Dec 2, 2011

Blog Tour: Interview with Kelley York

We want to thank Kelley York for taking the time to do this interview with us and Stacey O'Neale for giving us this opportunity. If you haven't already, please take the time to read my review of Hushed & I hope you put this book on your to-be-read list.

How did you create such a broken character as Archer?
I love broken characters that have all these layers to them. A lot of Archer and his personality and flaws just...came out with the story, but some I had to delve in deeper to figure them out. I had to piece together and learn why Archer reacted to some things the way he does. Why he's a little compulsive, why he gets distressed when he doesn't have complete control of a situation, how he can be so loyal to someone who mistreats him.

How did you come up with this plot? It's pretty dark & twisted.
It all started with Archer. I'm terrible at coming up with plots first, characters second. I have to start with a solid set of my characters and know their motivations. Then, the story unfolds around them. My final drafts, plot-wise, rarely change a huge deal from the original one I write.

That shower scene was HOT - is something like that difficult or uncomfortable for a writer to create?
I did waver on whether or not to keep it, to be honest. And it wasn't because of what I thought readers/agents/editors would think, but because I knew my family, coworkers, and friends would be reading it! And that's kind of weird to me. Ultimately, though, I didn't want to compromise my writing because of what someone would think, so I left it in there.

Gay YA is a topic I like to see more of - I've seen many conversations about this on twitter. I've read a few books where there are gay characters (such as The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare) but none where it's the main characters, how do you feel readers will take to this? People's sexuality seems to be iffy subject still (though, no idea why - you love who you love) especially with the older generations - do you feel parents will be OK with their children reading this?
If parents wouldn't let their kids read a book liked HUSHED because of the sexuality of the main character, as opposed to not letting them read it because of the violence and dark themes, there's something wrong. Of course, parents have a right to shield their kids from whatever they want. I think YA readers, though, seem to be embracing LGBT characters. I was a little nervous to see what kind of reception Archer and Evan would get, but the response has been amazingly positive!

I feel like this book could definitely help some teenagers who are facing questions about their own sexuality, was this intended?
I don't consider HUSHED an issue book about coming out, but that being said, I think having characters who handle it without a lot of problems or guilt and self-hate can be a positive thing. Evan's already very comfortable in his own sexuality at the start of the story. He probably had a boyfriend or two in high school. Archer has never put much thought into his preference because his focus was always on Vivian. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Evan, the fact that it's another guy doesn't factor into his mind.

How do you feel about your first novel about to go on sale? Are you excited, nervous, calm as a bird?
I'm nervous, but not as much as I was when review copies started going out. Reviewers can be the most critical of readers. That was the first time my book was going out into the big, wide world for many pairs of eyes to read, and I was a nervous wreck.

What was the most challenging part of writing this novel? Also, what was the most fulfilling thing?
I tried to research several things for the book, particularly anything to do with the murders. Everything from the pills in the opening chapter, the gas leak, the state of a corpse left alone in a cold house for a few weeks, etc. I was always worried about getting something wrong in that regard, but I think I did okay with it.

The most fulfilling thing was writing a book I wasn't sure was ever going to sell because of how dark it was, and then finding a home for it with people who loved it. It's also been really rewarding to see people say things like, "I normally wouldn't read this type of book, but I loved it," or "this is the first LGBT book I read and it was great; I'll definitely be reading more."

Are you working on any upcoming books? And if so, can you tell us if they will also be gay YA? (YA literature could always use more, if I do say so myself)
I am working on something else! I don't want to give details, but I will say it's another LGBT book with a male/male romance. I'm very partial to them!

'Kelley York delivers in this impressive debut. I was at the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next! Bottom line, this was unputdownable!!!' --- YA Fantasy Guide ---
Author Bio:

Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a fascination with bells, adores all things furry - be them squeaky, barky or meow-y - is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she's a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.

Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. She loves stories where character development takes center stage.

Kelley's website:

Hushed - Synopsis:

He's saved her. He's loved her. He's killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn't protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he's never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn't matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another - Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who's ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer's committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn't get what she wants...And what she wants is Evan's death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.


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1 comment:

  1. [...] December 2nd: The Fable Fairie | Fictional Distraction [...]


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