Rare to find someone with such a unique and strange job as Witchmaker, but I have found an extraordinarily talented one and decided to interview her on the process of creating witches. She has created a whole world of them in her first published book Miss Mabel’s School for Girls.
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross
Deep in the mist shrouded forests of Letum Wood a mysterious school for young girls resides. Not ordinary girls, these young ladies have mysterious powers. Bianca Monroe intends to use her magic to break the curse her family suffered under the malevolence of Miss Mabel, the headmistress. Enchanting and gripping from the first spell to the last, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls will find you rooting for the innocent soul who braves certain danger to save her family. ~LaDonna Cole, author of The Torn, Holding Kate Series.
This thrilling book will be available for your reading pleasure on March 27th. Katie Cross is a first time author with the most enchanting voice you’ve ever read. Her unique style and prose will delight readers for years to come. Be among the first to claim her as your favorite.
Katie and I sat down for a figurative cup of tea to chat about writing Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. Pull up a chair and join our conversation.
LaDonna: I once read a short you wrote where the whole story was dialogue. It was amazing. Where does your creative and unique voice come from?
Katie: One lobe of my brain is made of glitter and snow, and the other lobe is crushed velvet and darkness. Most of my ideas come from somewhere in between those. But that particular story came from the need to complete something challenging, as most of my stories do.
LaDonna: What is your favorite personal care product and why?
Katie: OH MY GOSH- Moroccan oil! I have the curliest, frizziest hair, and I live in the South! Come summer, I’m all over the place. Moroccan oil doesn’t stop the frizz at all, but it does make it smell nice, which keeps me from going Brittany and shaving my head.
LaDonna: Are you afraid of backlash from the Christian community on writing a story about witches? Why or Why not?
Katie: Yes and no. I feel like it’s a small subset of the Christian community that would react to it with extreme prejudice, and that’s their right. In some ways, I feel like they’re just holding to their belief system by boycotting a book about witches, and I respect that.
LaDonna: What one thing do you need far less of in your life?
Katie: Ugh. Facebook. Food, too. I could do with less food. But lately I’ve been eating an inordinate amount of cabbage, and that’s got to be good for me. I use local honey and olive oil as a dressing. Now I’m hungry. Wait, what was the original question?
LaDonna: I’ve heard you ‘dis’ the south several times. What is it about the southern U.S. that piques your distaste?
Katie: I’m definitely one of those snobby Westerners who are always striving to go back. I grew up in mountains. I oriented myself around them everyday. I ran in them everyday. I miss them. To me, mountains equate with home and safety. It also means air so dry that my nose will bleed, but that’s okay, because my hair won’t frizz.
In life, you truly pick your battles.
LaDonna: Talk to us about self-discipline and how that affects your writing.
Katie: Self-discipline: the ability to interact on Facebook but stop after twenty minutes and immediately return to writing the first draft of your next manuscript no matter how much you hate it. 2. writing at least 3,000 words every day on your next book before you scroll through youtube looking for funny pranks on the Ellen show. 3. Not getting so frustrated that writing becomes the enemy and you stop for a week just so you can pout.
As of yet, I have not discovered this word.
LaDonna: I watched you write this book over a very short time, cranking out a chapter or more per day. Do most of your stories come that quickly?
Katie: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is truly a bit of an enigma, even to me. It came about in the strangest way. The antagonist was immediately realized and understood. Mabel literally popped into my head whole and complete. She’s altered very little through the course of editing. On the other hand, Bianca remained incredibly elusive. I had to really fight to figure her out, and she’s kind of a snarky little thing.
I wrote Miss Mabel’s in seven weeks. I would literally sit down and crank out about 1-2 chapters a day with only a few hiccups. The story just seemed to unfold. I was little more than a conduit to get it down. That has not happened for the second book in the series. I anticipate it will never happen again. I expect Bianca is going to make me really work for the next ones.
LaDonna: You’ve had an incredible amount of input along your journey of writing MMSFG. How has that affected the finished product? Do you think you will go that route again or not?
Katie: Yes. Definitely. To me, input is everything. I like to know if my words are having the effect I want. I feel it’s a bit like being in labor. I’m way too involved in the situation to be able to objectively step outside and say, “This needs to change,” or “You’re not ready yet. We have to wait,” like a doctor would. I just want to get the damn baby out and have it be perfect!
LaDonna: If you could choose one potion or spell from the book to use on someone, which would it be, on whom and why?
Katie: I would use the Veritas on myself, actually. It could root out some truths about myself I’d like to know.
LaDonna: Tell us one thing about Katie Cross that you’ve never shared with anyone before.
Katie: Giving someone a nickname is a form of affection for me. If I really love someone I nickname them, and broadcast it, and typically change the way people perceive them. Or, at the very least, what they call them.
That was a fun interview. Now that you know Katie Cross just a little bit better, check out the blurb for Miss Mabel’s School for Girls.
Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.