Visiting the school as part of a Timberland Library Workshop for Students series, Washington author Kendare Blake, with her latest avocation under arm, Mortal Gods, stopped by early in her day to hold a meet and greet as well as a quick lesson in Horror writing.
Blake, a resident of Kent, first published in 2010 with Sleepwalk Society, studied in London.
"I am here to speak to students and discuss writing," said Blake, "I also have a pair of my books to give away at random at the end of our day."
The South Bend Library was filling quickly, even before the bell rang. As curious students and Ms. Julie Haugan's ninth grade English class, crowded around Blake to get the Meet and Greet portion off to a good start.
Blake engaged students with any question that they had about the horror genre, writing or about herself. She signed autographs and even had to grab a picture of a fellow author's book that was on display in the school library.
As it came time to set for the seminar, the students eagerly took seats as the author prepared her presentation for the students.
With an opening scene straight out of the mind of a classic Hitchcock thriller, the stage was set for her topic "Scare the you-know-what out of people" as the shower scene on the screen concluded.
The subject was horror and the freshman class of around 30 students had elected to finish out their year of study of Freshman English understanding a bit more about the frightful side of life.
The attending class was very attentive hanging onto Blake's sources of inspiration and in its self was a little lesson in history.
The assembled group was queried about their fears or what they thought was scary. As it is the real life fear that really keeps readers on their toes. A list of phobias was collected and a short discussion on types of "shock" that could be utilized when creating a scary story. And at the end of the talk, the group created a horror character and a plot for a story.
Blake is a writer who's work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry, and has published an array of stories in just four short years. Blake is working on two series of late with two books in her Anna Series (Anna dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmnares), and three in her Goddess War series, (Antigoddess, Mortal Gods and Ungodly). She has also penned a pair of anthologies, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, and Violent Ends.
Not always a Horror writer, Blae took her understudy in corporate finance, and followed with a masters in creative writing.
"I was looking for a couple of things to happen during this session with Kendare; one that the students would be exposed to more contemporary literature and; two, that they would be able to work with a current author in the genre that we were working in. Both things happened," said Julie Haugan.
By the end of the session students decided to create a wiki to create their story and work on characters. Based on their group discussion the protagonist for their new horror saga is a female athlete, the captain of the school's volleyball team. Her Uncle, an archeologist, returns from a dig and has become a half mutant.
Students add sections fro their book on the wiki and it will be used to share with Blake to see what the students are up to after her visit.
To see more about the author Kendare Blake you can drop by her website at Kendareblake.com.