ATO- Kelly McClymer

Hi ya lovelies! #ATO Tuesday is here again! We’ve got another interview set up for you, this time from the cool chick author Kelly McClymer! And guess what, she’s talking about her YA book The Salem Witch Tryouts

You’ve got my attention just from the title! And that cover, one word, FAAAABULOUS! Like several of the other ATO’s we also have a giveaway, but this time we’re going a little witchy different, at Kelly’s request! Two lucky people who comment on this blog, or on either mine or Kelly’s Facebook pages will win books! The Salem Witch Tryouts will be available in either paperback or eBook, winner’s choice. And same goes for my book, Legendary

Now enough of me, time for the takeover. Ready….Set….GO!

  • Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

As a reader, I never liked reading a heavy handed message story, so I didn’t set out to write a “message” book. However, part of any good story is making sure the protagonist needs to call upon all her resources to solve her problems by the end of the book. In The Salem Witch Tryouts, Pru is already a positive, ambitious teen, but having to move away from her friends, the boy she likes, and go to remedial magic class challenges her to dig deep and believe in herself when she isn’t on top of the world. I guess that reflects what I believe – that being positive and believing in yourself will (eventually) pay off.

  • Did you see writing as a career? 

I never really saw writing as a career, as much as a creative need. I wrote for my high school newspaper, took creative writing classes in college, and sent off my first short story submission when I was 20. I pictured myself working and writing short stories forever. Fortunately, I have been able to call novelist my career for over a decade now. But, like Pru in The Salem Witch Tryouts, I had to believe in myself for a very long time before I reached that goal.

  • Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I don’t travel much for my books (signings, talks, etc.). For my writing, however, I like to travel to research potential sites for story settings – and I always travel for writing get togethers, courses,  and conferences, of course. I think having been somewhere really helps me get in touch with characters and motivations. Right now I have a trip to the ghost town Bodie, in California, that I’m working into a story.

  • If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can’t ask for more wishes)

Hmmmm. Not easy (especially since in all the genie stories, the genie turns the wish against the wisher, but…)

1. That whatever human impulse leads us to “other” each other would be swamped by whatever human impulse leads us to feel compassion for those who are different.

2. That every human could speak mathematics fluenty.

3. That every human could speak and read two languages fluently.

  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? 

That my endings aren’t as good as they could be (true, and I work on it with every new book…I guess I’m just not very good at saying goodbye).

  • What has been the best compliment?

That my work has unexpected twists and turns that please my readers.

  • Tell us something you hate doing. Why?

I hate washing dishes by hand. I have a dishwasher, but for about 10 years, I didn’t. Washing dishes for a family of five turned my hands into soggy prunes. I don’t like the feel of hand lotion, so it was a double whammy. Thank goodness for dishwashers.


Prudence Stewart had it all at Beverly Hills High: straight A’s, the imgres-3cutest crush, and a sweet gig as captain of the cheerleading squad. Then poof! Mom and Dad announce they’re moving to Salem, Massachusetts. Turns out, Pru comes from a long line of witches and it’s time for her to learn the craft. Buh-bye, Beverly Hills High — hello, Agatha’s Day School!

But Pru’s not about to trade in her spirit stick for a broomstick! She’s sure she can keep her kewl at her new school — until she discovers it’s all magic, all the time, and she’s failing Witchcraft 101. Worst of all, even the cheerleaders bring a special “spirit” to their routine. As in, triple-back-somersault-with-a-twist kind of spirit.

It’s time for Pru to cast a spell and prove she’s just as enchanting as the next girl — and somehow make cheering tryouts a flying S-U-C-C-E-S-S!


Kelly McClymer started out writing plays for her sister to perform for their parents. She branched out to writing for her high school newspaper, and then began a futile attempt to write science fiction. At last, with her historical romance novels, she achieved the goal of published author. And then, in a leap of faith, she left romance for the Young Adult world of fantasy and witchcraft. She may be secretly working her way back to science fiction, but mum’s the word on that one.



Okay, your turn lovelies! PLEASE leave us your thoughts and comments and you could be one of our two winners! And then come back next week for the next ATO, with another great YA author!

Later lovelies!

<3 always LH

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