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November 16, 2016

Badass Ladies You Should Know: Michelle Krys

Kate Hart
photo of michelle krys
If you ask me, nurses are superheroes. They study for years to work long hours on life-saving but thankless tasks, often disrespected both by patients and by doctors. Today's Badass Lady, Michelle Krys, works in one of the hardest nursing departments -- the NICU -- while also mothering two kids, writing books in her spare time, and being a really good friend. Scroll down for a chance to win a copy of DEAD GIRLS SOCIETY plus a poster!

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cover of HEXED by Michelle KrysKate: Describe your career(s) and/or current projects. What path(s) and passions led you there?

Michelle: I’m the author of the young adult novels HEXED and CHARMED, which are urban fantasies following a popular cheerleader who discovers she may be a witch. My next book is a standalone contemporary thriller called DEAD GIRLS SOCIETY, which follows a group of girls who receive anonymous invitations to join a high stakes game of dares, only the game isn’t all that it seems, and soon the promise of a prize is replaced by a fight to stay alive. It comes out this November. 9

I’m also a nurse, and I work in a busy NICU.

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t actually give it a go until I was 25, on a year-long maternity leave. My baby slept through the night and napped 3+ hours during the day, and I suddenly found myself with all this time on my hands. I decided if I really wanted to write a book, I would never get a better chance. I spent my free time that year writing and editing my first novel (which I ended up trunking), but I’ve been writing ever since, around motherhood duties and 12-hour night shifts in the NICU.


Kate: Do you have any (other) creative outlets? How do they influence/affect your main work (if at all)?

Michelle: Does watching Netflix count? Seriously though, I watch a lot of T.V. Besides being entertaining, T.V. really inspires me. And if it’s a teen television show, it counts as “research”.

I’m ashamed to admit I also spend a lot of time catching up on celebrity gossip. I am insanely well informed on the goings on of the celebrity world.


cover of CHARMED by Michelle KrysKate: What's your biggest challenge?

Michelle: Right now it’s finding the time to write. I just had another baby in April, and with nursing, meal prep, school and soccer practice it’s hard to carve out time for my own pursuits. And then when I do miraculously find time for myself, the challenge is to then spend it working instead of watching that Netflix I was talking about, which is infinitely easier than writing a book.


Kate: Tell us about a time that you bounced back from failure.
Michelle:
Just one time? In all seriousness, the first book I wrote was an epic failure. I’d spent every spare minute of my maternity leave writing it, only to have all 120 agents I queried (can’t say I didn’t try!) roundly reject it. It was demoralizing, to say the least. But I was committed to getting a book published, so I tried very hard to view it not as a failure but as a learning experience. I dug deeper, got involved in the online writing community, read craft book after craft book, and wrote a better novel. This turned out to be my debut novel, HEXED, which was bought by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. I’m so glad I didn’t let that failure get in the way of pursuing my dreams.


Kate: What's the best compliment you've ever gotten? Or Tell us something that makes you proud.

Michelle: Someone recently told me that I’m a kind person. I’ve never thought of myself as a mean person, but to be told that and know that it was how another person viewed me was really nice.



cover of DEAD GIRLS SOCIETY by Michelle Krys
Kate: Did you have any defining moments that galvanized your understanding of and/or commitment to feminism? How does it inform/inspire your work?

Michelle: I think, like a lot of young people, I didn’t always understand what feminism was. It shames me to admit it, but the word feminist used to put me in mind of a woman who just wanted to stir up trouble. I can’t remember exactly when this changed, but I know that it was a gradual eye-opening process, wherein I started to really see all the unfairness and injustice in the world—the unequal pay, the slut shaming, the rape culture—and then I found myself suddenly explaining to others that feminism isn’t “we’re against men” but “we’re for equal rights and opportunities for men and women”. Now the issue is very close to my heart. You don’t have to read too closely in any of my novels to see my female protagonists come to realize their power, both figuratively and literally.


Kate: What are the best ways to support other women?

Michelle: Women are constantly being pitted against each other, but we’re stronger together. Instead of judging and criticizing each other, lift women up. Celebrate women. Give women the benefit of the doubt.


Kate: What is your advice to aspiring badasses?

Michelle: Stop comparing yourself to other people. Focus on how you can become the best version of yourself.

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badass ladies you should know log
Michelle Krys is the author of Hexed and Charmed. When she’s not writing books for teens, Michelle moonlights as a NICU nurse. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, with her family. You can visit her online at michellekrys.com.

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