I’m so happy to bring you a guest post from Cory Putman Oakes, author of WITCHTOWN! See below for information about the book, and Cory’s guest post!
Author: Cory Putman Oakes
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth.
But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye.
Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown.
Secrets have their own power.
Sometime around sixth grade, Cory was forced to face the sad truth that being a heroine in a Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle book was not, in fact, a valid future career choice. But since she thought it might be almost as much fun to grow up to be Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle, she decided to do just that. She’s still working on it.
Cory’s path to being an author did not go in a straight line. There was the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-psychologist” thing (just on the side, until the writing took off) which led her to UCLA and an eventual B.A. in Psychology. Then there was the “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing (just on the side, until the writing took off) which led her to Cornell Law School, a J.D., and a year of working as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. There was also a brief “maybe-I’ll-teach-law” phase (just on the . . . well, you know) where she taught business law to undergraduates at Texas State University.
But the writing thing was a bug that she just couldn’t shake, and she officially made her sixth grade dream come true in 2011, with her debut young adult novel, THE VEIL. Cory’s debut middle grade, DINOSAUR BOY, came out from Sourcebooks in February of 2015 and it’s sequel, DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, launched in February 2016. Cory’s next young adult novel, WITCHTOWN, will come out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers on July 18, 2017.
Cory lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Mark (who, luckily for all concerned, decided to stick with the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing), their two kids, and their pets. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys running, cooking, and hanging out with her family. She is proud to be represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency. Photo by Sam Bond Photography
Here’s Cory’s Guest Post! Don’t forget to see below for the giveaway and the rest of the tour schedule!
- What served as inspiration for this story?
This might sound silly, but I really just wanted to write a book about witches. Witches are cool! My initial thought was that a lot of the other witch stories I’d read were often about a main character (a witch) who desperately wanted to be “normal” so she could fit in with everybody else in town. There’s nothing wrong with that formula (I love books like that, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman being a prime example). But I thought it might be interesting to flip that around – what if the main character was a non-witch, but all the “normal” folks in town were witches? What would that look like? And what if I went a step further – what if the main character’s desire to fit in didn’t come from a pure place of wanting acceptance. What if she had a nefarious reason for wanting to hide who she was?
That was my original idea, and I ended up deviating from it in places, but that was what initially caught my interest. Plus, it meant that I got to create a town populated entirely by witches and research cool stuff like witchcraft, herbs, and raw veganism.
The herb research in particular ended up taking on a life of its own. As soon as I decided that my main character was going to be an herbalist, I went out and bought a huge book that described different kinds of herbs. But I realized very quickly that just reading about herbs and their various properties was not terribly helpful – herbalism is very sensory. It’s about getting out there to where things grow, smelling things, tasting things (sometimes! And only when there’s someone around to tell you something is not poisonous!), burning things (safely) to see how they smell, etc. Luckily, there is a wonderful herb shop (Sacred Moon Herbs) not far from my house and the wonderful people who work there took me in and helped introduce me to this cool world. I took classes, I went on herb walks with incredibly knowledgeable herbalists, and I started amassing my own herb collection so that whenever I wrote about something in particular, I could have it right there next to me. Without those experiences, I don’t think I would have had as good of an understanding of my character and the way she saw the world.
3 winners will receive a hardcover of WITCHTOWN! US Only.
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7/11/2017- Book Briefs– Review
7/12/2017- Always Me– Guest Post
7/13/2017- The Blonde Bookworm– Review
7/14/2017- YA and Wine– Interview
7/17/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review
7/18/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Guest Post
7/19/2017- Eli to the nth– Review
7/20/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Review
7/21/2017- YA Book Madness– Interview