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Author Chat: Carolyn MacCullough

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Once a Witch is a fun, enchanting story, a seamless blend of magic and time-travel in a thrilling race-against-time adventure, where Tamsin Greene must somehow stop the sinister stranger hoping to release a very dangerous, deadly power that jeopardizes the past, present, and future as Tamsin and her family know it!

Today I have Carolyn MacCullough stopping by to answer some pre-Always a Witch questions that plagued my mind as soon as I was done with its predecessor.

Thank you, Carolyn, for helping me piece together the following interview...

Hi, Carolyn!

I've been totally and completely ensnared by your first book, Once a Witch, and I have to say, I'm tremendously excited to get going on the sequel, Always a Witch. First of all, what drew you to writing about witches?

I love a good witch story! Something about Halloween has always seemed wonderful and mysterious and magical to me--and so I thought of a girl born on that night into a family of modern day witches.

How did this story come about? What inspired the Once a Witch series?

It started when I tried to become a runner. And I'm not great at running--or any other form of exercise, really. But I was running every day or every other day through beautiful brownstone Brooklyn and I always passed this one little gargoyle statue who seemed to be grinning at me. And I wondered just what kinds of stories he could tell if he could talk. Then I started thinking about a character who had the power to make stone speak and then I started thinking about another separate character who didn't have any power whatsoever, but had the misfortune of being born into a family of very Talented witches. What would she be like? What would she do to gain a power for herself? Then I ran home and started writing.

How would you describe Tamsin Greene?

Prickly. Loyal. Sensitive. Deeply attached to her family even though she pretends not to be.

Your novel is really the perfect blend between time-travel and magic. Have you always had an interest in them? Was it difficult incorporating and melding the two?

I was a little scared to mess around with time travel since it's a delicate topic. Pull one thread and another unravels. But in the end I really enjoyed it.

Was it always you're intention to write out Tamsin's story in two novels? Was it challenging to accomplish that?

I didn't think there was enough material for a third. So this is a duology.

Did you have a favorite character you loved writing for?

Aunt Beatrice! I do love her. I want to be her in the 1930's in New York City.

Could you share one best-loved line or scene from the book?

When Gabriel asks Tamsin out for the first time:
     "So," Gabriel continues. "Dinner?"
     "I don’t know. I mean, you just took me back, like, a hundred years. Dinner would probably be so . . . anticlimactic now." There is a small silence and finally I dare to look up at him.
     One eyebrow jabs upward. "If you and I went out on a date, the last thing it would be is anticlimactic."

(I can't believe I didn't include this scene in my review!)

One of my favorite things about book one is Tamsin and her gorgeous love interest, Gabriel, who's pretty patient with her as far as starting up a romance. Are we going to see more of Tamsin's romantic side in Always a Witch?

Of course. But Tamsin does make a mistake and tries to protect Gabriel without really consulting him about it and well... he's not too delighted with her for it.

I'm definitely itching for what's to come, and I, and I imagine others, want to know what to expect. What else can you unveil about the sequel, Always a Witch? Any sneak peeks you care to share?

More Travelng, more Talents, spy work, the evil Knights. Oh, and Tamsin gets kissed early on in the book by someone who is definitely not Gabriel!

Being that Always a Witch is the final book in this two story arc, what can we expect to see from you in the future? Any projects currently underway?

Yes--I'm working on a YA paranormal set in a fishing village where a girl attempts to rescue her drowned sailor love from the depths of the sea.

Have you read anything particularly awesome so far this summer? Are there any books you're looking forward to getting your hands on before the year fades out?

I've got a 2 year old and a 4 month old--my reading is limited to some pretty amazing picture books right now! :)

Thank you for stopping by the blog!

Thank you for such a fun interview!

I can't wait to find out more about that mysterious YA paranormal you've got cooking, Carolyn. Especially if mermaids are involved... I have a fetish for 'em.

I hope to have you back on the blog soon!


Aleeza said...

eeek, fantastic review! i just read once a witch/always a witch and really liked the second one! i can't wait to read more by the author :)

Marathon said...

Thanks! You and I both! I enjoyed this series very much. :)