Kicking Back with Kick-butt and Julie Abe!

Welcome to Kicking Back with Kick-butt!

Today we’re chatting with Julie Abe, the author of


Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before she turns thirteen years old. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test:

ONE: Help your town, do good all around.
TWO: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon.
THREE: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.

When she lands on the tranquil coastal town of Auteri, the residents expect a powerful witch, not a semi-magical girl. So Eva comes up with a plan: set up a magical repair shop to aid Auteri and prove she’s worthy. She may have more blood than magic, but her “semi-magical fixes” repair the lives of the townspeople in ways they never could have imagined. Only, Eva’s bit of magic may not be enough when the biggest magical storm in history threatens the town she’s grown to love. Eva must conjure up all of the magic, bravery, and cleverness she can muster or Auteri and her dreams of becoming a witch will wash away with the storm.

Let’s talk to this awesome author about her wonderful book!
This is Julie. Everyone say, “Hi, Julie!”

Julie Abe

Welcome to Kick-Butt Kidlit, Julie! Tell us about yourself!

Thank you for having me, Casey! I write stories about kids going on magical adventures, and my debut MG fantasy, EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH, flies into shelves August 4, 2020. (I can’t believe it’s releasing so soon!)

What was the inspiration behind EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH?

EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH is about a 12-year-old girl with a pinch of magic who’s determined to pass her witch’s test… or she’ll lose her powers forever. I began writing EVA at a time where I didn’t really believe in myself or my writing, even though I wanted to, and those feelings made their way into her character arc.

What were you doing when you found out there was an offer on your book?
(I always love these stories!)

I’d been on sub for several weeks, so the initial excitement had turned into butterflies of nervousness as I wondered if I’d ever get an offer. Then, one day, while at work, I got a call from my lovely agent saying, “You got an offer!” And a few days later, she called again with another offer! It felt so unreal to have an ordinary workday turn into something so special.

What were three interesting things you discovered while working on EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH?

1. About how I write: I work best as a plantser – half plotting, half pantsing.

2. About the story: Cloudberries, one of Eva’s favorite fruits, is a real berry! But doesn’t it sounds so enchanting and magical?

3. About craft: Save the Cat has been a particularly helpful book! Love the beat sheets when my plot is stuck.

Cloudberries DO sound magical! They look magical too!

If you could transport your characters across book dimensions, which book would you most like them to end up in and why?

I would love for Eva and her friends to fall into the world of NEVERMOOR (Jessica Townsend) or taste the cakes from PIE IN THE SKY (Remy Lai). I adore those two books, and I think Eva would too!

I would 100% read those adventures! 😀

Why were you drawn to writing middle grade?

There’s so much hope in middle grade, and I find that beautiful and so fulfilling to write.

Any hints about your next book project?

My next project is Book Two of EVA EVERGREEN. I’m so excited to share this new adventure with even higher stakes and, of course, lots of Ember, Eva’s furry companion, planned for 2021!

What has been the most surprising part of your publishing journey?

There have been SO many people who have worked on Eva that I might never get a chance to meet. From foreign rights to sales, I’m so grateful for everyone at my US publisher, Little, Brown Young Readers, and my international publishers, for everything they’ve done for EVA.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently rereading El Deafo by Cece Bell. It’s such a great graphic novel that means a lot to me.

What’s your favourite piece of kick-butt advice?

Enjoy the journey and enjoy connecting with the people you meet! Some of my closest friends are fellow writers I’ve met on the path to publication, and having them in my life has made writing so much more fun and fulfilling.

That is very, very true!

Bonus Question: If you discovered you had magic, what’s the first thing you’d try to do?

I would love to do small magic! Things that might make someone smile or give them a good day. Or some sort of spell to create tasty meals with a snap of my fingers would be convenient, too!

Yes! Cooking by magic would be THE BEST.

Thank you so much for a great chat, Julie!

Kick-butt Kidlit friends, make sure you check out EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH! It hits shelves on August 4th!



Connect with Julie on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or through her website!

Click here to enter to win a copy of EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH!
Contest closes Friday, July 10th at 11:59 pm EST

Thanks for reading!

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