Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Interview with Hushed author Kelley York

Thanks so much to Kelley who answered a couple of my questions about writing Hushed while sick and over the holidays!

-Having a gay main character in a YA novel is, unfortunately, incredibly rare. What made you decide to give Archer a male love interest? And did you find it made getting published more difficult?

It wasn't a conscious decision for HUSHED to end up how it did. It never is with my characters. I never intended for Archer and Evan to be together, but after seeing how their personalities bounced off one another, I couldn't write it any other way. I just go where my characters lead me, and I like it that way. I get to explore a lot of different roads than the ones I originally planned on. I am partial to male/male romances in my books, though, and I don't really know why that is.

The LGBT aspect of HUSHED isn't what made it hard to get published. At least, no agent told me as much, anyway. What I was told would make HUSHED hard to sell was...well, the rest of it. How dark the story itself was. We have a manipulative, unhealthy relationship, rape, death, drugs, abuse, teenage characters. But I really don't think the story would have worked without all of those things. I had one agent tell me she loved the book, but all the things she loved most were the things that would make it hard to get it picked up by a publisher. Entangled Publishing was my last attempt before I shelved the book, and everything worked out. Liz and Heather from Entangled loved the story, and even better—they didn't ask me to tone anything down (which is what I was afraid of).

-As a woman, what made you decide to have a male protagonist? Did you find it challenging and/or worry about how you portrayed Archer and Evans relationship, especially since it's a relationship of discovery for Archer?

I love writing for male protagonists! My first book alternates from male to female, and my current WIP does the same. Again, it's not a conscious decision. My characters just are who they are. If I get an idea for one, and it happens to be a guy, or a girl, straight, gay, a murderer, a saint...whatever—if it sticks with me and I can't stop thinking about it, I'll take the idea and run with it.

When I'm writing and I'm in the groove and loving a story, I don't worry about how I'm portraying things too much. I leave that kind of stuff for the editing and revision. In the case of HUSHED, it wasn't a concern I had up until the first ARCs were released, and I saw guys on GoodReads had added it to their TBR lists. Then it made me think, "Oh, God, what if I screwed up completely?" I haven't heard a single complaint about Archer's voice or how I wrote for a male or a guy-guy relationship, so I'm guessing I didn't do too terribly

Check out my review of Hushed from yesterday!

'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 ---

'How exciting that we live in a time when gay teen protagonists can be
just as screwed up as straight ones -- and their stories just as creepy!'
--- Brent Hartinger, award-winning author of Geography Club and Shadow
Walkers ---

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.

Check out Kelley's website
Check out Hushed on Amazon
Check out Hushed at Barnes & Noble


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