I did a thing that probably wasn't very smart. I am doing my first Camp NaNo this year. (Where I will find the time I don't know yet, but I'll work out that detail in July.)
Right now, my goal is to have Abolished Impracticality completely re-written by the end of June. Peter believes this will work, Steed hasn't stopped laughing yet to give his opinion.
Anyways, if I get quiet during the month of July just blame it on writing and editing. (Also, is anyone else doing it? Since this is my first year I feel kind of lost and would love to team up with someone.)
Now, all of that said, I am pleased to present to you today's interview. (You might even recognize the author, being as she and I are writing a book together.)
And now, I will let her talk.
Kendra E. Ardnek has been writing her own stories since she was a toddler. She fell in love with books, drama, and fairy tales at a very young age - and has been filling notebooks with her stories for years. Joining NaNoWriMo gave her an opportunity to be a published author at 16.
She writes her own blog (knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.
com), homeschools, cooks, knits, and crafts when she isn't writing stories and acting them out with her younger cousins and siblings.
Sew, It's a Quest:
Robin and Robert are royal twins. They are the only two to have received a Fairy Godmother gift in nearly a century, an amazing honor. Soon it was clear that their gifts had been switched and a search began to find the Fairy Godmother to right the mistake. When she is finally sighted by a knight, the family learns that the pair must find her for themselves and they only have until their 18th birthday ... only 4 months away. Will they be able to find her in time?
Do You Take This Quest?:
When Arthur's parents were lost at sea, his Uncle Mordreth became the regent for the young boy. Yet now that he's of age, Mordreth seems to have no intentions of relinquishing the throne. It looks as though Arthur will have to fight for his throne. If only he had more than just his two servants and the old man he met in the woods for friends. So the old man takes things into his own hands and whisks Arthur off to the wedding of a fellow prince, with the intention of finding him some allies.
All is not right at the wedding, however. The groom is missing and the bride had called quits. Where's the groom? Well, he's found a new bride. Now if he can just get her home ...
A lot of your books are fairy tales, have you always loved fairy tales?
Oh, yes! And not the Disney adaptations, either. The only fairy tale movie that I can distinctly remember watching was a Snow White where all the dwarves had the name "Joe." However, my mom is a wonderful storyteller, and when we would take our daily walks around the block, she would tell us stories from Andrew Lang's colored books. One of my favorites was "The White Cat."
What first gave you the idea to retell some of the classic fairy tales?
Some of my oldest stories were retellings, including one I called "Ruthastiltskin" which was basically "Rumpelstiltskin" but all the girl parts were filled by boys and vise-versa. However, when I discovered Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, I started retelling them instead. I didn't get back to my Fairy Tales until I was fifteen and my mother pointed out that since I knew so many, I ought to start retelling them again. So I did, starting with Sleeping Beauty.
I think it is so great, how much your mom has supported you in your writing.
I read Sew, It's a Quest. In the book, the character Robin uses a sword - a lot. Do you have an interest in swords? If so, what first sparked that interest?
I confess that I have no out of the usual love for the sword, however, it is one of the two staple weapons of fantasy (bows and arrows are the other) so since I love fantasy, its a given that I write with them. In fact, until a few years ago, most of my main characters fought with quarterstaffs. I gave Robin a sword because I thought it would be an interesting twist.
Well, it was a twist I certainly liked 8-)
From you blog, I notice you like knitting as well. How long have you been knitting?
For about six and a half years. I received a set of knifty knitter knitting circles for the Christmas right before my 12th birthday, and then I bought a ball of yarn that came with a "How to knit" DVD. After watching it, I pulled a pair of skewers out of the kitchen drawer and started knitting. I later got my hands on a pair of real needles, and now I have quite the collection! (Honestly. I have almost every sort of knitting needle, loom, or crochet hook you could want! I even have a knitting machine, though I haven't figured out how to use it yet.)
How did it feel, the first time you held your own paperback bound copy of your book?
First of all, the cover was smooth and almost silky, but the pages were rough - like any paper ...
Oh, wait you want to know how it felt to hold my book for the first time. Okay. It was a mix of accomplishment and wonder. Accomplishment because I finally had fulfilled my dream of having my words inside of a book, my name on the cover and my picture on back. Wonder because that was MY name on the cover, MY picture on the back, and the words inside were the ones I had sweated and agonized over for so long. (And then I pulled out a pencil and started editing)
Truth be known, I still feel that way whenever I get my hands on a copy of my book.
What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
I want to write the books that I would have ate up as a child. Books that make you laugh, make you think, and bring a sense of wonder all at the same time.
What do you find easier, co-authoring or writing alone? (Sorry, had to ask. *Smirk*)
They both have challenges and strengths. On one hand, co-authoring gives you a person who you can automatically bounce ideas with and talk plot, which is something that I LOVE doing ... but I'm also a bit of a control freak, and when you have write with someone else, you have to remember that they have good ideas too, and you ought to listen to them. I have gotten better at that over the years, but my first attempt at coauthoring ... well, let's just say, by the time we got to the end, my coauthor didn't have any lines to call her own in the play we were writing. We finally decided to turn it into a musical and I would write the text and she would write the music.
How long does it usually take you to write a first draft?
I wrote Sew's first draft in a month (NaNo, you know), but I also have a story that I've been writing in notebooks (It's almost half-way through its third) for four or five years now, so it really just depends on how much the story wants to be written.
How often do your characters change your plots on you, if ever? (I ask this because I know you have some unruly characters.)
Usually I can see their potential plot twists ahead of time and prepare for them ... but about once or twice every book, one or another character will pull an unexpected stunt. The most common is for a character I had previously declared dead (before the book began) deciding that they want to be alive. It can be very annoying.
I almost wish to trade you. Mine did the opposite, dying when I wanted him to stay alive.
What would you say if someone ever offered to turn your books into animated movies? (I say animated because that is how a lot of fairy tale stories are done.)
It'd depend on how willing they are to let me be in on the project. If they let me help write the script, and possibly voice a character (preferably Robin), I think I might take them up on the offer. I've actually been toying with the idea of writing a script for Sew ... but haven't had the time.
Have you ever considered writing other genres or do you plan to stick to fantasy?
I have a few Historical Fictions planned (which I affectionately refer to as HiFi), as well as a Super Hero novel (which may turn into a trilogy if it gets too long) and some SciFi. I also I'm in the process of plotting a series that will cover a number of different genres, but I'm not authorized to say very much about it at this point. It is a top-secret affair.
Thank you for allowing me the chance to interview you! I hope you had as much fun answering my questions as I had asking them.
Now, I am leaving. John insists I sleep. (And he also says he is planning a computer commandeering soon so he can update his blog. I might have to help him with this and make the commandeering a bit easier on him.)