We are so excited to reveal the cover of A Witch Alone, the second book in The Apprentice Witch series! We sat down with author James Nicol to talk about his upcoming book. Check out our conversation below, and scroll all the way down to see the gorgeous new cover!
OOM: Congratulations on a wonderful U.S. launch for The Apprentice Witch! The New York Times Book Review called your heroine Arianwyn “a likeable hero, with well-drawn struggles”, and the book was named to Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2017! What was your favorite part of launching this book to American readers?
James Nicol: There have been so many amazing aspects to the book being released in the U.S. Do I have to pick just one? Partying with Captain Underpants and Dog Man at the Scholastic party at the American Booksellers Association’s Children’s Institute is high on the list, for sure. Seeing The Apprentice Witch selected by OwlCrate JR. for their August crate was also very exciting (my Instagram has never been so busy!). And the New York Times review—well, I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. Still gives me butterflies to think about it! But I think a huge thing was to meet so many wonderful booksellers on my visit. Their passion and enthusiasm is second to none, and alongside all the wonderful teachers and librarians, they are so key to encouraging children's reading and love of books. Swapping recommendations with booksellers from New York to Denver was a definite highlight for me.
OOM: Tell us a little bit about A Witch Alone, set to hit shelves October 1, 2018. What will readers find out as Arianwyn’s journey continues?
JN: Oooh – well, there’s much more excitement and mystery. There is a secret mission, some old friends and enemies and new as well. An encounter with royalty, some beautiful and frightening new magical creatures, and plenty of Bob, the moon hare! Arianwyn gets back to Lull, no longer an apprentice (spoilers!), and the expectations for her are suddenly very high—yet she doesn’t feel any different, even though she now gets to wear the silver star of a fully-fledged witch. As the hex in the Great Wood creeps ever closer, all manner of things start to emerge near Lull. Ofcourse, it’s left up to Arianwyn to deal with it all!
OOM: There’s a new look for the paperback of The Apprentice Witch and we’re here to reveal the cover of A Witch Alone for the first time! What do you love about these covers?
JN: Oh my goodness, these covers are just gorgeous. I’ve been staring at them for hours now. I am such a huge fan of Leo [the designer] and I think the new cover for Apprentice Witch links nicely with the original UK cover, but gives it its own very definite look and feel. As for the A Witch Alone cover – well, it’s just as magical and full of mystery as I hope the insides are! I really hope everyone is going to love them as much as I do.
Finally, just a HUGE thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed and fallen in love with Arianwyn and co. To all the teachers, librarians and booksellers who have pressed it into the hands of readers: you are super stars and i hope you all enjoy A Witch Alone. I certainly enjoyed going back to Lull and the Four Kingdoms and I hope you all do to.
And now, without further ado, the cover of A Witch Alone:
Author photo: Gulliver Moore