I’m delighted to have Kelly Charron in my hot seat today. Kelly is chatting to us about Wicked Fallout, the second novel in a series. There’s enough backstory for it to be read as a standalone and not leave you feeling confused. If you want gruesome and to get into the mind of serial killer, then start at the first novel, Pretty Wicked.
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. Kelly has a degree in English Literature as well as a Social Work degree. She has worked as a hairstylist, youth outreach worker and education assistant. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Connect with Kelly Charron
Twitter: @KellyMCharron https://twitter.com/KellyMCharron
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Wicked Fallout in 20 words or less.
Wicked Fallout is a psychological thriller that follows serial killer, Ryann Wilkanson, as she attempts to get out of prison after 12 years when new evidence comes to light.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
The book is a sequel to PRETTY WICKED, though they can be read independently of one another. Pretty Wicked followed a 15-year-old Ryann as she attempted to become a prolific serial killer in her small Colorado town under the nose of her detective father and his savvy partner. WICKED FALLOUT was a natural extension of the first book, though it takes place 12 years later. I didn’t feel ready to leave the characters and world behind and felt there was a lot more to the story that I wanted to explore including how possible it is for someone to change drastically as they mature, how well can you trust your own judgment and how all of your life’s experiences culminate to inform everything that you do. The book shares a point of view with Dr. Nancy Clafin, a forensic psychiatrist, who is hired by Ryann’s new and formidable defence team to evaluate her.
I loved The Silence of The Lambs, particularly the psychological intensity and cat and mouse games between Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lector. I suppose that was in my subconscious because some readers have compared the relationship between Nancy and Ryann to that of Starling and Lector, which is a huge compliment!
I love psychology and what makes people do the things that they do. I’m fascinated with the internal struggles that we all face, especially when making life altering decisions and how that is magnified when that decision will ultimately impact someone else’s life.
Did you do any research Kelly? What resources did you use?
I did a lot of research for the series. It was important for me to make the books as plausible as I could (while still enjoying the freedoms of fiction). For this book in particular I researched the legal system in Colorado and was lucky enough to interview a state prosecutor and a woman who worked with teen and child killers who were incarcerated with life sentences, some without the possibility of parole. I also read a ton about serial killers, the teenage brain and maximum-security prisons. I watched many documentaries and even researched the floorplans of American Maximum-Security and Supermax Prisons.
What inspired you to write?
This is difficult for me to pin down. I’ve always loved story, no matter the form it took. While my friends were going out, I often wanted to stay home to read, or watch TV and movies. I loved being dropped into a whole new world where I could experience things so different from my actual life. It excites me and fulfils me like nothing else. When I write a paragraph or a chapter that I love and feel came together exactly as I wanted it to, I get the greatest sense of accomplishment and joy.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
It changes depending on the amount of sleep I’ve had and what I did during the day. If I’m off from my day job and don’t have to get to bed like an old lady, nights are great. I love writing during the morning or afternoons on the weekends, sometimes at a café where actual other people are.
Panster or plotter?
I’d say I’m a combination of the two. I write linearly. It’s how my brain works best. I write out ideas and plot points that pop up and try to do a sort of outline, but I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer. I find knowing every thing that is going to happen takes out some of the mystery and fun for me, so I tend to like discovery writing. I usually know 4-5 main things that have to happen in the story and then free write between these points. If it’s been a few days since I’ve worked on it, I’ll usually go over the last few pages to get back into the flow of the scene. If I get stuck I go to a key group of author friends and we bounce ideas off each other, which saves me every time. Talking it out always works better for me than stewing in my own turmoil.
Silence of the Lambs was a possible inspiration, are there any authors who have influenced your writing?
Stephen King, Anne Rice, Maggie Stiefvater, Gillian Flynn and Chevy Stevens to name a few.
Finally Kelly, what’s your ‘take away’ from writing groups?
I have been in several writing/critique groups and find them immensely helpful in my growth as a writer. It’s very difficult to look at your own work subjectively, and as sweet and helpful as family and non-writer friends think they’re being when they give you feedback, it’s often biased and inaccurate. They love you, so everything you do is magic LOL. My critique partners look at my story’s pacing, tension, plot, conflict, character development, and so much more and I often do multiple rounds with different people to see if there is a consensus in any areas. Then I know it’s definitely an issue that needs attention.
Thank you for being my guest today.
Wishing you success.
Thank you so much for having me! I really appreciate it.
Publisher: Dark Arts Publishing (5 Aug. 2017)
Convicted of six murders when she was just fifteen, the notorious Ryann Wilkanson hasn’t been able to act on her darkest, deadliest urges for twelve years. She’s exhausted her appeals and has little hope of ever getting out of prison and back to hunting.
Until a media-hungry legal team mounts a campaign to have her immediately released with a commuted sentence.
Forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin has mere weeks to evaluate Ryann’s current mental state against her grisly past to determine if she’s changed. But under the shadow of her own questionable history, it’s not easy to separate her personal life from her professional duty.
At least that’s what Ryann is counting on.
Behind the cold steel doors of a Colorado maximum-security prison, will Nancy find a cold-blooded killer or a newly redeemed woman determined to right her past wrongs?
Wicked Fallout is a pulse-pounding thrill ride for fans of Chevy Stevens and Gillian Flynn.