Continuing my spotlight of LGBTQ+ books, I want to spotlight Darling by K. Ancrum and was really excited to be able to do an interview as well! I absolutely loved The Wicker King and enjoyed The Weight of the Stars and once I heard about Darling, I was so very excited about it. I knew I wanted to read it and it actually made my most anticipated books for this year.
Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hi everyone, I’m Kayla and I like writing thrillers! I am the author of THE WICKER KING and THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS, both fun LGBT books with snappy dialogue and devastating endings. My newest book DARLING is a peter pan adaption. Its modern, its spooky, it’s fun and diverse, with all the characters you know, and love accompanied by a twist so bone chilling and knee knocking I had to put a content warning on my website about it.
How would you describe Darling in one sentence?
Nick and Nora’s Infinite Police Procedural.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Darling?
We have the familiar ones:
Peter- a Mysterious beautiful boy, with rakish charm and a penchant for dissolving into tears.
Tinkerbelle – Peter’s punk rock ex, small, fiery foster kid with a chip on her shoulder.
Wendy – Starry eyed ingenue who crash lands in Chicago fresh from the suburbs with no idea what she’s getting herself into.
Ominotago- gone is the racist caricature Tiger Lilly and in her place a strong willed Ojibwe girl whose determination and steady planning keeps Wendy afloat when she’s beginning to dp beneath troubled waters.
Curly, Slightly and Nibs: Lost boys in a tight knit found family. Curly is also Ojibwe, and Nibs is hard of hearing.
The love interest’s name is Fyodor and he’s a stunningly gentle Russian American kid with a bad-boy exterior. He’s also ace!
What representation will readers find in Darling?
Quite a lot!
Korean American, Russian America, Ojibwe, Mixed Race, African American
Lesbian, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay
Hard of Hearing
Foster Care, Homeless, parentless children
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I actually extensively outline all of my books! I have ADHD so I’m unable to operate without guidelines and structure so I create my own structure because it makes it easier to get back on task when I get creatively distracted.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
There is a moment in DARLING where all of the children are intensely frightened by Peter, but they’re not in a circumstance that would make it okay for him to know. So they play it off by faking a conversation when he walks back into a room, and as a part of this conversation they all laugh like someone told a joke before he arrives. Wendy, stands almost like an outsider, watching these characters who she just met that night fake-laughing desperately as a way to save their lives and its incredibly chilling.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Darling?
Please also read Into The Neverwoods by Aiden Thomas and Wendy, Darling by AC Wise! They also wrote Peter Pan YA this year and I’d love it if you gave their work some love as well. As for a general tone….Death Prefers Blondes By Caleb Roehrig
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Yes! I just sent a train heist novel to my publisher and I’m so excited to see what they think!
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K. Ancrum, is the author of the award winning thriller THE WICKER KING, the interstellar lesbian romance THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS and the upcoming Peter Pan thriller DARLING. K. is a Chicago native passionate about diversity and representation in young adult fiction. She currently writes most of her work in the lush gardens of the Chicago Art Institute.