Author Kelly Charron is here today talking about her mature YA thriller Pretty Wicked.
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Welcome, Kelly. Please tell us about your current release.
The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.
But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.
Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.
*warning – some graphic content
Pretty Wicked is a mature YA novel intended for ages 16 and up.
Praise for Pretty Wicked:
“This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer, which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people around you in a whole new way.”
-Eileen Cook | Author of WITH MALICE
“Dark and haunting, this witty thriller with its petite feminine anti-hero is an American Psycho for teens. Be prepared to sleep with the lights on.”
-Lisa Voisin | Author of THE WATCHER SAGA
"Pretty Wicked is fresh, thrilling, and deeply haunting. I've never read anything like it! The story escalates from page one and will leave your pulse pounding as you wonder just how far Ryann will go. 5/5 stars."
-Tiana Warner | Author of ICE MASSACRE & ICE CRYPT
“Pretty Wicked is like a fun-house ride through the dark side of a small-town high school. Ryan Wilkinson is a blonde, beautiful cheerleader who looks like she has it all, but messing with her? Is murder. Her cut-throat ambition to be the very best takes readers on a rollercoaster ride––whiplash guaranteed!”
-kc dyer | Author of FINDING FRASER & A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and human motivation. Whenever I read a novel or watched a movie or television show, I was drawn to the villain. I wanted to understand what made them act the way they did––delve into what happened in their lives or minds to make them the person they had become.
When there was the odd story from the “villains” point of view, it seemed to characterize them as “misunderstood” and usually spun them into a likeable character who was the hero of that new version of the story. I wanted to write something unique and portray the villain realistically. What would the story look like if they were a true villain? I got the idea for a teenage serial killer who was unapologetic about who she was and what she wanted and thought it was really interesting to explore what her point of view would be if she drove the story and the “villain” was the detective trying to stop her.
Small Excerpt from Pretty Wicked:
I heard the bell ring in the distance. Lunch was over. I leapt up to go when I was struck with panic. What if someone had seen me walk out there with Veronica? No one could know what I’d done. My breath hitched.
I ran as fast as I could back to the yard and to the first teacher I saw.
“Mrs. Hopkins! Come quick, Veronica’s really hurt!” I pretended to be hysterical so effectively that she couldn’t understand me the first few times.
She bent down so we were at eye level. “Where?”
“We went into the woods at the far end of the property. I’m sorry. I know we’re not allowed, but she fell and she’s not moving! You have to hurry!” I sobbed, shoulders shaking, snotty nose. I don’t know how I’d managed to look so distraught, but I nearly convinced myself.
Mrs. Hopkins turned to a kid named Austin, who was in the grade ahead of me. “Go get Mr. Chute. Tell him to call 911 and to come out and meet me in the woods.”
Austin, who was paper white, nodded and took off like his ass was on fire.
I ran back with Mrs. Hopkins to the rocks where I’d left Veronica. She was in the exact position I’d left her. Thankfully there was no miraculous recovery waiting for us.
After she was taken away in an ambulance, Mrs. Hopkins and Mr. Chute walked me back and called my parents.
My dad showed up to the school, hugged me, and told me how brave I was.
After my mother had finally stopped fussing and checking on me every twenty minutes, I sat on my bed and thought about Veronica. It would be weird not to see her in class every day or hang out with her at lunch, not that we hung out that much. I was usually with Bao-yu anyway, but sometimes she came along. Maybe now B and I would be better friends. She wouldn’t have to share me anymore.
I wondered what I was feeling—if I was missing Veronica. But I didn’t think that’s what it was. The twinge in the bottom of my stomach didn’t have the achy hollowness that people refer to as a pit. It was more like butterflies.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m about to edit the sequel to Pretty Wicked titled Wicked Fallout which takes place 12 years later. I’m also currently in the editing stage with my YA urban fantasy. It’s also the first in a series. Think the movie The Craft. There’s magic and witches, a hidden underground liar where the coven resides, a whole lot of trouble, and a little murder.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was warming up to the idea when half of my first novel was written, but I wouldn’t say I owned it until I had finished the draft. Something about completing it proved to me that I was capable and I haven’t looked back since.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a day job working in an elementary school as an educational assistant, but I still manage to write or edit most days. I try and get at least 2-3 hours in 5-6 days a week. After a long project, I tend to give myself a week off to decompress and watch all the TV and movies I want guilt free. And reading! I wish I could read more, but find it difficult when I’m mid book to break away, though I should. Other author’s words are wonderful learning experiences and always push me to work harder. On a weekend I get up around 8:00 look at Twitter and Facebook, check Amazon, and then get to work. I make my coffee, do a few hours then take a break to eat. I’ll try to do a few more hours after that or later in the evening.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I often write laying on a heating pad on my sofa in front of the TV instead of at my desk. Then my back hurts, so I continue to insist on the heating pad and so it goes.
I also cannot write two novels at once. A lot of people can and do but it feels icky to me. LOL
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My mom told me at five I said either a maid or a nun. I’m happy to be neither. As a teen I wanted to have my own talk show like Oprah. I would’ve been okay if that happened.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Pop by my website and join my mailing list for giveaways and news on my upcoming releases. Thanks for having me! This was fun.
Thanks for being here today, Kelly!