September 26, 2013

Interview with Author Kendra E. Ardnek!

Kendra E. Ardnek is the author of many books, four of which are published.  I had the honor of interviewing her to celebrate the publishing of her fourth novel, The Ankulen.

1.  I’m so excited to be interviewing an author again and sharing about another wonderful novel with my blog!  First of all, tell me about yourself.
Hello there! I'm a eighteen year old author of four self-published books, The Ankulen being my newest, and the eldest of four siblings.  I fell in love with stories before I could talk (and I was an early talker, incidentally) and started writing them as soon as I figured out how. I published my first book at the age of sixteen. Fantasy is my favorite genre, thanks to an overdose of Fairy Tales and Nutcracker as a child. I blog at knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com and my official site is kendraeardnek.weebly.com.

 2.  In a nutshell, what is The Ankulen about?
(I'm resisting the urge to make a snide, nutshell-themed joke here)
The text on the back of the cover reads, "Fifteen-year-old Jen can't remember her imagination. She knows she had one once, though, and honestly, she'd like it back. It's been eight years. One day she finds a young boy who claims to be one of her imaginary friends and that her imaginary world is being eaten by a hydra-like monster called the Polystoikhedron. He helps her find the Ankulen, a special bracelet that had given the ability to bring her imagination to life and together they embark on a quest to find friendship, healing, and perhaps even some family."

 3.  Speaking of the title, I’m sure a lot of my readers are wondering what on earth an “Ankulen” is.  Care to enlighten them?
In short, an Ankulen is a piece of jewelry that brings imagination to life. Jen's is a bracelet, mine is a ring. The owner is called an Anka or Anku, depending on whether they're a girl or a guy.

  4.  I’ve always enjoyed the stories of how authors came up with ideas for their novels.  What inspired you to write The Ankulen?
This book began as a play that my younger cousin wanted to perform at our next family get together. We were both really into acting, and we had a "stage" in our backyard (Actually it was part of a really expensive bed, but it worked!), so we wanted to do something together. So we assigned ourselves names (I was Jenifer and he was Chris) and started making stuff up as we went along.
We could never come up with an ending that we could pull off with our limited special effects, so eventually we gave up. But the idea wouldn't go away. Eventually I decided to change it into a book, and in January of last year, I pulled up a word document, started typing, and never looked back.

 5.  Are you working on any other novels so far?
Several. Right now I'm focusing on three. My Kingdom for a Quest, the third book in my Bookania Quests series which is my personal retellings and mash-ups of various myths, legends, and fairy tales. Worth of a King, which I'm co-writing with a friend, is the story of a pair of royal twins who were separated at birth, he to be raised as a peasant, she as a princess and the intended of the son of their father's assassin. Water Princess, Fire Prince, the first book in my Rizkaland Legends, which are hard to explain without comparing them to Narnia and Oz, which sounds cheesy. The next book I plan to publish, however, is a short story collection.

 6.  Do you listen to music when you write?  If so, what kind?  What’s in your current favorite playlist?
Not often. Sometimes I'll pull out my MP3 player and listen to a playlist that I've set up, but I've never noticed any real change in my writing for either positive or negative. When I do listen, my playlist is made of some Mozart, some songs from "Songs from a Broken Heart" (look them up - they're really good Christian group, all the ones I've listened to are theologically sound, and they're all FREE), and the songs off my Isaac's CD. (A Christian Bluegrass group).

 7.  Do you like to drink coffee, tea, water, or anything else while you write?  What about chocolate???  : )
Call me a strange author, but I can't stand coffee, and there are only a few teas that I will drink. I do like some lemon tea during the winter, but that's because I get really bad sore throats. I always have water on my desk, because I don't want to dehydrate myself.
As for chocolate, I can take it or leave it. I'm more of a vanilla person. I'll drink hot chocolate, and if you give me chocolate, I'll probably eat it, but I prefer white chocolate. On another note, I really like hot apple cider, but I don't get it as often as I would like.

 8.  Besides writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
Knitting, crochet, various other handcrafts (but not sewing - embroidery I can don, but add a machine and I'm lost), pretending I'm an artist, putting together 500+ piece puzzles, helping my younger siblings in school, cooking, washing the dishes, building sand castles, growing herbs ... oh ... so I do have a life outside of my writing ...

 9.  Tell me about the latest book you read!
The last book I finished was Abolished Impracticality, which I was beta reading for a friend of mine. It's the unpublished second book of her steampunk series. It's a good series, I highly recommend it.

 10.  What’s some advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Don't talk about writing. Write. And read, both the classics and modern works. If you don't read, you forget how the written word is supposed to look. Classics because they're good enough to last, modern because you want to know what people want to read now.


Thanks, Kendra!

I hope you'll all go and buy The Ankulen.  It's a great book!

~Eowyn~

2 comments:

Miss Jane Bennet said...

Loved this interview! Eowyn, you did a great job thinking up the questions, and Kendra did a wonderful job with the answers! I'm planning on buying The Ankulen soon! :)

Bella Rose said...

You got to read Abolished Impracticality? You are so lucky! I just finished Haphazardly Implausible and I really like Peter. And Tony. And Steed. and I love Peter and Darcy