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Saturday, 8 February 2020

ℚ The Great Witches Baking Show [1] - Nancy Warren

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Great Witches Baking Show (, Ambleside Publishing, 210 pages), a Culinary Cozy Mystery, book one in the The Great Witches Baking Show series.

"I love cozy mysteries and The Great British Baking Show and this wonderfully quirky book combines them to perfection! Great characters, a wonderful location, witches old and new - what could be better?" - Merrie (Amazon Reviewer)

"a surprising five-star read. [...] the cozy genre isn’t one I always like, but this was brilliant, the mystery really kept me going and the sweetness just made me all warm and fuzzy.  Poppy Wilkinson is a great main character; you can feel her emotions and story leaping off the page at you. The rest of the characters are just as fun and sweet, or are they?? There is a great supernatural storyline to the story as well and I loved how the author managed to pull all of the characters and plot lines together." - Sara Oxo (Vine Voice)

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Nancy Warren; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Great Witches Baking Show?

"I love The Great British Bake-Off or Baking Show in the US.  Love it.  I was watching one day and thought, The Great Witches Baking Show.  That would be fun.  Then I really started thinking about how I’d structure it, who would be the witches, and the series was born.

I didn’t want the witches to be the contestants or it would end up being recipes for spells or something, so I decided that the judges would be the witches.  That’s when it took off in my mind.

Since these are paranormal cozy mysteries, there’s always going to be a murder that gets solved.  There will also be baking, and my heroine Poppy has her own reasons for being on the show, so there’s her story arc as well. "
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I write another series called The Vampire Knitting Club and the crazy thing is that I can’t knit (neither can my heroine).  It’s hard sometimes to write fluently about something you’re not very good at.

Baking on the other hand is a bit of a passion for me.  My British mother was a great home baker when I was growing up and taught me to bake too.  I’ll be sharing some of our family recipes in the series. 

The heroine, Poppy, is a bit like me in that she’s grown up in North America, but she has British roots and lives in the UK so she’s sort of got two countries she calls home.  However, she’s also got some powers that I don’t have 🙂"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Great Witches Baking Show - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Lou Harper of Cover Affairs is my go-to designer.  Lou is brilliant.  She loves The Great British Baking Show too so she put a lot of images together that are familiar to those who enjoy the show.  There’s the union jack bunting, the tent, the manor house in the background.  And, of course, there are hints that this is a paranormal cozy -- like the black cat…"
Why should we read The Great Witches Baking Show and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"You should definitely read this book if you love paranormal cozy mysteries, are a fan of GBBO or just want the recipes.

While these are mysteries, they are also books that celebrate baking, working as a team and how a group of strangers can come together and become a kind of family.  My hope is that the reader will end the book with a smile on their face and a craving for some home baking."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Great Witches Baking Show, its story and characters?
"Broomewode Hall is a made-up manor house, but I love going to National Trust houses and touring these grand old estates.  This one is special because it’s on an energy vortex connected to Glastonbury (which you’ll recognize as it’s the site of the famous Glastonbury music festival).  It’s also a very magical place.  King Arthur is said to be buried there.  The site draws a lot of witches and seekers of various kinds.  I liked the idea of linking that energy with a manor house connected with the cooking show."
Who would you recommend The Great Witches Baking Show to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The Great Witches Baking Show is perfect for people who like cozy mysteries, who like to bake and who enjoy competitive cooking shows.

I suppose the only warning I have is that there is a lot of baking and I do provide recipes.  This may not be the best book to read if you’re on a strict diet and don’t want to be tempted."
If you could / wished to turn The Great Witches Baking Show and the The Great Witches Baking Show series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh, what fun!  Well, I’d choose a lovely English country estate, obviously, as the location.  Something like Dyrham Park.

Poppy would definitely be played by Lily James, Elspeth Peach (the older woman judge) could be played by Julie Andrews, Maggie Smith or Judi Dench.  For the sexy but mysterious Lord Winford I’d cast Aidan Turner or Henry Cavill, someone like that."
Lily James
as Poppy
Julie Andrews OR Maggie Smith OR Judi Dench
as Elspeth Peach
Aidan Turner OR Henry Cavill
as Lord Winford
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love to write cozy mysteries, but I also write romance. In fact, my favorite thing is to combine the two! I do read these genres, yes."
What is your writing process?
"It’s a bit crazy, but I tend to write in mad spurts and then I have slow periods.  I think I’m not working, but all the time the plot is simmering in the back of my mind.  Then, suddenly, I have another intense spell of writing.

I edit very lightly as I go and then do a huge edit at the end.  That’s the most difficult part for me.  It’s tedious and I have to fix things I got wrong.  However, we all have to work in the way that suits us and this is what works for me."
What is in store next?
"The Great Witches Baking Show is planned as a twelve-book series.  It follows the format of a reality show, so someone gets sent home each week and someone is the star baker.  Within that framework there will be murders to solve, I have a couple of romances planned, and we’ll get to know this community of strangers better.  Also, Poppy has a big mystery surrounding her past and so she’s on a personal quest to discover where she really came from.

For fans of The Vampire Knitting Club, don’t worry!  Popcorn and Poltergeists, Book 9 is coming out in February.  I’ll continue writing both series."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a beloved Border Collie, Max, who is the inspiration for Sly, who turns up in Baker’s Coven, book 2.

Max is a rescue dog who came to us as a puppy and is now almost 17.  He is a joy."
Hello Max! You really are a gorgeous boy; lots of head scratches and belly rubs to you from all of us at BooksChatter!

Nancy, thank you so much for sharing Max with us; we hope you are having a great tour :-)

Thanks so much for having me!
Can she and her friends stop a killer before it becomes a real show-stopper?

The Great Witches Baking Show
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from Audible purchase from purchase from Audible purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


CMash said...

I enjoy interviews since it gives the reader a chance to know the author behind the book!

Nancy Warren said...

Thank you so much! I love seeing the pictures you chose. I'm going to share this with my readers. best, Nancy

Annie West said...

I've read the first book in this new series and can't wait for more. Lovely interview! Thanks for stopping by.

Jeanie Jackson said...

Maggie Smith for Elspeth!
I pre-ordered the new one but it is stuck in THAT pile. I love Vampire Knitting Club and am anxious to meet the new people. Reading slowing so it may take a while!

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