Today we get a glimpse inside the wicked mind of OneFourKidLit author Michelle Krys, whose debut, Hexed, hits the shelves today.
Here’s the book’s official blurb:
It’s Bring it On meets The Craft in this spellbinding witchy series debut.
If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?
Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.
Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.
I absolutely loved Hexed! It’s been on my radar for quite some time now, so when I spotted the chance to do an interview with Michelle Krys, I pounced on it. And boy am I glad I did. This book is filled with mystery, complex relationships, high stakes, witty banter, and there’s a sexy, mysterious, tattooed, leather-clad hot guy! What more can you ask for? Oh, I know…magic! Go out and get your copy of Hexed today. You’re welcome in advance.
ML: Indigo isn’t your typical YA protagonist. She’s a cheerleader, she’s popular, and, in fact, she’s a bit of a mean girl (mostly by proxy), which I found so compelling. What was your favorite and least favorite thing you learned about Indie as you wrote her?
MK: When I first started writing Hexed, the only thing I knew for sure about Indie was that she would be a popular cheerleader, so I was surprised when she turned out to have this snarky, sarcastic sense of humor—and I loved it! Indie’s biting commentary made this book so much fun to write, to the point that I truly can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about the experience. I adored writing from such an atypical perspective and getting to show her character growth over the course of the novel.
ML: There are a few major life-changing things that happen to Indie in a very short span of time. Without giving too much away, how hard was it to write all of her mixed emotions? (You did it so brilliantly, I might add. Ouch, my feels!)
MK: This was actually one of the most difficult parts of writing the book. Hexed is very heavy on the humor, but there are times when jokes just aren’t appropriate. It was a challenge to write chapters filled with grief and loss without it feeling like it was becoming a different book. That section took of a lot of re-working and polishing, but I’m happy with the results.
(And thank you!)
ML: Oh, Bishop… le sigh. Where do I even begin? His bad boy good looks? His sexy tattoos? His witty (and, of course, sexy) banter with Indigo? The fact that he can freaking fly?! What was the most fun thing about writing such an awesome character?
MK: I loved writing his dialogue, particularly the scenes between him and Indie. Bishop is so cheeky and free-spirited, and Indie’s so stubborn and snarky, and the personality clash made for a lot of funny conversations and tension build-up.
ML: The setting plays such a large role in Hexed. How did you decide on Los Angeles?
MK: One of my goals with Hexed was to subvert the gothic witch stereotype, and besides making the protagonist a popular cheerleader rather than a quiet outcast, I thought it would be fun to use a setting that most readers wouldn’t normally associate with witchcraft. Sunny L.A. seemed like a great fit for that.
ML: The geography and all the little Angelino facts thrown in were especially fun for a reader who lives in Los Angeles! I mean, your spot-on description of the cost of street parking on Melrose? “I could adopt a kid internationally for roughly what this spot will cost me.” So true! I laughed out loud. Did you live in LA at some point, or did you come visit our smoggy city to get all the gory details right? (Bonus points for the generous use of In-N-Out Burger, by the way!)
MK: Thank you! I’m so glad it rang true for you. It’s actually funny because in my first editorial letter for Hexed, my editor mentioned a few things that seemed more Texas than Los Angeles (Characters who drove pick-up trucks and had tailgate parties and what not), so my sister and I went down to L.A. on a recon mission. It was the most fun I’ve ever had doing research!
ML: Indigo has interesting taste in friends. There’s Bianca, the frenemy, Devon, the football star with a very health ego, and poor Paige, the sweet loser who’s desperate to be friends with Indie, just to name a few. Of all the supporting characters (excluding Bishop) who was your favorite to write?
MK: I really enjoyed writing Jezebel, the witch who can kick someone’s ass while buffing her nails at the same time. Jezebel doesn’t pull any punches and does what needs to be done without worrying about petty things like feelings or how it will make her look, but you still get the sense there’s something deeper there. You don’t really know where she came from or who made her who she is, and I love that air of mystery around her. I’d love to write something from her point of view one day.
ML: And finally, the most important question of all: were you a cheerleader?
MK: No, I wasn’t. I was more of a Bishop in high school, if you catch my drift.
ML: As this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you’re afraid of, and something you’re not afraid of.
MK: I’m stupidly scared of birds. It’s okay if they’re flying far away from me and I can keep them in my sights, but I don’t want one within pecking or pooping distance of me.
What am I not afraid of? I’m not afraid of the dark. (I might be scared of what’s in it, though!)
ML: Thank you so much for joining us today, Michelle! Oh, yeah, and thanks for that ending! I need the sequel right now!
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. Visit her at michellekrys.com or follow @MichelleKrys on Twitter.
|Michelle Levy grew up in Littleton, Colorado, but moved to Los Angeles as soon as she was legally allowed because she hates driving in the snow. When she’s not writing, she’s likely working at her other job as a casting director for film and television or skulking about (and occasionally posting—she’s working on that) on Twitter. Her debut, NOT AFTER EVERYTHING, is slated for a summer 2015 release from Dial.|