Nicole St Claire
Author Spotlight: Meet KM Jackways
I recently had the chance to interview fellow author KM Jackways about her Redferne Witches series, and her life as a writer in New Zealand. (Read to the end to find out who my fantasy casting choices would be for Tamsyn and Noah from my Witches of Pinecroft Cove series!)
I'm relatively new to the writing business, having published my first cozy mystery in 2019 (though my first romance came out three years earlier). I'm curious, how long have you been writing ? I started writing when we lived in France for a year in 2015. I was inspired by the old places, like Roman ruins and medieval bridges. Who had walked there before? Who had scorned their lovers or swindled unsuspecting passersby on this country lane? I started researching for a historical novel and writing soon became an escape and creative therapy. I know what you mean about old places. That's what I love most about living in New England, being surrounded by so many buildings and places that have fascinating histories. What inspired the idea for your book, Brand of Magic? During the lockdown in 2020, a group of New Zealand writers that I'm part of decided to write books about witches. It was a way to immerse ourselves in our favourite places. Dunedin, where Brand of Magic is set, is a cool wee university city that I used to live in. The books had to have a witch as the main character. Hazel jumped into my mind, a witch who can sense the emotions of everyone around her, but struggles with the sensory overload. She is really good at her job in Marketing. And she's a bit of an introvert, like me.
Oh, what fun! I love the idea of a writing group all working on one type of story. It sounds like the author's equivalent of a book club. Speaking of books, what were some of your favorite books growing up? All sorts. I loved Trixie Belden, Anne of Green Gables and anything by Roald Dahl. Once I discovered sci fi, fantasy and historical, I felt like the world had opened up. I was a big fan of LM Montgomery, too. I loved her Emily series, where the main character wanted to be a writer because that was how I pictured myself, too. I have to admit that as a kid, I had no idea what type of books I would write when I grew up, just that I wanted to write. Is there a particular genre you would love to write but only under a pseudonym? I would really love to be able to write romance, especially enemies to lovers when it is really well done. Ha, ha! I totally agree. I actually do write romance under a pen name, and there are definitely plenty of times I wouldn't want to mention those in conversations with strangers. Just one last question for you. If your book was to be made into a movie/TV show, who would play the lead roles? Ooh, this is a fun question! I imagine that Hazel, the witch, would be played by Sarah Rafferty, (the redhead from Suits). Joel would be played by James McAvoy.
Great answer! My main character, Tamsyn, is a redhead, too, and I picture Karen Gillan playing her. For her love interest, Noah, I would choose Ethan Peck. He's the grandson of Gregory Peck, so he's got that going for him, plus I describe Noah as a "young George Clooney," and Ethan was the real George Clooney's choice to play his younger self in a recent film. He even claimed Ethan is more good looking than he was at the same age, if that's physically possible. Either way, I figure George knows best!
Make sure to check out KM Jackways' novella, Brand of Magic, which features Hazel, an empath witch who has put magic (and men) out of her mind until her aunt is attacked and Hazel's psychic powers may be the key to it all. This enjoyable read has a dash of romance and is set in New Zealand!