I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for HOW TO HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather! I have an interview with Adriana to share with you today!
Haven't heard of HOW TO HANG A WITCH? Check it out!
For fans of Conversion and Mean Girls, comes a debut novel where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
Check out the awesome book trailer!
And now on to the interview!
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about HOW TO HANG A WITCH and the
HOW TO HANG A WITCH is about Samantha Mather, who moves to Salem three hundred years after her ancestor hanged witches there. Sam is targeted by the witch descendants at school and forced to accept that her family is cursed as she unravels the lost secrets of the hangings.
The narrative has mystery, Salem atmosphere, and a handsome boy ghost with Puritan eyebrows. And below the surface, it parallels modern bullying with the historical hanging of a witch. It’s meant to entertain as well as to raise questions.
Is this a standalone or a series? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2
yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?
Series! The next one is called HOW TO SINK A SHIP. The first one is about ghosts from the Salem Witch Trials, the second one is about ghosts from the Titanic (which my ancestors survived).
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
Not exactly. There are always bits and pieces of my real life in there, and certain personality qualities of people I’ve observed (beware of writers when they’re people watching). The most directly inspired personality quality in the book, though, is Mrs. Meriwether’s love for baking, which is very much like my mom’s.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
Favorite - Elijah. I like good-hearted, challenging people who aren’t afraid to tell you what they think and make fun of you.
Least favorite…hmmm. I always struggle with villains. I wind up rewriting them a hundred times before I settle on a personality I’m happy with. It’s not that I dislike writing them, it’s just that they give me an eye twitch while I’m doing it.
What is your favorite passage/scene in HOW TO HANG A WITCH?
The atmosphere. Salem is one of the most atmospheric places I’ve ever visited in my life. I really wanted to capture the mysterious curses, the old houses with secret passageways, and the feeling that magic just might be real there.
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
I think I could research the Salem Witch Trials for the next twenty years and still learn new and creepy things. There is just so much richness and complexity there! My favorite part of my research, though was going to Salem. That town is like living breathing history and I (not surprisingly) got myself into all sorts of haunted situations that had me sleeping with the lights on.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables (Also, I’ve been to Prince Edward’s Island and they really do have red dirt roads there!!)
What inspired you to write YA?
I didn’t understand the category divisions when I started writing. And when I first wrote HTHAW, my protagonist was a little older. A few people read it and said, “Well, you wrote a YA book, only technically you didn’t write a YA book. Make it a YA book.” So I rewrote my entire story start to finish. Although I accidentally stumbled into the YA community, I could not be more thrilled I did. Everyone is so awesome and kind and the readers have so much heart. I plan on writing YA for a long time.
Lightening Round Questions:
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m about to start LAST SEEN LEAVING by Caleb Roehrig and I’m super excited about it! I’ve heard amazing things.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Gryffindor…I’m a lion for sure. Also, a Leo. In fact, my book comes out on my birthday.
Twitter or Facebook?
My mom, and maybe moms in general
Favorite TV show?
Ahhh! So hard. The Office, I Love Lucy, Gilmore Girls, GOT. I could fill up the whole post with answers.
Sweet or Salty?
Not quite on the level of phobias, but I have so many fears - the dark, ghosts, big spiders in India, large empty public bathrooms (because of a horror movie I watched as a kid), unfinished basements, attics…
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
Homecoming by Josh Ritter
Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, and as such her family has their fingers in many of its historical pies – the Mayflower, the Salem Witch Trials, the Titanic, the Revolutionary War, and the wearing of curly white wigs. Also, Adriana co-owns a production company, Zombot Pictures, in LA that has made three feature films in three years. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza and she has too many cats.