I have been friends with Jessica since book one, so I am so excited to have her on the blog today!
third in the Cahill Witch Chronicles series
Published August 14, 2014 by Putnam Juvenile
Add to GoodreadsWhat has been your favorite part of writing The Cahill Witch Chronicles?
A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.
To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.
Hearing from readers! It's incredible that these characters who were born in my head have made readers all around the world laugh and swoon and cry and throw the book across the room because readers feel so invested in them. It's been such a privilege to share Cate and her sisters and Finn with everyone.
Did you always plan for this to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind?
I always planned for it to be a trilogy, but there were a lot of surprises along the way! My first drafts of BORN WICKED didn't include the prophecy that one sister would kill another. Brenna was originally the only oracle in the series. I toyed with the idea that perhaps memories, once erased, could somehow be re-instated, but that felt too much like a cheat. I believe very firmly that any magic system has to have consequences. STAR CURSED was definitely the most difficult book to write, developing the world and the magical system beyond what Cate and her sisters learned growing up. Second books are tricky because they have to be more everything - higher stakes, more fast-paced, more romantic, everything - and contain their own stories as well as being a bridge between books one and three. I knew how I wanted STAR CURSED to end, but figuring out how to get there was very difficult; I completely rewrote that book. But by the time I got to SISTERS' FATE, the stakes were already so high in the relationships between Cate and Maura and Cate and Finn, and the tension were at the breaking point in the city and in the convent - it was fun to get to ignite all of that.
What inspired you to write The Cahill Witch Chronicles?
My inspiration for the magical aspect was a dream I had in which my sisters and I (like Cate, I'm the oldest of three) were fighting over a magical locket. The idea of writing about sisters with a powerful magical inheritance, exploring that complicated mix of love and sibling rivalry, really stuck with me. My inspiration for the alternate history was wanting to create a society - worse than today's or even the real 1890s - in which powerful, clever, independent women were feared and scorned and very much in danger.
Can you tell us about your next project since your debut series is completed?
I just finished editing an anthology, PETTICOATS & PISTOLS, which will be out next April! It's historical YA - fifteen short stories about American girls throughout history, from pirates to protestors and belles to bank robbers. My authors are amazing: J. Anderson Coats, Andrea Cremer, Y.S. Lee, Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, Kekla Magoon, Marissa Meyer, Saundra Mitchell, Beth Revis, Caroline Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Robin Talley, Leslye Walton, and Elizabeth Wein...
And I just finished writing my first contemporary YA, WILD SWANS, which will also be out next April! It's about a girl dealing with her mother - who abandoned her when she was two - coming back home with the two half-sisters she's never met.
I can't wait to share more about both projects - including covers! - soon.
(Lili: You know how desperate I am to read both of these!)
What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
The love interest in WILD SWANS is a tattooed poet, so I've been reading lots of poetry lately to try to figure out which snippets of which poems would be meaningful enough for Connor to tattoo them on his body...and then I've been Googling hot tattooed guys to figure out the placement of his seven tattoos. It's a sacrifice for my art, obviously. :)
What is one series you would recommend to readers?
Only one?! This is so difficult. I think my favorite current series is Marie Rutkowski's Winners series (THE WINNER'S CURSE, THE WINNER'S CRIME, THE WINNER'S KISS). The fantastic worldbulding and the impossible romance and the incredibly clever heroine are all wonderful.
Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
Iron Man! I always go for the snarky, clever guys. Then I'd say Black Widow, Cap, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor. Thor really just does not do it for me. (Can you tell I've devoted a lot of thought to this? I just finally saw AGE OF ULTRON recently.) __________________________________________________________________________________
Jessica is amazing and is offering up a copy of book 1 or 2 to one winner!
All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is open to the US and Canada only.