Today, please give a warm welcome to the author of one of my favorite YA series! Kendra C. Highley is letting us get to know both her and Matt Archer a little bit better.
What was the inspiration behind this series?
When my son was younger, I wanted to write a kick butt story about a guy who hunted monsters. My son (who’s now 12) is a big reader, but there aren’t many “boy-centric” YA books out there. Once they’ve devoured Rick Riordin, it’s hard to find more for them to read.
Which character is the most like you?
Probably Mamie. We’ve both kind of type A (no, I don’t alphabetize my bookcase), and fiercely protective of our families.
What is one of your favorite scenes?
In Legend, the two scenes I love most have some pretty big spoilers. So I’ll just say “Greenies” and “Birthday” and let the readers guess.
So far, this series has three novels and one accompanying short story. Can we expect more?
Yes, I have two more novels planned to finish out the main series. MA4 should come out in early 2014. MA5, I’m hoping to release late summer/early fall of 2014. Then I’m toying with a “sekrit project” post-series, but I’m not sure when I’ll have that one ready.
You don't just write about monsters. Please tell us about your other published books.
I have a new contemporary YA coming out (via Entangled Publishing) in August called SIDELINED. It’s about a high school basketball star who has a shot at college scholarships. But she’s injured in the state tourney, and it throws her whole life into a tailspin. It’s a story about rebuilding yourself and finding hope.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I’m mulling over a few other contemporary YA novels and have plans for a new series once Matt is completed. It’ll be a mystery series for older YA readers.
The monster hunter concept is a breath of fresh air in a world of YA paranormal novels that focus on vampires, witches, and shifters. Do you think that this gives you an edge in the genre?
I’d love to say yes but those stubborn vampires and shifters keep hanging on! Seriously, though, I set out to create something kind of different, and it’s been fun to break the YA urban fantasy mold a little bit.
On your website, you give yourself the title of "Writer, Cookie Baker, Hopeful Romantic." Would you share some of your favorite cookie concepts with us?
I love to make chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles and oatmeal chocolate chip the most. Basically, if it has cinnamon or chocolate in it, I’ll give it a try. I also bake pies. My favorite pie to make is chocolate meringue – my grandma’s recipe. I even make the crust from scratch, because she told me I had to. Grandma was a stickler for that kind of stuff.
What do you consider the difference between being a hopeFUL romantic vs. being a hopeLESS romantic?
I like love stories that are realistic. There are going to be ups and downs—happily ever after takes work. Couples who make it despite the odds and hang together no matter what…that’s who I root for. I don’t enjoy stories where one of the lovers dies, or they can’t make it work. Gone with the Wind is an amazing story and a brilliant film…but, seriously, couldn’t Scarlett and Rhett work it out?
What is something that readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I played violin from age 8 until my freshman year in college. I can still play now, but without practice I don’t sound very good.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just that I love what I do and I’m so thankful all the reader and blog support Matt Archer has received over the last year. It’s been an amazing ride!
Thank you so much for your time!
Author Bio:Thanks so much for having me!!
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job.
Kendra believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.
More information about the Matt Archer universe, works in progress and the nature of the Higgs Boson* can be found at www.kendrachighley.com
(*Yeah…not really. We’ll let the scientists handle that part.)
Connect with Kendra
Matt Archer links