I’m thrilled to be touring Megan Kelly Hall. Her debut books sounds awesome.
Megan Kelley Hall’s debut novel, SISTERS OF MISERY is a modern-day gothic novel complete with witchcraft and runic mythology. It tells the story of Maddie Crane and her quest to unravel the mystery surrounding her cousin Cordelia’s disappearance.
Hawthorne, Massachusetts, a seaside town borne in the shadow of the witchcraft trials, has not changed much throughout the years, and persecution and ostracism are still an active way of life within this cloistered community. So, when Cordelia LeClaire and her quirky, free-spirited mother, Rebecca arrive, the community’s brief curiosity over the newcomers, quickly turns to disdain and jealously.
It is no surprise that The Sisters of Misery—a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school, with the vindictive Kate Endicott at its helm —trick Maddie and her cousin into spending Halloween night on Misery Island. But when Cordelia disappears, questions arise as to what happened. The town would like to believe that Cordelia, always impulsive, simply ran away. But Maddie knows that more is at stake and others have something to hide. Now Maddie must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin.
1. What inspired the plot for your book?
Modern day version of the Salem Witch Trials. It’s set in a fictional town next to Salem, MA.
2. Why did you decide to write in this genre?
I’ve always loved suspense novels, especially as a teen. So many YA suspense novelists like Lois Duncan, Christopher Pike and Stephen King inspired my writing. In college, I devoured any short stories with a gothic element. Stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, William Faulkner.
3. What is your writing process like?
I’m a terrible procrastinator. I need to let things percolate in my mind for days, even weeks, and then, like a pressure cooker, it all comes pouring out of me. My writing habits are the same as my college days and usually include a lot of all-nighters. Unfortunately, with a five-year-old, a writing career and a literary publicity company (Kelley & Hall Book Publicity), I can’t recover by sleeping the whole next day.
4. What are you working on now?
I’m working on the second book in the SISTERS OF MISERY series. It’s called THE LOST SISTER and will come out in August 2009. I’m also playing around with a nonfiction memoir describing how I overcame major health setbacks (open heart surgery two years ago) to fulfill my dream of being a published author.
5. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read as much as I can. “Do computer” as my daughter calls it, which involves staying on top of trends and new stories for my clients through Kelley & Hall. My online research also helps me with pitching articles that I write for national magazines and publications. Most importantly, I play with my daughter, Piper. Of course, she’ll say that I don’t do that as much as I should. There never seem to be enough hours in the day…
6. Who do you like to read?
I’m a huge fan of literary suspense novels. I also love books with a supernatural or magic realism bent. Alice Hoffman and Jodi Picoult are favorites. I also love reading dark YA fiction. And, of course, all the books from the members of the Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit!
SISTERS OF MISERY by Megan Kelley Hall
Trade Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Kensington (July 29, 2008)
Praise for SISTERS OF MISERY
“Megan Kelley Hall hits one over the fence with her debut novel — a true Gothic that skillfully combines the dangerous mischief of a modern clique with the bad girls whose prank-gone-mad ignited the Salem witch trials. The shivery story of Maddie and her mysterious, doomed cousin, Cordelia — both prey to the angel-faced vixens who party on the aptly named Misery Island — shows boldly that ancient and modern peer pressure are the same demon in new clothes. That demon wants Cordelia, and only Maddie can save her…unless evil catches her first.”
–Jacquelyn Mitchard, Oprah Book Club and New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean and The Midnight Twins
“Original, insightful, and scary. Megan Kelley Hall writes with an intense, frightening grace that will have you turning pages long into the night. She has immediately established herself as a first novelist to be reckoned with in the future.”
–Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of The First Patient and Extreme Measures
“An exciting, dangerous, and mysterious world! Megan Kelley Hall has crafted a story that’ll keep you guessing until the last page.”
–Richelle Mead, author, Vampire Academy series
“A dazzling and dishy portrait of magic, mystery, and coming of age. Readers will eat this up and come begging for more.”
–Laurie Stolarz, author of the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series
“One of the very best things in life is discovering an author you want to read more of. Sisters of Misery makes me want to read a whole lot more of Megan Kelley Hall.”
–Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank and Impulse
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.