Usually writing energizes me. I absolutely love it. Even those moments when I’m exhausted from my day job, as soon as I force myself to dig in I’m so happy I did. I love to get lost in the worlds that I’ve created with characters that truly do surprise me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
If you mean what can deter me from writing, it’s being so tired that I can’t properly focus or having a migraine, which I unfortunately get too often. Creatively, I’m lucky that I don’t really have anything, except on the rare occasion when I’ll get stuck on a plot point (usually unsure where to go next in the story), but it usually means that my character isn’t doing the right thing for the story. I usually talk it through with my amazing writer friends and my husband, who has quickly become the best person to talk through plot with (and he’s not even a writer).
How does having friends who are also authors help you become a better writer?
We keep each other accountable, talk through all of our issues on and off the page, and root for each other. No one else fully understands the highs and lows in this business, so it’s so comforting to have them. We critique each other’s work and have become our own little family over the years. We joke about starting a writing commune.
Do you want each book you write to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I have a few series on the go, but all my books share commonalities. I write gritty, dark stories that explore human motivation and how well you really know the people in your life. I have currently two books in The Pretty Wicked series published and I’m writing a YA witch urban fantasy that’s a ton of fun. The Wicked books can be read as stand-alone novels, though they do complement one another and the reader will get the full story arc if they read both. The YA series will be sequential and need to be read in order.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I recently read two books that I think people would love but don’t really know about. UNEARTHLY THINGS by Michelle Gagnon and THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oaks. They happen to both be YA books but they will be loved by all if given the chance. Unearthly Things is a modern reimagining of Jane Eyre complete with a creepy, haunted mansion, a misplaced orphan, a turbulent love story and dangerous liaisons. It’s great. The Scared Lies of Minnow Bly was so beautifully and hauntingly written that I was actually angry when it ended. I don’t even want to say anything more as to not ruin it. Go look them up.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have two finished but unpublished novels, one half-finished book, and I’m currently completely replotting and reworking another novel that was complete but I realized was all wrong.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do a ton of research. I read articles and books as well as watch documentaries and movies on the subjects I’m interested in. I’ve even travel and tour places when I’m able. I interview experts in the different fields I’m looking into/studying. I usually do a lot of heavy research before the bulk of my writing starts, but it continues throughout the writing of the book as other things arise.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
Typically, I try and write or research 4-5 days a week anywhere from 1-4 hours per day. I work Mondays to Fridays so I cram in what I can in the evenings and on weekends. I’m also trying to get more reading in because I find it helps my own words flow a bit easier. It’s like a primer.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I often look at baby name websites, though sometimes I look up the meanings of names and their ancestry to make sure it fits the character. I will also jot interesting names down in the notes section on my phone when I hear them. I work at a school with 600 kids, so that also helps.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I’m drawn to certain genres to read and by extension I want to write my own stories and create my own worlds in those genres. For me it’s thriller, horror, and urban fantasy. I love reading and watching some historical but refuse to research that much or I might delve into that. I’d love to write a gothic or Victorian horror—for that I might fall into the research hole.
I balance them by writing one at a time. I have friends that can write anywhere from two to five different books at once. I prefer to get lost in one world from start to finish. I get very focused so the only time I’ll veer off is if I’m editing, then I can split time writing something else.
How long have you been writing?
I think this is year twelve or thirteen. Though I’ve had to take some huge breaks for various degrees I’ve gone back to school for. It’s difficult to keep up on school work and write for me.
Share a link to your author website.
I love to connect with readers and writers. Here’s where you can find me:
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.
14. What about the sequel, Wicked Fallout?
Wicked Fallout was a natural extension of the first book, though it takes place twelve years later and is classified as an adult novel. I didn’t feel ready to leave the characters and world behind and felt there was a lot more to the story that I wanted to explore including how possible it is for someone to change drastically as they mature, how well can you trust your own judgment and how all of your life’s experiences culminate to inform everything that you do. The book shares a point of view with Dr. Nancy Clafin, a forensic psychiatrist, who is hired by Ryann’s new and formidable defense team to evaluate her to determine if she should be released when new evidence comes to light.
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 a degree in English Literature as well as a Social Work degree. She has worked as a hairstylist, youth outreach worker and education assistant. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
There is no author interview this Friday, however I have a fantastic list already of writers & authors who have signed up! This is a wonderful way to get to know a plethora of authors.
Lisa de Nikolits
Jeannie JB Richards
Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Linda J Pedley
Phyllis H Moore
Obviously I am more than happy with the response but please feel free to contact me via the contact form if you would like to be included during 2018 or know an author/writer who would like to participate! There are a lot of Friday’s to fill.
Firstly a sincere thank you to all the writers, authors and readers who have dropped by by blog this year – we are 3306 connected people with a love of the written word. My flag counter states I have 189 countries following me and 252 flags collected. That is pretty amazing.
Again it took sometime to decide on what topics I would cover on my blog for 2018. It is always a task not only because once I commit I have to deliver but also that I want the topics/features I choose to be of interest to my followers.
The day and time of each blog post has to be considered – too early in the morning and it will be lost in the morning rush of emails and other notifications, too late in the day and it disappears into the evening chaos of family time. After studying several articles it is best to post on Monday and Wednesday between 9:30 am – 11:00 am, as I traditionally post on these days at 10:30 am I am within those parameters.
Blog Schedule 2018
Monday: Investigation in Genre. A look at the classic genres through to the ‘new’ ever developing genres available to writers. I will be investigating, discussing and hopefully with your help giving examples of genres this year. I would like this feature to be as interactive as possible.
Wednesday: I was given a writing prompt book for Christmas so will be utilizing these 300 prompts. I hope to create flash fiction or short stories from them. And you are most welcome to write one to share too.
Friday: Once a month (twice if I have lots of requests) I will host author interviews. This is open to published and unpublished authors/writers. Whether you have been interviewed by me before or not. I want us to support and encourage each other and get to know the writer behind the story.
Message me if you would like to be interviewed via the contact form on the media kit. You can choose which month to correspond with a book launch, event or special giveaway.
Due to a dreadful constant cough my energy has been at a low ebb so writing has taken a back seat as I try to get better. It is the worse possible timing over the festive season. Hopefully as I gradually get better my writing Muse will return.
Books: The men are in Spain and the war is affecting them, as it would. Back home things have changed but stayed the same. Relationships are strained and letters are infrequent. Beautiful writing and character development.
Christmas books have been added to my pile – 300 writing prompts and Sleeping Beauties. Now to consider which King book to read first as I still have 11/22/63 to start. I admit Beauties is calling me.
What books did you get for Christmas?
Holiday’s tend to reek havoc on our writing schedule but there are ways of grabbing writing time.
Keep track of the number of words you write instead of how long you wrote.
Relax your normal rigorous writing timetable – take time to chill and observe.
Make the most of “un-scheduled” time – waiting for a flight, children’s rehearsals, a break for coffee during shopping.
Wake up earlier (or stay up later) than usual to ensure that you spend some time writing.
How do you find time to writing during the holidays?
Apart from the freelance project, I did have time to write a Xmas themed short story for my writing group’s Xmas party, which was held yesterday.
Letting my imagination take control and spin a story is always fun. I had thought the story would go in one direction but it veered off into another, again giving me a welcome surprise. I find this aspect of writing to be the most delightful and rewarding, as the characters or plot take control.
This was my story:
The heavy snow slowly slid from the porch roof, Joy watched its gradual cascade and delighted at the thump it made on the frozen ground. Her thoughts turned to childhood memories of building snowmen and snowballs fights with her brother and sisters. As the youngest she was often the brunt of the jokes and teasing but no matter what she loved them but of course there were plenty of times when she was cuddled and coddled by her older siblings.
Now many decades later they were spread out across the country. The older they became the more infrequent were the visits even on special holidays. Joy was sad that this Christmas there would be no family to celebrate with. Again she felt she should have married again after Arthur, she had been young enough to have started a new family but her heart had been broken and as the years past, she became accustomed to her solitary life. But now she realized, she always looked forward to those special days each year with Frank, Gail and Bobbie-Jo, they were her hope for next month or next year, it kept her grounded and forward thinking. She would plan for months ahead of time – planning excursions, cooking cakes and biscuits and making gifts. With no visitors this year the house felt as despondent as Joy.
A knock on the door brought her out of her musings. A dark figure loomed on the other side of the frosted glass door. Joy made sure the security chain was in place before she opened the door cautiously.
“Hello, I have a delivery for Miss. Dashing.”
“Well that would be me.”
“Can you please sign here, the box is rather heavy so do you want me to carry it into the hallway?”
“That would be very kind, thank you.”
Joy unlatched the chain and the man picked up a large box from the porch floor. He set it down beside the entry table and then turned away, while arching his back.
“Thank you so much, you should take care of your back. Have a merry Christmas.”
“My pleasure, yes it’s not easy work. Have a good Christmas.”
Once the front door closed and the cold evening air shut out, Joy looked at the box. A label showed her name and address and the return address was one she was familiar with. It was from Frank. Excited to see what was inside she went to the kitchen to find a pair of scissors. With the packing tape cut, Joy pulled at the box to open it. Inside was a lot of packing and Christmas wrap. Her heart leapt – he sent me several gifts for Christmas!
The sight of the gifts made Joy happy. She was determined that now she would decorate so they could be placed under a Christmas tree. Two hours later the front room looked festive and Frank’s gifts were in pride of place under the small artificial tree, placed in the bay window. She ate a late light supper and went to bed. Her dreams were of frosty mornings and the four of them opening their gifts on Christmas morning, she smiled in her sleep.
In the morning she read her brother and sister’s letters again asking not to send gifts to them this year as they were spending time with their children and grandchildren and would be away from home. Joy had been disappointed as she had spent several months creating their gifts. ‘We will get together in the New Year and exchange gifts then’ – was the footnote on all three letters. Joy wrapped the gifts with extra care and placed them in a basket on top of her crafting shelf. Another knock on the door brought her to open it to the same deliveryman, his grey beard frosted with icicles
“Well hello again.”
“You must be very popular with all these parcels. I have two for you today, just in time for the big day. Shall I carry them in?”
“Oh yes please, that is kind.”
As the man turned to leave, she stopped him.
“Wait one moment I have something for you.”
“I’m not supposed to take gifts, I’m afraid.”
“Really that is not a very festive outlook and it is only a day to Christmas. It is some of my special cookies; surely you can have a few?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say no, I will be delivering until late tonight. It is a busy time of year as you can imagine and I don’t usually get time to stop and eat anywhere.”
“That’s settled then one moment.”
Joy placed several different kinds of cookies and sweet treats in a small tin and gave it to the driver.
“I hope you enjoy them and drive safely, there is a weather front coming in. It’s a good thing you don’t need to drive out to me again, that track can be treacherous.”
“I’ll be careful and thank you so much for these they smell incredible. I only have one run left and can go home, it is a favour to my old boss. He was short handed so I volunteered.”
“At least you have sustenance now. Take care.”
Joy excitedly opened the two boxes to find more gifts and took them to the tree. It would be nice to open them on Christmas morning but she really wanted to have her siblings with her even more. With the house locked and the Christmas lights twinkling she sat to watch a movie. As the clock struck midnight she yawned and rose to go to bed. A tapping sound stopped her steps on the stairs. What is that? She looked around the front room, the kitchen and the hallway but the tapping had stopped. Joy shook her head and went to bed. She could hear the blizzard thundering outside, lashing the roof and trees. As she drifted off to sleep a nagging feeling gripped her but she knew she was alone on the side of the mountain, her house surrounded by fir trees and knew the track would now be under a lot of snow. She told herself to stop being silly and snuggled under the covers.
A loud bang brought her from her slumber. Oh my goodness is that a tree fallen on the house? Wrapping her toweling robe around her and putting her soft plush slippers on, she walked to the window. There was a sheet of snow obscuring everything. One after the other she went into each room fearing a damaged window or wall but there was none. What banged so hard then? As she crossed the hallway to go back upstairs she heard a thud on the front door. Oh no is it my lovely porch that is damaged? Joy unlocked the door fearing the worse. What she saw was a huddled dark figure covered in snow and crystals of ice on eyelashes and beard, and a pair of pleading eyes.
The man crawled into the hallway his breathing laboured and his whole body shaking.
“Goodness, where have you come from? Can you walk come into the front room I’ll light the fire again it will still have hot embers hopefully.
The man tried to speak but his lips were blue and his teeth chattered. He stumbled to the front room and collapsed on the sofa.
“Cold, so cold. Crashed on the track. Crawled back on the track, it took hours.”
“You poor man. Let me get some blankets.”
With several blankets heaped on top of the man, Joy stoked the fire. There I will make a hot drink and then call for an ambulance.”
After giving the man a mug of steaming coffee with plenty of sugar, Joy picked up the telephone but there was no dial tone. Oh no the line has most certainly come down in the storm, what do I do now?
“I’m afraid the telephone line is down I can’t call anyone.”
“I don’t have a cell signal up here either otherwise I would have called someone. I need to get warm and then maybe walk back to the highway.”
“You shall do no such thing! The storm is in full force out there and you will certainly lose your way. No you must stay here, once you are missed they will come to find you. Your route is on a schedule I assume?”
“Yes, my routine is tracked. I feel so bad imposing on you like this but your place was the nearest.”
“Quite understandable and I am glad you made it here, you could have frozen to death out there. I am going to run a hot bath for you and dry those clothes.”
“Thank you, I am so grateful. I am feeling a little warmer now.”
Joy ran the bath and guided the man to the bathroom. He slipped his damp clothes through the door for her to put into the drier then sunk into the warm water with a sigh. He could feel his flesh warm.
After putting the clothes into the drier, Joy made herself a drink and yawned. It was the early hours of the morning, in fact Christmas morning. She went to her craft room and unwrapped two gifts she had made for Frank, then put them outside the bathroom door.
“Your clothes will take some time to dry so I have put a dressing gown, pyjamas and slippers outside the door. I hope they fit.”
She heard the man thank her and returned to the living room to build up the fire again. After few moments later the man came down the stairs looking flushed but happy.
“I feel much more human now not an iceberg. These fit perfectly – thank you, are they your husbands?”
“Actually no I made them for my brother as Christmas gifts but as we will not see each other until the New Year I thought your need was greater. I can always make more. Come and sit the fire is roaring. Can I get you some food now?”
“I think I have imposed more than enough.”
“If I can’t offer a stranger a hot meal on Christmas Day when can I?”
“Oh my I forgot it is Christmas Day isn’t it. Well then I accept your kind offer but please don’t go to much trouble.”
“Nonsense the dawn should be breaking any moment, if we see it through that white out of course. An early, hearty breakfast coming right up, then I think we should both rest.”
Joy busied herself in the kitchen, smiling to herself as she thought how nice it was to have company on this of all days. With breakfast cooked and served, they both sat in front of the fire eating contently in silence.
“That was a most enjoyable meal, thank you once again for helping me and showing such kindness. It has been a long time since I has such a meal with good company.”
“Well it is my pleasure. May I ask why you have not enjoyed good food? If I am prying please forgive me.”
“I think you are owed more than an explanation for your hospitality. I am a widower and to be honest find myself eating TV dinners most of the time. Rachel was the cook that was my wife. She has been gone now fourteen years and I never remarried. You become accustomed to being alone but it is still lonely.”
“I feel exactly the same I’m up here alone in my parents old house and like you I lost someone fourteen years ago. I delayed making a decision on his marriage proposal maybe a little too long and then he was gone. Working across the country and we lost touch. There have been moments of regret of course but you just get on with life – right?”
“Yes I agree, I could not sit at home alone all day. That’s when my old boss suggested the part time shifts as it turned out those shifts gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”
Joy stifled a yawn the heat from the fire and a good breakfast filled stomach made her tired. The man looked at her and smiled.
“I need to sleep too I am happy to sleep here on the couch.”
“Well maybe a couple of hours and then we can decide what to do about getting you home.”
Joy locked her bedroom door although she felt quite safe in the man’s company. It was odd but he had not offered his name and she had not asked, as she fell asleep she told herself to ask upon waking.
The smell of coffee and toast woke her, for a moment it disorientated her and then she remembered her visitor. She quickly dressed and went to the kitchen.
“Good morning, I hope you don’t mind I made coffee and toast. Let me pour you a cup.”
Joy sat at the kitchen table enjoying the attention.
“Thank you, you make good coffee. I forgot to ask your name all last night.”
“Oh that is funny yes I should have introduced myself properly, my name is Blyde, it means Joy. I’m always asked.”
“It is? Well what a coincidence my name is Joy.”
They laughed together and a chink in the clouds sent a ray of bright sunshine across the table.
“I think the storm has finally passed us by, I might be able to get a cell signal now.”
“Of course but please finish your coffee first, its nice to have company.”
“It is isn’t it? Yes there is no hurry. I’m sure the snow ploughs are busy clearing the main highway but I don’t suppose they come up here do they?”
“Actually my best friend’s husband drives a plough and he swings by after his shift so I can drive back and forth. He will be up later this afternoon I should think.”
“Well plenty of time to chat then.”
A year later Joy and Blyde married, her brother and sisters attended the wedding and everyone joked about Joy’s Joy. To Joy she had met her joy in more ways than one. Blyde was kind, generous and loving and best of all was happy to live in her house rather than his small townhouse. Days were no longer empty, Blyde had been her very best Christmas gift.
Do your stories stay on track or do they morph into something else?
My hope is to finish my YA novella by mid January so I can send the manuscript to my illustrator with suggestions for the chapter header images. I will also submit it to my publisher for editing and review. This story is set on another planet with four friends discovering and battling an intruder. I’m not sure why this YA novella and my previous one, Clickety Click both have ‘aliens’ in them but that was where both stories took me. There are similarities but also totally different settings, one on earth and the other on another planet. Both narratives have a message to young people, which I hope will encourage them to accept and care for each other and their environments.
Books: I am enjoying this novel set in Edmonton and have come to know the characters easily in the first few chapters. I am looking forward to following their journeys.
Create a inspiration list and find images for your story’s setting and characters. Make up a board, either physical or digital that you can have in front of you as you write.
Don’t edit as you write – let the process flow. There is plenty of time to edit and revise later on. For now let your imagination take control and write without a filter.