Friday, March 15, 2013

Brittany Geragotelis Author Interview

Photo Content from Brittany Geragotelis

Brittany Geragotelis is living the dream. After 10 years of rejection from the publishing industry, she began to post her original novel, Life's a Witch, on the online writing site, Wattpad, hoping that others would enjoy reading her book. A year after the first upload, the book had received 19 million reads, which caught the attention of Publisher's Weekly, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

After building up some buzz in the industry, she hooked up with her agents who instantly received interest from publishers and movie/tv producers. Within weeks, Life's a Witch went into auction between four major publishing houses, and in the end Brittany landed a 3-book deal with publishing powerhouse, Simon & Schuster.

On January 29, the prequel/spin-off of Life's a Witch, called What the Spell? became available in bookstores everywhere, while a new and improved Life's a Witch will debut on July 9. The sequel, The Witch is Back, will come out January 2014.

When she's not writing, Brittany is obsessing over celebrities, TV shows, movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gluten-free food and, of course, books!
Brittany lives in NYC with her husband, Matt, and her two cats, Murray and Cohen.


Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I think that when I wrote my first book at the age of 15, that was when I realized that this was it for me. Writing books was what I was passionate about and if all my dreams came true, I would end up writing books for a living. I knew that I loved reading books before, but the day I finished writing my first one…it was all over. This was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think it connects us. It’s something that we can all identify with and it can bring strangers together through a shared experience. But most importantly, it evokes emotion in us. Storytelling (whether it’s done through books, television, movies, music, etc) can make us feel all sorts of emotions: sadness, excitement, courage, fear, comfort, humor…storytelling has the power to make us feel all of these things. Also, it can inspire us, challenge us or even give us a distraction from our everyday lives. The world would be a sad place without the beauty of wonderfully told stories.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
It’s not necessarily advice, but I remember hearing that Meg Cabot received rejection letters for years, non-stop, every day except for Sundays—and that was just because the mail didn’t come on Sundays. But she kept trying. She kept writing. She kept querying. She kept going after her dreams. So, I think what I learned from her experience was never to give up until you achieve your dreams. Imagine if she or JK Rowling (whose book, Harry Potter was rejected by a ton of publishers before it found a place to call home) gave up when people told them no? I really needed this “never give up” attitude when I was going through my own rejection…and here I am!

In your new book; What the Spell?, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
WHAT THE SPELL? is a prequel/spin-off to my series, LIFE’S A WITCH, which I originally published online and had 18 million reads of it in under a year. The whole series is a reimagining of the Salem Witch Trials but set in modern day. It has an element of history mixed in with magic, and the vibe is fun and sassy. WTS is about a girl, Brooklyn Sparks, who feels like she’s been invisible her whole life. So, when she turns 16 and comes into her witchy powers, she decides to give herself a magical makeover, which catches the attention of the popular kids at her school and the super-cutie, James Dean-ish boy Asher. But before she can become one of the “Elite,” she has to prove she has what it takes to rule her school. Of course, like they say…you have to be careful what you witch for…

For those who are unfamiliar with Brooklyn, how would you introduce her?
Brooklyn has felt invisible her whole life. She’s not popular, she’s not a nerd—she doesn’t fit in anywhere at her school. And all she’s ever wanted is be someone. She’s always felt completely alone; like no one could possibly understand how it feels to be her. So, when she gets her powers, she sort of goes crazy trying to change her predicament. Deep down, she’s a good person and she makes her decisions while telling herself that becoming popular will allow her to be in a position to be helpful to other people. She thinks she’ll be able to use her powers of popularity for good, not evil. But she’s a victim of bullying and a negative self-image, and doesn’t quite understand how her actions are actually hurting others. She’s imperfect but identifiable in her feelings.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Asher?
That others thought he was as dreamy and awesome as I did! I mean, I knew he was smart, sensitive, confident, secure with who he was and ridiculously cool (in a non-cocky sort of way), but to know that others thought he was the perfect guy, too? That’s was amazing!

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
Because it was how I felt in high school. Of course, I didn’t have magic to change things….I just had to wait out my tragic high school experience. But, I felt soooo different than everyone else, like there was no one else that could understand how I felt. I was bullied. I felt self-conscious. I felt unloveable. All I wanted was to just exist and be happy. I think there are a lot of teens out there who had a similar experience in high school and need to know they’re not alone.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Well, I would introduce Brooklyn to Asher’s future girlfriend, Hadley…and that’s exactly what I do in the third book, THE WITCH IS BACK. What happens next is spellacious!

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I just finished writing the third book in the series, called THE WITCH IS BACK. WHAT THE SPELL is out in bookstores now, followed by LIFE’S A WITCH July 9th and then TWIB in January 2014. I’m going to start pitching my next series soon, so hopefully I’ll have news for you soon!

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
How are you doing? It’s not always a lie…but sometimes it’s a lot easier to say, “fine.”

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Oh man…just one? Okay: Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. You never know which one is going to help lead you to your big break or the next big thing. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that says you’re either not good enough or too good to participate in x, y and z. I said “yes” to putting my book online for free and it lead to my 3-book deal. You just never know…and it would suck to find out later that you said no to something that could have lead you to your dream come true.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
It depends on the situation but either my fiancĂ©, Matt, and my Mom. Regardless of who’s called first, they’re both on my speed-dial.

What’s your most missed memory?
Waking up on Christmas morning with my family as a kid, and being so excited that Santa came.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The one that I grew up in. The 90’s. Maybe the 80’s, too. They had the best music I think.

When was the last time you cried?
Last week when I received a sweet letter from an editor at another publishing house, telling me she was a fan of my writing and that she loves my story of how I came to be published. I was so caught off-guard by this random act of kindness and overwhelmed by the fact that this is my life now. I get to live my dream and others enjoy the books I write.

Who was your first boyfriend?
My first boyfriend was a guy named Brent. It was in grade school. He gave me a heart-shaped shell box as a present once. We held hands a lot and it was AWESOME!

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Well, I used to think it was gluten…but then, about seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disease where my body can’t process gluten (wheat, oats, barley, rye; basically, anything with flour in it). The only “cure” is to not consume gluten. It was a hard lifestyle change to make. But now, it’s become second-nature. Right now I’m on a bridal diet (I’m getting married in a month and my fiancĂ© put us on a no bread, no pasta, no potato diet), so once again, I’m being deprived of the things I love. But a single food? Hmmm, probably pasta. No, bread. No, French fries. I can’t choose.

A teenage witch juggles popularity and romance while keeping her powers a secret in this spellbinding debut.

Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age—so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen.

On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified—and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be careful what you witch for!

You can purchase What the Spell at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you BRITTANY GERAGOTELIS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of What the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis.


  1. Thanks for the donation for the giveaway :)

  2. Commented on Facebook. Thanks for the amazing giveaway and I really would love to read this book.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway Jean and Brittany! This definetly fits in with my current book genre.

  4. Thank you for donation and giveaway!>:D<