Author Kelly Charron is back with a new interview. She joins me today to wrap up 2017 with an interview about her new psychological thriller, Wicked Fallout.
She was here last year to talk about YA novel, 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. Kelly has English Literature and Social Work degrees and has worked in education and in various social service areas. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Kelly.
Thank you so much for having me back, Lisa!
Please tell us about your newest release.
Wicked Fallout takes place 12 years after Pretty Wicked, which is the first book in the series. It follows incarcerated serial killer, Ryann Wilkanson, as she attempts to get a commuted sentence and released from prison when new evidence comes to light about the murders she committed when she was fifteen. The book alternates between Ryann’s point of view and the forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Nancy Clafin, who has been appointed by Ryann’s new defense team to evaluate her.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had a lot of fun writing Ryann. The sequel actually began as a rewrite of Pretty Wicked. I was at a writing conference and talked separately with an editor and agent who were each interested in seeing Pretty Wicked written as an adult book instead of young adult. I gave it a sincere try but in the end, I couldn’t abandon the vision I originally had for the book. I was going to have to change too many interesting and important elements to the story which didn’t sit right with me. I decided to use some of what I’d written but changed it to be the sequel instead. I was interested in seeing what happened to Ryann after the end of the first book. Where was she? What was she like? How had she changed? I enjoyed writing an older and more experienced version of her as well as the new perspective Nancy had, which is obviously a very different one from Ryann. I love dark stories and dark characters. I’ve always found the villain in stories to be far more fascinating than the heroic protagonist. True crime and serial killers have interested me since I was a young child, I have no idea why—though I chalk it up to being captivated by human motivation and flaws. I’m intrigued to learn about individuals who are so vastly different from most people you or I would ever encounter.
What’s the next writing project?
I’m currently working on a new adult thriller separate from the Pretty Wicked Series. It centers around three women who have been friends since they were young. One of them is engaged and the three spend a night celebrating an intimate bachelorette party at a local pub. They split up, but two of them get a phone call the next morning from the fiancé saying that their friend never made it home. Her purse and keys are found on her front lawn, proof that she made it back, just never inside. It’s far more than a kidnapping story. I don’t want to give away the twists and turns (of which there are many) but there’s quite a bit of drama between the friends left behind. I’m exploring the idea of how well you really know the people in your life, including what they are actually capable of doing under the right, or wrong, circumstances.
What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
Procrastinating is my curse. I wish I didn’t, but I’m guilty of it at some point most days. I have great writing streaks where it’s not an issue, but if I’m tired I’m always going to choose TV or Netflix over writing. The biggest challenge I faced when I was writing Wicked Fallout was deciding how much to delve into the murders from Pretty Wicked. Wicked Fallout is an adult book so there is a distinct possibility it would get a new readership than PW. I’ve already had a few emails from readers telling me they have read WF and not PW because they don’t enjoy young adult. I wanted to make sure I put enough information about the things Ryann had done in book one so that readers who went straight into WF had a complete grasp of the murders and her character. I struggled finding a balance between recapping and recreating the events of the first novel, but I worked with the same beta readers and editor on both books and they helped me reach a good balance. It’s constructed in a way to refresh the memory of someone who read book one and fills in enough of the gaps for a new reader.
If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
I research as I write. I hate leaving areas that are blank or only partially written, so when I come to a part that I need more knowledge about I will research that in that moment. This way the information is fresh in my mind and will be truer on the page. I did quite a bit of research for both books, though for Pretty Wicked my research was watching documentaries, reading true crime accounts and studying serial killers, especially children who kill, of which there are far more than I ever anticipated. Because Wicked Fallout had a huge legal element, I interviewed a Colorado Prosecutor as well as a woman who worked with children who had committed violent crimes and were incarcerated. I am a Canadian and our legal system is quite a bit different so it was important for me to represent American prison and legal areas as realistically as possible while still allowing for the magic of fiction.
What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
I can write everywhere and do—from cafes to my home office or sitting on the couch or the couch of another writing friend. As long as I have my laptop I can create, and if I don’t, I often carry a notebook with me to write plot or character points. I’m a horrible plotter, but try to prepare some of my scenes ahead so I’m not flailing and wasting time, which unfortunately still happens on occasion.
What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
There are many. I love Stephen King, Anne Rice, Maggie Stiefvater, Jenny Han, Gillian Flynn and JK Rowling, among others. It’s difficult to narrow down the list.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!
Thank you so much. It was a pleasure!