Kelly Charron

In this next installment of authors from Mickey's list we have Kelly Charron. Kelly 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.

Hi Kelly, how are you today? Tell us about yourself.

Hello, I’m doing great today, busy as usual! My name is Kelly Charron and I am a thriller and urban fantasy author for teens and adults. I love all things dark and spooky. Halloween is my favorite holiday and it’s pretty difficult to scare me, though I love it! I have worked as a hairstylist and social worker (more similar that you’d think) and currently work as an education assistant with elementary school children.

What is the current book you are promoting?

I’m currently promoting the second book in my Pretty Wicked Series, WICKED FALLOUT. It is a psychological thriller that follows the main character, a twenty-seven-year-old woman named Ryann Wilkanson, who is in a maximum-security prison for claiming multiple victims when she was just fifteen years old in her attempt to become a serial killer. Wicked Fallout puts you in Ryann’s head once again but also features the point of view of a forensic psychiatrist named Dr. Nancy Clafin, who is given the arduous task of assessing Ryann when new evidence comes to light that may allow Ryann a commuted sentence.  

That sounds very 'Criminal Minds' like. Who is your favorite character(s) in your book and why?

Ryann because she is so fun to write but also to read. When I reread some of her scenes I chuckle at how positively snarky and evil she is. I love villains, so writing a whole book from the villain’s point of view was extremely satisfying. Ryann is a fresh voice with a compelling and unique perspective on life, people and the world. We know why heroes do many of the things they do, what is lesser known is the complex motivations behind a villain. I was interested in exploring the psychology, motivation, and emotion (or lack thereof) of a psychopath/sociopath in a way that we often don’t get in storytelling. If we get inside the villain’s head, it is often short lived or superficial, so I wanted to develop a villainous character where the reader could be fully immersed inside their psyche for a whole new experience. She also employs quite a bit of snarkiness, sarcasm and wit, which allows for a rather dark character to also have lighter moments.

Ok actually, hearing that, I think you should watch the youtube show "Murder with Friends". You'd love Grace. What inspired this book?

I’ve always been fascinated with serial killers and what caused these people to turn out so evil. I wondered who would be the most unlikely, undetectable person I could realistically put in this role. A 15-year-old cute, blonde, female cheerleader seemed like a natural fit. Then I wondered how she would balance her normal teenage life with cheerleading practice, parties, dances and friends all while plotting and getting away with murder. 

Tell us about your world in your book.

I created a fictionalized town in Colorado called Dungrave. It’s a small, gossipy town where my main character, Ryann Wilkanson, feels extremely stifled and suffocated in her pursuit to be a killer. I wanted to create a town instead of using an existing place because I didn’t want to be tied down with details, for example if there really is a Walmart on a certain road. This way I had full creative freedom that wasn’t interrupted with extraneous research that didn’t enhance the story.

What is your next project?

It’s in such an early stage that I can’t say too much. It centers around three women who have been friends since they were young. One of them is engaged and the three spend a night celebrating an intimate bachelorette party at a local pub. They split up, but two of them get a phone call the next morning from the fiancĂ© saying that their friend never made it home. Her purse and keys are found on her front lawn, proof that she made it back, just never inside. It’s far more than a kidnapping story. I don’t want to give away the twists and turns (of which there are many) but there’s quite a bit of drama between the friends left behind. I’m exploring the idea of how well you really know the people in your life, including what they are actually capable of doing under the right, or wrong, circumstances.

You're going to make me paranoid about my friends with a story like that. You sound like a plotter but I will ask, do you think you are a pantser or a plotter or both?

Both, but mostly pantser. I tend to plot out what main events will occur and free write between them to link the scenes. I can’t plot out in too much detail because I find it boring to write. I love discovery writing and seeing where the characters want to take me. It’s fun to be surprised when I write something I wasn’t expecting. For series, I do find it important to plot out major arcs for both individual books and the overall series so I (hopefully) won’t write myself into a corner. I also write linearly—writing scenes out of order seems wrong to me LOL. I never know how an intended scene might change, so I don’t want to write ahead and have to chuck it because it no longer fits.   

Who/what inspires your writing?

Inspiration for my stories often comes from television and movies. I’m a very visual person and seeing the way story unfolds onscreen (the lighting, sounds, setting, angles, framing etc…) create a mood which often draws me so completely in that I want to create a similar feeling in a story. I love being scared and watching thrillers and horror, so I naturally want to evoke that same sense of fear and dread with words. I also often watch true crime television and documentaries which always get me analyzing and breaking apart the various aspects of cases. Why a particular victim was chosen? How the killer started down that road—what was childhood like/what are their defining characteristics and personality traits/who were they pretending to be versus who they really were? Even to dissecting why a detective chose that line of work. I’m always studying why people do the things they do and I find it especially compelling if they do something quite differently than the rest of society would expect or relate to, so I take those initial seeds and play with it, often with a lot of “what if” questions and scenarios, and come up with plot ideas.

If you want to find Kelly to follow her work, or to make yourself paranoid about what your friends are doing your back, you can find her here.