Monday, February 6, 2012

Apocalypse Now: An Interview with Jessica Spotswood

I'm thrilled to host Jessica Spotswood on the blog today, whose debut BORN WICKED releases tomorrow!  

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

 Welcome, Jessica!

1.    Tell us about your journey with this book.  What was the inspirational spark?

I was inspired by a dream I had about three sisters who were fighting over a magical locket from their mother. There’s no locket in BORN WICKED, but the idea of exploring the complicated relationships between three sisters with a dangerous magical inheritance stuck. Like Cate, I’m the oldest of three sisters.

2. There's a definite Salem-esque feeling to Chatham (the book's setting) and mythology.  Tell us about your research and world-building process for this book.

One of my favorite notes from my editor was to “ruffle my corsets” more, so I read up on Victorian fashion and home décor and social customs. Since BW is an alternate history, I was able to take some liberties, but I hope all of those little details contribute to a rich portrait of the Cahills’ world. As for the witchery: I wanted to write about a society where educated, independent girls weren’t valued without making it seem preachy. I wanted to give the Brotherhood and the general populace a real reason to fear strong women. In this society, the Brothers use witchery as an excuse to persecute disobedient women, but the witches did do some terrible things in the name of protecting themselves. It’s not entirely black and white.  

3. You've got a great book trailer!  How involved were you with its creation, or did your publisher take the reins?

Thank you! I actually had nothing to do with the book trailer, but I love it. Cate looks very like I imagined her, and I think the voiceover really captures her determined independence. And I was delighted that it features the first-kiss scene between Cate and Finn where Cate loses control of her magic; that was one of my favorite scenes to write.
4. BORN WICKED is the first in a trilogy.  Can you give us a little sneak peak into the rest of Cate's story?

I’m afraid things are only going to get worse before they get better for Cate and her sisters! The Cahill sisters will get to learn more about their magical heritage and what’s expected of them in the coming war between the Brotherhood and the witches. As usual, they’ll be divided about how to handle the responsibilities they’re faced with. They’ll finally get to meet their godmother, Zara Roth. There will be scandalous romantic trysts, new friends, political uprisings, and heartbreaking betrayals!

5. Here at the Lucky 13s we're big believers in superstitions.  Tell us about your favorite lucky charm.

I have a pair of pink pearl earrings that were my grandmother’s. She was always my biggest cheerleader, and I like to wear them for holidays and special occasions; it makes me feel like she’s there with me. I’ll definitely be wearing them on my book tour!

Thanks so much for the fabulous interview! I’m so looking forward to reading all of the Lucky 13s books next year!

Thanks for being here, Jessica!  BORN WICKED debuts tomorrow and can be found at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore as well as here:
Jessica's Website

1 comment:

  1. This has probably been said a million times, but what a killer trailer!! Thanks for the inside scoop. "Ruffle my corsets" is a great editorial note :)