Here is my interview with Kendra Saunders!!
Gryffindor Books: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Kendra: At around 8 years old, I was already coming up with crazy stories and telling them to anyone who would listen. I had a very clear picture of being an author by the time I was in second grade. In fact, for Halloween that year, we were supposed to dress up as what we wanted to be one day. Among astronauts, marine biologists, and doctors, there was little me with a briefcase in hand, telling everyone I was an author.
Gryffindor Books: How many books have you published to date and how many are in the works?
Kendra: Eight official books so far, including my two poetry collections, as well as some other indie works or works published in compilations. I’ve got four books in the works at the moment, and another poetry collection. My brain is truly a very cluttered place!
Gryffindor Books: Who or what got you into reading?
Kendra: I learned to read when I was seven, so maybe a little later than most kids, but from that moment on, I was addicted to books! I loved the Babysitters’ Club books, Nancy Drew, and was really obsessed with the book Dinotopia. When the American Girls books came into my life, I devoured every single one of them I could get my hands on.
Gryffindor Books: What does your writing process look like?? Do you need to be in a certain place? Do you have music you write to? Is there a drink you must have while writing?
Kendra: I am very much a creature of habit, yes, and have a very cluttered mind, so I always need time to settle in and focus before I can write. I like to be in coffee shops if possible. Something about the hum of voices and noise around you is very soothing and centering. And I make playlists for each book, and listen to it while writing. Sometimes the music has nothing to do with the story at all, but hearing it signals that it’s time to work on that book.
Gryffindor Books: Which format do you prefer reading books in? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook or eBook?
Kendra: Paperback is my favorite. Easy to carry around everywhere, but still gives me that wonderful “book” feel that you can’t get from eBooks!
Gryffindor Books: If you could have dinner with one author who would it be and why?
Kendra: Neil Gaiman, though I would be too nervous to eat! He’s my favorite writer, and I’d just want to talk to him about creative things for hours. His book, “Neverwhere,” was what made me realize that books for adults could be as fun as books for kids.
Gryffindor Books: When you were growing up which fictional characters did you look up to?
Kendra: Meg from A Wrinkle in Time was one of my greatest book heroes. Princess Leia from Star Wars was my greatest movie hero, because she was so cool and fearless and not afraid to stand up to the boys. I also loved Samantha from American Girls!
Gryffindor Books: What advice would you give to a reader who wanted to become a writer?
Kendra: It’s a lot of work! Only become an author if you love it so much that you can’t NOT do it. There will be days where you feel like giving up, and that love will be the only thing that keeps you going. If you do truly love it, don’t give up. It will be worth it in the end, when someone messages you or stops you in public somewhere and tells you how much your writing meant to them.
Gryffindor Books: Please tell us a little about your book and your characters!
Kendra: The Alien Pop Star series has some of my favorite characters in it. Daisy, the protagonist, is a woman in her late 20s who is still trying to figure herself out. Griffin, her alien romantic interest, is a flamboyant, empathetic guy who loves glitter and tacky clothes, but also is far sweeter than he lets on at first. Dev, Griffin’s best friend, is the level headed one of the group. He keeps everyone fed and watered and sane, ha!
Gryffindor Books: What is your Hogwarts House?
Gryffindor Books: If you were trapped on an island with a book series and the author of that book series which one would it be and why?
Kendra: I would love to be trapped with Sophie Kinsella and her Shopaholic books, because Becky from the series can always figure out a way to escape bad circumstances. Always! People think she’s stupid or vapid, but she’s actually super clever and resourceful. That makes me believe Sophie would be too, so she could probably keep us both alive until we get rescued!
Gryffindor Books: Do you have any tips to start reading more books?
Kendra: I’m a big believer that people will read if they’re reading something they enjoy. The idea in schools that everyone should read the same books can be very damaging to young readers. If you’re forced to read books that you don’t enjoy, because someone else considers them classics, you may begin to resent reading in general. It’s important to find books that you love, whether they are non-fiction, genre fiction, or graphic novels, etc.
Gryffindor Books: Thanks so much for agreeing to do this with me and I look forward to reading your books!
Kendra: Thank you for having me!