Hi everyone! I am absolutely THRILLED to be sharing today’s post with you all. To celebrate the recent release of Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake (the third book in the Three Dark Crowns series), I am hosting a special Q&A with Kendare on my blog. I am SUPER excited to be part of this blog tour and sharing this post with you today as I adore this series.
If you haven’t already picked up the books, I’ll leave links at the bottom of the post for you to add it to your own TBR. Here are my reviews of the series so far: Three Dark Crowns, One Dark Throne, Two Dark Reigns.
Without further ado, please enjoy this special Q&A post!
Hi Kendare! Thank you SO much for popping onto the blog today and answering my questions. Here we go!
Where did the idea for the Three Dark Crowns series come from? What inspired you?
A ball of bees, actually. Like a ball about the size of a basketball, completely made of bees. I was at a book event and it was stuck in a tree. We were terrified of it, but a beekeeper happened to be there and she said not to worry, that they were swarming and had formed a ball around their queen as they searched for a new hive. I was fascinated and followed this poor bee woman around for much of the day, and over the course of it she told me that a queen bee will leave her hive for many reasons, but before she goes, she will lay several queen eggs. When the baby queens hatch, they sting each other to death, and whichever queen survives gets to take over the old hive. As I was driving home, I really wanted to do that to people, so I started working on Three Dark Crowns.
That is so interesting! I didn’t know that about bees but I can definitely see the links to the series. Was it the world or the characters that came to you first? How?
The concept came first, and very quickly after, came the queens. Like, on the same car ride home.
In which order did the three Queens come to you? Were they already fully formed characters?
I don’t remember the exact order. It was so quickly that they might as well have showed up all at once. At first they were just queens, their names and powers. I didn’t really get to know them as people until I started writing. And I learn more and more about them as the story continues.
If you were a Fennbirn Queen, which gift would you wish to have? Why?
Probably a naturalist. I like animals, and it would be convenient to ripen fruit on demand.
If you were a Naturalist, what animal do you think your familiar would be?
A really chunky, belligerent beaver. That would be my luck. Just something mean, and useless, that I would have to push around in a cart everywhere.
Can you sort the following characters into their Hogwarts houses: Arsinoe, Katharine, Mirabella, Jules, Natalia, Bree.
Arsinoe: Gryffindor. Katharine: Hufflepuff (New Katharine: Slytherin). Mirabella: Ravenclaw. Jules: Gryffindor. Natalia: Slytherin. Bree: Ravenpuff
Can you tell us a bit about your writing process for the series so far? (Eg. Are you a plotter?)
I daydreamed about the characters for a long time before I wrote them. It was nearly two years between having the idea to writing it down. Once I had an idea where the story started, I started writing, and the rest fills in as I go. I didn’t know who would win the crown. I did know that someone wasn’t what they thought. And just FYI, I was wrong about where the story started. Had to rewrite the beginning three times, and the entire novel over twice.
Did you always know the direction the books were going to take or did this change over time?
The books are almost always happening as they go. It’s more like channelling than plotting. And it feels like I have surprisingly little say over the things that happen.
Looking forward to book 4, have you finished writing it and can you give us three words to get us even more excited for the finale?
The first draft of it is finished, but it’s going to go through a lot of revision. Three words to excite, let’s see…Braddock, Prisoners, Battle!
I am SO excited for book 4, even more so after seeing those three hints… Thank you SO much to the incredible Kendare for joining us on the blog today to answer these questions.
Don’t forget to check out the series, you can add them to your Goodreads by clicking the links above. If you love YA fantasy novels, I highly recommend this series. If you’ve already read the series so far let me know in the comments so we can talk!!
A huge, huge thank you to Kendare for answering my questions for this special post and Nina Douglas for inviting me to host this post for the blog tour. Don’t forget to check out the other posts along the way!