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August 28, 2012

Author Interview: Wynne Channing (author of What Kills Me)


A few weeks ago, I got the chance to read What Kills Me by Wynne Channing and I really loved it (see my review)! I do need my vampire fix from time to time, and What Kills Me was a perfect fix: it gave me vamps, fast-paced and interesting plot, wit and banter, kickbutt heroine, swoon-worthy hero, romance, non-stop action and don't get me started on the swordplay (ahh! the amazing fight scenes!!!). Then, of course, I wanted to know more about all the awesomeness, so I asked the author, Wynne Channing, for an interview, and she graciously  answered all my nosy questions. I really, really love this interview - Whynne's answers rock! *fan girl moment* 

So... Enjoy! :D
Deea: Welcome on Deea’s Journal and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

Wynne Channing: Thank you so much for hosting me!

D: For people who read about your work for the first time, could you give a short description of What Kills Me?

WC:Sure! What Kills Me is a paranormal adventure about bravery and survival. It begins when 17-year-old Zee falls into a well filled with blood and emerges a vampire. Her “becoming” is unprecedented, leading the undead empire to fear her. So they hunt her to the death, er, second death because she’s technically already dead.

D: Why did you decide to write about vampires?

WC: I know vampires seem so played out right now, but I’ve been a fan of the blood-sucking monsters since I was young. Some of my favorite horror movies from way back featured the scariest vamps ever.

D: When it comes to vampire stories, I’m used to cold, far away places, so the setting in What Kills Me was  nice and refreshing. How did you decide where to set the story? (it starts in Italy)

W: If you’re a creature who has been alive for centuries, you’re probably well traveled. I wanted What Kills Me to have global appeal and multicultural characters. It begins in Rome and moves to Taipei. The sequel will feature new places.

D: What was your inspiration for this novel? And did you have to do any specific research? (If I go looking for the Sacriva – the vampire scripture — will I find it? Since I live in Romania, and all.)

WC: I saw the image of a girl crawling out of a well covered in blood. It freaked me out enough to base a novel on it. The vampire scriptures are a figment of my imagination. But if you find them, please let me know!!!

Oh. And there goes my dream to go on a treasure hunt. *sigh*

D:  Zee is fun, feisty, easy to relate to and most importantly, a very realistic character. Is she anything like you or like someone you know in real life?

WC: She is a cooler, kinder, and braver version of me at 17. She’s basically the person that I wished I could’ve been. But she definitely has my curiosity. Except my love of exploration brought me to journalism...and hers well, it always gets her into serious, often deadly, trouble.

D: Lucas is a very complex, swoon worthy and, as far as I’m concerned, perfect character. Can you tell us a bit more about him and how you created him?

WC: Lucas comes across as a jerk. But given his history, how he’s been hurt in the past, I understand how he can be guarded. He’s protective of his family, and of his emotions, but with time, he extends this protection to Zee. That’s a value they both share — they’re both loyal as hell.

I wanted their relationship to unfold naturally. Chaos and tragedy isn’t the best setting for romance. When they first meet, they’re too busy killing and avoiding being killed to kiss. It kind of annoys me when I watch actions/horror films and the damsel in distress swoons so easily for the hero amid all the death and destruction. “Everyone I love has just been killed. Wait a minute. You’re sexy...” What the heck.

I know, right?! It bugs me when that happens in novels too. But I really liked how the relationship between Lucas and Zee developed. It was smooth and tender, yet intense and dreamy. ♥

D: The non-stop action, adventures and witty dialogue make What Kills Me a very energetic read. I was practically bouncing in my seat when I read certain scenes. What do you do to set the mood when you write? Do you have a playlist you listen to?

WC: I’m glad! Sometimes I just listen to the radio or set the iPod on shuffle. I just need the noise in the background.

D: What Kills Me is full of action and at the same time, an emotional roller coaster. What was the hardest part to write? What about the easiest part?

WC: Great question. The easiest and most fun parts to write were the action sequences — I’m a huge kung-fu film fan – and any scene where Lucas and Zee get to just be together (and annoy each other). They have lovely chemistry. The hardest parts to write were the ones where Zee has to mourn her lost friends and family. You want to give her grief depth and to do that, you go to dark places.

Yeah, I can see why those scenes were hard to write, they were really heartbreaking. And I loved the fight scenes and Lucas and Zee's banter too!

D: I know that you’re currently working on the sequel, but what’s next after that? Do you have any other projects in the works?

WC: There could be a final third book to close off the series. I’m also working on a dystopian psychological thriller set in high school.

YAY! I love psychological thrillers! I can't wait to read it!

D: It’s probably still early to ask, but can you give us a little teaser about what to expect from the next book?

WC: It’s hard to talk about without spoiling the ending of What Kills Me! A huge revelation at the end of Book One changes everything. Both Zee and the empire are going to have to deal with this new reality. Zee and Lucas’s relationship will continue to grow and change. You’ll learn more about the legend, the first vampires. You’ll also get to meet characters just mentioned Book One, Lucas’s brother, members of the rebellion, etc. Of course, there will be more blood, humor and twists!

Eep, I can't wait to meet Lucas' s brother!:D *hopes he's one of the good guys*

D: Now that you have the experience of publishing your first novel, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

WC: Finish your novel. Make sure it’s the best darn story that it can be. That means rewrite it if you have to, and get it professionally edited. And don’t give up. This world belongs to those who are brave enough to do whatever it takes to get things done. So go and do it — by laying one brick at a time!

*nods* *takes notes for later*

D: Thank you again for stopping by and for answering all my questions! I’m looking forward to reading more adventures of Lucas (and Zee, of course).

WC: Thank you so much for the great questions!


About the book:

Published: June 6th 2012
by Jet & Jack Press
Format: ebook, 209 pages


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?


About the author: 

Wynne Channing is an award-winning national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist.

She started writing horror/fantasy tales as a girl. She still has the first novel that she wrote when she was 10. It’s (unintentionally) hilarious.

Wynne loves telling stories and 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).

She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

Find Wynne: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Get the book (for only $0.99!)



  1. Such a great interview! Such an awesome author! And what a great book! I'm certainly adding it to my TBR list. WOW!

  2. Ok, this one: “Everyone I love has just been killed. Wait a minute. You’re sexy...” , was funny and unfortunately true and I am glad that there are more like me :)).

    Nice too meet you Wynne Channing, greetings from Romania, and I now have this need to read the book. The interview was really funny BTW.

    Deea, I shall read your review because this book sounds too awesome to skip. (^_^)


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