Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Author Interview: Carolyn MacCullough

Today, I'm excited to be featuring Carolyn MacCullough as she talks about her current novel, Once a Witch. Once a Witch is in stores now. Carolyn MacCullough received her MFA in creative writing from the New School and is the author of three previous young adult novels. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn.

Once a Witch is different from your other novels, what was the inspiration behind it?
Actually, I don't know why it took me so long to write a fantasy novel since those were the books I was drawn to most as a teenager and am still drawn to now! But my immediate inspiration came when I took up running (very briefly) one April. I used to run through brownstone Brooklyn and desperate to distract myself from the agony of exercise, I used to study all the cool architectural details on the brownstones. I always passed this one little gargoyle statue and I always thought to myself, "what kinds of stories could he tell if he could talk?" Then I started thinking about a character that had the power to give speech to inanimate objects. And then I started thinking about this character's sister who has no power at all and how that made her feel. That was how my main character, Tamsin, first popped into my head.

What was the hardest part about writing Once a Witch?
The fantastical elements--I loved writing them and I also struggled with them because when you write a fantasy, the rules of the world you're creating have to be clear, and above all, consistent--otherwise you lose your readers!

How was the research process for this book?
The research was a lot of fun. There's two episodes of time travel in this book so I needed details like hair, clothing, speech, etc. Google was my friend! The sequel, Always a Witch, is set in 19th century New York so as you can imagine, that involved a whole other level of research!

Did you learn anything interesting through research for your book?
I learned a whole lot of misconceptions and odd bits of trivia or beliefs about witches. I.e. while witches are supposed to ride broomsticks, warlocks are supposed to ride pitchforks. I think I'd stick with the broomstick.

What’s your favorite Witch Movie?
Hmmmm....tough one. I can tell you my favorite witch books--Escape to Witch Mountain and Return from Witch Mountain--both by Alexander Key. I read those over and over when I was a kid. Oh, and of course, my favorite current witch books have to be the Harry Potter series.

What can the readers expect next from you?
Well, the sequel to Once a Witch--currently titled Always a Witch. And then, more YA fantasy novels for sure! I'm hooked on writing them!

What question are you never asked that you would like to be asked in an interview?
What character would you like to be most and why? If I could be a character for just a little while it would have to be Harry from Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword. She gets to ride an amazing horse and swing a sword and generally be a bad ass! I love that book!

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I love hearing from readers! So come visit me at http://www.onceawitch.com/ and to find out more about my other books check out http://www.carolynmaccullough.com/
Thanks Carolyn!

For more information about Carolyn MacCullough and her books, please visit her website.

32 comments:

  1. Great interview. I loved the Witch Mountain movies too.Once a Witch is on my TBB list.

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  2. I heard Escape to Witch Mountain was good but I haven't seen it. I haven't read any of her books before but they've been on my wishlist forever. I really ought to catch up :) This was a great interview. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I am so excited about this book, great interview. I will be watching for Always A Witch too!

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  4. Pretty awesome interview. I remember watching the movie Escape to Witch Mountain and was kind of terrified of it, I don't remember why I just remember being scared. Hahah, I was a weird child.

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  5. Loved the interview and the book! Glad to hear there is a sequel in the works...***marking imaginary future calendar***

    I never read Witch Mountain...saw part of the movie, but wasn't that impressed (sorry!). I do however love the HP series (books over movies, although those are good too) and if I had to add an oldie but a cute goodie to the movie mix..check out "The Worst Witch".

    Happy reading!

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  6. Oh, I LOVE Harry from The Blue Sword - what an inspiration she is! Great interview.

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  7. What a neat idea! "If these walls could talk" has always been one of my favorite expressions. Don't believe I've ever heard of a character who can literally make the walls talk!

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  8. I love how Carolyn came up with the idea for the book! I've taken up running for a day here and there as well! :)

    Great interview!

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  9. Great interview! I love how she came up with the idea for the book. And Escape to Witch Mountain was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid.

    Amber

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  10. I love the story behind the book concept. It sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it.

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  11. I've never heard of this author before. I'm off to check out her website (and other books) now. Thanks for the interview!

    Mindful Musings Book Blog

    ~Natalie

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  12. It's on my to-read list. I'm glad its a series because I always fell like one's just not enough

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  13. Nice interview! This book looks EXCELLENT!

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  14. Great interview! I cant wait to read this

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  15. Warlocks rode pitchforks? I didn't know that! xD

    wonderful review! :D

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  16. I love that she did so much research. It sounds like she's really devoted to getting it right, which is very admirable. Great interview!

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  17. Nice interview. I've never read Escape to Witch Mountain or Return from Witch Mountain but I did watch the movie.

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  18. Great interview! It's so cool that you actually had a chance to interview Carolyn MacCullough. This makes me want to read her book, Once A Witch, even more now! :]

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  19. I did not know that warlocks were supposed to ride pitchforks! That could make crash-landings really, really dangerous! =\
    Nice interview!

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  20. Great interview. However, the character she picked to be for a day, Harry, well, couldn't that author have named the GIRL character any other name but Harry!? Good grief!

    Can't wait to read this one!

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  21. Witch ride broomsticks lol that funny
    Denise

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  22. Hi Carolyn~

    Great interview. I think that Once a Witch sounds really good. I loved the original Witch Mountain movies, but I have not seen the newest one or read the books. I love knowing that there will be another book in the series.

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  23. I think Teen Witch is a true witch movie to remember. :P

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  24. I LOVE YA fantasy novels! I'm absolutely obsessed with them. I adored Escape to Witch Mountain (The movie; I’ve never read the book, although I am planning to.). If Carolyn MacCullough really does go on to write more YA fantasy novels, she’ll probably become one of my favorite authors.

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  25. Great interview, I myself love Race To Witch Mountain as well. The new one actually. But isn't that about aliens? Hm.

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  26. What a great interview. I love hearing how authors come up with ideas for their books.

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  27. Harry is an excellent character pick!

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  28. I have been obsessed with witch-y stuff since I was a teenager too! I can't wait to read this book. :)

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  29. There is gonna be a sequel? How awesome, and it is set in the 19th century. Cool! Great interview.

    ~Briana

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  30. Glad to hear she'll be writing more books! Loved the interview.

    Marie

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  31. I can't wait to read this! Thanks for the great interview.

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