10 Questions With…Michelle Krys + International Giveaway of an ARC of HEXED
TODAY AT ALL THE WRITE NOTES WE HAVE “10 QUESTIONS WITH…” AUTHOR MICHELLE KRYS. MICHELLE AND I CHATTED ABOUT HER DEBUT YA BOOK HEXED, CALIFORNIA, AND THE ROLE MUSIC HAS IN HER DAY TO DAY WRITING LIFE. STICK AROUND AFTER THE INTERVIEW FOR YOUR CHANCE AT WINNING AN ARC OF HEXED.
Welcome to A.T.W.N., Michelle. In your debut YA book HEXED, your main character is the popular cheerleader, Indigo (Indie) Blackwood. Tell our readers a little bit about what makes her tick?
When we first meet Indie, she seems like she has it all: she’s a popular cheerleader with a football star boyfriend and a circle of friends powerful enough to ruin anyone at school. But on the inside, she’s at a crossroads. She knows that she needs to be a certain person to maintain her popularity and everything else she’s worked so hard to achieve, but now she’s not sure that she wants to be that person anymore. When a stranger named Bishop shows up and she gets drawn into the world of witchcraft and sorcery, she’s forced to make a choice, and decide who she wants to be.
Creative moments are a funny thing. Watching your children at play, driving silently down a wandering highway, or sometimes words spoken between complete strangers can spark an idea. If you don’t mind sharing, how did the idea for HEXED begin?
One day, my sister, who is also a writer, told me about an adult historical novel she wanted to write, which she’d planned to call ‘The Witch Hunter’s Bible’. I loved the title so much that when she decided to ditch that concept, I asked her if I could use the title for a YA novel that was rapidly unfolding in my head. Thankfully, she said yes! (Funnily enough, the title, which had inspired the novel, ended up not being a great fit for the finished product and was changed in the editorial process.)
Just because you stop writing about them, that doesn’t mean your characters disappear. There’s always something around you that reminds you of one of them, of something they did, or something they may do in the future. In terms of your MC Indie, is there a song that will always remind you of her?
I vividly remember driving one hot summer’s day, during the time that I was writing Hexed, when ‘Last Friday Night’ by Katy Perry came on the radio. The fun party vibe sparked an idea for a scene that ended up being the setting for a pretty big plot twist in the book. A similar situation happened with the song ‘Tonight Tonight’ by Hot Chelle Rae. There’s a lyric, ‘dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign’ that gave me the idea for one of the first scenes featuring the character Bishop. I can’t hear either of those songs without thinking of the early days of Indie and Hexed, before I had an agent or an editor and just had big dreams that someone would like my book as much as I did.
Having personally experienced Ontario winters, southern and northern, all my life, how fun was it writing a book based in California!?
It was especially fun because my sister and I went on a trip to Los Angeles for “research”. We had an incredible time visiting all the places in HEXED. I even checked out the high school I based “Fairfield High” on!
Everyone always asks songwriters if they’re ever going to write a book, so I’m going to do the reverse. Have you ever thought about writing a song? If so, what genre?
I really only ever think about it when I’m especially impressed or moved by song lyrics. The song “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic makes me wish I were a songwriter. I don’t think I’d ever follow through though, as books are really where my passion lies.
We all have our routines as writers, and a lot of us just “fit it in” around our work and family life. I know some who have a morning routine, a night-owl routine, while others just take it as it flows. What’s your routine, and what role does music have in it?
When I worked full-time, my routine was very much a “fit it in” around work situation, but now that I work part-time and am home most weekdays, I write when my son naps in the afternoon, which, thankfully, is about 3-4 hours on average, and then maybe for another hour after he’s off to bed at night. I don’t normally listen to music when I write as I get too distracted by sounds. I prefer absolute silence, which is no small requirement when you have a toddler and live in a bungalow. I see noise-cancelling headphones in my future.
I never left school, and I love it. I went from high school to University, and back to high school. I luckily get to go to school every day and teach, for the most part, a very inspiring group of young kids. With HEXED being set partially in a high school setting, were there moments while you were writing that you wished you could go back?
Absolutely. I think part of the reason I love reading and writing YA so much is the nostalgia and escapism factors. But then I think back to what high school was really like and realize that what I really want to do is leap into a YA novel and not really experience high school again.
I would love to sit down with Noel Gallagher and share a beer, and probably a few words about his brother. Is there a musician, or actor/actress, that you would love to sit and have a beer with?
That’s a hard one! I’m a huge celebrity gossip junkie and would be pretty thrilled to have a beer with just about any celebrity, but I’ll go with Katy Perry. I’ve always liked her music enough, but I caught her documentary ‘Part of Me’ on TV a while back and was incredibly impressed with her perseverance to make it in the music industry and her positive attitude on life. If you haven’t seen it, I would definitely recommend watching—I guarantee any non-fan will at least gain a whole new level of respect for her.
We always like to ask… Who was the first band/singer that you saw in concert? (NOTE: Not the one your parents dragged you to. 😉 )
That would be The Used. I was insanely obsessed with Bert McCracken during my teen years.
One Book…One Band…
The novel GATED by Amy Christine Parker is an incredible read. It’s about a girl who has been raised in a modern-day, Jonestown-type cult, who meets a police officer’s son while he’s investigating their compound. His questions about their lifestyle, which come at a time when she’s just beginning to question things for herself, make her look at their leader, Pioneer, in a whole new light for the first time. It’s a thrilling, fast-paced read with lots of heart and forbidden romance. I couldn’t recommend it enough!
As for a band, as a throwback to my teen years, I’ll recommend The Used’s first self-titled album. My favorite track is ‘The Taste of Ink’.
THE INTERNATIONAL ARC GIVEAWAY OF HEXED:
Thanks to Michelle for stopping by A.T.W.N. Now up for grabs for all of our readers is a signed bookmark, bookplate, and an ARC of HEXED . Just click on the Rafflecopter logo to the left, or here, and you’ll be directed to our Rafflecopter giveaway. If you aren’t the lucky one to win the ARC of HEXED, it hits store shelves June 10, 2014 with Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books and can be pre-ordered here. If you want to connect with Michelle socially, you can visit her website, Twitter, or Facebook .
Author Bio: MICHELLE KRYS lives with her husband and son in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. She works part-time as a NICU nurse and spends her free time writing books for teens. Michelle is probably not a witch, though she did belong to a witchcraft club in the fifth grade and “levitated” people in her bedroom, so that may be up for debate. Hexed is her first novel.