Hello gentle reader,
I’m delighted to share with you another interview with a YA author! This week it’s Michelle Krys, whose debut HEXED is coming out in June. I “met” Michelle online thanks to the Christmas In July pitch contest she organizes every summer with Ruth Lauren Steven.
A Writer in the Spotlight – 19
Author: Michelle Krys
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canada
Book: HEXED (expected publication: June 10th 2014 by Delacorte Press)
My interview (24th April 2014)
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Being a writer was one of those things I always said I wanted to do but never took any steps towards accomplishing. It was always later. When I grow up. When I had more time.
It was only once I began a yearlong maternity leave that things changed. My son slept through the night and took 3-4 hour naps during the day, and I knew that if I was ever going to write that book, I wouldn’t get any better of an opportunity try.
2. When and where do you write?
Now that my son is four and doesn’t nap, all of my writing gets done in the hour between when my husband gets home from work and before we get started making dinner. I also set an alarm every day for 5:30am with the intention of getting up to write before anyone else is awake, but I usually end up pressing the snooze button and going back to bed. But the good intentions are there, so that counts!
3. What do you say to writers who want to be published one day?
I always say the same thing: Be persistent. There will always be rejection in a writer’s life, whether you’re querying your first novel or you’re a New York Times Bestseller pitching your next project to editors. What matters is what you do about it. Keep working, keep learning, keep reading, and don’t let someone’s “No” be what makes you give up on your dream.
4. To write HEXED, where did you get your inspiration from? (How did you come up with the idea of a cheerleader/witch?)
I got the idea for HEXED from my sister. A few years ago she told me about an adult historical novel she wanted to write, which she’d planned to call “The Witch Hunter’s Bible”. When she later decided not to pursue the idea after all, I asked her if I could use the title for a young adult novel that had been unfolding in my head ever since she first mentioned it to me. Ironically, ‘The Witch Hunter’s Bible’ ended up not being the best fit for the finished product, and we changed the title in the editorial process.
In terms of Indie being a cheerleader, I really wanted to subvert the usual gothic witch stereotype, and I thought a fun way to achieve that would to be for the protagonist to be popular and snarky rather than a quiet outcast. A cheerleader seemed like a great fit for that.
5. Why did you choose to write for young adults?
My first novel was actually for adults. One of the reasons I think it struck out with agents, besides it being my first novel, was that my passion wasn’t showing through on the page. I’d written a book I thought I should write instead of a book I wanted to write. When I gave up on the silly notion of what was a ‘real book’ and followed by heart, that’s when things started falling into place for me. I’m a firm believer that it’s obvious when your heart isn’t in it.
6. What are you working on now?
I’m about halfway through writing the first draft of Dead Girls Society, a YA paranormal thriller about a girl who escapes her helicopter parents by joining a high-stakes dare club, only to find more than just thrills—girls are going missing and she could be next.
DGS is a little bit dark, but it has the same kind of dry, sarcastic humor as Hexed, and of course, there’s plenty of action, romance, and drama. It’s been a complete blast to write!
Thanks so much for this interview, Michelle!