Nov 4

Tenner Thursday with Giveaway!

Hello one and all! I hope everyone had a yummy Halloween and that you are all ready for another delicious interview…and this one is tres delicious WITH a giveaway…yes, a giveaway! So please stay tuned to the end of the interview to find out how you can win…

Today, I have with me debut author Cindy Callaghan and her middle grade novel, Just Add Magic!

Here’s a little bit about Cindy: She grew up in New Jersey and attended college at the University of Southern California before earning her BA and MBA from the University of Delaware. Her full-time job is in corporate America; her other full-time jobs are mom and writer. She is very involved with her children’s activities, including coaching the occasional soccer team.  Cindy lives, works and writes in Wilmington, Delaware with her family and numerous rescued pets.

And here’s the delicious blurb about her book: When Kelly Quinn and her two BFFs discover a dusty old cookbook while cleaning out her attic, the girls decide to try a few of the mysterious recipes inside.  But the ancient book bears an eerie warning, and it doesn’t take long for the girls to realize that their dishes are linked to strange occurances.  The Keep ‘Em Quiet Cobbler actually silences Kelly’s pesky little brother and the Hexberry Tarta brings an annoying curse to mean girl Charlotte Barney.  And there is the Love Bug Juice, which seems to have quite the effect on those cute Rusamano boys…Could these receipes really be magical? Who wrote them and where did they come from.  And most importantly, what kind of trouble are the girls stirring up for themselves? Things are about to get just a little too hot in Kelly Quinn’s kitchen.

Now onto my interview!

How long does it generally take you to write a book from those first words to the very last?

I write first drafts very very fast.  When I have an idea that I’m excited about, I can’t stop writing it.  I just want to get it all on paper…the sloppy copy.  In terms of actual days?  Probably from two–four months depending on the complexity of the project.  It’s the REWRITING that takes years.

What was the inspiration—that first spark of a story—behind your amazing book?

It was my daughter and her goofy friends.  They love to play in the kitchen and I am always on top of them… “Don’t make a mess”  “Don’t burn the house down.”  “Wash the dished.”  And it led me to think what fun the kitchen could be for girls who didn’t have a type-A neat freak breathing down their neck.  And then the idea grew….what if?  What if the girls had a club.  Clubs are cool.  But, Secret Clubs are even cooler.  Why is this club a secret?  And that was the initial idea:  A Secret Cooking Club.  I mean, seriously, what’s more fun than that?

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Tough question, due to my day job and my children’s activities I wouldn’t call it a “schedule” because it’s not consistent.  I like to write in big chunks of quiet time, which is hard to find.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk…come on…I know you have one!

I am a terrible typist.  Terrible.  And to make it worse, I am a terrible editor.  I know this about myself and I want to be a good editor, so I work at it, but even with the effort, I am still very bad.  It drives my writing group and agent crazy.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Being with my kids, husband and pets.  I love the mountains.  We have a house there and I really like to spend time there.  I also like to read, walk, watch movies and TV.

Without giving us any spoilers, how did you choose the title for your book?

The title for this book was actually very tough.  It is difficult to distill your whole story into just a few words.  So JUST ADD MAGIC conveys cooking and magic.  These are the two special ingredients of this story.

Are there any tools that are absolute must-haves for writers?

A computer.  An “Idea Notebook”.  And people who can read your stuff and give you constructive feedback.  Of course getting feedback isn’t any good unless you use it.

Because I think you should always save room for dessert, as a child, what was your favorite dessert? And what is your favorite dessert now?

Ice cream.  Always has been and always will be.  And cake, cookies, cupcakes, cannoli, tiramisu, fudge, pastries, truffles, chocolate, bon-bons, muffins, crisp, cobbler, mousse and pie….you get the idea.

Okay, now I’m really hungry.

To learn more about Cindy visit her website at! And just click on her title to buy JUST ADD MAGIC!

But you also have a chance to win a signed copy of Just Add Magic and some cute bookmarks and postcards! Just write your own recipe name and the magic that would ensue when you made it. I’ll choose a winner in a few days!

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