The Debut Review: Get to Know Paige Crutcher (7/13/21)

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Paige Crutcher’s enchanting debut, THE ORPHAN WITCH, is all about the sisterhood of magic, discovering the true meaning of home, and learning who you really are. 

Persephone May has been alone her whole life–abandoned as an infant and marked by a haunting curse. Wherever she goes the weather changes, inanimate objects start to move, and she can’t look anyone in the eye. That is until she meets Hyacinth and accepts an invitation to the elusive Wile Isle. Persephone quickly discovers that it is no ordinary island, but the place where she can truly be herself and find the answers that she’s been searching for.

THE ORPHAN WITCH is the perfect combination of contemporary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal. Persephone May’s mystical journey drew me in right away with its compelling and well-crafted magic. The transporting scenery and cast of unique and quirky characters made this a witch story like no other. 

Paige Crutcher joins us today to give a glimpse into writing, magic, and her life. 

What’s something that made you smile today?

Hearing my two small children cackle at each other like they’re cartoon villains hatching a plan. Whatever their plan is, I want in.

Favorite writing snack / drink / cocktail?

My favorite snacks when writing are almonds and sparkling water, and anything caffeinated when I’m feeling stuck. When the work is done, I prefer to toast with whisky or bourbon. 

Book[s] you always reread? 

I reread quite a lot of books (the characters and/or protagonists become my friends, and I hate to say goodbye!) — a few off the top of my head are PERSUASION and PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen, THE PRINCESS BRIDE by William Goldman, and THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz. 

Next on your TBR pile?

The TBR pile is currently out of control (when isn’t it??), but I am soon to start BROKEN (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson and HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield and can’t wait for both.

How did you go about researching all the herbs, spices, and crystals for the book? Do you have a favorite herb/spice/crystal?

Research was a constant throughout the writing and revising of THE ORPHAN WITCH. I get lost rather quickly down a research rabbit hole (it is the best problem to have), and there were so many books and blogs I read, documentaries I watched, and podcasts I listened to. I have a happy little library of books on the use of herbs and spices for healing, as well as crystals and oils, that I continue to cultivate and grow.

A library plays a big role in the book. Do you have a personal library-related story? Do you have a favorite library?

Gosh, I love libraries. Since I was quite small, I’ve found myself at home in them. I’m a little bit introverted, a little bit extroverted – a combination of quirky and shy. In every library I’ve entered, I’ve inevitably found a safe haven. Where I meet other readers seeking to discover new worlds, librarians who point me in the direction of new stories, and characters who become friends. All libraries, to me, are gardens for the imagination. They’ve enabled me to grow a love of reading and in doing so to expand my whole world.  

If you could have one magical power what would it be and why?

The power to transmute emotion from one person to another. A higher form of empathy that allows us to show one person what another is going through, to compassionately open each other’s eyes and experience each other’s worlds, so we might help better them. 

Where does your love of magic, fantasy, and the other-worldly come from?

I think early influences like Mary Poppins, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Anne Rice lends itself to a love (and familiarity) with the ethereal. Also being a redhead – redheads are often powerful in stories about magic, and as a child and teenager those stories gave me something to love about my hair color, something that showed me being different could be advantageous.  

What was the first story you remember writing? 

I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. I used to have journals filled and stacks upon stacks of poems – angsty writings and funny writings, little pieces of me. I switched to writing short stories in college and completed my first novel when I was twenty-seven. That novel is buried in the floorboards, where it shall slumber for eternity.

What’s been your favorite part of your journey publishing THE ORPHAN WITCH?

Hands down it’s been working with my agent Ashley Blake and my editor Monique Patterson (and the rest of the team at SMP). To have these brilliant and wonderful people not only get what I hoped to do with THE ORPHAN WITCH, but to also help me elevate the book to its very best – this whole process has been beyond a dream come true. 

THE ORPHAN WITCH by Paige Crutcher; 9781250797377; 9/28/21.

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