Author Interview: Wynne Channing, author of What Kills Me

Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist. As a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite).

About What Kills Me: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned-bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

V: This is your debut book. Tell us about what inspired you to take the leap and write and publish What Kills Me.

W: Vicki, thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about the novel. I’m super excited about it. People were surprised when I told them that I was working on a YA vampire adventure (I saw those eyebrows!). I had built a career reporting on current events. I covered Canada’s first terrorism trial. I followed campaign trails. But the paranormal and fantasy stories came first; when I was growing up, my dream was to be Stephen King. I was on a three-month sabbatical in Taiwan when I imagined the pivotal scene in What Kills Me where my heroine falls into a well filled with blood. I guess I needed the break from my routine to kick start my life as a novelist.

V: What made you decide to self-publish rather than go the traditional publishing route?

W: My co-workers dared me. I’m joking. Kind of. They encouraged me almost every day until I was brave enough to consider it. They sent me articles talking about the benefits of self-publishing, the control that you have, the higher royalties, etc. Then one day, the books editor at my newspaper showed me how to submit my ebook to Amazon. It looked easier than setting up a Facebook profile. (It is not, by the way.) It made me excited to be a part of what I consider to be the future of publishing.

V: How did your skills as a journalist help you in the writing/editing process?

W: Whether for a newspaper audience or for book readers, you still have to tell a story. Good writing is good writing and I work on my craft every single day. (In fairness, I think it made my books editor, Marie-Lynn Hammond, happier that my copy was cleaner than the average manuscript. To keep my tools sharp, I re-read The Elements of Style every so often.)

V: What’s been the most challenging thing about writing and/or self-publishing this book?

W: I am my own worst enemy. I psych myself out all of the time. It takes a lot of determination to finish a product and then bravery to share it with the world. Then once the book is out, it requires mad stamina to promote it. It’s a marathon. I didn’t train sufficiently for it, but I’m still running. Oh, and formatting. I hated trying to format my ebook. Before I threw my computer out the window, I hired Michael Mandarano; he became my new best friend.

V: What’s next for you? Sequels? New projects?

W: This summer, I’m focused on getting the word out about What Kills Me. (If you self-publish, no one’s going to push your product except you, and maybe your mom.) But readers are already asking for the sequel, so I’m getting my butt back in the chair, as you say.

GIVEAWAY!

Wynne Channing is giving away 10 copies of her ebook, What Kills Me.

For your chance to win one, follow her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/wynnechanning) or like her at Facebook (facebook.com/wynnechanning), and tweet or post:

“I’d kill for a copy of @WynneChanning’s What Kills Me.”

Visit Wynne Channing at:

Website: http://wynnechanning.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wynnechanning

Facebook: http://facebook.com/wynnechanning

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15305194-what-kills-me

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Kills-Me-ebook/dp/B0089H01VO/

It is also available at Smashwords (ISBN: 978-0-9881054-0-9) for Kobo and Nook.

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