About the author:Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren’t riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat’s quirks today.By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn’t come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The first book, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME–about a girl with two souls–was released September 18, 2012.Book 2 in the series, ONCE WE WERE, released September 17, 2013, and book 3 (titled Echoes of Us) was published in September 2014.
It’s hard to single out any one thing! Stories often start from several different kernels, then continue to grow with draft after draft. I guess I just started wondering: 1) What would it be like to be trapped in your own body, watching someone else live your life? 2) What if that internal monologue everyone has was really a whole other person inside them? That’s how the idea for Addie and Eva came about, and the rest of their world really developed from there 🙂
• How has your writing process changed from your debut novel to your most recent?
I outline a lot more, and do a lot more pre-planning. However, that doesn’t seem to stop me from having to write a ton of drafts/do a ton of revision anyway! I guess my brain is just built that way. But doing the outlining, even knowing that I’ll probably end up with something very different from said outline, is helpful while drafting.
Hmm… There were a lot of challenging aspects, as there are whenever you do anything new! But nothing that was a drag or anything. Challenging can be good! I certainly learned a lot. If I had to pick one thing, it would probably be having to write more quickly than I ever had in the past.
• What has been the best (or funniest) experience since the publication of What’s Left of Me?
The best experience has definitely been meeting with readers. It’s so fabulous to speak with people who read and enjoyed your books.
• You started writing the Hybrid Chronicles in high school. What advice would you give to teen and aspiring writers?
Read lots, and never give up! Writing can be a long road, and that’s perfectly normal. It takes time to better your skills, the same as with anything else.
• Can you tell us about any current/ upcoming writing projects?
I can’t say too much about it, but it’s YA, and it’s a fantasy 😛 I hope to be able to tell more about it later on!
Thanks so much to Kat for agreeing to be interviewed! Readers: if you haven’t already done so, go check out the Hybrid trilogy; it’s amazing!