The Magic of Storytelling – An Interview with Tish Thawer

Tish Thawer discusses her inspiration, creative process, and the magic behind her bestselling young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction novels.

Tish Thawer, a celebrated author known for her young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction, has captivated readers with her richly detailed world-building and magic-infused stories. With a career marked by numerous accolades, including the #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction and several prestigious awards, Thawer’s work has been likened to that of Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. Her most renowned series, The Witches of BlackBrook, delves into themes of time travel and sisterhood, demonstrating her ability to weave complex narratives that resonate deeply with her audience.

Thawer’s creative journey is fuelled by a lifelong passion for the supernatural, inspired by her early love of paranormal cartoons and phenomena like Twilight. Her knack for creating unique concepts is evident in her latest series, The Witch Handbook to Magic and Mayhem, where five sisters run a magical shop that adapts to the needs of its patrons. This innovative approach, combined with her meticulous attention to historical and fantastical details, keeps her stories fresh and engaging.

In this interview, Thawer shares insights into her inspirations, the creative processes behind her acclaimed series, and her experience writing within the collaborative world of Havenwood Falls. Her dedication to authentic storytelling and her ability to infuse magic into every narrative ensure that her works remain beloved by fans of the genre.

You’ve achieved the status of #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction and received numerous awards. Can you share what initially inspired you to start writing young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction? 

Since I was a child, I’ve always been a fan of the supernatural in one form or another. From my first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in my heart. 

Your series, The Witches of BlackBrook, involves complex themes of time travel and sisterhood. What inspired the creation of this series, and how do you approach building such intricate worlds and relationships in your novels? 

Funny story… I first saw the premade cover of book one, created by award-winning designer, Regina Wamba, and simply knew I had to write a time-spanning witches tale. The first scene in the book was inspired by the song Love the Way you Lie, by Rhianna and Emenim… specifically the lyrics, “Just going to stand there and watch me burn. Well that’s alright…” carried such a strong message to me, I knew my character’s first act had to be escaping the flames.

The Witch Handbook to Magic and Mayhem introduces us to five sisters running a magical shop. How did you come up with the unique concept of a store that shifts its inventory based on magical needs, and what can readers expect from this new series?

Originally titled ‘The Flower Girls’, each sister in this series is named after a flower and carries a specific magic within them. The idea of a shop managed by siblings that shifts to meet its customers’ needs seemed like a dream come true and a fun way to feature each of the sisters in turn. As it now stands, the Stolen Spells series is a portal-fantasy, featuring witches, fairies, lost-family and Fae royalty, with a dangerous but lush world that just keeps expanding.

Lost in Time places your characters in a time loop in 18th Century Colorado. What challenges did you face in weaving historical elements with fantasy, and how did you ensure the story remained engaging and authentic? 

Lost in Time takes place in the shared world of Havenwood Falls, a collaborative effort launched by Ang’dora Publishing. We had specifics we had to feature in our story that fell in line with the established world bible, but after living in Colorado for many years, getting the historical details right was a breeze. It was a fun way to bring in characters from my Witches of BlackBrook series and loop them into a world that carried some shared secrets from their original time. 

Your novels have been compared to works by Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. How do you feel about these comparisons, and what elements of your writing do you think resonate most with fans of these authors? 

I’m honoured by the comparisons and believe my detailed world-building and magic-laced stories are what resonate with their readers most. Lovers of magic and fantasy will always appreciate a creative story featuring authentic spells, and I do write my own.

With the wide range of supernatural creatures and intricate plots in the Havenwood Falls series, how do you keep your stories fresh and exciting for readers while maintaining consistency within this collaborative world? 

Havenwood Falls was a wonderful project to be a part of. As I mentioned before, we had a world bible that we had to follow which allowed us to create our individual stories while weaving in characters and elements from the established world with ease. It was a fun way to interact with other authors and their characters, while introducing unique elements of our own.

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