the easiest.
DC: Mine too! I mean, I guess it’s not surprising, given that you ended up writing books. What kind of stuff did you like to read?
KB: I read Stephen King and Anne Rice, some Bret Easton Ellis, Jane Eyre, lots of horror, some classics, some romance.
DC: I love me a teen who knows that there is no reason not to mix It with Jane Eyre. Okay, last question: What was your family like?
KB: My dad was (and is) a long-haul trucker. You know, with the hats and the boots and the eighteen wheels.
DC: That’s so cool. My dad did that for, I dunno, a coupla weeks. I remember going with him once when I was little and I seriously thought I had died and gone to heaven. What about your mom?
KB: My mom was a nurse in a nursing home. She had her first stroke when I was 12 and had increasing medical problems after that.
DC: Oh, I’m so sorry. That’s terrible.
KB: Yes, well, thank you.
DC: Was there anyone else in your family?
KB: My brother. He was the class clown with a guitar, and one of my best friends. We’re both adopted. I often forget to mention that and then people wonder why none of us look alike. And we always had lots of cats and dogs and horses on the hobby farm.
DC: Ah, yes—the sarcastic introvert animal lover! Of course you grew up on a farm. Well, thank you for your time, and thanks even more for giving the world great books to read!
KB: Thank you for having me by the blog, Dawn. I hope our paths cross again someplace soon!
To find out even more about Kendare, check her out online here. And head straightaway to your local bookstore or library and grab a few of her books!