Sunday, March 20, 2011

Interview with Victoria Schwab author of The Near Witch

Ms. Schwab was nice enough to interview with me!
You can read my review here, and buy it here

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
It’s a "darkly romantic original fairy tale" about a village, a stranger, a ghost story, and children disappearing from their beds at night.
--How did you get the idea for the story?
The story emerged from two separate sentences dreamt up roughly 6 months apart. I was walking home from class, making up potential first lines for my short story class, and came up with:
“There are no strangers in the town of Near.”
I liked it, but didn’t use it. Several months later, another line popped into my head.
“The wind on the moors is a tricky thing.”
For some reason, it made me think of the other line, and the two became linked in my mind. THE NEAR WITCH is what happened when I went searching for answers to the questions posed in these two sentences.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I would want to have dinner with Magda and Dreska, two very old sisters and self-proclaimed witches. They spend half their time snipping at each other, but I think they’d keep the conversation lively.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
From Gaiman’s Graveyard Book and Grimm’s fairy tales to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and Kristin Cashore’s Fire Lucy Christopher’s Stolen, I love a spectrum of books. I have a weakness for good writing...and I honestly never know what I will fall for next.
I make time to read. I have to go without YA when I’m drafting YA, but I’m always reading something. I have just started writing a new book (I cannot wait to be able to talk more about it), so I’m not reading YA right now. Instead, I’m reading classics and some fun adult.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I can say quite firmly YES, there are projects in the works, and I should like to say I don’t plan on vanishing anytime soon, but alas, I cannot give ANY spoilers. I would be deprived cookies if I said anything, and I really, really like cookies.
--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
The problem here is that many of my favorite books generally involve lives you would NOT want to live, so I will have to say Harry Potter. Who WOULDN’T kill to go to Hogwarts??
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I need ambient noise, like that found in coffee shops/cafes. I actually cannot write to music, because the lyrics distract me from my own words, their rhythm and weight, etc.
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to slow/speed up time at will...without any repercussions.
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Exercise is a big part of my sanity. I spent a good amount of time walking, running, or swimming. It’s also a great chance for me to think through plot before I put pen to paper, and it’s my favorite cure for writer’s block. When I’m not exercising or writing, I’m baking cookies.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
I just want to say how happy I am to be a part of this community, how welcome you all have made me feel so far, and how excited I am to share my debut with you!!

Victoria's bio, from her site:

I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say "tom-ah-toes", "like", and "y'all". But since this is about what I write and not how I pronounce my a's, I will say that I tell stories.
I love fairy tales, and folklore, and books that make me wonder if the world is really as it seems. I love writing about doors, and places between, and the cracks where reality slips into something darker, stranger, and invariably more interesting.
I grew up on the west coast, but went to high school in the south, an all girls' prep school complete with plaid skirts I used to doodle on during math.
I went to Washington University in St. Louis, where I changed course SIX times (and would have done it a seventh time, but my family and advisors said you couldn't switch majors in your last semester). I went from Physics, to Film, to Set Design, to Art History, to English, to Communication Design.
Job-wise, I have been a clerk in a department store, where I met a very nice Erotica writer while re-hanging bras. I have been an assistant caterer and a personal chef. Because of this, I bake some mean chocolate chip cookies, can plate hors d'oeuvres, and know how to make twirling napkin towers. I was a dog daycare attendant for a few summers, and have the scars to prove it. In college, I worked in a bookstore, where I never made ANY money because I spent every check feeding my book-buying habit.
And now, I am an author. That's still really fun to say, and I feel like I need to fact-check myself just to make sure it's true.
I am represented by the fiercely awesome Holly Root at Waxman Literary, and my debut novel, The Near Witch, will be released by Disney*Hyperion in August 2011.


  1. Fantastic interview! I can't wait to read The Near Witch.

  2. Wonderful interview! Victoria has some seriously awesome taste in books. And I'd be quite happy with the ability to slow/speed up time at will.

  3. Speeding or Slowing time would be so cool!

  4. I'm a huge fan of Victoria, and I'm going to be tweeting this interview if you don't mind. I enjoyed it.


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