Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TBR Tuesday with Kelley York and HUSHED

I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Kelley York's HUSHED from Entangled Publishing, and let me tell you, if you like dark, upper YA, you do NOT want to miss this debut. (You can read my review here.)

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.

'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 ---

Now that you're pumped to read the novel, we have the honor of posting a short author interview with Kelley York.  We're so pleased she was able to stop by and answer a few questions.

 Hi, Kelley. Thank you for joining us today at the Oasis.  We know you must be slammed with all the pre-launch publicity, so we want to keep your interview short and sweet. Cut right to the chase, as it were.  Just like your opening.  Let me start by saying that this opening grabbed my attention and never let go.  Without giving away any spoilers, how did you decided you wanted to start with such a gritty scene?  Were you worried that readers would dislike your MC, Archer, by picking a starting point that portrayed him in a less-than-flattering light?

At the time, I didn't think about it. Later I did contemplate starting elsewhere. At one point, I tried reconstructing the second chapter to make it into my first, hinting at events from chapter one. Ultimately, though, I wanted people to see Archer in action at the start of the story. I thought if readers sympathized with him right away, then seeing that side of him later would be jarring. 
As writers ourselves, we are always curious about where other authors come up with their ideas.  How did the idea for HUSHED come about?
It all started with Archer! I never think of plots first. Or, should I say, I never finish anything that started as a plot idea! I do better creating characters and letting them tell me their stories. So I had the idea for Archer, then Vivian, then Evan...and I put them all together and let the chaos ensue.
I really admired that while HUSHED isn't an "issue" novel, the MC has to come to terms with his sexuality.  Did you set out to try to write a novel that would portray this decision in such a positive light, or was it just a natural part of the story that had to be told?
Completely natural. I never wanted HUSHED to be a coming-out story, because Archer—much like me when I was a teenager—doesn't have any problems realizing he's attracted to someone of the same sex. Honestly, he's more surprised he's attracted to anyone other than Vivian. 
What's the one thing you want readers to take away after reading HUSHED?
I really, really wanted to write something different. If nothing else, I'd like people to walk away from HUSHED (whether they loved it or hated it) thinking 'I haven't read anything quite like that before.'
We're also looking for advice to share with aspiring writers. What's your best tip for developing three-dimensional characters (like Archer, Evan and Vivian)?
Question everything! Anytime your character does or thinks something, ask yourself why. Why are they shy, selfish, clumsy, oblivious? Why do they have the quirks they do? Why and how did they build the relationships in their life? It doesn't have to be information you include in your story, but keep it in mind when you write. Knowing every motivation of your characters opens up a lot of new doors as to what you can do with them. 
BONUS QUESTION:  You're stranded on a desert Oasis and you can only have one other author there with you. Who would you pick and why?
Oh, oh! John Lennon wrote books, so can I choose him?! ...Granted, he's dead, so I'd be stuck there with an urn, but..
So there you have it.  Be sure to check out HUSHED on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  
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: http://www.kelley-york.com/blog


  1. Great interview and review. I can't wait to read this one!

  2. Great interview!Entangled always comes out with the best covers:) Congrats.

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