Thanks for joining us to talk about your new book Jealousy’s a Witch which is out now. Love the title by the way!First some witchy questions.
What drew you to write about witchcraft?
I wanted to write a story about a single mother who was trying to find herself. We all know what it feels like to not be living our best lives – whether it’s because of work commitments, family responsibilities, or something else. Rosie came to me as a fully-realised single mum moving to a new town to escape her past and carve her own path forward. I decided to make her a witch because it added a dimension to her that would be a great way to show her personal growth while hinting at the power she had all along – but can now start to manifest.
Why do you think the topic resonates with so many women? Personally, I think we have been all shoved into the ‘good girl’ stereotype for so long that it’s an enjoyment of the opposite.
Witches are usually all about a person claiming themselves and their power. I don’t think of witches as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in the traditional sense; I think they make their choices the same as everyone else. But their power allows for a certain sense of freedom, and I think that’s such an important message.
Do you have a favourite witchy book/movie?
My favourite witchy book/movie would have to be Practical Magic. The book came to me at a time when I needed it the most, and the movie adaptation is just spectacular with those gorgeous sets and the strong 90s vibes.
Favourite witch? Hermione Granger.
Do you have a playlist for your books? My dear friend and editor Kimberly Jaye did create a playlist for New Witch on the Block for me to play at my online launch party! I rely heavily on her talents, because I tend to listen to the same 20 or 30 songs I’ve been listening to since 1996. If you’re interested, you can listen to her fabulous playlist here:
Do you have any other books planned apart from this series?
Funny you should ask! I’ve actually begun revising an old contemporary romance project, with the hopes of writing it for fun between Rosie books. Watch this space!
What have readers told you they enjoyed about your Midlife in Mosswood series?
People are really responding to how relatable Rosie’s past with her husband is, and her need to find a better future for her and her daughter. They’re also loving Rosie’s fire, the relationship between Rosie and Maggie, and the small-town vibes woven throughout the series. I’ve had several readers comment that they want to live in Mosswood, which is a huge compliment!
What’s your writing day like?
When I’m drafting, I try to be up early in the day – between 4am-5am. I write much better in the mornings, and like to squeeze in a couple of hours of word sprints before I have to get my daughter ready for school. I do 30 minute sprints, averaging 800-1000 words per sprint. If the muse is particularly strong, I might write a little in the afternoon/evening as well, but that’s the exception and not the rule. I try to be completely finished with writing by 11am, so that I can focus on marketing, my freelance work, and then family time in the afternoons.
Do you listen to music or work in silence?
Always silence, unless I’m in a coffee shop. I get distracted too easily to listen to music.
Do you have any non-writing related interests?
Loads! I love cooking, I love watching movies and tv series, and I am a bit obsessive over playing The Sims (a computer game). I also really enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing with my Great Dane (who I absolutely adore), going to the theatre (love Shakespeare), and doing home improvements.
What would surprise people to know about you?
I once met a serial killer. I want you to tell me more about that! Maybe the next interview.
Life lessons – what do you wish you’d known earlier?
I always knew I wanted to be a serious author. I’d have a helluva backlist if I’d given in to the urge 20 years ago, and now I’ve got to make up for lost time.
Is there any advice you’d give your daughter and other young women?
I’m terrible at advice, so I’ll take a quote from the amazing Dolly Parton (whose quotes feature at the front of every Mosswood book): Find out who you are and do it on purpose.Dolly Parton.
A book that made you laugh or cry?
‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell is one of the first novels I read as a child, and still makes me weep like a baby to this very day. Poor Ginger. This was my first real introduction to how cruel mankind can be, and it’s a lesson I’ve not ever forgotten.
A book that made you think.
My current read – ‘The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack The Ripper’ by Hallie Rubenhold. A fascinating inspection of Victorian London, with social commentary through the magnifying glass of London’s destitute lower classes. Sad, shocking at times, but insightful and incredibly introspective. It follows the lives of the ‘canonical five’ victims of Jack the Ripper from birth through to their deaths, without revelling in the gruesome ends they met.
A book that got you through a difficult time.
Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman. I was newly single after nearly a decade of marriage and was on a soul-searching mission. I found myself in that book.
Its been wonderful to chat and I am looking forward to reading book three, We Witch you a Merry Christmas .
I have it on pre-order just in time for Christmas.
If people would like to purchase Jealousy’s A Witch, the links are:
AMAZON AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B088ZPMG7L
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088ZPMG7L
AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088ZPMG7L
AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088ZPMG7L
How can people keep updated on your work?
The best way for them to keep informed and to interact with me is via my Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/magicalmayhem/
Sonia says- I know its a lot of fun on there!