Monday, January 25, 2016

An Interview with Author, Kat Zhang

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By: Avery B. 
I bet many of us have wanted to be an author or writer when we grow up. I know I have! Well, I had the privilege of getting to interview an author who has wanted to become a writer every since she was 12 and sold her first book to a publisher at age 19 
Kat Zhang is the fabulous Young Adult author of The Hybrid Chronicles, starting with What’s Left of Me, Once We Were, and ending with Echoes of UsToday, she has given us lucky readers some history on her inspiration, some fabulous writing tips, and a hint to look for new writing to come soon! 

Lime Green Giraffe: What was your favorite book or author when you were younger? 

Kat Zhang: Probably THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman :). I loved Lyra, and I loved the world.  

LGG: What is your favorite book or author now? 

KZ: Oh man, I can't choose. I love so many. I adore books with strong, evocative language and wonderful characters. 

LGG: Where did you get your inspiration for The Hybrid Chronicles? 

KZ: Mostly, I just wondered to myself: What would it be like to have someone else sharing my body, watching my every move, commenting on everything I do? And what would it be like to be like to be unable to live your own life--stuck watching someone else's life? 

LGG: Did you have any main literary influences, such as a certain genre or particular authors? 

KZ: Hmm, I think I pull from everything I read, watch, and see, really. As a writer, you are influenced by everything, even if you think you're being totally original.  

LGG: Who has been your greatest encourager on your journey as a published author? 

KZ: My fellow writing friends! The YA writing community is such a friendly place, and I've found some really great friends here. 

LGG: You have said before that you had decided at age 12 that you wanted to be a writer, but was there ever a defining moment when you can remember saying, “This is what I want to do with my life? 

KZ: Not really, I guess. Storytelling has always been a big part of me; even before I started my first novel at age 12, I was writing plays and poetry. It's just how I process the world :). 

LGG: When you get stuck on characters or plot, how do you get past that writer’s block?

KZ: Often, reading helps. It gets me back into that storytelling mood and helps my brain relax. Sometimes it's all about letting myself just brainstorm and not worry about getting anything "wrong." 

LGG: How did you develop Eva and Addie’s personalities so that they were similar but not exactly the same? 

KZ: Eva stayed pretty consistent throughout my early drafts, but I did have to do some "character journaling" and such to really understand Addie. Basically, I'd write diary style entries from her point to view, trying to see things as she saw. Often, I think if you set up a character's backstory, you can naturally see the product of said backstory if you explore it well enough. 

LGG: When you write stories, do you tend to outline things or plot things as you write?

KZ: I used to be what's called a "pantser," meaning I "flew by the seat of my pants" while writing. But I'm definitely a hardcore outliner now! It helps me stay on track and finish projects in a more timely manner. 

LGG: Now that the Hybrid Chronicles have been completed, do you have any ideas for what we as readers can expect next? 

KZ: I'm working on a few different things, and I hope I can give a more concrete answer soon! 

So, I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what Kat has for us in the future!   

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