Saturday, September 12, 2015

6 Kendall Kulper, author of DRIFT & DAGGER, on scrapping a book and restarting from scratch

We're happy to have Kendall Kulper join us to share more about her latest novel DRIFT & DAGGER.

Kendall, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

Everything involving Mal, my character, and Essie, his best friend/worst enemy/love interest, was especially challenging. Their relationship is very complicated—they love and trust one another, and yet that closeness makes them uniquely capable of hurting each other. Mal has a lot of confused ideas about love and hate and how closely they can be intertwined, and I knew I needed to be very careful in how I portrayed that. Too strong on either side, and Mal could come off bitter and cynical or like a love-sick puppy. It was very, very challenging and their scenes by far went through the most changes, but I am definitely proud of the result. I think it shows a complicated relationship in all its most vulnerable, shifting ways.

And going along with that, I especially love the last paragraph. It was the first thing I wrote and stayed completely unchanged. I don’t want to say too much more or I’ll give it away!



How long did you work on DRIFT & DAGGER?

This book had a somewhat strange path. My publisher gave me about seven months to write it, and the whole time I was working on it, it just didn’t feel right. I slogged through and by the time I handed it in to my editor, I had made my peace with it, but I definitely wasn’t super excited about it. When my editor read it, she could sense all this frustration and doubt and thankfully had great suggestions about how to rework the book. I came away from that conversation more energized than I’d been the whole time I was writing and ultimately decided to scrap the book and restart basically from scratch.

I rewrote the book in something like nine weeks and then spent another few weeks in edits. It was the fastest I’d ever written something, but I think because I had a solid foundation and knew these characters in my bones, it all just poured out. I am so happy my editor made those suggestions (and thankfully a lot of great scenes that I loved from the first draft were reworked into a new story set in the world of SALT & STORM, my novella SALTWATER HEART).

What do you hope readers will take away from DRIFT & DAGGER?

Mal’s story is one I hope a lot of teenagers can really relate to. Mal is a boy immune to magic, living in a world built on magic. He’s told that what he is is an abomination and that he must always hide it or he’ll lose everything and everyone he loves.

I think a lot of teenagers—and adults, too—carry around some secret part of their identity that they find terrible or scary, and they’re terrified that someone will find out. It takes a lot of time, guidance, trust, and maturity to recognize that these parts of ourselves don’t determine our futures.

Mal’s struggle is figuring out how to love his whole self. I truly hope that his story will resonate with people in similar situations.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I just moved to a new home, where the first thing I did was set up a home office. I hand-built my desk (I love it and took an embarrassingly large number of photos of it), and I like to write standing up, at my laptop, with breaks to play with my dog (and—of course—nap). For the past year, I’ve also been caring for my baby, so my writing ritual is more like “Oh great! The baby’s asleep! Quick—write!” but I’m looking forward to getting more scheduled once she’s off to daycare.

And I love writing with music! Favorites are The Decemberists and Sea Wolf.

What are you working on now?

At this exact moment, I’m taking a little writing break so I can focus on DRIFT & DAGGER and its companion e-novella, SALTWATER HEART, as well as get settled in the new house and mentally recharge my creative brain. BUT, I am very anxious to get back to my latest work-in-progress, which is about a girl raised as a ghost hunter living in 1890s Arizona (I used to know lots about whale ships and harpoons; now I know lots about horses and guns). Hopefully I’ll be able to share more about it soon!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Drift & Dagger by Kendall Kulper
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 9/8/2015

In Mal's world, magic is everything. But Mal is a "blank," the anti-magic. Blanks can't be hexed or cursed or saved or killed by magic. And everyone is afraid of them--even Mal himself.

So Mal hides what he is--except from Essie Roe, a witch and his best friend. On the day Essie reveals his secret and casts him out from the only home he's ever known, Mal experiences the true shock of betrayal.

Now Mal travels the world in search of rare, illegal magical relics. When his partner in crime, Boone, hears rumors of a legendary dagger that can steal a witch's power, Mal knows he's finally found his means of revenge. But as the chase for the fabled knife takes them from Boston to Paris to Constantinople, Mal realizes there are secrets afoot that he's only beginning to understand--and all the while the blank monster inside him threatens to escape.

Purchase Drift & Dagger at Amazon
Purchase Drift & Dagger at IndieBound
View Drift & Dagger on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

7212406Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. Her debut YA novel, SALT & STORM will be published by Little, Brown September 23, 2014. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full-time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby.

Have you had a chance to read DRIFT & DAGGER yet? Have you ever started over from scratch after finishing a book? Do you want Kendall to build a writing desk for you?

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Erin, Lisa, Susan, Jen, Sam, Lindsey, Sandra, Kristin, and Anisaa

6 comments:

  1. My Wife divorce me for no reason, Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again, My name is James Mack. i live in Italy, I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravelovespell@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same web site: http://bravesp.blogspot.co.uk/,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. { bravelovespell@gmail.com }, Thanks you Dr Brave, i will always be testifying about your good work.and for any questions call me {James Mack} on +393279282206.This spell is a 100% Guarantee for your situation.

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  2. My Wife divorce me for no reason, Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again, My name is James Mack. i live in Italy, I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravelovespell@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same web site: http://bravesp.blogspot.co.uk/,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. { bravelovespell@gmail.com }, Thanks you Dr Brave, i will always be testifying about your good work.and for any questions call me {James Mack} on +393279282206.This spell is a 100% Guarantee for your situation.

    ReplyDelete

  3. My Name is Anita.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my boyfriend back and he means so much to me..The boy i want to get marred to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another girl..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on his facebook and he changed her facebook status from engaged to Single...when i went to her place of work he told his boss he dont want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life...I tried all i could do to have him back,all did not work out until i met a prophet when i Travelled to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job...he told me he gonna help me...i didn't believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Us the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he's busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday...My boyfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all he had done ..he said,he never knew what she's doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and he promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from him and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my girlfriend called and he said i haven't seen anything yet... he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my man back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com I cant give out his number cos he told me he don't want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he' will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck:Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com.Once Again His Email Address Is:Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

  4. My Name is Anita.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my boyfriend back and he means so much to me..The boy i want to get marred to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another girl..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on his facebook and he changed her facebook status from engaged to Single...when i went to her place of work he told his boss he dont want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life...I tried all i could do to have him back,all did not work out until i met a prophet when i Travelled to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job...he told me he gonna help me...i didn't believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Us the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he's busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday...My boyfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all he had done ..he said,he never knew what she's doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and he promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from him and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my girlfriend called and he said i haven't seen anything yet... he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my man back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com I cant give out his number cos he told me he don't want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he' will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck:Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com.Once Again His Email Address Is:Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello to everyone here, I'm here to share the unexpected miracles that happened to me three days ago how i was help by dr clement, My Name is sanjeeta I live in United State, and I `m happily married to a lovely and caring husband, two children, a very big problem has occurred in the family seven months ago, between me and my husband so terrible that they took the case to court for divorce, he said that he never again to stay with me, and urging me not as he made the house and grabbed me and my children are passed through a lot of pain. I have tried all my possible means to get him back, after much begging, but all to no avail, and he confirmed that he made ??his decision, and he never wanted me to see her again. So one evening when I returned from work, I met an old friend of mine who asked my husband So I explained everything to her,so she told me that the only way I can get my husband back it is, visit a spell caster, because it really worked for them too so I never believed in spell, but I had no choice but to follow their advice. Then they gave me the email address of the caster, they.drodeckuspellhome@gmail.com, so the next morning I sent an email to the address they gave me, and the spell caster assured me that I get my husband back the next day, what an astonishing statement, I have never believed, so that he spoke to me and told me everything I need to do. then the next morning, so suddenly, that my husband, who has not called me for the past {7} seven months, gave m
    Read more: http://www.drodeckuspellhome@gmail.com/greenliving/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello to everyone here, I'm here to share the unexpected miracles that happened to me three days ago how i was help by dr clement, My Name is sanjeeta I live in United State, and I `m happily married to a lovely and caring husband, two children, a very big problem has occurred in the family seven months ago, between me and my husband so terrible that they took the case to court for divorce, he said that he never again to stay with me, and urging me not as he made the house and grabbed me and my children are passed through a lot of pain. I have tried all my possible means to get him back, after much begging, but all to no avail, and he confirmed that he made ??his decision, and he never wanted me to see her again. So one evening when I returned from work, I met an old friend of mine who asked my husband So I explained everything to her,so she told me that the only way I can get my husband back it is, visit a spell caster, because it really worked for them too so I never believed in spell, but I had no choice but to follow their advice. Then they gave me the email address of the caster, they.drodeckuspellhome@gmail.com, so the next morning I sent an email to the address they gave me, and the spell caster assured me that I get my husband back the next day, what an astonishing statement, I have never believed, so that he spoke to me and told me everything I need to do. then the next morning, so suddenly, that my husband, who has not called me for the past {7} seven months, gave m
    Read more: http://www.drodeckuspellhome@gmail.com/greenliving/

    ReplyDelete

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