What's fresh with Megan Kelley Hall's Sisters of Misery
There are some girls who have everything...
She has the right clothes, the right friends, and the right last name, but fifteen-year-old Maddie Crane sometimes feels like an outsider in her clique in the wealthy, seaside town of Hawthorne, Massachusetts. And when her gorgeous, eccentric cousin Cordelia LeClaire moves to town, Maddie is drawn toward her ethereal, magical spirit and teeters even more toward the edge of her friends' tightly-knit circle...
Then there are the jealous ones...
Kate Endicott and the Sisters of Misery--a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school--are less than thrilled by Cordelia's arrival. When Kate's on-again, off-again boyfriend Trevor takes an interest in Cordelia, the Sisters of Misery become determined to make her pay...
Now Maddie must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin. But she'll have to give up on ever fitting in and accept the disturbing truth about the town, her friends, her mysterious cousin, and even herself as she faces the terrifying wrath of the Sisters of Misery...
Hi Megan, congratulations on your debut! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
Megan: I’ve incorporated writing into all aspects of my career. I’ve written radio commercials, I worked as a writer in a PR firm and I’ve written for national magazines like Glamour, American Baby, and Working Mother. It wasn’t until I had a stroke and open heart surgery at the age of 32 that I realized I had never fulfilled my dream of being a published novelist. I had a 4 month recovery period after my sternotomy, which I used to whip my manuscript into shape. Within six months I had an agent and then six months after that, a two-book deal with Kensington. The day I got “the call” my agent, Elisabeth Weed, left me several messages and I could tell from her tone of voice that it was good news. I remember at least waiting until I got off the phone before I started screaming. Her eardrums can thank me for that. I’ve lucked out with both my agent and my editor. Elisabeth Weed (of Weed Literary) and Danielle Chiotti are a writer’s dream come true.
Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.
Megan: I’m not one of those people that can fight through writer’s block and just write to get something onto the page. I let thing percolate in my mind until things come out in an explosion. The only problem is that it could be in the middle of the night when all of the words are trying to get out and I need to let them. Since I have a five-year-old daughter and I’m a partner in an independent literary publicity company (Kelley & Hall Book Publicity), I get very few moments to sit and write. This is why I’m most often found at my computer in the middle of the night. It’s really the only time I can get peace and quiet, and focus completely on my writing.
Please tell us about your novel SISTERS OF MISERY and what we can expect from your characters.
Megan: Here’s my elevator pitch for SISTERS OF MISERY, Kensington, August 2008: A Modern Day Witch Hunt is Ignited When “Mean Girls” Meets “Practical Magic”. What happens when a hazing prank goes terribly wrong and a young teenage girl goes missing? The debut suspense novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, brings us inside a small, seaside town near Salem, where Maddie Crane, the teen protagonist investigating her eccentric cousin’s disappearance, ignites the wrath of the Sisters of Misery – a powerful high school clique, whose activities mirror the witch hunts of the seventeenth century. Hawthorne is a town filled with secrets and the supernatural. Stories hidden for decades come to light after Cordelia’s tragic disappearance. Cordelia’s mother, Rebecca, descends into madness while internal struggles amongst Maddie’s family members are all consequences of the supernatural “gifts” that they possess. Maddie Crane must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin and her own family. Fans of Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult and Stephenie Meyer will be haunted by this story of three generations of women and their struggles against each other and a town ruled by fear.
Sounds great, Megan. What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Megan: The Lost Sister is the second in the series of the SISTERS OF MISERY. It picks up where SISTERS OF MISERY leaves off and answers some questions, while raising others.
Thanks for sharing with us, Megan! I wish you the best with your debut. Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Megan: If you want to be a writer, stop talking about it and just do it. The more you talk about it, the less writing you actually get done. Believe me, I know from first-hand experience!
Megan Kelley Hall, who lives north of Boston with her husband, Edward, and five-year-old daughter Piper, started a literary publicity company, Kelley and Hall, in 2005 with her sister, Jocelyn Kelley, and mother, Gloria Kelley. Her freelance magazine work has been published in Glamour, Elle, American Baby, Working Mother, New England Bride, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald MetroSports, Parents and Kids, and many other magazines. She studied creative writing at Skidmore College under the Pulitzer-Prize winning author Steven Millhauser. Her work can also be seen in the former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan’s anthology entitled, What’s Possible! (Meredith Books, May 2008.) The second in the series, THE LOST SISTER, will be published by Kensington in August 2009. Visit her website, http://www.megankelleyhall.com/