Hey there friends.
Here I am yet again with more Author Interview goodness.
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Tonight, I have had the pleasure of chatting with crime thriller author Kelly Charron about her books, along with her inspirations, passions and her very own brand of writing advice.
Let’s dive straight into the pulse pounding action, here we go and enjoy the show 🙂
Hi there Kelly, a sincere pleasure to have you over here to discuss your work and get to know you better too.
Thank you for taking the time out for this awesome interview.
Let’s start with your books themselves – you have now clocked up two novels in your “Pretty Wicked” psychological crime thriller series. Please tell us more about their plots, their lead protagonists/antagonists and what kind of themes are explored within them.
Book 1, Pretty Wicked, is a mature YA novel that follows a fifteen-year-old girl named Ryann Wilkanson who has always known she’s a little different than most people. Early on she recognized that she had a darkness inside of her that she didn’t see in her friends or family members. She becomes obsessed with serial killers who she refers to as “The Greats” and decides that she wants to join their ranks. Lucky for Ryann, her father is a detective and she has made good use of her visits to the station, paying close attention so that she can get away with murder. In this series, Ryann is the protagonist while the detective hunting her, who also happens to be her father’s partner, is the antagonist.
Theme is something I don’t consciously write to, but looking back I’d say that the classic good versus evil is one for me, but turned on its head as Ryann doesn’t consider herself to be overtly evil. She’d prefer to consider herself a morbid artist who happens to have intense urges that she can no longer ignore. There may also be a theme of self-acceptance and recognition. Ryann knows who she is and doesn’t try to change herself to fit the norms of society that she sees around her. And she’s certainly not apologetic about it, in fact she is appalled with people who don’t own their identities.
The sequel, Wicked Fallout, is an adult novel that takes place twelve years after book 1. It alternates in point of view between Ryann and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Nancy Clafin who has been appointed the arduous and frightening task of assessing her. It is much less “murdery” than Pretty Wicked with a focus on the psychological games that Ryann plays with the good doctor. Some people have likened the feel of it to The Silence of the Lambs.
I have been asked about additional books in the series and I have many ideas. I suppose Ryann is not finished with me yet. I am writing a new, unrelated thriller that’s kind of wonderfully insane, while jotting down all the ways Ryann could plot murder in a new novel.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
Penguin! Because I have two speeds as well. I procrastinate like crazy and it’s hard to get me writing sometimes (this is when the sweet fluffy penguin is walking so slowly, slipping on the ice) but then once I start, I can write tons of words in a short time (penguin swimming at lightening speed). The struggle is getting me in the zone, away from Netflix, the internet, food, and napping.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
I was thinking about this recently and noticed I have a few themes that have come up and I swear they don’t reflect anything in my real life so either it’s leftover baggage from a previous incarnation or I’m simply subconsciously fascinated with the subjects. I have noticed in the 5 books I’ve written that I have friend or sibling jealousy/rivalry come up and always have a character who feels like they’re never enough for their parents. This is the complete opposite of my personal experience, but I’ve always been interested in human relationships, and these are the most substantial, initial relationships most people have. Family dynamics are incredibly different for everyone and I like to explore how characters navigate around loved ones and the expectations family place on them.
If your novels were to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
This is the dream. The girl in my mind is probably too old now, but when I was writing the first book a few years ago I’d picture an actress named, Nicola Peltz, who played Bradley Martin on one of my all-time favorite TV shows Bates Motel. Funnily enough, the actor I always envisioned playing Detective Roberto Estevez is also from Bates Motel—the amazing Nestor Carbonell who played Sheriff Alex Romero. Ryann’s mom, Liz, would be played by Kate Beckinsale and her dad would be portrayed by Clive Owen. You know, if they were available 😉
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Not procrastinating for sure is the worst for me. When I get going, I’m usually productive, writing for 2-3 hours at a time. I’m not a big plotter (I’ve tried, but it takes a lot of the joy and magic out for me), but I usually have an idea of 5-7 main plot points and then I write freely between them. It doesn’t always work one hundred percent and I might have to rewrite a scene, but overall, it’s the way that I tend to work best. When I over plan, I can feel uninspired and lazy because I already know what’s going to happen.
Who are some of the authors or poets who inspire you?
I’m not a poetry person at all. Favorite authors include Stephen King, Anne Rice, Gillian Flynn, Maggie Stiefvater, Chevy Stevens and Holly Black. I tend to read very widely in adult and YA and love thrillers, suspense, urban fantasy, paranormal and true crime.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
I can sometimes over research (it’s part of my procrastinating charm). For the Pretty Wicked series, I studied dozens of serial killers. Their motivations, their backgrounds, methods, how they were caught, their victims, the common traits of psychopaths and sociopaths, police procedure, legal issues, forensic details—you name it, I researched it. I watched countless documentaries and read upwards of 100 articles. For Wicked Fallout, I interviewed a Colorado prosecutor and spoke to a woman who worked with teenage killers to get a realistic sense of what would happen to teens who commit heinous crimes.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I’m obsessed with story and plot and have always felt the need to get lost in fantasy. I’m a huge reader, television and film fan. It’s my favorite pastime. I was always choosing the book or TV or actual socializing. To me fantasy worlds (of any kind) were often far more intriguing. I thought for years that I wanted to be an actor so that I could be part of the storytelling process, but then began studying writing. It seemed so far beyond my capabilities, but I started anyway and fell in love with the craft and process. It’s been 11 or 12 years now and I can’t imagine not doing it. The publishing industry is difficult and I try and talk myself out of it on a regular basis but it never sticks. It’s such a huge part of who I am at this point. I have constant ideas and it still gets me over the moon excited.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I allow myself breaks. Time off is good, it’s necessary. You need to refill that creative well. I read, watch all the things, and hang out with my writer friends who keep me motivated and accountable when I’m not feeling it. I have a critique group that meets regularly and I find talking story out to be so valuable. I can think about a plot issue forever, but until I talk about it out loud and to another person, it’s not getting fixed.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Write more often and more frequently because it’s the only way to get better and don’t be so afraid. The worst thing that can happen is (as my good friend Eileen says) you still won’t be published—yet. I spent a lot of time studying writing out of fear of actually doing it when I should have jumped in. I learned so much faster making mistakes and getting critique on how to improve.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Visiting friends and family, watching TV (we have the best TV of any time in history right now), I read, and go hiking in the forests around my house in British Columbia. I still have a day job too, so that takes up a lot of non-writing time.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
Writing a new standalone thriller, and then when I can get time I want to revisit two YA urban fantasy books that I wrote. They need big revisions, but I love them.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Don’t quit. Keep writing because it will only make you better. The publishing world is difficult and often overwhelming and intimidating, but remember there are so many ways to get stories out into the world. Find critique partners and beta readers to bounce your words and ideas off of and be open to constructive criticism. I’ve learned so much about writing and story this way.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for introducing us to your exciting series and your good self, we look forward to checking out your novels and adding them to our shelves 😉
Thank you so much for having me!
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 has a background in education and social work, working with at risk youth, and lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
You can connect with Kelly via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Kelly Charron – Author (FB)
Goodreads:- Kelly Charron (Goodreads Author)
Twitter:- @KellyMCharron (Twitter)
Website:- The Website of Author/Writer/Storyteller Kelly Charron
You can buy her books here:-
Buy Kelly Charron’s books in the UK/Europe
Buy Kelly Charron’s books in the US/Rest of the World
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, when it comes to thrillers, we want our tales to unfurl with many twists and turns to keep us both motivated and interested to see what happens next. For more articles on the theme of ‘Unfurl’ then check out the links below:-
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