If you ask Michelle Krys, her debut novel, Hexed is The Craft meets Bring it On. Krys has been a huge fan of witch lore ever since she saw The Craft in the 5th grade and started an amateur witchcraft club in my bedroom.
“Go ahead and laugh.”
However, the he inspiration behind Hexed actually came from her twin sister.
“One day she told me about an adult historical novel she wanted to write, which she’d planned to call The Witch Hunter’s Bible. I adored the title, and was therefore only a little bit sad when she decided to ditch that idea in favor of another concept. I asked her for permission to use her discarded title for a book idea that was rapidly forming in my head about a teen witch, and soon Hexed was born. The title obviously changed during the process.”
Krys spent four months writing the first draft of Hexed, then took a month to clean it up before she began the process of seeking representation. From there, it took roughly six weeks from the time she first queried her agent, Adriann Ranta, to the time Ranta made an official offer of representation.
“We went out on submission to editors roughly two weeks after that, and I got an offer from Wendy Loggia at Delacorte Press a month after that. I still vividly recall my first phone call with Wendy. She warned me that things would slow right down from the fast pace things had been moving so far, and she was not lying!” Krys explained.
When Krys’s agent first submitted her book to editors, Krys “couldn’t have named a single editor to save my life.” So the first three words that came to mind?
“To the Internet!”
Another thing she found on the Internet? A place to create the OneFour KidLit group, alongside a handful of fellow debuts.
“After the sale of our books in late 2012, some friends and I had been on the lookout for a 2014 debut group. But as we waited, and waited, and waited, we finally just decided to form the group we were waiting for ourselves. So with my good friend Natalie C. Parker taking the reins and a handful of other writer friends agreeing to pitch in as administrators, we started OneFour KidLit,” said Krys.
Krys explained that, while it’s been “a lot of work, the behind-the-scenes support during the debut experience has been completely invaluable. There’s so much about the publishing process that we’re not encouraged to talk about publicly, and having a safe place to ask questions, vent, and share stories has made the whole process not only more manageable, but more fun. I love my OneFour KidLit friends and I’m so proud of how the group has taken shape.”
Up until now, despite being a lot of work, Krys has found the whole experience to be nothing but exciting.
“But I’ve been warned extensively by other authors that the months and weeks leading up to release will be terrifying, nauseating, and other-level kinds of hectic, so I’m prepared for things to go downhill soon,” she added.
With a book about witches – the leading supernatural creature in television and books right now – Krys feels that, in a fight between witches versus vampires, witches would win, no contest.
“Vampires have to get close to you to kill you. A witch could put a spell on you from a mile away!”
If she could have one magical power, like the characters in her book, Krys would probably like some sort of time-stopping powers.
“Is that even considered a magical power? I don’t know, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time lately so I want it.”
With only five months to go before Hexed hits shelves, Krys is already hard at work on other projects. In fact, Hexed‘s sequel is already in the hands of its copyeditor.
While Hexed is set to be a duology for now, Krys would be open to writing more Hexed books in the future if there was ever a demand for them.
But for now, she’s focusing on other projects. “I’m now in the planning stages of something totally new. Read: I have no idea what my next book is going to be about and I’m panicking a little.”
In between all that reading and writing, she’s awaiting several 2014 books, including the debuts and books written by friends. In addition to those, she is most looking forward to The One by Kiera Cass. “Prince Maxon!”
And for the 2015 debuts coming after her, Krys simply says this: “Stop worrying about the things you can’t control.”