Author Interview: Kat Zhang
How long have you been writing?
I started fiddling around with writing poetry when I was really young, like seven or so. I'd gotten this book of children's poetry and got really enamored with it. I used to sit and read them aloud to myself constantly. I was about eleven when I started getting into writing stories, and twelve, I think, when I started my first novel ("started" being the imperative word--never finished it!).
I began What's Left of Me during my senior year of high school, and wrote the series all through college. So writing has always been a big part of growing up, for me.
What is your writing process? Do you write regularly at certain times or just when inspiration hits?
I like to write regularly and set a goal for myself every day of a certain number of chapters, or a certain number of words. Some days, I'll get really inspired, but other days it takes a while to get going. Inspiration is a slippery thing. I've learnt to not rely on it too much!
What keeps you motivated?
Sometimes, it's hard to tell, haha. Of course, once you have a contract and everything, and people counting on you to get something done, that's pretty motivating. But even outside of that, once I start a story, I just have this urge to finish it. If I don't finish it, it's going to just live inside my head forever, and while that's okay for smaller story ideas -- still unformed and baking -- when they get to be a certain "size," so to say, they have to get out onto the page.
What inspired your book? How did it all start?
Don't really have a super cool story for how I first got inspired to write The Hybrid Chronicles, sadly! Just started wondering -- what would it be like if someone else shared your body? Or if you were trapped in someone else's body, unable to speak or move? It seemed at once terrifying and awfully interesting.
Which are you - panster or plotter?
I used to be a complete panster, but the past couple years has turned me into more and more of a plotter. I'm still definitely nowhere near the outlining that my truly plotter friends do, but I like to have things figured out now to a degree that I didn't before.
Are you planning any other books?
I've actually already finished Echoes of Us, so for the past few months, I've been working on a YA fantasy I'm really excited about. I can't say too much about it now, but hopefully sometime soon, I'll have news :)
What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
Hahaha, I don't even know. I've googled everything from "What happens to fish during extreme flooding" to "how to start an electrical fire" to "Forging birth certificates" and "how to hand-make a gun and bullets." My search history is probably pretty scary.
Thanks for having me, Emily! You can find me at katzhangwriter.com, @KatZhang, and https://www.facebook.com/katzhangwriter.