Today, I am honoured to welcome author, Michelle Krys, to Off the Page.
Michelle Krys is the author of the YA urban fantasy, The Witch Hunter’s Bible, slated for publication with Random House (Delacorte) March 2014. She lives in Northwestern Ontario with her husband and young son.
When I’m not writing books for teens, I can usually be found trying to lure my two-year-old son into the YA section of Chapters with candy and sparkly things or working as a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit. Hmm, what else? I email and text-bomb my sister a whole bunch? Basically there’s not a whole lot of time for anything outside of writing and family stuff in my life. I’m so behind on Vampire Diaries it’s sick!
2. When and why did you start writing?
Unlike a lot of authors, I didn’t actually start writing until recent years. I’ve always wanted to write but felt majorly under-qualified and intimidated, and so I read books instead and ignored the itch to pen something of my own. Only once on a year-long maternity leave with a wicked-awesome son that slept 12 hours a night in addition to napping 3 hours in the day did I decide that if I was ever going to give this writing thing a try it’d have to be now. And so I spent the rest of that year writing a hilariously awful book that will never see the light of day. But I also learned SO MUCH about writing, and became involved in the writing community, where I met my great friend and critique partner Ruth Lauren Steven. The next book I wrote was The Witch Hunter’s Bible, which I like to think is substantially less sucky.
3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This is such a hard question! It seems like my favorite books change all the time, and so I can’t pick any of my recent favorites (shout out to Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and Cinder by Marissa Meyer) even though they’re so awesome and I’d read them over again if I had time (which I totally don’t). I’m going to go with Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s amazingly romantic and exciting and layered and tragic, and I know I’d never ever get sick of reading it.
4. What inspires your stories? Real life, movies, other books?
Reading a great book always inspires me to (try to) be a better writer. Well, first it inspires some wicked writer-envy, which then transforms into a challenge for myself to do better.
I’m also majorly inspired by music. Listening to Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night and Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae while driving in my car with the windows down inspired one of my favorite scenes in The Witch Hunter’s Bible.
Real life teens are also a huge inspiration. As are movies and TV shows. Basically, like many writers, I’m constantly being inspired by everything around me.
5. Do you listen to music while writing? Why?
Nope. I get very distracted by music, and of any noises at all, really, when I’m trying to write. I require total silence. It’s super convenient and reasonable, so says my husband.
6. If you could pick the perfect place to write, where would it be? In bed, on a tropical island, in the mountains?
It definitely wouldn’t be on a tropical island—too hot! Too sunny! I can’t even write on my deck. Mountain? Too windy, and there might be mountain lions or something. The bed or the couch with the TV turned off, in complete and utter silence, with a gigantic coffee, my iPhone, and an electric heating pad are all I need. I’m super low maintenance.
7. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Why?
I’d say I’m somewhere in between. Before I start writing a book I like to have at least a general idea of how it’s going to play out, but I don’t fully outline anything—not because I’m against it, but because I’m impatient. Where I become a bit of a plotter is that before I write each chapter, I write up a small paragraph (maybe three or four sentences) a few lines down from the main text in my document so that it’s always visible on the screen as I write, describing what will happen in the chapter. I find this helps me to remember the goal of the chapter and not flit around aimlessly not accomplishing much.
8. I know you have a work well on its way towards being published, are you working on any other projects at the moment?
Several! I’m working on a contemporary romance/comedy thing that I might be madly in love with. I’m also working on a sci-fi set in the east coast of Canada. Both are YA, of course. And of course this is all while I await my editorial letter, and then it’s back to the world of The Witch Hunter’s Bible and its sequel. So excited!
9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
I’m an absolute coffee ADDICT, I’ll admit, but I don’t know that it’s a trick of the trade so much as vital to life. I do have a mantra that I have to repeat to myself numerous times a day to keep me away from procrastinating, and it’s something like ‘No, Michelle, you can’t (insert any activity that isn’t writing). You’ll never finish writing your book at this rate, you lazy (insert put-down).’ I’m so mature.
10. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
This one’s easy. Anna from Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I’d live inside that book if I could! (If you haven’t read it yet you should be ashamed of yourself!)
Please feel free to leave a comment for Michelle below and keep your eye out for The Witch Hunter’s Bible in 2014!