Friday, December 4, 2015

Interview with TBF Author: Jessica Spotswood

Hello TBF readers,

I am so excited to share with you the first author interview of the TBF 2016 season! Without further delay, here is my interview with Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Chronicles and upcoming book, WILD SWANS.

Miranda Reads: Your debut series, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, was about witches and magic set in a Salem witch trials time period. What inspired you to write this series?

Jessica Spotswood: Like Cate, I'm the oldest of three sisters. The Cahill Witch Chronicles was inspired by a dream I had in which my sisters and I were fighting over a magical locket from our mother. Sadly, our mom doesn't have a magical locket, but I loved the idea of exploring that complicated mix of love and competition between sisters, especially sisters with a powerful magical legacy.

Miranda Reads: Do you do a lot of research for your novels? If so, which comes first, writing or researching?

Jessica Spotswood: I did a fair amount of research for the Cahill Witch Chronicles. It takes place in an alternate version of 1890s New England, so I researched a lot of the fashion, home decor, food, etiquette, and technology of the late Victorian era - and then felt free to take liberties with it. For the trilogy, I wrote first and then filled in details as I went along. But for my story in A Tyranny of Petticoats, which takes place in 1820s New Orleans, I researched before I wrote a single word. I read lots about New Orleans and its transition from French to Spanish to American, about the society and legacy of the free people of color, about voodoo and Marie Laveau.

Miranda Reads: You have a new book coming out called WILD SWANS. What can you tell me about it?

Jessica Spotswood: It takes place in a gossipy small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Everybody in Cecil knows about the Millbourn girls. For generations they've been brilliant artists, but they've all died young, by murder or suicide. My main character, Ivy, is seventeen and struggling to figure out where she fits into this legacy. When she was two years old, her mother ran off and abandoned her to be raised by her granddad -- and now her mother's come back home with two half-sisters Ivy's never met. Ivy's also falling in love for the first time, with her granddad's best student, a tattooed poet. 

Miranda Reads: What can fans expect from WILD SWANS?

Jessica Spotswood: It's my first contemporary, but it still has a few things in common with the Cahill Witch Chronicles: a potential family curse, complicated relationships between sisters, a cute bookish boy, and fantastically loyal girl friends.

Miranda Reads: Which author are you most excited to meet at the 11th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

Jessica Spotswood: I'm exciting to meet Scott Westerfeld! His UGLIES series was one of the first series I read when I started reading for fun again after grad school, and it's so clever. And I love the LEVIATHAN series too; the worldbuilding is so fabulous and imaginative. I need to catch up on his new series!

Thank you so much Jessica! And check out the gorgeous cover for WILD SWANS!

WILD SWANS will be in your hands May 1, 2016. You can follow Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog for more book reviews and author interviews!

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