Kinx's Book Nook: Guest Post: Kendra Highley

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Post: Kendra Highley

Today I'm happy to have Kendra Highley on Kinx's Book Nook to talk about her new book, Matt Archer: Blade's Edge. I'm a HUGE fan of Kendra's Matt Archer series. She gave me the honor of letting me read and review an Advanced Reading Copy of Blade's Edge. For my review, click here.

Kendra has written a wonderful post on the musical influences for Matt Archer.

Character Development: A Musical View

Music’s always been a big part of my life. I started taking violin lessons in third grade, and played into college. I was also in band and I love to sing in the car (although most people wouldn’t love to hear me sing). I feel like my days go better to a soundtrack.  

My love of music starts with my earliest memories.  While working around the house, my mom constantly listened to our stereo, a big console model in a wooden cabinet with huge speakers. This thing was furniture as much as a music maker. From as early I can remember, she’d be folding laundry at the kitchen table, singing along to the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, or Neil Diamond or The Beatles. Her taste was kind of eclectic if you can’t tell, and now I find that mine kind of is, too. I consider this one of the first, and most important, gifts my mother gave me.  She died when I was seventeen, but I still feel close to her whenever I hear certain songs. Music was simply always there at every stage of my life.

I guess it’s not surprising that I have a hard time writing without my earphones and the appropriate iTunes playlist queued up. For the first Matt Archer book, I had a character who was optimistic, self-deprecating and a whole lot of fun. Even on his worst days, Matt has hope. As I’ve written more installments, the playlist has changed dramatically. Matt not only ages, but his assignments are getting tougher. The “home front” isn’t as stable, either, so his life isn’t as clear-cut, and the music gets darker. He’s moved from Moby to AC/DC to Linkin Park. He goes from songs about getting stronger to songs about survival and staying true to yourself amidst chaos.

So what songs fit Matt in book one, Monster Hunter?  Check out the list below:

1.  The Only One, Evanescence
2.  All That I'm Living For, Evanescence
3.  Weight of the World, Evanescence
4.  Bodyrock, Moby
5.  Ride to Be my Girl, Benny Benassi
6.  Flower, Moby
7.  Speed of Sound, Coldplay
8.  Lost!, Coldplay
9.  No Line on the Horizon, U2
10. Hello! (Good to Be Back), Scooter
11. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, The Police (Ella's Song)

Compare that to the songs for book two, Blade’s Edge – there’s a marked difference in Matt’s world view:

1. Thunderstruck, AC/DC
2. Back in Black, AC/DC
3. Honey, Moby
4. Hero, Skillet
5. Monster, Skillet
6. Dirty Paws, Of Monsters and Men
7. Let it Be, The Beatles (Schmitz's Song)
8. What I've Done, Linkin Park
9. A Message, Coldplay (Ella's Song)
10. The Inception, Soundtrack

Now I’m writing the third book. So far, I’ve been listening to Sail and Soul Wars by AWOLNATION; Castle of Glass, Iridescent, and Burn It Down by Linkin Park; the Transformers soundtrack; and Extreme Ways (Bourne Legacy), by Moby. Darker, harder music, for a darker, more jaded guy. But I like to think it also points to Matt’s development as a character from that optimistic boy to a man of purpose and honor—no matter how deeply his experiences have wounded him.  He’s had a hard road to travel and each song catalogs another obstacle overcome.

By the way…I’m already plotting the final book, and I’ll give one hint: No Light, No Light, by 

So how about you? What do you listen to when you want to feel badass? Any songs you think I should grab on iTunes to help me write?

About Kendra

Author Bio:
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job.Kendra believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica. More information about the Matt Archer universe, works in progress and the nature of the Higgs Boson* can be found at*Yeah…not really. We’ll let the scientists handle that part.)

Contact Information:

Purchase Links:


Matt Archer: Monster Hunter – Free!  Use coupon code XF23B via Smashwords

Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge—25% off!  Use coupon code UD38J via Smashwords

Coupons are good from the start of the tour through February 10, 2013.


I love any and all comments! It keeps me honest!