Today I would like to welcome Isabel Kunkle and her book Hickey of the Beast. Here is a little info on her book:
Connie thought freshman year might suck. She never thought it’d be literal.
Bad dreams? No big deal. After all, Connie Perez is starting her first year in the prep school her mom runs. Anyone would be a little stressed, right? When she starts dreaming about strange creatures and places that don’t make sense, she doesn’t think much about it: there’s other stuff on her mind. Then she starts noticing that the people she dreams about get sick right afterwards.
Then everything gets weird.
There’s something bad on the campus of Springden Academy. Something that feeds on students and warps their minds. And, as Connie and her friends try to figure out what’s going on, it starts to look like she’s the only one who can stop it. Freshman year was hard enough without having to fight evil after class.
Hickey of the Beast
Genre: YA / Fantasy
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Number of pages: 272
Cover Artist: Kate Sullivan
Where you can pick up the book:
Candlemark and Gleam Barnes and Noble Amazon
Hickey of the Beast is the first YA novel I’ve written, and the first novel I’ve published that had a modern setting. There are a lot of really fun things about that: there’s a casualness to a modern teenager’s voice that makes it a good time to write, I could work my own memories into the story, and hey, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time explaining how the world works, because my audience knows.
You know what was tough, though, that I didn’t expect at all?
Connie and her friends are modern high school students. They’re pretty socially active, which means they go to dances and listen to new albums; they’re also on the mainstream end of things. The music they listen to would be the music that most people their age listen to--which was where I ran into a few problems.
See, I don’t really listen to the radio very often: Grooveshark and Pandora are my friends at work, and I take the train rather than driving. I also Netflix most of my TV shows, which means I’m anywhere from two to forty years behind the times there, and I don’t go out to many bars. My own taste is, um, eclectic: Connie doesn’t seem like she’d listen to nearly as much Billy Joel as I do. And while I could be vague about music in most places, I wanted to at least have the references right in case they came up.
What did I do? Well, like Connie, I turned to my friends. I know a few people who actually are more connected than I am, and I asked them for references, and YouTube links. (YouTube is kind of awesome that way.) I also exploited the fact that I already liked Ke$ha (yes, I know, shut up) and trusted in Pandora to take it from there.
In the end, I thought I had a pretty good idea for whatever musical references came up--and I ended up discovering some cool new songs. That’s another advantage of this whole writing thing: it gives you an excuse to learn.
First two chapters, in a flippable mini-widget:
About the Author
Isabel Kunkle lives and works in Boston, where the winters have yet to kill her. She’s been the headmaster’s kid at a number of prep schools and attended Phillips Academy Andover herself, but has yet to develop mystic powers, unless you count the ability to eat nearly anything. When she has a moment, she likes reading, roleplaying, ballroom dancing, and watching bad TV from the Eighties.