Monday, November 12, 2012

Guest Blog: Author of Hicky of the Beast, Isabel Kunkle

Welcome Isabel Kunkle, author of Hicky of the Beast, to Celestial Reviews. Ms. Kunkle was kind enough to leave a guest post, and I cant wait to hear what she says.

First of all, thank you very much for having me on this blog! I’m very glad to be here.
As we go into the holiday season—and, in the US, come out of the presidential election—I’ve started to think about family, and particularly family when you’re a kid.
When you’re a kid, family is the thing you can’t get away from. It’s your most immediate society, one you don’t generally have power in, even if it’s benevolent: if your parents want to live in Virginia or vacation in Scotland, you’re probably going to be doing that, and while you can sneak or whine your way around some rules, you’re ultimately either a supplicant or an outlaw. This is the structure of your world; you are not even close to being in charge.

On an interpersonal level, though, family’s also the ultimate form of the mismatched partner in every cop movie ever. You don’t like your sister? Nobody likes their sister. You’re still sharing a house, a back seat, and, if you’re really unlucky, a room.  You can get along, you can engage in the sort of protracted vendettas that make the Middle East look like a hippie commune (there’s a reason the Mafia’s called “the Family”), and you’ll probably do both. You can fight with your parents, you can fight with your siblings, but odds are you’re still coming home to them at the end of the day, or at least the end of the semester.
And then family defines you. How your folks think and act and live, what they expect of you and what they expect of the world, are some of the first things you’re aware of. Whether you rebel or try to live up to those standards, they’re going to stick in your mind—and, especially when you’re young, they’re going to be in the minds of most other people you meet. He’s a preacher’s kid. She comes from a bad family. Her big sister was really smart. He’s got two little brothers—of course he’s good with kids.
Family very much shapes Connie in Hickey of the Beast: her mother’s position as the head of a boarding school means she’s spent most of her life on campus, and gives her a perspective most other students don’t have. More than that, though, her parents and brothers are a major part of her life. The first character the audience really sees through Connie’s eyes is her little brother—because family has a great deal to do with who Connie is and how she handles what’s to come.

Hickey of the BeastHickey of the Beast
Isabel Kunkle

Genre: YA / Fantasy

Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam

ISBN: 978-1-936460-22-9
ASIN: B004S7B21C

Number of pages: 272

Cover Artist: Kate Sullivan

Book Description:

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.

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.