Author Interview: Jody Gehrman on "Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft"

Ana: Today we have Jody introducing their book, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft. I haven't read this book myself, but Jody was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. Jody, how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?

Jody : It’s about a 17-year-old witch-in-training who must hone her newfound magical powers in order to save her mother from an evil necromancer. Oh, and it has magical chocolate cake plus cute boys!

Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?

Jody: I hope readers will become more aware of the magic in everyday life. Audrey's paranormal ability to absorb everything around her and channel it does happen all the time on a subtle level; we pull ideas and emotions from our environment and channel it into our work, our art, our interactions. It would be gratifying if readers resonated with that and started to recognize it more acutely.

On the other hand, the wonder of being a writer is that readers always see something I never intended to show them. Maybe they recognize reflections of people they know in the characters. Maybe the setting reminds them of someplace they've been. In a way, the responses that surprise me are even more delightful than the ones I predicted. It's the ongoing alchemy that happens when a reader's imagination encounters the words on a page.

Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book? 

Jody: I've always been fascinated with witchcraft. I even dabbled in it a bit in my youth. I started writing it about seven years ago as a book for adults, but I never felt like it was quite working. Then I realized it would be better as a YA novel, so I pulled out the old draft and gave it a radical makeover, including a brand new protagonist and a totally different plot.

Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?

NAME: Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall Series; Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic; Katie Crouch's Magnolia League.

Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?

Jody: So far I've published seven novels. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is my most recent Young Adult book. It's the first book in a planned trilogy, though it doesn't exactly end with a cliff hanger. This is my first paranormal YA novel.

My other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (all from Penguin's Dial Books). Babe in Boyland has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel, which I'm super excited about. Before that I wrote three novels for adults, all published by Red Dress Ink: Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin.

Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?

Jody: They can get my books from Amazon for kindle or in paperback. They can also get AUDREY'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT from Smashwords, where it is free every dark of the moon or with a coupon, which I'm happy to provide to reviewers and book bloggers.

Follow-me Links:

Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?

Jody: You can preview and buy the book at Smashwords.

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