What is your favorite thing about ECHOES OF US?
The end, haha. And that's not even me being facetious. I've put all my characters, especially Addie and Eva, through so much over the course of this trilogy, and it felt really great to give them an ending. A bit of closure. I can't get into the specifics, of course, without being spoiler-y!
On a more meta level, having worked on this trilogy for years and years, starting when I was 17 years old, it's a bit surreal to be 23 and seeing the final book release. I went through college while writing these books. I grew up with them, in a way. It feels like closure for me, as well, on a part of my life.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
I feel like my road to publication was long, mostly because I literally starting dreaming about publishing a book when I was 12 years old, and that's about the time I started writing novels, too. However, I never actually finished a book until I was 17, and that was also the first book I queried. However, I only reached out to about 10 agents, maybe even less, and I never even got a full request! (I was…pretty bad at writing queries)
So I guess if you count from that first querying attempt, things went pretty quickly. I started writing What's Left of Me while querying Book #1, and queried it at age 19. Signed with my agent after about 2 months, and sold the trilogy later that year. :)
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
It really depends. Before this current book, I'd say I never listen to music while writing, but I've found a cover of "I See Fire" that I've listened to over 1000 times now on repeat while drafting! I write all over the place—home, coffee shops, libraries, the mall...
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Keep writing. Keep reading. :)
ABOUT THE BOOK
Echoes of Us
by Kate Zhang
To change the world, I may lose everything
All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be hybrid—to share your body with a second soul—is not tolerated past childhood. Now Eva and Addie, her sister soul, are constantly on the move, hiding from the officials who seek to capture them. But the tide is changing. A revolution is brewing, and people are starting to question the hybrids' mistreatment.
Then Marion, an ambitious reporter, offers Eva and Addie a daring proposal: If they go undercover and film the wretched conditions of a hybrid institution, she will not only rescue them, she'll find a way to free Jackson, the boy Addie loves. It's risky, and Eva will have to leave Ryan and her friends behind, but if she succeeds, it could also tip the scales forever and lead to hybrid freedom.
As Eva and Addie walk into danger, they cling to each other and the hope of a better future. But the price they might pay is higher than they ever could have imagined.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren't riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat's quirks today.
By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn't come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The first book, WHAT'S LEFT OF ME–about a girl with two souls–will released September 18, 2012. Book 2 in the series, ONCE WE WERE, will be released September 17, 2013.
Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. She also performs as a Spoken Word poet and contributes to Pub(lishing) Crawl, a site for aspiring writers to talk about books, storytelling craft, and the publishing process. Kat has also had the pleasure of remote interning for a literary agent, specializing in Young Adult fiction.
When she is not exploring the world of her characters, she is exploring her own. To date, she's had the pleasure of visiting five countries, including more than half of the United States. She hopes to always keep writing and traveling.