New Book Release! Witch Hunt by K Blake!
Today on Geek Mom, we have a special treat: an interview from YA Indie author KC Blake. She’s here to talk about her new novel, Witch Hunt.
I had lots of questions for her, as her book centers around a concept that has always been intriguing to me, games. From the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries, to riddles in every set of folk tales in the world, to the Oujia board, to Dungeons and Dragons, games have been a part of humanity’s attempt to understand and explore within our own limited environments, even within our own minds. Witch Hunt has at its center a game in which the stakes are one of the most potent aspects of our identities, our memories. The loss of memory is one of the most haunting features of myths such as the River of Lethe in the Underworld.
Let’s learn more about the intriguing world of Witch Hunt! Without further ado, I introduce KC Blake.
Rachel: The idea of games which affect the course of the players’ lives is a very ancient one. What was your inspiration for this concept?
KC Blake: I don’t really know how it happened. My agent and I were bouncing ideas off one another. She wanted me to write about something other than vampires, so I chose witches. I asked myself what I would do if I was a teen girl with powers. Playing games was the first thing to jump into my head.
Rachel: Your style of writing is sharp, who are your favorite authors who you feel have influenced your style?
KC Blake: I read a lot of Stephen King and recently discovered Cassandra Clare. Her writing style is awesome.
Rachel: Most writers incorporate experiences or people from their own lives into their writing. What were some experiences that went into WitchHunt?
KC Blake: Well, there’s the secret crush. Carrying a torch for someone you aren’t supposed to be with isn’t new to me. Starr writes for the school paper. That was also an experience of mine. Then there were bullies like Ryder and Bex to deal with. Those are the only things about this book that reflect my own life, I think.
Rachel: This is your second book in a series. The idea of a series can be intimidating to new writers, because it covers complex ideas over a long span. What are some tips that you have for writers who would like to write a series?
KC Blake: As far as the Witch-Game series goes, it was easy to write because these books only have one thing in common: witches playing games. Each book has a different set of characters and a new game. They can stand on their own. You can read them out of order or only read the ones you truly think you’ll love.
My vampire series, on the other hand, was tough to write. As a matter of fact, I plan to go back and read the first two books before finishing the series. I don’t want to mess up on facts. My advice to anyone wanting to do a series is simply to take your time and make sure it makes sense.
Rachel: What are some challenges that you encountered in writing WitchHunt? What about in writing your first novel, Crushed?
KC Blake: I didn’t have much trouble with Crushed, but Witch Hunt took a long time and was truly difficult. Since it involves the loss of memory, I knew it would be a challenge. You don’t want to confuse the reader. That’s why I went with Starr Hughes, teen reporter as my main character. She doesn’t know anything about the game to begin with. The reader gets to go on a journey with her and discover the truth with her. I have Starr sort of take them by the hand and lead them through it.
Rachel: What was your favorite character to write, was it Starr, or was there another character that also leaped out at you and demanded to be written?
KC Blake: Definitely Starr. She comes off as a strong person, but she has a lot of doubts and insecurities. Losing her mom at a young age did some real damage to her psyche. I think part of the reason she loves to snoop is to keep from thinking about her own mess of a life. I also love that she’s had a major crush on Dylan and hasn’t told him because she’s afraid of rejection, and I love how she keeps going even when she’s scared.
Rachel: One thing that many writers have experienced is that they begin with an outline, and then the story changes and develops in a slightly different direction as they’re writing. Is this something you’ve experienced, or did it pretty much follow the original idea? Or are you a seat of the pants writer to some degree and just let the story develop as you wrote it?
KC Blake: If you read the original chapters that I’d written for Witch Hunt, you would not recognize it. My books always go through a series of changes until I find what works the best for me and for it. Originally, Dylan was the outsider and Starr was not a teen reporter. I had also planned to write from both points of view, but that became way too confusing. I do use an outline, but that outline changes several times during the process. It’s one reason I love to write, how my ideas start one way and end up being something incredibly different. It’s almost like the characters become real and live their lives while I watch.
Rachel: I often feel when I am writing as if my characters do that also. I can start off with an outline, and then within a chapter or two, the characters often flip me the finger and rip up the outline.