I am thrilled to have Kat Zhang on the blog today talking a little about her books, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME, which released September 18, 2012 and her upcoming novel, ONCE WE WERE that is to be released on September 17, 2013.
Kat also has an amazing surprise in store for you.
To celebrate the release of the paperback edition of WHAT’S LEFT OF ME, she has a special giveaway. Much thanks to Kat!
1. Can you tell us what inspired you to become a writer?
I've been a voracious reader since I was little, and even before that, I loved to make things up. I got into scribbling poetry (really, really bad poetry) after my dad gave me a book of A. A. Milne's children's poetry when I was six or seven. And I used to write plays with my best friend for our stuffed animals. I didn't get the idea to write a novel and actually try to get it published until I was eleven or so, but I think it was a pretty natural progression of my need to tell stories :)
2. When you wrote WHAT’S LEFT OF ME and ONCE WE WERE, did you write strictly fiction or did some personal experiences/knowledge come into play?
A lot of it is definitely strictly fiction, haha. On the other hand, I think personal experiences/knowledge goes into any book a writer writes. I don't base characters on myself at all, and I don't base their stories on my life, but you can't help pulling on personal experiences to create imaginary ones.
3. How long did it take you to write WHAT’S LEFT OF ME? During that time, did you come across any blocks/times that you could not write?
I wrote the first draft from about February my senior year of high school to about March my freshman year of college. And yes, I encountered frequent blocks! Luckily, during that time, I met the ladies of Let The Words Flow (many of who are now part of Pub(lishing) Crawl, who were such great motivators!
4. What inspired you to write WHAT’S LEFT OF ME?
It really all stemmed from the question: "What if your inner monologue was a whole other person trapped inside you?" More questions stemmed from that one: "What would it be like to be that person?" "How did they get that way?" "What would the world be like if everyone started out like this?" Eva, my main character, grew from these questions, and the world of The Hybrid Chronicles grew around her :)
5. Who is your favorite character in the book, and why?
Ooh, hard to pick! This might sound strange, since they're more minor characters, but I'm actually very fond of Devon and Dr. Lyanne. They're the sort of characters who I know a lot more about than is in the book, and I think they're really interesting, ha-ha.
6. Please list five random likes; then do the same for dislikes, go way random.
Random Likes - Iced Coffee, slipper-socks, fine-tipped pens, baked Lays, rain.
Random Dislikes - Wet towels, uncomfortable shoes, mosquitoes, milk, too much jam in a PB&J.
7. ONCE WE WERE, your second published novel with HarperCollins will be releasing this fall (September 17, 2013) correct. Do you care to elaborate just a little bit?
Sure! ONCE WE WERE continues the story soon after WHAT'S LEFT OF ME left off, and I'm really excited to share it with the world.
To explain a lot would be to spoil WHAT'S LEFT OF ME for those who haven't read it, but I can say that the second book is larger in scope, and address the world beyond the more limited settings of the first book. ;)
Thank you for stopping by and chatting with us about your epic books. Congratulations on the release of ONCE WE WERE.
I look forward to having you back again for another visit.
Kat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing Spoken Word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next.
What’s Left of Me–about a girl with two souls–is her first novel and was released by HarperCollins on 9/18/2012. The sequel, Once We Were, comes out 9/17/2013.
Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. You can read about her travels, literary and otherwise, on her website or check her out on Twitter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway