We are back again, with another exclusive interview and cover reveal.
Author of the Best Selling A Mistletoe Miracle and contender for the Joan Hessayon Award 2020, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. Emma is also a host on the SFFRomCast, a podcast dedicated to celebrating fantasy and sci-fi romance. Her next book, Witch You Weren’t Here, a witchy romcom full of misbehaving magic, brother’s best friend angst, and only one bed shenanigans, is due for release 12 October 2023.
Before we delight you with the cover reveal for this witchy rom-com, we wanted to have a chat with the author herself and find out a little more about the inspiration behind this novel and the author who wrote it.
One hurricane. Two stranded witches.Sparks are bound to fly…Kay knows three things to be true: a witch who cannot control their powers is dangerous, she needs to make it home for her brother’s wedding, and Harry Ashworth is the last person she ever wants to see… But after visiting the witching community’s equivalent of IT support to try to fix her misbehaving magic, a hurricane hits and her flight home is cancelled! Not only is Kay stranded, but she’s stranded with Harry – her infuriatingly handsome and charming childhood friend, who broke her heart when they were teenagers. Except Harry is a frustratingly powerful witch so working together might be their only way to get back home. And the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore what is simmering under the surface.Soon it becomes clear that Kay’s magic isn’t the only thing she doesn’t have control of…
It’s so lovely to have you here Emma, thank you for joining us. Witch You Weren’t Here sounds like a fabulous magical read, can you tell us where you got the inspiration from for this novel?
This question is usually so hard for me to answer because book ideas tend to grow from an accumulation of sub-conscious pondering that eventually comes together into a book-like shape. With Witch You Weren’t Here the inspiration was obvious – I got sucked into re-watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles one night and I was struck with how wonderfully the story could transform into a romance. Growing up, we would always watch it if it came on the TV and it was probably the first time I ever encountered the only-one-bed trope! The idea of writing a sort of “homage” to it was so appealing – especially when I decided to add a sprinkle of magic to the scenario.
There are so many fabulous and fantastical witchy novels on the market at the moment and many with fabulous covers, can you tell us about some of the elements of this cover that you love the most?
Here is where I gush because I love so much about this cover! The beautiful gold font of the title on top of the blue really struck me because both colours are important in the story. Weather obviously plays a big part in the plot as Harry and Kay are derailed on their journey by a hurricane but the way the cover designer, Emily, captured the playful way they are wrestling with the umbrella is just perfect. It somehow manages to communicate the push-pull between them but equally the way they become a team, thrown together against the elements. That’s the way I see it anyway! And then there is the astronomical clock from Prague which also features in the book, but as well as being a landmark, it’s a symbol of how Kay is racing against time to get back to England for her brother’s wedding. Did I mention that I love it?
The writing process for authors varies wildly, and we are always interested to hear a little about what makes our favourite writers tick – tell us a little about your process, do you listen to mood music when writing?
I love plugging in to music to help short-cut me straight into the right vibe for my story and characters. Pulling together a playlist is usually a sign I’m ready to start drafting in earnest. I’ve made a playlist for every book I’ve had published and the one for Witch You Weren’t Here will actually be included in the front of the book, along with the link to the Spotify playlist!
Witch You Weren’t here isn’t your first novel, but with four novels published and your fifth now on the way, can you tell us a little about your journey? When did you start writing seriously?
I have always loved writing stories, but after leaving school and starting work I had a little pause. A Creative Writing course with the Open University reignited my passion for it and I started writing again seriously when I was about 25, I think. I wasn’t published until I was 36 though! My debut novel, A Mistletoe Miracle, took me six years to write around having kids, squeezed into naptimes, and was followed by Summer in the City and One Kiss Before Christmas. My last novel, Sleepless in Sicily, was actually a complete rewrite of the very first novel I ever wrote, which never found an agent or publisher!
You have been published now for a number of years, but this journey certainly has it’s ups and downs. Can you tell us what you would say has been the best thing about being a published author?
I think it’s the private enjoyment and sense of satisfaction when my story is taking shape outside of my head, as well as the euphoria if it eventually finds a reader or two that it spoke to.
It’s creeping closer to your publishing date, highlighted even more by today’s cover reveal, how excited are you to have this book out in the wider world?
Very! It meant so much to me that Orion took this on, as championing fantasy romance has been a passion of mine since I ran the online Fantasy Chapter of the RNA with fellow writer Jessica Haines, who I now also host a fantasy romance podcast with (The SFFRomCast).
Over the last decade, in the UK in particular, it’s been very hard to find homes in traditional publishing for paranormal romance and romantasy books but the tide is turning now, I think in large part thanks to the influence of readers on TikTok! Having the joy of a romance alongside an adventurous or fantastical plot really is the best of both worlds to me, and I really hope readers find reading Witch You Weren’t Here as fun to read, as I found it to write.
So – without further ado – we can now show you, in all it’s glory, the fabulous cover for Emma Jacksons latest novel, Witch You Weren’t Here.
Witch You Weren’t Mine will be published in paperback, ebook and audio on October 12th 2023 – but you can click the link below now to pre-order.