Hello bookish people!
Guess who got to interview an Indie author about her funny and relatable book? Tyr Carter!
I kid! I kid! It was me. Kendra kindly agreed to do an interview with me, and after I got over my initial excitement I was able to ask her some questions about Nirvana; her second standalone novel.
(I’ve also added a giveaway. Just FYI.)
But let’s get on with the interview:
About the Author
Kendra Radke was born and raised in Houston, Texas and now settled in Southern Nevada. When Kendra isn’t writing she tries to avoid the hordes of tourists that flock to Las Vegas unprepared for the 4.2 mile walk of The Strip. She is a proud spouse of a Veteran and mother of two boys.
Q. To start, can you tell us about Nirvana?
Well, if you ever need someone to cheer you up, Mateo, the main character in Nirvana, would not be the one to call.
On the other hand, if you ever needed a dose of reality, he’d give it to you bluntly, but you’d have to pester him a lot to give you the time of day. And he has a habit of disappearing when annoyed. The prologue is the key to entering Mateo’s state of mind before you start reading. This book is not for the faint hearted.
It’s a tale of a man trying to find a corner of the world that accepts him for who he is, and what he’s capable of. His past haunts him, and he can’t cope with it because of the destruction it would have on the world. A personal purgatory for him, where hope no longer exists.
Q: Do you listen to music when you write? And if so, what song puts you in the mood for writing\reading Nirvana?
Never! I need absolute, complete silence, which is hard to come by. There can be a droning noise in the background like a roomba vacuuming but nothing with words. If I listened to music I would sing along and get distracted. I get distracted rather a lot. Kind of like Dug on the Disney movie UP.
Q: How long did it take you to write Nirvana?
Years. I’m not sure how many. I don’t think I ever thought I would finish it. I had an idea and wrote it down and kept adding to it. Almost like a puzzle. Pieces of the story would be written down, the thoughts nagging at me until they were safely saved onto the computer. And one day I realized it had grown to be about 50 pages, and thought, this could actually be a book.
Q: Is there a reason you decided to be an Indie author (publishing your own novel) instead of going to a publisher?
Time is precious, and I like working on a schedule I’m in charge of. Like most writers, I am furiously protective over Mateo’s story and I didn’t want an opinion unless I asked for it. Mateo to me is like the ring to Golem. My precious. It’s a fantastic story and I wanted it to stay mine.
Q: Did any specific religions\cultures inspire your writing?
I would say religion becomes a top priority when someone’s life isn’t going the way they plan. Not one specific culture or religion inspired me to write about it, it was more of a necessity for Mateo’s character. He wants answers and he can’t expect to find them sitting in one place, and with the world at his fingertips he shouldn’t have to. I did center around Buddhism, which is a beautiful religion, and monks are known to be some of the happiest people in the world. I thought Mateo could use a little happiness in the dismal world he’s forced to live in. People who understand how to be happy with so little, and reincarnation, I would say is a close relative to immortality.
Q: You have a very diverse cast of characters. Was that planned, or did it just turn out that way?
Exploring different cultures can be a beautiful experience with the right people. Diverse is what I know, and they always say to write what you know. So I took the cultures and had Mateo explore them, so the readers could travel the world with him and be introduced to people and places they might not have given a second thought to.
Q: In Nirvana, Mateo is a shape-shifter (putting it in simple terms). If you could change into an animal, which one would you choose?
Oh that’s an easy question to answer, anything that can fly. Birds, dragons, Pegasus, Pterodactyl, ladybug, butterfly. Soaring through the sky is where I’d want to be.
(Editor’s note: me too!)
Q: Mateo also cannot die. If you had the option to be immortal, would you take it?
It would be a great adventure to see the world change over the centuries and watch mankind evolve, but I think I’ll stick to mortality. It would be awfully exhausting to keep that kind of secret. Not to mention everyone I’d have to watch die.
Q: If Nirvana was made into a movie, who would you want to play Mateo? (Pictures are appreciated!)
I don’t have anyone particular in mind, but I would definitely want someone unknown. Definitely someone who looks great with longer hair, but if my life completely depended on this decision, I think Booboo Stewart is who I would imagine as Mateo on screen.
Q: Classic question! What are some of your favorite YA books?
How long do we have? I love the Hunger Games. Heartless is a favorite this year. All the Light We Cannot See. The Sookie Stackhouse series AKA True Blood, I’m not sure if that’s YA though. Water for Elephants. The Young Elite series. Pride and Prejudice. I could keep going . . . Squirrel!
Q: Finally, are you planning a second book? And if not, do you have any other new books coming out?
A second adventure for Mateo is planned, maybe a third depending where his story ends in the second. My third book is almost done, with a completely new set of characters and new story. It will not be for young adults unfortunately, as there is a lot of ‘rated R’ content, but plans for another young adult novel is in the works. I am constantly writing, way too many ideas to stay idle.
(Editor’s note: I was not expecting there to be a sequel to Nirvana, and now I am incredibly excited!)
I really enjoyed Nirvana. My favorites parts were:
- The sarcastic and very relatable protagonist
- A+ Dialogue
- Diverse cast
- Great character progression
- Easy-to-read writing style
If that sounds interesting to you (which it should), then enter the giveaway link above!
Deadline: August 25-August 31st