Hello and welcome to our YA Shot post for
THE WITCH’S KISS by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr!
We’re super stoked to have them here, since they’re co-writers and we’re co-bloggers!
We have an interview for you today with the authors where we ask them in depth questions about their novel. But first let’s learn more about the book!
Plus, enter to win a signed copy of the book at the end of the post, open internationally. 😉
Published by HarperCollins on June 30th 2016
Amazon ♡ Chapters
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?
About the Book
BAMF: Describe THE WITCH’S KISS in 10 words.
KC: Ten words!?! Okay. ‘Witch falls for cursed prince whom she’s meant to kill.’ That’s a bit rubbish, isn’t it?
EC: It’s a lot rubbish, actually.
KC: ‘A male sleeping beauty, a reluctant witch, an ancient curse….’
EC: ‘Teenage witch and brother battle beautiful but deadly cursed prince.’ Or ‘The power of True Love versus an ancient destructive curse.’
KC: You’re better at this than I am.
BAMF: What do you love most about the book? What are your respective favourite scenes and characters?
KC: I absolutely love the mixture of fairy tale and history. I really enjoyed writing the Anglo-Saxon scenes (there were a lot more of them in our original draft), especially the bits with Meredith and her sisters and the scene where Gwydion has captured Jack; a bit weird, I know, but I like the gruesome…
EC: *Ahem* A bit?
KC: *rolls eyes* …But I think my favourite character is Merry. She’s not perfect (who is?) but she has a lot of inner strength. It takes her a while, but she makes the right choices in the end. And I like the fact that she’s not stereotypical – I could never imagine Merry choosing her boyfriend over her family or friends. She’d expect him to hang out with her family and friends too.
EC: I love the relationship between Leo and Merry. For me it’s the most important relationship in the book, even more so than the relationship between Merry and Jack.
KC: Yes. The sibling relationship is really important to us, in real life and in fiction.
EC: Absolutely. Merry and Leo have an almost unbreakable bond, in the same vein as Harry and Hermione. I’m also a big fan of Gran: she’s unstoppable, and she churns out some pretty withering put-downs. My favourite scenes are when Leo rescues Merry from the King of Hearts by the lake and the scene up in Northumberland where Leo fights their mother to allow an increasingly ill Merry to return to Tillingham. It’s a great scene as we see how much Leo loves his sister. Gran also turns up at the end of it so it’s really one of my favourites.
BAMF: What was the hardest part to write?
KC: Writing Jack’s story was really tough. Unlike the King of Hearts, his cursed persona, Jack is lovely: gentle, brave, completely traumatised by the terrible things that he’s made to do. This will sound bizarre given we made up the story, but it was terrible to see Jack suffer so much at Gwydion’s hands.
EC: We also struggled with making sure Merry’s reaction to finding out about her ‘destiny’ was realistic. As opposed to, ‘I’m the chosen one? Really? Okay then! Let’s do this!’
About Writing Together
BAMF: What’s it like to have THE WITCH’S KISS out in the world? How did you celebrate?
KC: It’s kind of weird and scary and amazing all at the same time. We had a lovely launch party at St Ethelburga’s in London – it’s a medieval ex-church dedicated to a Saxon saint, so it seemed an appropriate venue. It was really fun to celebrate with our friends and family and to meet some amazing new people too!
EC: When we got an agent we went and sat in the pub in a bit of a daze. I think there may have been a few tears.
KC: A few???
EC: More than a few, perhaps. This is a dream come true for us. When HarperCollins offered us a publishing deal we couldn’t stop smiling for days.
KC: Yeah. There’s been a lot of jumping up and down hysterically over the last year and a half, in some pretty odd places. Trains, the Surrey Hills, the middle of the John Lewis children’s department…
BAMF: As cobloggers, Jamie and Dani have slipped into roles. For example, when we do our BAMF Reviews, Jamie will write out the review while Dani will edit the video. How does co-writing play out for you?
KC: We started off with the idea that we would divide everything equally, but in reality we have different strengths and we ended up diving in and doing the bits we each liked first I really enjoyed researching the historical aspects of The Witch’s Kiss, so I ended up writing most of the Anglo-Saxon stuff. Also, I write quicker than Liz, but Liz is a super thorough editor and has lots of great ideas. We usually end up re-editing each other’s work. Overall, our style and ‘voice’ is very similar.
EC: I enjoy writing dialogue and I love writing the more humorous, funny scenes. Kate has a very dark side and likes to make our characters suffer. Seriously, sometimes she scares me.
KC: Be afraid, little sister. *Makes scary claw hands*
EC: Er…ok. Kate writes at warp speed, but my inner editor often spots inaccuracies and inconsistencies and slows her down again. On the other hand, Kate is a stickler for good grammar and comes down hard on me for my overuse of exclamation marks!!! Apparently, we turn out very clean manuscripts, so gold stars for us. ☺
BAMF: What’s the best thing about working together?
KC: Having someone around the whole time to bounce ideas off is really great. Also, having someone to say ‘no, this scene is TERRIBLE. Take it out.’ Our agent and editor would be exposed to a lot more rubbish if we didn’t do our own share of culling first.
EC: We have so much fun writing together. We make each other laugh so much it doesn’t seem like work at all sometimes! Also, when one of us is stuck for an idea as to how to move the story, or a particular scene on, the other one normally comes to the rescue.
BAMF: What about the hardest?
KC: Not being able to get my own way all the time! And it’s especially annoying when Liz pulls that whole ‘I’m your baby sister and you have to give in to me’ thing. I hate that.
EC: Kate is always trying to kill people. I love these characters and can get very protective of them. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only thing standing in the way of their total annihilation. Plus she is always correcting my grammar, which is totally annoying.
KC: Well, somebody has to do it!
BAMF: Do you use any tools to plan, organise and collaborate? For example, we use Google Docs for drafting together and Slack for communicating. We each also prefer paper to digital planners.
KC: We’re both plotters, not pantsers: I think you have to be when you’re writing with someone else. We share folders using Dropbox, which means we can both read and edit each other’s chapters (and now it tells us if we’re both trying to edit the same document at the same time, so we don’t end up with multiple versions and get into a fight about who was writing what when). I like paper notebooks for jotting down ideas and working when I’m on the train, for example. I don’t actually know whether Liz has notebooks or not….
EC: I have one notebook which I sometimes scribble ideas in. Normally I just ring up Kate, tell her my latest idea and then say ‘don’t forget to write that down!’ Dropbox is a real timesaver. Occasionally, we get out large pieces of paper and use diagrams to plot out the scenes and what we need more of and what’s missing.
KC: Yes, sometimes there’s no substitute for physically seeing your story laid out on paper, at least in outline.
BAMF: What was the query process like? How long did it take?
KC: Getting an agent was surprisingly quick. After agonising over our query letter and synopsis (BTW, I REALLY HATE writing synopses) we started querying in January 2014 and had three offers of representation within a couple of weeks. It was all a bit startling! Once our agent began submitting to publishers, it took five months to get an offer. It doesn’t seem long now but it felt super stressful at the time.
EC: I remember getting the original email from Claire Wilson, our agent, offering us representation. It was like getting my A level results all over again. Couldn’t quite take it in… Waiting for a publisher to take us on was nail-biting, but it was all made worth while when we got picked up by Harper Collins.
BAMF: What’s been your favourite part of the journey so far?
KC: The writing and editing. And hearing from people who have enjoyed the book is wonderful.
EC: Getting our first review was totally lovely.
KC: Yes – that was amazing! Realising someone else really loved the characters and world we’d created was a real treat.
EC: Also, meeting so many fab people at RCW and Harper Collins, including other authors, has been amazing. And buying outfits and new shoes for the launch events was kind of fun…. After years of being a stay-at-home mum I got to be glamorous (sort of) for 5 minutes.
BAMF: What’s next for the two of you?
KC: Our sequel (The Witch’s Tears) is due out 26th January and we’re hard at work editing at the moment. We’re also working on some other stuff in the background: a ghost story, another fairy tale inspired series and a contemporary YA novel.
EC: We’re hopeful there will be at least one more book telling Merry and Leo’s story. We also have a rather dark retelling of an English classic that we’re making progress on.
BAMF: What is your go-to writing snack?
KC: Crisps. Salt and vinegar or something cheesy. Cheesy popcorn is pretty nice too. *quickly brushes crumbs off laptop*
EC: Tea. Lots of tea. Or – when desperate – a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. We’ve been known to do a bit of editing with wine glasses in hand….
Katharine and Elizabeth are offering TWO signed copies of THE WITCH’S KISS! One for a lucky UK winner and one internationally!