Hexaholics–Check out the official CHARMED book trailer over on Sasha Alsberg’s Youtube channel Abookutpia! This trailer was made by the fantastic Brent McCluskey at Studio B and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out. It really captures the vibe of the book. Let me know what you think!
Exciting news, Hexaholics!
You may remember that I hinted about an exciting pre-order campaign for CHARMED a while back. Many of you asked if it would involve signed copies. I can now confirm that YES, IT WILL VERY MUCH INVOLVE SIGNED COPIES!
I’ve teamed up with the people at Author-Author.net to offer you signed and personalized hardcovers of CHARMED. If you choose, you can also bundle your order with a signed, personalized paperback of HEXED, which will be mailed out together. Since I like you, you will also receive a CHARMED bookmark.
- This offer is open from today, March 1st , to April 15th, 2015.
- The offer is open internationally.
- Orders will ship to readers on or around release day, May 26th.
- If you want your copies personalized to someone other than the person making the order, please communicate that in your order.
- Pre-orders are important to a book’s success. Like, lots. So yeah. Pre-order!
There you have it, folks. Click here to order your signed, personalized copy of CHARMED! And click here to order a bundle of both HEXED and CHARMED, also signed and personalized. And of course, if you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, thanks to Melissa Landers for giving me this fantastic idea, which I essentially completely stole from her. As a sidebar, Melissa’s novel Alienated is soooo good. You should totes read it. MA GOATS.
If you’re a shameless romance novel addict like me, then you’re always on the lookout for the next book boyfriend to obsess over. Well, look no further. Below are my favorite *romance novels for your reading pleasure this Valentine’s Day.
*More like novels featuring a strong romance plot
*Some are YA. Some are adult. Some are VERY adult (marked with a *)
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Hands down the BEST romance novel of all time. Don’t let the size of the book scare you. It’s a must read.
- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett: An epic, highly-satisfying, sweeping romance. We’re talking spanning years and continents.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Classics aren’t really my thing so I never intended to fall in love with this book. But I did. A lot.
- Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte: Ditto.
- Unteachable by Leah Raeder ***: Switching gears here for a hot teacher-student romance. Like, sweltering hot. And sweet, weirdly. And kind of literary? Am I selling this yet? Basically I’m on a warpath to get every person I know to read this book because it’s just that good.
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I’m a sucker for both the rags to riches and underdog triumps tropes, and this Cinderella retelling does not disappoint.
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maass: Love triangle between a badass female assassin, a prince, and the prince’s captain of the guard. How could you not love it? (Unless of course you hate love triangles which pshhh.)
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski: Easily my favorite book last year. ‘Nuff said.
- Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: Another favorite from last year. Lots of kissing. Lots of deception. (Gosh someone should just hire me for PR I’m so good at this).
- The Selection by Kiera Cass: Just plain addicting.
- Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: Road-trip romance with a bit of sweetness and a bit of edge. Read it in one sitting. Still think about it.
- Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy: Edgy romance between a hotheaded former cancer patient and the loyal best friend who stuck by her side during treatment, only to get kicked to the curb when she recovered. Fans of flawed characters will eat this up (please tell me this is you because perfection is boring amirite?)
- Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles: Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a FUN romance. This one fits the bill. Read all 3 books in the series and enjoyed every one.
- Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: Maybe you’re in a weird mood this Valentine’s Day? Maybe you want to read about depressing incestuous romance?
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Modern classic YA. If you haven’t read this yet than we can’t be friends.
- (Bonus!) Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Thrilling squealy hot alien romance.
There you have it! What do you think of my choices? What are YOUR favorite romance novels?
My website is being dumb and not letting me post pictures (how rude!), so here’s an awkward link to tumblr, wherein I recap all the awesome that 2014 held in store for me. Which was a lot of awesome.
Happy New Year!
People in want of an ARC of CHARMED…good news!
I’m one of 8 authors participating in #showmethemagic, a superfun Halloween contest wherein you can win signed, personalized copies of your favorite witchy YA novels!
To enter, take a pic of yourself dressed up as a witch, upload said pic to Instagram with the hashtag #showmethemagic, and . . . that’s it! You’re entered to win books from me, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures), Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die), Cara Lynn Shultz (Spellbound), Brittany Geragotelis (Life’s a Witch), and Valerie Tejeda (Hollywood Witch Hunter)! Also, you get to have fun and be super ridiculous with us. It’s going to be great. Check out Valerie’s website for all the details.
Have fun, dudes and dudettes! I know which witch I’m going to be!
The votes are in (all 700 of them!), and it’s finally time to announce the winner of the HEXED fanart contest! There were so many amazing entries—seriously, I wish I had 14 ARCs to give away—but alas I don’t. So, the winner, by over 100 votes, is . . . .
Congratulations! Winner, send me your mailing address, and your signed advance reader copy of CHARMED, audiobook of HEXED, signed bookplate and $25 Amazon gift card will be on their way to you!
Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and look out for another superfun opportunity to win an ARC of CHARMED around Halloween!
And here they are! The HEXED fanart contest entries. Please review each entry and caption carefully, then vote in the google form below for your favorite. (The voting is anonymous!) Voting will end September 23rd at 11:59 EST, and the winner will be announced on September 24th. One vote per person, please!
Happy voting! And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who took the time to enter. I’m forever grateful for my Hexaholics
Inspired by some hilarious fan art by @indigoblackwood on Instagram (that’s a HEXED fan account, by the way, and you should follow it!), I’m hosting a HEXED fan art competition! What’s the prize, you ask? An advance reader’s copy (ARC) of CHARMED, which releases May 26th, 2015, plus a snazzy HEXED audiobook and signed bookplate. And because I love you, I’ll also throw in a $25 Amazon gift card.
- One entry per person
- Original artwork only aka no copying or stealing from the Internet, not that any of you lovely people would do that
- Any media may be used (pen and ink, pencil, crayons, paint, markers, collage, MS paint, etc., etc.)
- Art must pertain to HEXED in some way. Feel free to caption your image if you think an explanation would help!
Important point: Sure, this is an art contest, but you don’t have to be the best artist to enter. This is a strictly FOR FUN contest. Anyone who’s thinking about entering should. Stickmen are allowed!
Email your entry to email@example.com no later than September 10th, 2014 at 12pm EST. Contest is open internationally. After September 10th, the entries will be posted on my website and voting will open. The voting will be private (probably Google forms) so no one but me will see how many votes each entry gets, in case you’re insecure about that sort of thing like me. The winner will be revealed on September 24th, 2014.
I think that covers everything?
Have fun, Hexaholics!
Look what I have! Advance Reader’s Copies (ARCs) of CHARMED!!!
It’s an exciting day, y’all! The cover reveal for CHARMED, the sequel to HEXED and the final book in the Witch Hunter series, is up over at YABooksCentral.com! Check it out and enter to win a signed ARC (Advance Reader Copy)!
The day is finally here. After almost 2.5 years, HEXED is out in the world.
Hold on a minute.
Now I’ve told this story a few times before, but I’m going to tell it again and I get to do that because it’s my pub day and you all have to be nice to me.
Four years ago, I was in the bath. (Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this).
I was in the bath, talking to my sister on the phone. She nervously revealed that she’d started writing a book. She read the first couple of pages to me, and they were incredible. I sat up, my heart beating too fast. I’d always wanted to write a book. It was one of those things that I’d been talking about for years, but that I never really made the time for. It was always later, or when things weren’t so hectic, or when, etc., etc. But sitting there in the bath, I realized that I’d never have more time that I had at that moment. See, I was four months into a yearlong maternity leave. My son miraculously slept through the night and took glorious three to four hour naps during the day. I had the time to write a book, if I really wanted to. If I was ever going to do it, now would be my chance.
Inspired, I dried off and went downstairs, to where my husband was watching TV, and announced that I was going to write a book. This was very much out of nowhere, but my husband, to his credit, just smiled and said “that’s great”.
I joined a writing forum for newbie aspiring writers, where I met my critique partner. I got involved in the writing community. I read every writing blog and craft book I could get my hands on. And I ultimately wrote a book that didn’t go anywhere. But I loved what I was doing and kept writing.
Then next book I wrote was HEXED.
You all know what happened after that.
I’ve spent the last almost 2.5 years realizing my dream alongside the best people in publishing, and I couldn’t be more grateful. And glad I finally wrote that book! If there’s something you’ve been dreaming of doing, don’t wait for later. Do it now.
HEXED is yours now. I hope you enjoy ☺
Update: Winner has been chosen and contacted. Congrats, Becca Fowler!
Hexed hits the shelves in 3 weeks (OMG, WUT, HOW?), and in celebration, I’m hosting a pre-order giveaway!
So what’s the giveaway, you ask? (Calm down, I was getting to that.)
If you pre-order HEXED from any retailer (local, chain, or online), in any format (e-book, hardcover, or audiobook), and send proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org, you will:
1. Receive a HEXED bookmark and signed bookplate
2. Be entered to win the grand prize pack of:
• A $100 Amazon gift card
• A custom handmade leather ‘Witch Hunter’s Bible’ from AshenFire Originals.
• A signed HEXED poster (Not pictured, but it’s the book cover, and it’s large, glossy and freaking gorgeous).
3. Have my undying love and devotion.
Sounds awesome, amirite? Seriously though. Look those bookmarks. Look at those Bibles. Aren’t they sexy?
30 extra rafflecopter entries will be awarded to those who send proof of purchase to the email address above, although due to certain legalities and to ensure Michelle no go to jail (and also because I like you), anyone can enter without purchase by filling out the form, and your entry will be placed into the Rafflecopter for the grand prize.
The giveaway is open internationally and ends June 10th, 2014 at 0600am EST.
So, I have some pretty exciting news.
I’m thrilled to announce another book deal with Wendy Loggia at Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books!!!
This book is called DEAD GIRLS SOCIETY, and I’m pretty freaking excited about it. It’s edgy and dark and fun and something I think fans of Hexed will enjoy. Here’s the Publisher’s Marketplace announcement:
Author of HEXED Michelle Krys’s DEAD GIRLS SOCIETY, about a girl who escapes her helicopter parents by joining a high-stakes dare club, but she discovers more than thrills — girls are going missing, and she might be next, again to Wendy Loggia at Delacorte, for publication in 2016, by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary Services (World).
Isn’t that splendid?
Up next: WORLD DOMINATION.
Or nachos. Whichever.
It’s been four short years since I started writing, but I have learned so much in that time: interesting, eye-opening things, not the least of which is that Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones are a godsend and make you look and feel like a legit author. The following are some of the interesting things I’ve learned about authors:
They are regularly compared to J.K. Rowling. Or at least they are pre-book release. Flattering right? And not realistic. ‘But it could happen!’ people say. Well, sure, I guess. You could also be the next Bill Gates of computer programming, the next Florence Nightingale of nursing, or the Judge Judy of law. But probably not. And though the commenters are well meaning, it’s stressful thinking that your family and friends are measuring your success in terms of movie deals and theme parks.
They deal with rejection too. You’d think that signing a book deal with a major publishing house would mean the end of rejection as a writer, right? Wrong. Even New York Times Bestsellers are subject to rejection. Publishers want to put out books they think will sell. It doesn’t matter if they liked one of your books. Your next book still needs to be marketable in their eyes or they won’t want to publish it. Unless you’re Stephen King or the aforementioned J.K., in which case you can probably write on a napkin and they’d sell it.
Sweatpants are their friends. Writing a book seems pretty glamorous, until it’s 4 p.m and you still haven’t showered, your house looks like it’s been recently burglarized, and you fridge is reduced to only condiments.
They don’t always like writing. If authors waited until they were ‘in the mood’ to write, they might never complete a book. The harsh reality is this: writing a book is hard, and watching Teen Wolf isn’t. A lot of the time, it feels more like a sacrifice than it does like fun, but then again, it wouldn’t be a big deal to write a book if it were easy and all that jazz.
Procrastination is a plague and everyone has been infected. You click over to Google to do a simple fact-check for your book and the next thing you know you’ve fallen down a Wikipedia wormhole and it’s two hours later. And it’s not just me. There’s a reason programs like Freedom exist. Writers are basically like cats and the internet is a laser light on the wall: it’s irresistible.
They’re as insecure as you are. Are insecure people more drawn to writing, or does publishing turn normal people into insecure messes? I don’t know, but the fact remains that writers are often not as confident as they outwardly appear. They worry their latest work sucks. They read over their first drafts and wonder who was on crack when they gave them a book deal. They read a hundred great reviews and then spiral into depression at the one scathing one-star review they totally accidentally stumbled across on goodreads, sure that it’s the only ‘true’ review and that the other hundred people are either illiterate idiots, or are confusing your book with another one they read that didn’t totally suck.
They don’t have time to write books. One of the most common things I hear as an author is ‘I wish I had time to write a book.’ But here’s the thing: authors don’t have extra hours in the day, and most of the time, they’re working a day job too. Even those who write full-time, and therefore, theoretically, have more time to write, often have difficulty squeezing hours into the day to dedicate to their novel. So many things can get in the way of a productive day of writing, from copyedits or pass pages on a previous book, to blog interviews or simply responding to emails: tasks pop up all the time that steal precious writing hours. Authors just make writing a priority in their lives.
They like fan mail as much as readers like their books. Before I became an author, I read a book called Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren and loved it so much that I wrote the author a gushy email wherein I told her that I snuck her book into the bathroom because it was the only free time I had with a new baby at home. Not only did she write me back, despite the email being awkward and weird and it being the holidays, but she was so kind and sweet. At the time I thought, wow, that was so great of her to respond to her annoying fan! (Read earlier: insecurity). But now that I’m an author myself and have been the lucky recipient of fan mail, I get it: authors don’t find your fan mail and tweets and Tumblr asks and Facebook comments annoying. They like fan mail as much as their readers like their books. A gushy email from a reader is a day-maker.
They are all different. Fast-drafting, slow-drafting, outlining, pantsing, writing every day, writing in bursts and taking breaks—practically every author I know does it differently, and that’s okay. There is no one ‘right’ way to write a book, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a lying liar who lies. It doesn’t matter how the book gets written. The important thing is that it does get written.
Jealousy is a thing that happens. And I’m suspicious of anyone who claims otherwise. I’m not talking about arch-nemesis type of jealousy, though I’m sure that type exists too, but envy of people you like, respect, and call your friends. It’s hard to see others get what you want, and things like Amazon Rankings, bestseller lists, and even Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday posts, which sort of pit authors against each other, can make jealousy inevitable. That’s not to say that it’s okay or anything, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. Having said that:
They’re like family. The old saying is that writing is a solitary act. I’d like to amend that to: writing is a solitary act unless you’re a YA writer. Are adult writers great buds with each other too? Maybe. I can’t say. But I do know that the YA community is like a family—a family full of smart, kind, thoughtful, opinionated, hilarious people who support each other and generally procrastinate together a lot on Twitter. In fact, I’m going to go to that now.
Anyone who follows me on twitter will remember that I read an advance copy of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy a few weeks ago, enjoyed it immensely and basically wouldn’t shut up about it for three days. Well good news—it comes out next Tuesday!
SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is about a girl named Alice, who, after being diagnosed with cancer, creates a crazy bucket list to settle all her scores before she dies, only to go into remission.
DUN DUN DUNNN.
It’s as amazing as it sounds
In honor of SEMV releasing next week, I’m posting my own bucket list. Without further ado, the things I want to do before I die:
- Buy a private island, which I will share with my critique partner, Ruth Lauren Steven, and our families. We’ll live next door to each other and spend our days drinking margaritas out of hollowed-out coconuts while we gossip about everyone we know. We’ll leave the island only for book conferences and retreats, which we’ll attend 4 times a year.
- Be an extra in a movie, preferably a YA adaptation. If it has to be about a teenage cheerleading witch, then so be it.
- Spend a day with Jennifer Lawrence.
- Learn Kung Fu in secret, then bust it out unexpectedly during an attack situation, impressing and shocking everyone.
- Go horseback riding.
- Take a submarine ride.
- Visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
- Visit a castle. Preferably in Scotland. Preferably this castle.
- Go undercover as a high school student to catch a drug-dealing kingpin. (I’ve been watching too much 21 Jump Street).
- Crash a wedding and see how many guests I can get to pretend to remember me.
- Go to a rave.
- Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora-Bora.
- Visti Machu Picchu.
- Visit Stonehenge, pass through the stones, activating some mysterious magic spell, then travel back in time to 18th century Scotland, where a strapping redheaded Highland warrior takes me as his wife and I stun everyone with my crazy nursing skills and medical knowledge.
- Take a road trip across North America.
- Go to Africa. This one’s always been high on my bucket list, and since I was convinced that having kids would mean I’d never travel again, except to go for a harrowing trip to Wal-Mart for more diapers, I made sure to get it out of the way as soon as possible.
- Write a book. BOOM. DONE.
So there you have it. My bucket list. As you can see, I’m not doing too badly so far.
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To ma
ximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friendHarvey,
whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?
Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.
Let me tell you a story. I was on break at work one night, eating my dinner in the coffee room as I scrolled through Twitter, when another nurse entered and politely asked me about my book. We chatted, all was well, and then the nurse said that she wished she could write a book, but she didn’t have any good ideas.
I almost choked on my Chunky Soup (It was night shift, don’t judge).
At this time, I’d just completed the sequel to Hexed, the last book in my contract with my publisher, which meant that I was now in the predicament of needing to come up with a proposal for my option book. In bookland, many book contracts come with what’s called an ‘option’ clause, wherein the author proposes their next book to their editor by providing a synopsis and sample chapters—which, in my case, was three chapters—and the editor then decides, basically, whether or not they want to keep the author around.
So yeah. Pretty daunting.
It’s not just coming up with any idea, but an idea that excites the author, their editor, and in many cases, a whole team of publishing professionals. An idea that aligns with the author’s “brand”, and that is just as good or a step-up from the books they’ve already written.
But I wasn’t overly worried about it. See, for months I’d been emailing myself book ideas and saving them to a folder in my email. The folder now contained 82 entries. 82 book ideas to peruse! It would be easy. Just a matter of picking the best of the best and churning out three chapters. Thank God I had the foresight to note ideas for times like these. I scrolled through the emails.
“Rich person who namedrops.”
Hmm. I guess that could be a neat idea for a character. Not a book idea, but I kept scrolling.
“Tim and his wife.”
Okay . . . I’m guessing that referred to the owner of the corner store and deli near my house. Why I thought I should include him in my book is beyond me. *scrolls*
“Pimple popping guy.”
Wtf, Michelle. What is that even?
I angrily closed the folder. There was nary a real book idea in that thing. I was back to square one.
I opened up a fresh word document. The blank white page stared back at me accusingly. It’s okay, I told myself. I totally have this. I’m a writer!
I made a coffee. I got my fingerless gloves out, for in case my hands got cold while typing. I got a lap blanket and electric heating pad for my back (Hey, no one said I wasn’t a high-maintenance writer). I stared at the computer. I hesitantly wrote a sentence, then deleted it. I stared some more. I made more coffee. I pushed my cuticles back and wondered if I should start laundry or clean the pantry. I ambled over to Twitter to “take a break”. I stared some more.
And then I faced reality. I had no ideas.
I stared at the word document for hours over the next week, panicking more and more as ideas weren’t just popping into my head. I got annoyed when I came across a book with a brilliant concept that I wished I could have come up with myself. I felt inadequate when Someone Who Won’t Be Named mentioned that James Patterson has a notebook full of hundreds of plot ideas. I mean, are you even a writer if you don’t have book ideas? Writers are supposed to be creative. And there I was. Being decidedly Not Creative. I felt embarrassed and ashamed.
See, there seems to be this big misconception that, as a writer, I must be overflowing with book ideas. And maybe that’s true for some writers, and even for me sometimes, when I get a rare burst of ideas, but in this case, my next idea didn’t come to me. I went to it. Inspired by Jack London (“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”) I got my club and went looking for the next great idea.
And good news! (See, this post wasn’t all pity and poor Michelle). I came up with not one, but three book concepts that I’m exceedingly and ridiculously excited about. I can’t pinpoint the exact method that eventually worked for me, but in the event that there are other writers out there who aren’t overflowing with ideas at the moment, here are some of the things that I did when a book idea just wasn’t coming to me:
- I headed over to goodreads, opened up my ‘read’ folder, and scrolled through the books I gave 5 stars to, making notes of what I liked best about those books and what excited me most about them (Forbidden romance! Competition! Magic!)
- Inspired by all the ‘X meets Y’ books of late, I compiled a list of movies, TV shows and books, and then began making unlikely pairings. (Legally Blond meets The Deadliest Catch & Fight Club meets Toddlers and Tiaras among my personal favorites).
- I cornered a coworker at work, demanding she plot my book (I don’t advise this).
- I combined different plot ideas of yore, none of which were quite right on their own, but became something new altogether when different elements of each plot were combined.
- I scrolled through news articles, looking for real-life stories that could be the inspiration for a fictional novel.
And somehow, somewhere along the line, it happened. It wasn’t easy, but then again, what part of writing a book is easy?
Now the proposals are in my editor’s hands. And now? I wait.