Friday, September 14, 2012

Guest Post by Kat Zhang + Giveaway: What's Left of Me Swag

Hi everyone! Today, I’ve got a guest post for you by Kat Zhang, one of the youngest published YA authors out there. She will talk about how she got the idea for What’s Left of Me. This week's giveaway is for swag lovers.

A really frequent question I get in interviews is “How did you get the idea for WHAT’S LEFT OF ME?” :) I always wish I had some super interesting story! Maybe I dreamed it up…or maybe I saw some magnificent piece of art and was struck by sudden inspiration...or went under hypnosis or something.

Sadly, none of those things is the case! Instead, the idea for WHAT’S LEFT OF ME came about slowly, from the kernel of a “What If?” question: What if you were stuck inside your own body? What if you couldn’t move your limbs or speak aloud, but someone else could do it for you? You’d basically be watching your life like some kind of movie—like the weirdest kind of virtual reality where you could see and hear and feel, but not control.

Where did this “What If?” question come from? Again, there wasn’t one big impetus! Rather, I started thinking about the idea of the “conscience,” and also about that voice we call an “inner monologue,” and how in movies both are sometimes portrayed using a voice-over. Sometimes, the voice seems to be fighting with the character!

“What if,” I wondered, “that voice was a whole other person?”

So basically, the entire story of WHAT’S LEFT OF ME started with a question that led to a character—Eva. At the beginning of the book, she’s been trapped inside her body for three years. No one even knows she exists except for Addie, the soul who shares her body.

It’s funny, because a number of readers have expressed surprise that the book is told from Eva’s POV (the book description doesn’t really specify!), but I never imagined telling it from any other POV because the story really grew from Eva’s character. WHAT’S LEFT OF ME is very much a character-driven story, I think, and what I focused on most while writing were the characters—their hopes and fears.

So, to sum things up, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME started as a question that grew into a character that developed into a whole cast of characters and world and a plot binding them all together :)

About the Author:

Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren't riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat's quirks today.

By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn't come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The first book, What's Left of Me–about a girl with two souls–will be released September 18, 2012.

Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. She also performs as a Spoken Word poet and contributes to Pub(lishing) Crawl, a site for aspiring writers to talk about books, storytelling craft, and the publishing process. Kat has also had the pleasure of remote interning for a literary agent, specializing in Young Adult fiction.

When she is not exploring the world of her characters, she is exploring her own. To date, she's had the pleasure of visiting five countries, including more than half of the United States. She hopes to always keep writing and traveling.

Follow Kat: Site | Blog | Twitter

What's Left of Me Swag Giveaway

Another contest for swag lovers out there! Add these What's Left of Me book cards to your collection.


Ends on September 30!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have to say that the idea of What's Left of Me is really unique and original. I am really excited to read it.

  2. I found it really intriguing. Cannot wait for more!

  3. Wow, this is cool and different. I'm not sure if I've added this on my Goodreads but I definitely will. And I'm forever awestruck at young authors :)

  4. I have to disagree with Kat on one thing... I find her story of What's Left Of Me's inspiration to be incredibly interesting!! It's fascinating that a simple "What If?" inspired the creation of an amazing novel. I love the idea for this book, it's one of the more unique storylines I've come across in YA. It does actually surprise me this is told from Eva's POV - originally I would have thought Addie! I think this has intrigued me even MORE.

    I am really so excited to read this. FABULOUS guest post!

  5. I am really so excited to read this