Interview with Jane Hinchey, Author of Witch Way to Beauty and the Beach
23 Jul 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Witch Way to Beauty and the Beach?
Witch Way to Beauty and the Beach is the fourth installment in the Witch Way series that features an amateur sleuth, Harper, who is also a witch, her Gran who makes questionable fashion choices (amongst other things) and her orange tabby familiar, Archie. In this book, one of the entrants in the local magic talent competition mysteriously turns up dead. Harper and her sidekicks have their work cut out for them discovering who the killer is before they strike again.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
It wasn’t any one person or thing. From the ages of about two to eight, we lived in rural/remote outback South Australia and didn’t have a television (gasp, I know, how primitive!) so I grew up having to entertain myself, having to use my imagination. Subsequently both my brother and I are avid readers. Side-note: for anyone who wants to write, being a reader is a must. And that desire to tell my own story has always been there, in the back of my mind, but it really didn’t see the light of day until four years ago when I was made redundant and I was wondering what to do with myself…I decided to write a book!
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Urgh, too hard! Next question, lol. My favorite genres to read are cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. I’m often reading two books at once — much like my writing I tend to bounce between a couple of projects at a time. For cozies, I’ve really been enjoying the High Heels Mysteries by Gemma Halliday and the Moonstone Bay series by Amanda M. Lee.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Assuming it could be anyone past or present I’d definitely start with Agatha Christie! I’d want to know what her failures were, what mistakes she made in her career and writing. I think she would be absolutely fascinating to sit down and have a cuppa with.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Making stuff up. Creating my own world. My own characters. It’s exciting breathing life into my creations and then just seeing where they take me. Quite often I’ll have a plan in mind and then I’ll start writing and something else totally unexpected appears on the page. I love it when that happens!
What is a typical day like for you?
My days typical start with coffee and cats. One of my cats, Morgan, loves to hang out with me in my office, it’s her favorite place, so she’ll nag me to get up just so she can come in here and take a four-hour nap.
Then it’s checking emails and social media while I drink my coffee, check in on my reader group, more coffee, then it’s sleeves up and fingers on the keyboard to get my daily words in. I aim for around 3,000 words a day. Some days are more, some are less. Then it’s more admin, the business side like budgets and accounts and all that fun stuff.
That’s my standard day – in the evenings I’m usually on my laptop in front of the TV doing research or a bit of marketing and I wind down before bedtime either reading or watching something on Netflix.
What scene in Witch Way to Beauty and the Beach was your favorite to write?
There’s an opening scene where Gran is working with the kids on their magical talent quest entry and they’re all suspended in the air and gran farts, which propels her unexpectedly across the room. I admit to getting a fit of giggles while writing that! Pretty much any scene with Gran is fun to write.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Start now, with what you have.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
I remind myself of this often. Every book starts with a blank page, doesn’t matter who you are, we all start the same. It doesn’t matter what tools you use to put words on the page. You don’t need fancy software; you can write a book using pen and paper! It’s all about starting with what you have and upgrading later. This doesn’t just apply to writing, it applies to everything in life. Start now, with what you have.
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