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Interview with Wynne Channing, author of What Kills Me

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Tell us about What Kills Me

Sure! What Kills Me is a novel about bravery and survival. It begins with an ancient prophecy warning of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia (Zee) falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer.

What genre is it?
Young adult paranormal adventure. (Was that three genres in one?)

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
It’s marked as YA but a lot of my readers are adults looking for a good story.

Complete this sentence for us: If you like ___________, you’ll love What Kills Me.
If you like the action in The Hunger Games and the wit in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’ll love What Kills Me.

Have you started work on Book 2 of the series? What can you tell us about it?
The entire series is plotted. I just have to keep my butt in my chair and write the sequel. A startling revelation at the end of the first book changes the landscape for everyone. The characters face a whole new (bloody) adventure now.

How knowledgeable and how respectful of existing vampire mythology did you have to be in writing this book?
My vamps drink blood. And they burn in the sun. That’s all I really wanted for my monsters. I didn’t feel bound by any vampire “rules” or mythology. Most of my readers say that What Kills Me is a unique take on vampires and for that I’m flattered, but I didn’t set out to create different monsters, just to take people on a ride.

You have admitted that Wynne Channing is a pen name. How did you decide on your pen name, and do pen names allow you take on a new personality, a little like Superman’s cape?
Haha. Wynne is Superman and Melissa (Leong) is a newspaper reporter. No joke. I chose a pen name in case my journalist self ever wanted to write serious non-fiction. And my pen name, don’t laugh, is inspired by what people say jokingly is your “stripper name” — your first pet’s name and the street that you grew up on.

That’s priceless. Tell us a bit more about you.
I’m a newspaper journalist and best-selling young adult novelist. I like pajamas and gherkins. Not necessarily together. And I’m fully prepared for a zombie apocalypse.

You recently wrote an article on your experiences self-publishing. Were your experiences typical, as far as you can tell? If a publishing house offered to pick up the rest of the series, would you be interested?
I think every author charts his own path. But I think a lot of writers share the same insecurities and hopes about the process and their work. I love being an indie author. I love the control and ownership that I have over my projects. But there are a lot of advantages to being with a traditional publishing house. I guess, it would depend on the offer.

Have you got a website  where readers can keep up with your work? Do you use social media?
Yes! I’m all over the internet. Please come stalk me!

(You heard her. Her website is http://www.wynnechanning.com; Facebook; Twitter @WynneChanning.)

Where can we buy What Kills Me?
Amazon ( US , UK ),  B&N, iTunes.

What’s next?
I’ve spent almost a year researching material for a dystopian thriller set in a high school that I hope to write after I finish the What Kills Me series.

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Enjoyed this interview? Then check out our conversation with S M Boyce

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