Author Interview & Swag Giveaway: Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough

Welcome to Author Kathy McCullough


I’m a novelist and screenwriter living in L.A. My young adult novel Don’t Expect Magic will be published by Random House/Delacorte Press in November 2011. In addition to my website, my main character, Delaney Collins, has her own site at


Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
You should read Don’t Expect Magic if you like books with humor and heart; that are about finding out who you are and accepting it; and that have a little magic in them (but not a lot, because that’s not what it’s about; thus the title).

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’ve completed a draft of the sequel to Don’t Expect Magic, and I’m working on a new teen novel in the romantic comedy vein.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Mike Schmid, the keyboardist for Miley Cyrus, wrote an amazing original song called “Magic” after reading Don’t Expect Magic, which I used for the trailer, and which fits the story perfectly. You can find the trailer and the lyrics to the song on the website I created for Delaney Collins, the protagonist of Don’t Expect Magic ( The trailer’s on my website ( as well.

What is your favorite quote?
I love quotes! Most of my tweets are quotes. It’s hard to choose but: “He knew what he wanted, saw his road before him, and acknowledged no obstacles.” From Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton.

How did you know you should become an author?
I’ve been writing stories since I learned how to write. I wrote a book of poems (illustrated!) when I was five. I’ve tried to do other things, pursue other professions, but I don’t feel I’m myself unless I’m immersing myself in some new world I’ve created. It’s where I want to be.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Delaney is very sarcastic and irreverent, and although I do have a tendency to be sarcastic, I’m not nearly as tough or outspoken as she is. She intentionally rubs people the wrong way, in order to keep them at bay, while I tend to want everyone to like me. Although she has insecurities, she keeps them hidden. I knew people like her when I was in high school and always wished I was more like them, because from the outside, they seem utterly self-confident – and no one messes with them.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
In a hundred years, none of this will matter. (This was from my optometrist! He’s a very wise man.)

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your life starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
Up at 6:15 am. Watch part of a TV series or movie I’ve recorded (this is the only time of day I have to watch TV). Exercise (yoga, bike or long walk). Shower; breakfast; COFFEE. Write for three hours and then try to catch up on email/online stuff (HA HA). Lunch. Afternoons are one of the following: errands, more writing, online catch-up, or meetings. (One day a week I volunteer at library.) Dinner. Evenings I either write for three hours or do “day job” work for three hours: reading scripts and books for film production companies and writing “coverage” reports. Luckily, I make enough money as a novelist and screenwriter now that this is only a part-time job. And yes, I AM a workaholic.

What do you do in your free time?
See above: what free time? No such thing for workaholics. Sometimes, on weekends, I do manage to slip in a movie or meal with friends. But only if I’ve gotten enough work done.

Finish the sentence – one book I wish I had written is….
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.

Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough

Delaney Collins doesn’t believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she’s stuck in California with “Dr. Hank,” her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.

Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he’s a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary. Meaning there’s a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone’s fairy godmother.

But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?

Don’t Expect Magic will be released on November 8, 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

If you are lucky enough to live near Clinton, NJ be sure to stop in Ya-Palooza on November 12th to meet Kathy and 4 other young adult authors.

Swag Giveaway:
Kathy McCullough would love to send some signed bookmarks to reader of this blog. If you are interested just leave a comment on this post. I’ll draw a winner on November 7th. US only.