This week, I’m happy to bring you a different kind of interview. Wynne Channing, author of the thrill ride YA novel “What Kills Me”, asked if she could interview herself. Enjoy the quirky ride!
Thank you to Jen for kindly offering me this space to do what I do (second) best — be nosy. Today Journalist-Wynne will be asking Novelist-Wynne a few questions about her debut book, What Kills Me, the sequel and what all of those butterflies in the story mean.
A Very weird. But you have freakishly good taste in clothing.
Q So what messages did you want to convey in What Kills Me?
A What Kills Me is a story of bravery and survival. Sometimes terrible things happen in life. You cannot control them or prevent them. You can only endure, and be brave. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. It’s moving forward in spite of your fear.
Q Is there a lot to fear?
A If every vampire in the world was trying to kill you to prevent some kind of apocalypse, you’d be afraid too. I think also, my heroine, Zee is scared of losing herself. Everyone keeps telling her that she is the monster of all monsters. Vicious. Dangerous. She struggles with who she has become, and who she is supposed to be.
Q I noticed that identity and change are themes that you touch upon.
A I use butterflies and moths in the book as symbols of transformation. Nothing stays the same; you must be willing to give up all that you are for everything that you could become.
Q What other elements were important to you?
A I wanted to have a multicultural cast. When I was growing up, I never saw myself and my friends reflected in books and movies. Zee’s background is purposely ambiguous. But some characters are of Asian descent, Middle Eastern, etc. The adventure begins in Rome and moves to Taipei. The sequel will feature several new settings as well. I wanted What Kills Me to be global.
I also wanted a realistic love story. I’m always suspicious of heroines who fall for heroes in the midst of death and chaos. (“I’m being hunted to the death and I will never see my loved ones again but wow, are you mega hot?!?”) Zee and Lucas form a connection over time. It also gives their relationship space to evolve in the sequel.
Q So what can we expect in the sequel?
A At the end of Book One, a revelation changes everything for Zee and the vampire empire. Book Two picks up from there with more Zee and Lucas, more twists and turns, old characters and new characters, and of course, more blood.
What Kills Me Links
Buy What Kills Me
About the book: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?
About Wynne: Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and award-winning young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”
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