What inspired you to become an author?
It's definitely always been a part of who I am. I remember in the 3rd grade when I had a wonderful teacher by the name of Mrs. Boyce. She loved writing and had us come up with and write stories frequently for her class. She made them into little booklets, "published" them and sent them on to our principal, who would read them and award some gold seals. I published over 100 books that years, the most in class, and that really started within me the love of using my imagination for the purpose of crafting a story. But it wasn't until adulthood and a particularly painful personal situation my family went through that caused me to stand back and re-evaluate pretty much everything I thought and believed. My first stab at a novel came on the heels of that and I think writing that book did two things for me: 1. Allowed me to process what I'd been through, and 2. Proved to myself that I can craft a full-length novel. It reawakened a love for writing, and it was that moment I decided to get serious about it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I'm not overly descriptive. I think (read:hope) I provide enough detail to ground the reader and allow him or her to "see" the story unfold, but then my books move along at a pretty fast pace. I like to keep the pace quick and the action high because I think that's one thing that's contributed to keeping the pages of my book turning.
Do you write in different genres?
I do! Most of my initial story concepts included some paranormal or fantasy component, like my debut, The Killing Cure: Drink. But as I got into really exploring the craft, I had other concepts occur to me that didn't fit that mold. Currently I am working on the sequel to my debut, which is paranormal romance, a young adult contemporary, and a middle grade fantasy.
If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
This is a tough question to answer. I enjoy different components of each. I love being in charge of my own "universe," so to speak, that writing fantasy or paranormal allows. I can make the rules and the boundaries of those are only as narrow as my imagination. However, this can create some challenges sometimes in determining just what those rules and boundaries are and how to make it all work together. I have children, so I like writing middle grade and thinking about what kinds of messages I want them to have through creative works. And the contemporary young adult allows for me to weave in experiences from real life to what I'm writing. I appreciate each of those aspects, but it's probably most fun to write something where I can make up my own rules, with a twist of magic.
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
I first came up with a few ideas. I liked the oxymornonical nature of "The Killing Cure," and I thought it so aptly described the book. My female protag is inflicted with a life-threatening illness, so she takes a "cure" offered to her by her beloved. It's a superstitious long-shot in her mind, but she does it for him. The cure makes her well but it turns her into a murderer, requiring her to replenish the life giving power of the water she drank (which turns out to be from the true fountain of youth) with the lives of others. Thus, the cure ultimately kills. Then of course I looked on Amazon to see if that title was taken, and it was not. Lastly I decided this would be the name of the series, so book one is called "Drink," as this drink of water was what set The Killing Cure in motion.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Just that there's always a choice, and we are responsible to make it. That no matter how controlled we feel by other things--addiction, depression, relationships, whatever...we CAN rise above. Hopefully most people don't fight murderous impulses like my protag Julia, but she's an example of how something can fight to take over all of who you are. But there's always a way out. Always.
What book are you reading now?
I'm reading "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer from her Lunar Chronicles series.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I have book two of The Killing Cure series off for the first round of edits. Time to outline book three! I also have another book I wrote that I am currently editing and plan to send off in the pursuit of an agent. In addition to those, I have a standalone young adult contemporary book that's been nagging me. It's outlined, but I have to get the words down.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is an excerpt from The Killing Cure: Drink. To set it up, Julia, my MC has had a drink of the "cure", given to her by Charlie, who loves her and is desperate for her to recover from a life-threatening illness. Unbeknownst to the two of them, the water came from the fountain of youth and, while it restores youth and vitality and gives eternal life, it awakens within the one who drinks it a hunger to kill. The water essentially calls the shots and makes demands of those who drank from it so it can keep its stores of life-giving power full. In this scene, Julia and Charlie are on their way to the source in an attempt to get answers about what Julia is becoming.
"Thanks for always knowing what to do and say." I took a deep breath before continuing. "That’s a trait I’ve always loved about you, even before I knew I loved you. And I need you to make me a promise."
He listed his head and frowned. "Okay…"
"We agree I’m turning into a monster. Promise me if we get to the island and find out there’s no hope for me—promise me you’ll make sure I can’t kill anyone else ever again."
Charlie drew away with a grimace at my words, holding my stare until he couldn’t any longer. But mine didn’t break from his face as I waited for a response. When he looked up at me again, his eyes held the promise his lips couldn’t utter, and that was good enough for me.
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
The Killing Cure: Drink
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 24, 2015
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 63,871
Cover Artist: Shari Ryan
Childhood friendship turns to love in this dark reimagining of the fountain of youth. In 1919, Charlie returns from WWI and gives his heart to Julia. As their love story begins, tragedy strikes when Julia contracts a deadly illness.
On her deathbed, dreams of a future together shatter, but Charlie refuses to give up, convincing Julia to drink from a vial of “healing waters” his war buddy swore would bring spontaneous healing. Julia's miraculous recovery brings hope, but the water's murderous side effects snuff out the couple’s short-lived joy.
Can Charlie help Julia fight the water's call to kill? All their efforts may be in vain when Julia has to choose between running from the curse or embracing it in order to save Charlie.
Journey with Julia and Charlie through a love story that spans a hundred years and an age-old curse that spans more and worse, puts Charlie’s life and Julia’s soul at risk.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/NLNDojMxckQ
She wheeled me to our meeting place. Charlie was not sitting on the lumpy couch like he usually was; instead, he stood, his feet almost bouncing as they met the ground. His eyes were bright, his smile bigger than I’d ever seen.
As soon as we were alone, I asked, "What are you so happy about?"
"First," he said and then kissed me. "Second, I’m happy because today you’re going to get well."
I hardly had the energy to lift my gaze to his face. "Can you sit, please?"
"Oh sure, of course. See, I knew you’d beat this thing. It only became clear to me today how it would happen. I took the next train as soon as I knew."
"What are you talking about?"
"Sorry. Okay." He took a deep breath and tried again. "Do you remember my war buddy Arnold I told you about?"
"Was he the one who wanted to be the horse doctor or the one with the bizarre obsession with water?"
"The water." Charlie’s eyes lit, and he pulled a chain from his pocket. On the end of it was a small vial with a clear liquid in it. "All I’ve thought about since I left you last was how I couldn’t lose you. I racked my brain all week long, prayed to God for you when I should've been sleeping, until the answer came this morning. I remembered I had it. You should've heard how he carried on and on about this water, how it would heal, how he went through hell to get it but it was worth it should he ever need it. And I thought, ‘Why let it go to waste?’ Especially now that you need it so badly. Obviously there was a reason I held on to the water. It wasn’t clear until now."
"Oh, I love you. But there's no such thing as healing waters. You said yourself he was superstitious."
"I know I did, but what if there's more to it than I thought? I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before."
"Look at me, Charlie. I am skin and bones. My entire body hurts, and I can barely eat. I am being consumed right before your eyes, and you’ve got your sights set on some silly potion."
And then I saw it. Behind the fire in Charlie’s eyes lived desperation. All his hope hinged on this sip of water. Insane as it was, he was willing to embrace any farfetched possibility if it meant he didn’t have to face the reality of living without me.
His face fell a little at my words, but he wouldn't be discouraged. "What will it hurt? Drink it, please. For me." He held the vial out, and I studied him. Hopelessness threatened to burst through the expectation in his eyes, and I felt sad for him. I, with a body full of consumption, pitied Charlie.
The pity came on the heels of my love for him. His plea warmed my heart, desperate as it was, because somewhere, deep down, despite all his optimism and prayers, he knew I was going to die. I took it from him, opened it up, and tipped it back. What harm could one small sip of water do?
About the Author:
C.S. Kendall spent her formative years growing up in the small town of McPherson, KS. As such, there was not much to do, so her imagination, which always lagged behind her age, had free reign. From playing dress up into her teens, recording radio shows with various voices and storylines with her friends, to dappling with the art of crafting a novel, there were few dull moments for her. Enter adulthood, a day job, and the backburner. But story came calling, and finally, her imagination woke up and answered. Though she loves and is fulfilled by her job as a social work therapist, she equally enjoys running away in her mind to imaginary lands with made up people. She lives happily with her husband and their two amazing children in southwest Michigan.
Learn more by visiting http://cskendall.net
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/C.S.-Kendall/e/B015UEF7IK/