I should not exist. But I do.
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
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Kat: Sure thing! I'm currently a senior at college, majoring in English (concentration in Creative Writing). I like to dabble in everything, but I love most forms of art.
WHAT'S LEFT OF ME is a young adult novel about a fifteen-year-old girl, Eva, fighting to survive in an alternate version of our world--one where each baby is born with two souls but one usually disappears by age five or six. Eva is the soul who should have faded away, but she never did. Instead, she lost all control of her own body, existing as only a voice in Addie's--her twin soul--head.
Both girls must keep Eva's existence secret; society fears and hates hybrids like them. If they were discovered, they'd be locked away. But when another secret hybrid reveals that Eva might be able to learn how to control her body again, Eva can't help but risk everything for the chance to move and speak aloud.
Kayla: In one sentence (each) could you describe Addie and Eva's personalities?
Kat: Hmmm... It's hard to pin down your characters in one sentence! I'd say Eva is eager and a little naive but at the same time world-worn. Addie is more cynical, more cautious, but still very vulnerable.
Kayla: Where did you draw your inspiration to write "What's Left of Me"?
Kat: I came up with the concept of hybrids when I started thinking about that little voice everyone has in the back of their head, and how sometimes in movies and such, it's portrayed as this whole other voice, and what if that voice were really another person, and what if they were stuck inside your body but couldn't actually control it...? The rest of the book series developed from that idea :)
Kayla: Do you have a certain writing style and timeline?
Kat: My timeline depends on when my deadline is ;) I like to write at night, after everyone else is asleep.
Kayla: What is a normal day in your life like?
Kat: That depends! During the school year, much of my time is spent doing normal student-y things like classes and clubs and hanging out with friends. During the summer, I might be traveling or working or just chilling. Sometimes I go to book conferences or writing programs, which are amazing experiences. And of course, I'm always writing!
Kayla: What was the most challenging part of writing "What's Left of Me"?
Kat: I think the two biggest challenges were 1) figuring out how this concept would work in a "real world"--what would be the personal and social ramifications? and 2) dealing with the technical level of writing about two people in one body! (Is it "I"? or "We"? or "She"?)
Kayla: What is your favorite quote or part of the story?
Kat: So hard to pick! There's one particular line that I like, though:
"I would always wonder what might have happened if we’d listened" It makes more sense in context!
Kayla: How can your readers connect with you?
Kat: I'm on twitter as @KatZhang, my official website is www.katzhangwriter.com, my blog is at http://katacomb.blogspot.com, and you can find me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/katzhangwriter :)
Kayla: What has been your favorite reader interaction moment?
Kat: Now that's an impossible question to answer! As an author, your day is really just MADE every time someone takes the time to tell you they enjoyed your book, or that they're looking forward to reading it. I couldn't possibly pick a single instance :)
Thanks very much for having me, Kayla!
Kayla: You are very welcome. Thanks so much for being a guest here at Bengal Reads. Good luck on the release of What’s Left of Me!