Guest Blogger: Molly Cochran
POISON is about the dark side of friendship. When we learn that people we’ve loved and trusted have betrayed or abandoned us, it hurts. It hurts every time, even if we aren’t completely innocent of the charges against us.
After four girls in Ainsworth boarding school fall inexplicably into comas, nerdy witch Katy is unjustly blamed. Her dorm mates mete out their own form of punishment (by bombarding her room with dog droppings) until she has no choice but to move in with her grandmother and aunt, who themselves are too busy with the aunt’s wedding plans to pay much attention to Katy. Making matters worse, Katy’s best friends, on the advice of their parents, have distanced themselves from her. And to add insult to injury, her boyfriend Peter has been taken under the wing of a rich uncle who demands almost all of Peter’s time.
Alone and miserable, Katy falls under the spell of Morgan, a beautiful, sophisticated girl who, for some reason Katy can’t understand, has decided to befriend her. Unfortunately, just when Katy is beginning to believe that she as a new BFF, she discovers that Morgan has been using her in the service of her own terrible ambitions. In order to avenge a wrong done to her more than 1600 years ago, when Morgan and her father, the great magician Merlin, lived under the protection of King Arthur in Camelot, Morgan plans to destroy an entire plane of existence through a powerful weapon she has created—a weapon that Katy unknowingly carries within her.
I first got the idea for this story while I was thinking about “forced friends”—the kind of people who manipulate you into hanging out with them even if you don’t really like or trust them. Sometimes these people are charming and fun, like the character of Morgan in POISON, and sometimes they’re scary or overtly dangerous, but whatever their individual personalities, they have one thing in common: They know how to get you to do what they want. I believe all of us get latched onto by a forced friend sooner or later, whether it’s a sexy, heartless guy or a pretty girl with a big smile and no conscience, a mother figure who turns out to be controlling and suffocating, a father figure with a rotten core, or, like Morgan, a seemingly innocent “friend” who lures you into the Darkness before you know what’s happening.
On top of this, I’ve tried to explore a lot of other ways that friendship can hurt, either intentionally or not, in order to show that sometimes each of us has to stand alone—misunderstood, maligned, and unpopular. And ironically, these times can be our finest moments. Because you don’t get to be a great man or woman by going along with the crowd. Sometimes you just have to stand up, all by yourself, in order to do what’s right.
Molly Cochran, author of the teen paranormal romance LEGACY, has written 26 published novels and four nonfiction books under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her books include New York Times bestselling novels GRANDMASTER and THE FOREVER KING, coauthored with Warren Murphy, and the nonfiction DRESSING THIN, also a NY Times bestseller. She has won awards from the Mystery Writers of America (Best Novel of the Year), the Romance Writers of America (Best Thriller), and the New York Public Library (Outstanding Books for the Teen Age).
Molly has lectured extensively and has taught writing at the college level as well as at a women’s prison (where she was NOT an inmate). She also writes a blog on writing technique which appears on her website. She is also on Facebook and Twitter.
She lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.