Welcome to an exclusive little Q&A with Kendare Blake, author of Two Dark Reigns!
1. Congratulations on the third book in the Three Dark Crowns series! Can you tell us a little about Two Dark Reigns?
Sure! Two Dark Reigns is the story of what happens after the Ascension Year is over. Someone has the crown, but the island is not finished with our queens just yet. Everyone still has a part to play. Expect the past to return in insidious forms, a rebellion to rise, and of course, unexpected alliances and betrayals.
2. I love that your book series focuses on a matriarchy. What was the inspiration behind that and the core themes of Two Dark Reigns?
Well, the entire series was inspired by the behaviour of queen bees, so having the island be a matriarchy seemed like the natural choice since that’s the way it works in a hive. I love being able to work with so many varied women about the constraints of patriarchal gender roles.
3. After your success with this bestseller series, do you feel you’ve grown as a writer? What changes do you see within your own writing?
I’ve definitely come to know the world of Fennbirn very intimately! I have a thousand years of queen history just rolling through my head. Honestly, I’m a bit sad to be leaving it behind. I’m going to miss these queens. I wish I could say that the writing overall has improved, and in the final drafts I think it has, but unfortunately my first drafts are all still abysmal. Really, really wretched. It never used to be this way! The first draft of Anna Dressed in Blood was pristine by comparison So maybe this means I’m getting worse. 🙂
4. What are some of the authors that have inspired you, both as an author and a reader?
It’s a real perk of the job that I get to meet so many authors. We chat, we commiserate, and I find them all really inspiring in one way or another. Sometimes they blow me away with their productivity. Sometimes with their dogged persistence and work ethic. Often they’re absolutely brilliant. Lauren Oliver, is one of those writers whose brain is always firing on all cylinders. She functions better with the flu than I do after a spa weekend. It’s astounding. And Stephanie Garber’s process is very inspiring, plus she’s a fantastic human being and an amazing writer. Of writers whom I have not met, I’ll say Caitlin R Kiernan, and Joe Hill, and I’ll cut it off there. I’ve been influenced by so many.