1. How did you get the idea for Three Dark Crowns?
From a swarm of bees. There was a bee ball, like a ball made of bees, in a tree at a book event and everyone was terrified. But a beekeeper happened to be there and said they were just protecting their queen in the middle of the ball, and as long as we left them alone they would do the same for us. Well, I peppered this beekeeper with bee questions and she told me that a queen bee will lay several queen eggs before she leaves her old hive, and when they hatch out they kill each other to see who gets to inherit. And I just thought that was brutal and wonderful and wanted to do it to people.
2. Were there other titles you came up with before Three Dark Crowns? If so what were they?
Three Dark Crowns was originally called Three Black Witches, which is really more of a title that the mainland would have given it.
3. Which of the triplet did you have difficulty writing and why?
Mirabella, probably. She's the most reserved, and the most internally conflicted. She's quite austere and hard to put a finger on.
4. Congratulations on Three Dark Crowns (and its three planned sequels) being optioned by 20th Century Fox. What scene are you eager to see on the screen?
Thank you! We're a long way from the film actually getting made (fingers-crossed!) but I would love to see the entire Beltane Festival. All the ritual and magic and fires. It could be really gorgeous to watch.
5. Could you give us an interesting fun fact about Three Dark Crowns?
The bee thing is all I can think of right now. Though my poison research did save my dog's life. I was researching right before we were to get our first puppy, and through that research was able to identify an extremely toxic tree in my backyard. Like, so toxic that dogs die within minutes of chewing on a branch from it. So toxic that the smoke from burning it can make you ill or kill you. So we had them removed and killed the stumps and covered them over with dirt and protective coverings. The toxicity doesn't leave the wood until it's completely decomposed.
6. Did you know how Three Dark Crowns would end or did it come to you while writing the story?
I knew how the first book would end. I still don't know how the series will end.
7. Which fictional character (besides yours) would you like to sit down and chat with?
So many! And for so many different reasons. I would love to hang out with Lyra Belacqua. She'd just be fun. And it would be delightful to have a meal or something with Jane Eyre. Also, I think I would enjoy antagonizing Patrick Bateman, but only from behind glass.
8. What book are you currently reading?
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Fabulous. And...some Philippa Gregory. And...I just read The Devils You Know by MC Atwood, not out yet.
9. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
Not really. I'm typing this one-handed with a Sphynx cat in my other arm. Does that count?
10. Do you recall the first story you ever wrote?
No, but I recall some early ones. A novel about two herds of wild Mustangs.
11. What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
Anytime they cosplay as a character, or do makeup looks, or fan art, I love to see that. It's mind-blowing that the characters could inspire them that way.
12. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I'm pals with lots of writers. There are a few of us that live nearish each other and we meet up occasionally to work on stuff. Marissa Meyer, Lish McBride, Rori Shay, Jennifer Chuschoff, Martha Brockenbrough and more...all fantastic writers and very cool to hang with. And I'm in pretty close contact with April Genevieve Tucholke, who is consistently interesting.
13. Which book (beside yours) have you read that you like to see made into a feature film?
I'm looking forward to the adaptation of the Lunar Chronicles. And...of course, Caitlin R Kiernan's The Red Tree. I just heard that the film option on that one lapsed, but some other producer needs to snap it up!
14. Last question, what type of snack (or food) do you plan to get while watching Three Dark Crowns for the first time?
Haha, well, like I said, we're a long way from a film actually being made, and so much needs to go right for it first...but if I do get to see it in theaters, I'm sparing no expense. I'm getting all the snacks! Even the hot snacks, like nachos or chicken fingers or whatever. Bottomless popcorn. So. Much. Food.
Thanks for having me by the blog, Mike!
And I thank you, Ms. Kendare Blake, for giving us some insight about you and your wonderful novel. I'm glad that you took your time to answer my questions. I really wish you all the success in finishing the series and the film adaptation as well. I hope my readers too enjoyed and gained some information in general. Please pick up this exciting book or put it at the very top of your to-read pile. Thanks for visiting and have a great day.