Whatever you may celebrate this time of year – may it be merry and bright. Here at Chez Cook we are getting ready to unwind and relax. Our favourite part of this time of year is having a bit of extra time to read, have some meals with friends, play some board games, catch up on movies and take the occasional nap.
Consider this your friendly reminder that books make great gifts.
I have made a decision to donate books to a classroom in the States that I hold dear. My only request to the teacher is that all the books be writers of color, or LGBT, or disabled or from another disenfranchised group. I will also donate to each student a journal so they may write their own story and have their voice heard.
Excited that my good friend and critique partner’s new book- SPEED OF LIFE is coming out tomorrow!
About the book:
Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. It’s not easy, but between their after-school jobs, they’re scraping by.
Crystal’s grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies—and gets in—new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans, and Crystal must make a choice: follow her dreams or stay behind and honor the promise she made to her sister.
And she has a shiny video trailer so check it out here.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
I am aware that many things in the news are bleak and people wonder where the world is going. Now is a good time to remember that fear and hate don’t have to win.
I don’t believe there are heroes. I believe there are ordinary people who occasionally do heroic things. This means the ability to be heroic is in all of us. It isn’t something we have to admire from afar. It is who we can be if we choose that direction.
Now go have some pie, be nice to others and stand up for what’s right.
Is anyone else surprised (shocked, horrified, totally lost) to realize that September is already coming to a close? The summer just flew by. There was the release of WITH MALICE that included travel, blog tours, and signings. Thanks to everyone who bought a book, asked their library to carry it, came to one of my events, left a review or told a friend. I really appreciate all of the good wishes and love hearing from those of you who have read the book.
If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you know I also had an amazing vacation this August. I went to London (one of my all time favourite cities) and visited my British publisher where we had tea and discussed what is the real difference between cookies and biscuits. My parents also invited DH and I to join them in France to celebrate their anniversary. All I can say is WOW. France has the great food, great wine, and the great scenery thing down. I’ll be going back for certain.
With vacation behind me- it’s back to work. I’ve been finishing up a new book (super excited to share the details soon) and pondering on an idea for the book after that. I have several events coming up this fall and hope to see some of you there.
October 14-15 I’ll be at Nerdcon in Minneapolis. I’ll be doing a talk on dialogue and also participating in some panels. There are some AMAZING people on those panels so I will be doing my best not to go all “fangirl” on others. Come see me and see if I pull that off.
I’ll also be at The Vancouver Writer’s Festival. If you have never been this is a great opportunity to hear a wide range of authors discussing books, the process of writing and issues within their novels. I’ll be doing a talk on Thursday and another on Saturday. There are still tickets available so hope to see you there.
I’ve gone for years to the Surrey International Writer’s Conference and I won’t be missing it this year either. I’m a huge believer this is one of the best craft conferences out there if you want to improve your writing. Alas, it is sold out this year so if you haven’t registered be sure to put it on your calendar for next year. The author signing on Saturday evening (5:30-7pm) is open to the public and a great way to meet some amazing writers and load up on new books.
I am BEYOND excited to be able to reveal the shiny new cover of my friend Kelly’s new book- PRETTY WICKED. I had a chance to get an early peek at this novel and was deliciously creeped out by it.
Want to know more about the book after seeing that cover? Of course you do.
About PRETTY WICKED:
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
Link for Amazon:
Link for Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31394680-pretty-wicked?ac=1&from_search=true
Questions about Pretty Wicked:
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.
I did query it to literary agents and received a lot of positive praise for the book. In the end I kept hearing the same feedback: it’s a fascinating concept, the writing and voice are great, but we don’t think we can sell such a dark book to a publisher. I completely understand this. I know this book is going to be very polarizing. People will either love the concept of hate it. So far I have had overwhelmingly encouraging feedback from readers who understand that this is a fictional story that is trying to do something different from most novels. There was some interest from small publishers but the wait times were longer than I was comfortable with. I decided if I wanted to see this book out in the world I was going to have to do it myself. It was an intimidating process, but luckily I have an amazing and brilliant support group who helped me along the way.
The Pretty Wicked series will continue with adult books. The sequel, Wicked Fallout, is currently going through editing and the third book in the series is brewing in my mind. I have some very fun ideas for Ryann.
Wicked Fallout takes place twelve years later when Ryann is 27 years old. That’s all I can say right now as to not reveal spoilers.
I actually do. I really enjoyed writing her. I don’t agree with anything she does at all! In that sense, Ryann is deplorable! But what I like is her humor and wit and the way she owns who she is. She was a fun character to write because she is so different to most characters out there. It’s like when you see a Hollywood actor discuss their favorite roles. Often they say the villain roles were their preferred because it was more fun and exciting to play. There are forbidden elements that make it a bit more exciting than the standard hero. It’s no different for me as the writer.
I have a day job so writing usually happens in the evenings and on weekends. I work in a school so I am fortunate to have shorter days, two vacation break periods, and summers off which really help me carve out the time needed.
On a writing day (Saturday or Sunday) I will get up, shower, eat breakfast, procrastinate with some TV and then get to it. I’ll make a coffee and park myself on my couch (even though I have a beautiful desk in an actual home office). I’ll write for about 2-3 hours (about 1500-2000 words on average). I may do another session later that evening if I’m really inspired. I watch a lot of television and read widely to inspire my creativity and ideas.
I also have an amazing group of friends who are writers as well and we meet up to have writing and brainstorming sessions, which is fantastic!
Author Bio and Contact Information:
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.
Connect with her:
Sign up for her mailing list or check out upcoming books at: http://kellycharron.com
If you haven’t heard enough about me and WITH MALICE in the past few weeks, then head over to Cultured Vultures where I’m doing an interview.
If reading about me isn’t enough- I’ll be at the Indigo in North Vancouver doing a signing on August 6th from 1:30 -3:30. It should be a ton of fun as the event is a part of their summer reading festival, so there are a range of authors going to be there signing everything from romance novels, crime thrillers, and YA books. Hope to see you there!
And if you can’t come out because you’re working on your own book. I’m over at LitPick talking about editing and revising
Want to see what websites I use when I want to waste time?
1) One can never see too many cute dog pictures (in my humble opinion) So I Can Haz Cheezburger is always a destination.
2) I love odd and random things. I can count on Neatorama to have some every day.
3) Some blogs make you feel like you have friends that you’ve never met. I am quite certain that The Bloggess and I would get along should we ever meet in real life- which is unlikely since we’re both introverts.
4) Knitting Blogs: I can spend hours looking at projects I will likely never make. Ravelery is a favorite- but also Knitted Bliss.
5) A Sharkish view on the world of publishing. I tend to read a number of publishing and writer blogs, but a favourite is Janet Reid’s page. In addition to having a great community of writers, it’s full of useful information and having met Janet I can vouch she’s pretty darn nifty. Not everyone would be so giving of their time/wisdom. If you think you want to write you should check it out.
1) Hands down the best things is the ability to spend time making up stories ALL DAY. I’ve always loved the process of creating stories and characters. I feel beyond fortunate to be able to do it for a living.
2) Hearing from Readers: Writing is a solo activity. You sit alone making things up wondering what people will think when you finally get to share it. When people take the time to email or reach out on social media to say they like what you wrote, it is an amazing feeling.
3) Dress Code: I spend the vast majority of my days in comfy clothes covered in dog hair. If I don’t feel like shaving my legs- no one cares.
4) Work Schedule: This could go on the best and worst list of being a writer. There is no formal start time. No boss making sure you put in your hours every day. It means you can sleep in if you’re tired, knock off early if the sun is shining and the beach is calling. The downside is that you’re always at work. And if you don’t keep yourself on a schedule deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you.
5) Booksellers and Librarians: I have a serious book habit. I am one of those people who gets really anxious if I don’t have a good book on the go and a few dozen more in my to-be-read list. Writing gives me an excuse to read even more. It allows me to meet and talk with librarians and booksellers who are some of my favourite people in the world.
I can imagine no other thing I would rather do. For everyone who has bought my book (or asked their library to carry it) thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. I am a firm believer that you don’t need someone in your life to be happy, but if you can find the right person, it sure does make life a lot of fun. Things I adore about my DH include: