In Conversation with Katharine McGee and Kendare Blake + Signed Book Giveaway!

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Soooo this happened last week! The hubz, my book bestie (Sarah from The Clever Reader), and I got to have drinks and a chat with Katharine McGee and Kendare Blake! Not only are both of these women incredibly talented New York Times bestselling authors, but they also happen to write two of my favorite book series The Thousandth Floor and Three Dark Crowns!

In Conversation with Katharine McGee and Kendare Blake

We are still absolutely giddy that we had the opportunity to have such a fun and fascinating conversation with these two incredible authors! They are both such intelligent and talented women, and getting to listen to them talk about books, writing life, etc. was a treat. We’re thrilled to get to share some of the highlights with you guys!

When asked to describe their books in five words, Katharine described The Thousandth Floor series with: Glittering, High School, Multi- POV, Futuristic, Drama. Kendare described the Three Dark Crowns series with: Triplet Queens With Power Murder.

Though Kendare doesn’t believe in endings (she says there is just a point where the author stops telling the story), she did know the last line before she ever started writing Three Dark Crowns, which is “I’m a poisoner.” In the context of the story that is just SUCH an incredible closing line. It gives us chills just thinking about it!

There is such a dynamic and captivating cast of characters in The Thousandth Floor. The character that was most challenging for Katharine to write was Rylin, because of how passive she needed to be in book one. Katharine really enjoyed writing Watt & Nadia and gets a lot of feedback from readers about how Watt’s chapters are their favorites to read, because they get two POVs in one. We couldn’t agree more!

For Kendare, Mirabella was the most challenging of the three sisters to write, but she is becoming easier to relate to as she undergoes her character ARC of self discovery and is really figuring out who she is. Arisinoe is the character Kendare most relates to, because “she is a smart ass and eats a lot.”

Katharine worked in publishing as an editor from 2010-2014 before landing her book deal for The Thousandth Floor. She worked on books like Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries.

If Katharine could share a glass of wine with any character from her novels, she would share a glass of rosé with Calliope.

Kendare is a pantser, while Katharine is a plotter. When describing her approach to writing, Kendare said, “the story is the boss, the story takes control.” It was so neat to talk to two authors with such opposite approaches to their writing process, both of which clearly produced phenomenal results and New York Time Best Sellers!

When Katharine set out to write her novel, she wanted to write a book about the future that wasn’t post-apocalyptic. She wanted to write a book where the future was actually better than our current world. She recommends that readers interested in learning about more positive potential futures check out Kim Stanley Robinson’s take on the new utopias. Here is a YouTube video where he discusses the topic.

If Katharine could cast any character from any other novel to appear in The Thousandth Floor, she would choose either Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, Lestat from The Vampire Lestat, or Lorek Byrnison from His Dark Materials.

Kendare was also a fan of Lorek Byrnison (clearly Sarah and I NEED to read His Dark Materials). She would also want to cast Falcor from The Neverending Story, and if she could incorporate an element from another novel into her own, she would choose the pet cemetery from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.

The Thousandth Floor has some pretty incredible world building, with some mind-blowing tech. If Katharine could have any element of the tech in her real life, she would choose the Hyperloop Train, because she loves to travel. On this under-water train you can travel to Europe in just a couple of hours! She would also love to have self-driving cars. Kendare would like the food and high teas from The Thousandth Floor.

We also talked television shows, and what everyone’s favorite shows are to watch. Katharine’s favorites are Game of Thrones, The Crown, and The Magicians. Kendare’s favorites were Game of Thrones, Outlander, House of Cards, and The Walking Dead.

Our interview did not take place in the library as we planned, because they were closing by the time the event was over, so we had to do a last minute change in venue. These authors were incredibly good sports about it, and Kendare even told us about one of her more unique experiences during an interview. When she recorded an episode of First Draft (my favorite podcast ever from Sarah Enni), they were in a venue where people were doing Wookiee karaoke in the background. We did not know that Wookiee karaoke was a thing, but we are determined to check it out now!

Thanks so much for reading, you guys! And HUGE thanks to Katharine and Kendare for taking time out on their busy tour schedule to hang with us! Best night ever!

Enter the Giveaway


1 winner will receive a signed copy of The Dazzling Heights and One Dark Throne!

  • Must enter by 10/27.
  • U.S. only due to shipping expenses.


Have you read The Thousand Floor and Three Dark Crowns? Who are some of your favorite authors you’ve gotten to meet IRL?

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43 thoughts on “In Conversation with Katharine McGee and Kendare Blake + Signed Book Giveaway!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Me too! Aren’t they stunning?! The Thousandth Floor series definitely has some of my favorite book covers in YA! I also adore the books. That’s one series I would love to just see go on forever.

  1. Beware Of The Reader says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post Krysti! You must have worked a lot on it to summarize everything. It was really interesting to read about how their writing process are differents. That’s what I love with interviews: to get to know their minds better LOL And Katharine McGee (I guess she is the blonde one) has very nice boots LOL

    • Beware Of The Reader says:

      PS I tagge you in The Halloween Creatures Book tag so if you don’t know what to do this weekend LOL

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks so much, Sophie! ❤️❤️❤️ I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Hahaha! Katharine is the blonde, and she does have AMAZING boots! She’s from Texas, so that makes sense! 😁

  2. Danielle Lynn says:

    Great post! I haven’t read The Thousandth Floor but I have read Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne. For some reason I took Thousandth Floor off my TBR…I guess I just wasn’t sure I’d get into the series..🤔 I’ll have to reconsider it…

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks so much, Danielle! I highly recommend THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR. It’s like Gossip Girl, but really intelligently written and with incredible tech!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Me too honestly! We’re super lucky that there is such an incredible book community in UT to bring authors here. I hope you get a chance to read these ones. They’re some of my favorites!

  3. Linda Leonard says:

    Everyone made it through the change in venue with a great post. I haven’t read these books yet but would like to be put in the hat for a chance to read “The Dazzling Heights” and “One Dark Throne”. Thanks.

  4. Bookish Delights says:

    Looks like you had a great time with the authors! Thanks for sharing, I learned a lot of interesting Things about the authors! Thanks for the chance!

  5. Danielle Hammelef says:

    Wow! What an amazing event. I’m not sure I would be able to form a complete sentence in the presence of these authors! Thanks for sharing and for bringing home signed copies for one of your lucky fans!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Hahaha. I’m not even going to pretend like I wasn’t super nervous. They were so nice and down-to-earth though, it turned into just a really fun conversation. Thanks so much, Danielle! ❤️❤️❤️

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks, Kristy! It was an amazing night. I’m glad you’ve read some of Kendare’s books too. I absolutely love them, and Katharine’s books are some of my favs too. Best of luck!

  6. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    WOW- so cool that you got to meet both Blake and McGee- I definitely want to read both of their books- and I love the five word descriptions of their books! It’s cool that they have opposite approaches as pantser and planners (although I love the fact Blake knew the closing line going in to Three Dark Crowns- that was a great ending! And consequently one of the reasons I *have to* read her new book!) Love the characters they picked and they have excellent tv taste 😉 This was so fun to read!!

  7. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I am completely green with envy! You have the best encounters <3 I love Blake's work so much! This is fabulous. I have yet to read McGee but have her work here waiting. So thrilled you are blessed with all of these opportunities.

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thank you! I feel super lucky that we have so many authors stopping by Salt Lake all the time. I hope you get to McGee’s books soon. They are just so much fun. ☺️

  8. wanderingsofabookbird says:

    Thank you so so much for the wonderful giveaway! I’m so so excited to read both of these.
    PS. please ignore that rafflecopter might say I’m in the UK, I’d pay all shipping <3
    Rafflecopter name: Megan S.

  9. kateivan says:

    Both books are on my teetering TBR. The author signings I enjoyed the most were Nicholas Sparks (who lived across town from me during his youth), Tess Gerritsen, and Michael Connelly.

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Those sound like some amazing author events! I’ve never met any of those authors before, but would love to have the opportunity. 🙂

  10. John Smith says:

    I hugely want to read The Thousandth Floor, and now I hugely want to read The Dazzling Heights, as well! The Blake books are also very cool!

  11. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    This is an AMAZING interview post. For so many reasons! First of all, you guys had DINNER together?! Holy buckets. That’s so cool. I can barely stand still for a photo with some of my favorite authors. Was it weird at all? Did you treat that time as your interview, or was most of that done separately?

    I love that you shared the link to Robinson’s Utopia series. David really loved that series and is constantly telling me I need to watch it and appreciate where we can still be going in the world. Apparently fate is trying to get me to watch this. Have you seen it?

    Finally: Wookie Karaoke? Do people just grunt like Chewbacca to music? I’m so confused.

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thank you!!! It was such an amazing experience. I’m still pinching myself, because I can’t believe it happened. We had drinks and desert and just chatted about their books and stuff. I just took notes while we talked, so it was a really fun and organic conversations.

      Hahaha! Yes! Fate is definitely stepping in and telling you to watch it. I have only watched this video, but I definitely want to watch more. It’s fascinating!

      Hahaha! I have no idea, Jackie! But I would definitely love to find out. I’m sure there’s a video on YouTube…

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