The story follows Indigo Blackwood, a snarky cheerleader who witnesses a man die right before her eyes. But everything changes once Indie meets Bishop, a sexy and mysterious stranger who rocks her world, and she soon discovers she is more than just a high school "it" girl, she's an actual witch. Suddenly, Indie is forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, and if she doesn't find "The Witch Hunter's Bible" that was stolen from her mom's occult shop, every witch on the planet will die - including herself.
The second I heard there was a book being hailed as "Bring It On," meets "The Craft," I knew I needed it in my hands immediately. Hexed was seriously fun, deliciously enjoyable, and has tons of laugh-out-loud moments that are bound to get you confused looks from strangers if you're reading it in public.
I caught up with author Michelle Krys to get all the details behind her bewitching debut.
What was the inspiration behind Hexed?
I got the idea for Hexed from my sister. A few years ago, she told me about an adult historical novel she wanted to write, which she'd planned to call "The Witch Hunter's Bible." When she later decided to trunk that idea, I asked her if I could steal the title for a young adult novel that had been unfolding in my head ever since she first mentioned it to me. Luckily, she agreed, and I got to work writing about a snarky cheerleader whose hunt for a stolen family heirloom gets her caught up in a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers.
Ironically, "The Witch Hunter's Bible" ended up not being the best fit for the finished product, and we changed the title in the editorial process.
Tell us a little about your background.
As far back as I can remember I've always wanted to write a book. But anytime I sat down to actually write it, the whole process seemed too daunting and intimidating, and I gave up, always promising myself that writing a book would be something I would pursue later. Always later.
I ended up getting a degree in nursing and went to work in a neonatal intensive care unit, where I still work part-time. I got married, and had a baby, which is when writing came back into my life. I was very fortunate that my baby slept through the night in addition to taking several 3 to 4 hour naps during the day. Since I was on a yearlong maternity leave, I had a lot of free time on my hands. I realized that I would never get a better opportunity to give my dream a shot. Later was now.
I spent my free time that year writing and editing my first novel, which, like many first novels, was truly awful. But I had so much fun and learned a lot from the experience, which I put toward writing my next novel, Hexed. I like to think it's significantly less sucky than my first attempt.
Have you always been fascinated by witches and witchcraft?
I've been interested in witches ever since I first watched "The Craft" in the 5th grade. I became obsessed with witchcraft. My sister, a friend, and I started our own coven called The Hallow Hunters. We 'levitated' each other in my bedroom. We called the four corners. And like most hardcore witches, we took out witchcraft books from the library.
Your book takes place in Los Angeles, but you're from Canada. Why did you choose to have your story take place in California?
One of my goals with Hexed was to turn the gothic witch stereotype on its head. In addition to the main character being a popular cheerleader, rather than an outcast, I thought it would be fun to use a setting that the average person wouldn't normally associate with witches and sorcerers. Los Angeles, with all its palm trees and sun and celebrities, seemed like a great choice for that.
If Hexed became a movie, who would be your dream cast for Indigo and Bishop?
Tyler Blackburn would be an incredible Bishop--He was great as Caleb in Pretty Little Liars and he has the perfect look. Indigo is a harder character to cast. Beyond requiring big, bouncy curls, the right actress would need to have a sharp tongue and great comedic timing.
Can you tell us what you're working on now?
I'm working on a paranormal thriller called Dead Girls Society, which comes out from Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books in 2016. It's 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. (Dun dun dunnn).
If you had to describe Hexed in one word, what would it be?
Umm, unputdownable? (Kidding!)
That's a hard question, but I guess I would have to say 'funny,' since that's one of the comments I've been hearing a lot in early reviews. Indie has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor and she doesn't pull any punches.