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Monday, July 10, 2017

Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: July 18th, 2017
Pre-Order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
Enter the gates of Witchtown to find a mischievous coming-of-age story for fans of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic and the Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series.

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.
Cory Putman Oakes was born in Basel, Switzerland, but grew up in Novato, California and attended Marin Catholic High School. She then spent three fantastic years at the University of California at Los Angeles before graduating in 2001 with a B.A. in Psychology. In 2004, Cory graduated from Cornell Law School with a Juris Doctorate Degree and her husband, Mark (the first was the intended consequence of attending the school, the second was a bonus). Since then, she has been an associate at a big law firm, taught business law to undergraduates at Texas State University and written several books for young people.

Cory now lives in Austin, Texas with Mark and their two kids. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys reading, cooking, running, and hanging out with her family and pets.
Connect with Cory: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Where did you get the inspiration for WITCHTOWN?

A lot of different places! Once I got the initial idea to write a book about witches who live in a witch-only town, and once I decided that my main character was going to be a reluctant thief, I suddenly had a whole lot of things to research; witchcraft, herbs, lock picks, raw veganism, town municipal codes – there was so much I needed to learn! I know that some people question the need for doing tons of research in fiction, but I really feel like every piece of knowledge I picked up along the way enriched the book, even if it wasn’t in a super obvious way. My family and I kept the pagan calendar for a year (we celebrated the solstices and the equinoxes); I went raw vegan for a week (I documented it on my blog if you’re interested – it was quite a week!); I started hanging out in my local herb shop a lot; I did a lot of reading and spoke to truly wonderful, generous people about their beliefs and practices; I did a lot of suspicious Google searches like “how to break into a building” “how to bump a lock,”; and I did a lot of baking and consulted with a wonderful pagan food blogger so I’d have firsthand knowledge of the kind of treats the Witchtown bakery would have. It was all very fun and interesting and hopefully it helped to make the town in the book feel more real.

What are some of your favorite witchy books or movies?

I’m a big fantasy nerd and I love any story with magic in it. THE WITCHES (by Roald Dahl) was one of my favorite books growing up, and I love PRACTICAL MAGIC (by Alice Hoffman). What I love about books with witches in them is that they are often contemporary stories with magical flair – the idea that there is something secret and magical going on beneath the surface of ordinary life is really intriguing to me.

If you could collaborate with any author (living or dead) who would it be, and why?

Ohhhhh this one is hard. I guess if I have to pick one, it would be Tamora Pierce. I’ve been a huge fan of her books ever since I was assigned to read Alanna: The First Adventure in sixth grade. Hers were the first books I ever read that made me want to look past the finished book itself and wonder about the actual writing process. They were the first books that made me ask questions like, “why was this character introduced here, and not there?” “why is there a chapter break here?” and “why is this scene important to this particular character?” Her books are so awesome that they inspired me to want to figure out how to write something awesome of my own. Being able to see her process up close and personal would be amazing!

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits or rituals?

I get very superstitious about my writing locations. If I have a good writing day somewhere, I feel like I have to go back there and write again the next day or the spell will be broken and I’ll lose my writing mojo. So once I get on a good roll I’ll go back to the same coffee shop (or the same chair at the my kitchen table) day after day.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world for free for writing inspiration, where would you go and why?

Ohhhhh that’s hard! Wait, no it’s not! London. I love London. I have a lot of wonderful memories there and I find it very inspirational.

What are your favorite types of scenes to write? What are your favorite types of scenes to read?

I love when I’m reading a book and I come across a scene that I wouldn’t have thought possible based on the beginning of the book. Like, when a character is doing something that they never in a million years would have done in Chapter 1. Or two characters have gotten connected in a way that seemed unlikely but now, suddenly, works. That’s when I really feel like I’ve been drawn into a story and like I’ve really been on a journey with the characters (as opposed to just watching from a distance and seeing how things play out). These are also my favorite types of scenes to write.

What are some 2018 books that you're excited for?

Man, I’m so behind on my 2017 reading list that at this point, I may never even get to 2018! But there are a few series I’m looking forward to continuing in 2018 - the 7th THRONE OF GLASS Book (Sarah J. Maas); the 3rd THE EMBER IN THE ASHES book (Sabaa Tahir); the third book of THE GLITTERING COURT (Richelle Mead). I’m psyched for Tamora’s Pierce’s new series which starts with TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER. And I’m particularly looking forward to HOW TO END A DATE (Cynthia Leitich Smith); THE PARKER INHERITANCE (Varian Johnson); THE CAMELOT CODE – THE ONCE AND FUTURE GEEK (Mari Mancusi); WAKE (Samantha M. Clark) - oh there’s just too many great books and not enough time!

Can you tell us anything about your future projects and writing plans? What are you working on currently?
I don’t like to jinx myself by talking about things before they’re published, but right now I’m working on another YA and another MG – I’m super excited about both of them! Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more about them soon!

Week One:
7/10/2017- Brittany's Book Rambles - Interview
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

Week Two:
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

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  1. Great interview! I really love witchy books but don't read enough of them lately.

    1. Thank you! There are surprisingly not many out there. I hope you enjoy this one!

  2. This one sounds cute. Makes me think of Halloweentown on Disney!

  3. I'm very excited about your latest work. You have a way with words!

  4. Totally hear you on being behind on reading. I don't think I'll ever catch up. That is both good and bad. :)

    This book sounds cute and thanks for the great interview!

  5. This book sounds very exciting to read--I love a mother/daughter con team! I've never read a book like this one before and secrets are delicious!!

  6. Great interview! Looks like a good book to read.

  7. Such awesome interview questions! This book sounds amazing - I can't wait to read it!

  8. What a FAB interview, Brittany and Cory!! Brittany, I LOVED your questions, and Cory, I LOVED your answers just as much! And I'm being very sincere. :) I was very much interested in getting to know more about Cory, and she sure delivered! <3 <3

    The plot of this novel sounds SO fascinating, too! I mean, a town that's ONLY for witches? Never heard of that one before! So I would love to win this book and dive right in!

    Thanks for sharing, both of you!! Now I'm crossing my <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

    1. P.S. And thanks SO much for the TERRIFIC giveaway!! <3 :)

  9. I would love to go to London as well! I also would love this book. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  10. Lovely blog tour post Brittany :D Not really seen this book before now, but curious about it. It do look and sound awesome :)

  11. I loved the interview! Those were really fun questions and quite entertaining to read! This book sounds amazing and I'm definitely putting it on my TBR.

  12. I'm a 6th grade language arts teacher. It meant a lot to me that Cory mentioned a 6th grade reading assignment as being part of her inspiration...I really push my students to read, read, read, and it's so wonderful to know that some of them might take it to heart!

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