Today I'm happy to welcome Brittany Geragotelis to A Book Obsession. Her debut book, WHAT THE SPELL will release 1/29.
*Where did you get the inspiration for WHAT THE SPELL?
Well, the inspiration for WHAT THE SPELL? stemmed from the first book I wrote for the online writing community site Wattpad, called LIFE’S A WITCH. In early 2011, I’d wanted to write a paranormal book in a way that hadn’t been done before. And that’s when I started to think about the Salem Witch trials. I wondered, “What if the people who were accused back then, really were witches? And what if those who’d accused them were members of their own coven? And that’s really where the world of The Cleri, Bridget Bishop, The Parrishables and Hadley Bishop began to take shape. When LIFE’S A WITCH became really popular on Wattpad (it had over 18 million reads within a year), we went into an auction for the book series and I ended up going with Simon & Schuster in a 3-book deal.
When it came to publishing the books, we decided to start with a prequel/spin-off called WHAT THE SPELL?, so that all my fans would get to start the series off by reading something new. WTS? takes place in the same world as LAW, but with a completely different protagonist. And whereas LAW is mainly about the witch world, WTS? takes place in a typical high school, with a less-than-typical teen witch.
*How many books do you have planned in the LIFE'S A WITCH series?Any hints you can give us for what’s in store next?
So far, I’m scheduled for three books—WHAT THE SPELL?, LIFE’S A WITCH and the sequel, THE WITCH IS BACK—but I think there are a lot of adventures left for Hadley Bishop and the Cleri. In terms of hints and spoilers…Asher will be back in LIFE’S A WITCH! Also, LAW is full of major action. We’re talking fight scenes, magic, betrayal, evil bad guys, hot romances, etc. And then Brooklyn, the protagonist in WTS?, will show up again in THE WITCH IS BACK.
*If your book were to be made into a movie, who would be your top picks for the cast?
Can I tell you a secret? Before I write my books, I always visualize my characters as if I’m casting the movie version of the book. I had two actresses in mind for Brooklyn—either Leven Rambin (“Grey’s Anatomy” & “The Hunger Games”) or Chloe Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass” & “30 Rock”). As for the other characters: Asher was based on Oliver James (“What a Girl Wants”); Elle Fanning (“Super 8” & “We Bought A Zoo”) would be the perfect Gigi; Camden would be played by the beautifully talented actor Zachary Booth (“Damages” & “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”); Bow Wow (“Entourage” & “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) could be a great Rhodes; Wheatley might be played by Dave Franco (“21 Jump Street” & “Warm Bodies”) if he beefed up a bit; Lily Collins (“Mirror, Mirror” & “The Mortal Instruments”) is who I always pictured as Eliza; I’d love Jordana Brewster (“The Fast and the Furious” & “Dallas”) to play Mrs. Zia; and Abby could be played by Malese Jow (“The Vampire Diaries” & “Big Time Rush”). Ha! Can you tell, I’ve planned for the movie or TV show to be made?
*Could you tell us a little about the ups and downs you have experienced in publishing?
Well, there have been many more downs than ups, that’s for sure! I actually went through about six books and eight years of rejection before I decided to write LIFE’S A WITCH and post it for free on Wattpad.com. After so many years of hearing “no,” I nearly listened to all the nay-sayers and gave up on writing completely. But then I changed the way I was thinking about my writing. Instead of writing with the main goal being to achieve published author status, I decided to focus on just writing because I loved it and because I feel compelled to do it. Not that I gave up on getting published, but I was no longer going to base my worth on whether I had a traditional publisher or not. Once I made that decision, I found Wattpad, started posting LIFE’S A WITCH and before I knew it, I had a huge following online. Finally getting my deal and publishing this series has been my biggest dream come true. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to wake up every day and do what I love. And it’s all because I kept an open mind and followed my heart. If you have a big dream, never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve it! *What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?
Hmmm. Right now I’m obsessed with Michelle Hodkins’ Mara Dyer series. In my opinion, it might be the best series on the shelves right now (although some might say it’s horror or mystery). I also, love, love, love Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin series (however, again, since it’s zombies, people might think it’s horror?). Lastly, I adore Stacey Jay’s Undead series. I think my books are sort of the same tone as hers.
*If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books what would that be?
I’m obsessed with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” partly because it’s smart writing and very funny. But mostly, I’m so inspired by strong female characters who don’t need a man to save them, are intelligent and kick-ass, and leave a real impact on the world around them. These kinds of characters aren’t perfect—they make mistakes just like the rest of us—but they have a higher calling and they try their best to help others. I think that deep down we all want to know we’re here for a reason and hopefully we’ll all be lucky enough to leave some sort of legacy behind. These are the kinds of stories and characters I want to create and hopefully people will see that kind of perfect imperfection in my books.
*What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?
There have been several moments in my life where I’ve sat there and thought, “Is this really happening?!?!”. I once went over to the Kardashian’s house to unveil Kendall Jenner’s first magazine cover and later was on an episode of the show. I hung out at Jamie Foxx’s house, sat in his sports cars, listened to him jam with his daughter and buddies in the living room of his mansion, jumped on his trampoline and interviewed him next to his swimming pool. I also shot a scene for one of the Bring it On movies and was recently taped for an episode of the TV show, “Say Yes to the Dress” (I’m getting married on April Fool’s Day!)! But I think by far, finally having my books come out and be available to the public—that will be the craziest thing to happen to me in my life.
Just for fun. If you were stranded somewhere but had electricity, what three things other than basic survival supplies, would you have to have?. 1. My laptop (through that, I’d have access to Word so I could write, books so I could ALWAYS be reading, Netflix so I could watch TV shows and e-mail so I could communicate with the outside world, etc.). 2. My fiancé (He’s super smart and funny. There’s no one else I’d rather be stranded with). 3. Gluten-free baked goods and seltzer.
Finish this statement: "You'll like WHAT THE SPELL if…"
..you had a rough time in high school, were ever bullied, have ever felt alone or invisible, or secretly wish you had magical powers. Also, if you like to laugh. The book’s pretty funny at times. ;)
Brittany Geragotelis is living the dream. After 10 years of rejection from the publishing industry, she began to post her original novel, Life's a Witch,
on the online writing site, Wattpad, hoping that others would enjoy
reading her book. A year after the first upload, the book had received
19 million reads, which caught the attention of Publisher's Weekly, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
After building up some buzz in the industry, she hooked up with her
agents who instantly received interest from publishers and movie/tv
producers. Within weeks, Life's a Witch went into auction between
four major publishing houses, and in the end Brittany landed a 3-book
deal with publishing powerhouse, Simon & Schuster.
Now, the prequel/spin-off of Life's a Witch, called What the Spell?
will come out in 3 e-book installments beginning October 9, 2012 and
then in hardback nationwide on January 15, 2013. A new and improved Life's a Witch will follow in May 2013 and the sequel, The Witch is Back, will come out January 2014.
When she's not writing, Brittany is obsessing over celebrities, TV
shows, movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gluten-free food and, of
course, books! Brittany lives in NYC with her boyfriend and her two
cats, Murray and Cohen.
A teenage witch juggles popularity and romance while keeping her powers a secret in this spellbinding debut.Almost-sixteen-year-old
Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be
popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch
about to come of age—so she’s only a few spells away from making it all
On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s
conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the
ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her
special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her
crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts
her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s
found out, she could be vilified—and lose Asher in the process. Can she
make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be
careful what you witch for!