Readergirls are thrilled to be part of the virtual book tour for Kelley York's debut YA novel, Hushed. This book is not your regular read and we mean that in a good way. We like the mysterious cover with the guy (Archer) creeping or listening in. If dark, unique stories are to your liking, definitely check out this title. Our review will be up in the next few days.
Book blurb: 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.
Find Hushed at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Our interview with Kelley York
1. There's been mention in the media this year about YA being "too dark" for teens. Your novel is being marketed as a "thriller" and for "fans of Dexter." Are you concerned about the critics or about your story being controversial?
Oh, definitely. I didn't think about it at first. I had a story, I wanted to write it, and I did. It wasn't until I got to the querying stage that I started worrying about the fact I had a murderer for a protagonist (which isn't as forgivable in a modern-day, contemporary setting), and the story itself was dark. But I want to write what I want to write, regardless of what critics are going to say. I'm not writing for them. ARCs started going out and there were a few who complained about these elements (obviously they didn't read the book description first). When I see those kinds of reviews, I shrug them off.
2. From the summary all I can say is "Wow, sounds like it's a unique read." Can you share with us how Archer and Vivian's story came about?
It all started with Archer. I wanted to write a boy who killed people, thinking it was the right thing to do. When I further developed his character and asked myself, "Why does he kill people?" Vivian came about. Evan was the last of the three to develop, but he seems to be everyone's favorite!
3. Where do you see yourself and YA in five years?
Still writing! I want to be a full-time writer and I know that takes years and years of hard work. I want to continue writing the stories I want to write, regardless of whether it's considered too dark or controversial. I never want to lose that part of myself by catering to anyone. If it means some of my stories don't get published, well, that's okay.
4. How long did it take you to write HUSHED and then how long to sell it?
I can't honestly remember how long it took me to write HUSHED, but it was less time than it's taken me to write any other book. The story came easily. I spent a solid five months querying (while writing my third MS), which was a long time for one book, but I was still getting a lot of full requests and positive feedback. I felt like I just needed to find "the one," but it didn't happen. Around April/May of 2010, I gave up. I was ready to trunk the novel until a friend pointed me in the direction of Entangled Publishing. Heather Howland was looking specifically for upper-YA ("new adult") with older protagonists, and darker stories. HUSHED fit all of that, so my wife prodded me until I submitted. I got a full request. About a week later, I had an email saying they loved HUSHED and wanted it. I did a lot of flailing and crying.
5. Would you like to say anything to aspiring writers?
Keep at it. Be persistent. But also know when it's time to set a book aside and work on something new. I'm sad when I see writers working on the same story for years, revising and revising and revising, instead of taking a break and getting into a new project. I think they're hurting themselves and their ability to grow as writers. Learn to let go.
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.
We would like to thank Kelley York and Entangled Publishing.