Get ready to laugh out loud with Stephanie Grey’s new release A Witchly Influence! Below, she shares more on the quirky characters, fate, magic, and life changes in her fun, feel-good novel.
“…a fun, feel-good story about giving your friends and family a little push. Seeing [Carmen] maneuver her new job and learn how to influence others to do what’s right for them just makes you want to help out everyone you know too.— Stephanie Kerwick, NetGalley & Goodreads Reviewer
About A Witchly Influence: Get ready to have fun and be influenced!
Fate can show up as anything… As a freshly minted divorcee, witch Carmen Devereaux returns to her hometown in North Carolina. With this decision comes another change in her life: Fate has decided that she is to become an Influencer, someone who guides others onto the path that they were meant to take.
When she’s assigned to Abby Windsor, a young schoolteacher, as well as her own stepbrother, Finn Cleary, she soon encounters several obstacles, including getting stuck in her own past.
A quirky, fun, and lovable cast of characters, including Lenny the Snowman—a grumpy, old snowman who really loves trashy reality shows, especially ones about real housewives; Egbert the Lobbyist Pencil—a pompous pencil who lobbies on magic and loves tasty cuisine; and Muse Siobhan Waters, who is thoughtful and down to earth, help guide and inspire Carmen whenever she gets stuck working on her assignment. Along the way, Carmen learns to influence others…and herself.
Humorous and light-hearted, A Witchly Influence is the perfect feel-good book of the year.
- What was your inspiration for A Witchly Influence?
My inspiration for A Witchly Influence came from a relative who is unaware he’s the main reason why I wrote the book. He’s truly a great person with a big heart and would do anything for anyone, but he’s personally unhappy with his life. Unfortunately, he’s too scared of change to make any big changes despite the support he receives from myself and other family and friends.
I wondered how his life would change if he were to meet someone sent specifically to influence and encourage him to make the changes he talks about often.
The idea of an Influencer emerged from that, and I knew I wanted it to be fun and quirky. I hope I accomplished that in the eyes of the readers.
- Can you tell us more about the witches in your book? How are they different from other depictions?
The witches in my book don’t cast spells or are bound by rules. They’re simply magical, though there is a council that keeps them in check.
- Who was your favorite character to write and why?
I loved to write Abby Windsor’s character! She’s based on my best friend in real life, who is absolutely great.
“[a] feel-good story…[with a] quirky supporting cast…”— Publishers Weekly
- Carmen is a recently divorced woman. How does she cope with it and move on with her life afterward?
Carmen’s able to cope with it just like any human does when something life-altering and sad happens: she turns to her friends and family. Their support and love is what helps her pick up the pieces.
- What would you like the most about having Carmen’s magical abilities?
Being able to transport myself anywhere at the blink of an eye would be wonderful. My husband and I move every few years for his career, and we’re never sure if we’re going to be somewhere that’s near family and friends. It’d be great to not have to worry about that because the distance truly wouldn’t matter.
- Abby and Finn both have very different situations. If you were in Carmen’s shoes, which character would you rather have to influence?
Definitely Abby. Finn is in a situation where it’s personally hard for him to accept change. Abby is much more open to it.
- Why did you choose for Abby to be a special needs teacher for middle school children?
I chose that because my best friend in real life is a special needs teacher. She taught middle school briefly, but is back to teaching elementary-age children.
- I found it interesting that Abby was bullied despite being a teacher and an adult. Is this something you feel is relatively common among adults but goes unnoticed?
This is absolutely a problem. When my friend taught at the middle school, she was surprised to learn how many cliques existed amongst the teachers. She was new there, and she wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms. One teacher in particular picked on her relentlessly. Unlike Abby, my friend stood up for herself and handled the situation.
I myself worked for a company in Hawaii where I was bullied daily for not being from the area. I didn’t stay there for very long because there are far better places to work that aren’t toxic.
- Did the witty writing style come naturally to you or was it something you had to work at?
What a flattering question! Nope, it comes naturally. Seriously, I know I can be a bit of an odd duck, but I hope it makes for some interesting pages to read!
“This was a great…engaging and entertaining read. Light and fun, well written. Likable characters. I enjoyed it so much I am hoping it’s just the beginning of a new fantasy series.”— Jen Ryan, Librarian: Walla Walla Rural Library District
- Your book centers around the idea that Fate has ideal paths for people to follow in life. What led you to explore the idea of fate?
Who hasn’t thought about fate from time to time? I was thinking about the choices we make, and the endless possibilities of alternate realities had we chosen differently. For example, I had wanted to move to another city right after I graduated from college. I stayed for an undisclosed reason, and wound up meeting the man who would become my husband during a typical night at jiu-jitsu. Had I moved away, we never would have met, so I’m glad I stayed.
- Are you currently working on a new novel?
Yes, I am! I’m actually working on two, but one is getting a bit more love than the other. The one getting more love is sort of a sequel to A Witchly Influence. It has different characters, but it takes place in the same universe. I don’t have a title for it yet, but I never do until the end. I hope to have it completed as soon as possible!
About the Author:
Stephanie Grey is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism. Writing has always been her passion, and she enjoys exploring different genres. Her debut novel, The Immortal Prudence Blackwood about an immortal hunting serial killers, earned rave reviews from readers and is quickly becoming a cult favorite. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, visiting museums, reading, and playing with her cat. One day she may even turn into a crazy cat lady because nothing in life is interesting without a little bit of crazy.
Check out Stephanie’s books, blog, news, and short stories at her website!
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