THE NEAR WITCH, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel, finally came out this week. Are you excited? I am! I’ve been waiting to share my thoughts on this amazing novel with all of you…and remaining mum has been HARD!
Victoria stopped by to participate in Fairy Tale Fortnight with a fun interview. back in April. Today, to celebrate the launch of THE NEAR WITCH, she’s stopped by again. Her book is real and HERE now! Not just a possibility! In addition, Victoria has autographed some bookmarks that are being offered up for grabs here. Check out the giveaway right after the interview below! Also take a peek at my review of THE NEAR WITCH!

One of the things that made me fall in love with THE NEAR WITCH was your use of description. The town of Near and its people come alive in the most detailed fashion. When you write, do you have strong mental imagery or special writing technique for creating such stunning imagery?

--For me, setting is key. I need to know what a place looks like before I start writing the story. In the case of NW, I needed to know what the place was like in order to understand the kinds of people who lived there. As far as how I visualize the place, it's equal parts research and imagination. Even though my settings are always purely fictional (I speak going forward to my next project, too) they are always inspired by a real place, or a collection of places, if not fully based on them. For NW, the image in MY head was of the moors in Northern England. It doesn't matter if the reader gets that same image, but it helped me make Near feel real.

How did you go about creating the Near Witch as a legend, as a person, and developing her story the way you did? Did you put everything together in stages, or did it all come at once?

--It started with Near, with this isolated town, and then I thought what KIND of legends a town like this, surrounded by hills and wind, would have. Near is a place tangled up in nature, and so I knew it had to play a large part. As far as her personal story, I actually worked backwards, from the legends and what people SAID about her, to her actual life. It all happened rather organically, if a bit messily.

Lexi is very close to her sister Wren. Did you want a strong sibling bond going into the writing process or anticipate that the relationship would play such an integral part in the novel?

--At first, I didn't think Lexi would be nearly as close to Wren, who is eleven years younger than her, but as the plot began to take shape, it became clear that their relationship would be a major piece, because *not really a spoiler* if children are disappearing, then you start wondering how long until Wren vanishes, too, and then you start waiting for it. So she became increasingly important over the drafts.

Can you tell us some secrets about your next novel, THE ARCHIVED? What are you working on now?

--It is so, so hard not to talk about THE ARCHIVED! It's a project I first started playing with while waiting on NW edits back in fall of 2009. I'm rather obsessed with it. It's kind of Buffy meets The Shining meets If I Stay. With a library.

--Right now I'm editing THE ARCHIVED and writing an adult project with the FAKE title VAGABOND PUPPIES.

Both THE NEAR WITCH and THE ARCHIVED have otherworldly elements to them. What draws you to this genre? Do you think you’ll keep the supernatural aspect in future releases, or mix it up a bit?

--Yes. I don't honestly think I'll ever write a book that doesn't involve at least a pinch of paranormal, because what I love about writing is creating worlds that make the reader look around and wonder if magic is real, and they just haven't been paying close enough attention.

On your blog, you like to mention shiny creatures like unicorns and narwhals. Why these two? Will you ever include either in a novel?

--Hahah, I want to write a picture book with narwhals so, so badly.

What books would you recommend reading to fans who have devoured THE NEAR WITCH and want something new to read?

--It's hard because I don't read things like what I write (I read everything from Between Shades of Gray to Across the Universe. But I would say THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, and THE SECRET GARDEN because all three shaped me as a writer, and I think if NW appeals to someone, those will, too.

While there’s no book trailer for THE NEAR WITCH, Victoria’s mother reads the opening pages of the novel below to whet your appetite!

And nooooooooooooow, the moment you’ve been waiting for. It’s giveaway time!

Enter to win an autographed THE NEAR WITCH bookmark from Victoria Schwab! All you have to do is fill out the form below. You do NOT have to be a follower to enter the contest. You get extra points for following, tweeting, (me and/or Victoria), etc. But none of it is NEEDED to enter. All email addresses will be deleted once winners have been chosen. This contest is open internationally until August 11th.

Good luck!


  1. I wasn't sure which book I wanted to read next, but this is the second interview I've seen with this author that has grabbed my attention. I will be reading this book TODAY! =) It sounds fabulous.

  2. @Flashlight: Yes, yes, yes! I want to hear your thoughts!!

  3. I hope I'm not too late I've been riding dirt bikes and camping again


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