An Interview with K. Ancrum, Author of Darling

June 30, 2021 | 12:00 PM

An Interview with K. Ancrum, Author of Darling

By Team Fierce Reads
If you love twisted thrillers and Peter Pan reimaginings, we have some very good news for you! Darling takes a familiar tale and turns it into a dark and dangerous contemporary adventure you won’t want to miss. But if you need some extra incentive to convince you to add K. Ancrum’s latest to your TBR, be sure to check out this interview with the author. What makes Wendy fierce? Wendy's ferocity is her resilience. The story of Darling takes place over one long excruciating night and many uncomfortable things are thrown Wendy's way. But, even though she's frightened and confused, she takes these challenges in stride and when it matters most she steps up to the plate to play a critical role in saving all of her new friends. In a lot of YA ferocity and strength are active roles, but for Darling I wanted to give flowers to an underappreciated type of strength: the ability to weather a storm. If you could give Wendy one piece of advice, what would it be? "For the love of god, charge your phone before bed!" One of my favorite things about the story is that it does not eschew modern trappings when it comes to problem-solving.  Wendy's access to things like uber, money and even a map of her surroundings is hampered by the fact that she fell asleep with her phone uncharged and it's rapidly dying throughout the book. This really adds to the stress, of course, and escalates things as her circumstances become more dubious. If you'd met Wendy as a teen, would you have been friends? Yes! I used to do this thing as a teenager where, whenever anyone new moved to town and looked like they needed company, I would befriend them for the singular purpose of figuring out who at school had interests in common with them. Then would introduce them and eventually fade into the mist leaving them with their new friend group. It was easy for me to make friends as a kid and I decided to use that superpower for good. What's one fun fact most people don't know about you? I'm a great cook and love throwing dinner parties! Before COVID I would throw one dinner party a year and match the theme of the food to a movie which we would watch at the same time. The year I met my fiancé, I chose Lord of the Rings and made a full spread of fresh-baked bread, roast, root vegetables spiced wine, and even honeycakes. Food is my second great love, behind words. What's your favorite part of being an author?  I love talking to kids about my work. I really love visiting schools and libraries, seeing faces light up during my speeches, and answering all their burning questions about my job. There is something so satisfying about contributing to someone's early education experience and know that this moment with you might impact the trajectory of their careers. What's the most challenging part of being an author? Putting your art out there for judgment. I would say that my experience receiving criticism has been relatively mild in comparison to some of my peers, but it's still something that gives me anxiety. I've been lucky enough to write a few books that were really well received but the nature of creation is such that that simply cannot continue. We all, as artists, sometime in our careers make a really big stinker so I know it coming in my own future and I'm... admittedly... terrified. What 3 words would you use to describe Darling? Stressful, funny, vindicating.

Darling by K. Ancrum

A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller by the acclaimed author of The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars—reimagining Peter Pan for today’s world. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too? Acclaimed author K. Ancrum has re-envisioned Peter Pan with a central twist that will send all your previous memories of J. M. Barrie’s classic permanently off to Neverland.

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