Author Interview: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Welcome to Author Jessica Spotswood

I heart books, yoga, tea, cardamom cookies, the color pink, board games, theatre, twirly dresses, and bells chiming the hour. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic.


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The Breathless Reads tour was amazing. Not only did I make three amazing new friends in the other Breathless authors, I got to meet readers from all over the country who’d already read and loved BORN WICKED. In fact, every time I hear from a reader via twitter, facebook, email, or in person it’s amazing! I’m terribly grateful that of all the books in the world, people are choosing to spend their time and money on mine.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
When I was a child, it was a tie between LITTLE WOMEN, EMILY OF NEW MOON, and ANNE OF THE ISLAND. When I was a teen, it was GONE WITH THE WIND.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Find people who will read your work and give you honest feedback — tell you what they love and want more of as well as what doesn’t quite make sense or work for them. They don’t have to be writers, they can be former English majors or just voracious readers, but an objective eye is so important — as is learning to take constructive criticism!

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Well, Cate and I are both the oldest of three sisters. I definitely drew from my relationships with my sisters, that complicated mix of love and sibling rivalry, to write about her relationships with Maura and Tess. I am also very stubborn, and a worrier, like Cate!

How do you react to a bad review?
My first bad review really stung — but I was in California on vacation, and then I went to see seals and that cheered me right up! Since then I’ve gotten much more level-headed about it. I’ve read enough now that I have a sense of what people love about BW, what works and what perhaps could have used some improvement. There are a few harsh reviews, but they are outliers, so I can sort of just shrug them off.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I bought a Betsey Johnson dress and threw a little cocktail party for a close circle of friends with champagne and cupcakes. It was super-fun!

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I’m still kind of in love with GOSSIP GIRL. I mean, Blair & Dan, who would have thought?!

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….
CHIME by Franny Billingsley (my favorite book of 2011)

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke

Horror or Romance?

Sweet or Salty?

Summer or Winter?

Harry Potter or Twilight?
Harry Potter. Especially Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
Planning ahead. On the Myers-Briggs, I’m an ISFJ, and I’m VERY J.

Cat or Dog?

Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter (I’m @jessica_shea)

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Reading with a cup of tea, then napping with my cat

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship–or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood — not even from each other.