Monday, September 23, 2013

Kendare Blake & Gretchen McNeil Author Recap

     So on Wednesday, September 18th at Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach, I went to a book signing for Kendare Blake and Gretchen McNeil. As soon as I found out about this event I had to go!!! We left early, got there a half hour before the event thinking we were early, apparently NOT. We were one of the last people to arrive lol. So I got my books and sat down with the hubs and we sat right next to Elana K. Arnold. It felt so cool sitting next to an author!
     Anyways, the event began with the ladies introducing themselves, then described their books. Gretchen explained how she was at a stop light and the light was about to turn red. Should she stay or should she gun the car and run the red light? She stayed, but it got her thinking what would happen if her doppelganger had run the red light? It turned out to be a complicated story and she told us if she ever gets an idea like that again to hit her! It was so difficult making the doppelgangers the same people, yet different at the same time. It was also hard looking up the scientific terms for the science part of the story. Kendare then explained her book. Her main character, Cassandra is caught up in a god war that she did not want to be in. Some gods want to use her power for good, while others just want to destroy her. She said you can guarantee her life is going to be ruined in the next 3 books. Kendare even got lines from Iliad on her back because she's a psycho. It tickled as hell! Antigoddess first began as short stories of dying goddesses. Then she wanted to work with Cassandra, but she didn't want to work with her lol. Tried to publish it later, though it got rejected. Her people told her something was missing so that's when she brought in Athena. That's when the story finally came together. This was in essence the first novel she wrote before Anna Dressed In Blood. They talked about neither of them wanting to read their finished book because then they would find stuff and want to change it, but they can't anymore.

     It was time for Q&A or read from their book. Since no one said anything they opted to just do Q&A. Gretchen feels uncomfortable reading her own book. First question was asked by Elana:
     Do you have a specific writing process? Or do you have the idea and immediately get a pen/paper? Kendare brushes them off. When she works on something, an idea always pops in her head and she has to put it away. If the idea keeps nagging in her mind, she'll eventually work on it to not be too mean. She thinks of the characters, finds a story and then writes. Gretchen normally opens a word doc, titles it something, writes a few sentences, saves it, and closes it until she can get back to it again. Later she will buy a few books to do research on her story. Also, she looks at the market to make sure she's not the fifth person to write that type of book.
     Second question: Now that you're multi-published, can you sell a book on concept?
Kendare said now she can turn in a sample chapter and synopsis, but she doesn't. She feels she has to write the whole story first. Gretchen on the other hand only turns in a synopsis and a page of her stories. Possess was the only finished book she turned in. Ten was sold on a synopsis and six chapters, but they eventually got all scrapped. Gretchen prefers to work better under pressure like a gun to her head.
     Third question: If you could be a character from each other's books, who would you be?
Kendare said Bridget from Possess. She was messed up and she liked that. Gretchen's response to Kendare about Possess was the half Asian character. She told her the original cover of Possess was a white girl with big Keira Knightly eyes and she was mad that she did not look Asian. She wrote to Harper telling them if they publish the book with that cover, then she will not defend it. They changed it luckily. Her final answer was Athena from Antigoddess. She's always had a fetish for her, not in the sexual way. Her words lol.
     Fourth question: Are there any funny things that happened to you when you've gone to publish?
Gretchen's reply was funny ha ha or funny ugh? She told the story of Christopher Pike. I didn't quite catch it all, but she said when she wrote Ten, she wanted Chris Pike to blurb her book. He emailed her first and thought it was spam so she let it go. Then one day while she was at work, he called her and told her he loved it and wanted to blurb. She cried hysterically because she still thought he was fake, pulling a prank on her, and second because she's a huge fangirl of him! Next, Kendare replied by mentioning her cover photo of her books. When she first saw the picture of Anna, it looked like there were female problems for Anna. She freaked and told them to change it, so they told her not to worry they would fix it. Then the cover photo came for Antigoddess, and the blood was in the middle of the feather!!! She told them, what does that look like? This isn't an ad for Maxi Pads, my book have nothing to do with menstruation! She's fine now saying next time her book better have super ninja periods lol!
     Fifth question: What are you reading now?
Gretchen said The Secret Keeper by Kate Morgan when she has the time. Said it is an awesome book! Kendare said she is reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. She loves it because it's scary and it has demon children with shark teeth! A must read if you love scary books. She admitted that Joe Hill is a better writer than his dad.
     Last question: What's next for you?
Kendare's reply was now she can take her time doing projects. She was originally supposed to have her books come out seven months apart. She freaked out making herself go to into over drive and wrote all three books. After she was done, her publicists told her they changed their mind and would have them be released once a year as usual. Gretchen on the other hand is writing her duology, The Don't Get Mad Series. It's about four girls from different groups forming a secret society to get revenge against bullies, mean girls, and evil teachers.
     The talk ended and it was time for the signing of the books.

  This was an awesome event and I had a great time! I believe this was one of the funniest events I have ever been to. Both Gretchen and Kendare are hilarious people. I hope you enjoyed my recap. Sorry it was so long haha.


  1. What an exciting author appearance! Lucky you! I LOLed at the period commercial book covers for Anna and Antigoddess :)
    New follower :)

    1. It was so much fun!! We were laughing hysterically through out the whole time, especially during that period part! There were a few men in the audience so they were a bit uncomfortable lol. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Ooh awesomeness post!! I wish I had gone to this event now - though I would probably have been late and standing in the back! It was great to get some more info on the writing - especially with Gretchen, there were no questions about how the book was inspired at the signing I went to. And I love the pictures you took too! No posed picture with Gretchen though?

    1. Thank you! I did feel a bit lonely with out you and Paola :0( Soon soon we will be meet up again! I have to DM you my # so that way I don't lose you guys in Vegas lol. Oh and I didn't take a picture with Gretchen since I already have one with her from a previous event. Next time for sure!