21 Aug 2012

AAA: Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked: Authors Who Have Shaped Me Into The Writer I Am Today

Ever since I first heard of Born Wicked, I knew I was in for a treat. When it released earlier this year, as soon as I got my hands on a copy, I devoured it and absolutely. fell. in. love. A trio of sisters, forbidden romance, plus witchy goodness; add Spotswood’s eloquent, rich prose, dazzling descriptions and beautiful characters and you’ve got GOLD. It is with great excitement that I present the wonderful Jessica Spotswood, who has kindly stopped by to share a ‘Top 5’ post – enjoy!

Top 5 Authors Who Have Shaped Me Into The Writer I Am Today

1. Louisa May Alcott
LITTLE WOMEN was my first true book love, back in elementary school. As an aspiring writer and the oldest of three sisters, I loved Jo best. In a high school production, though, I played Beth - and I died splendidly. I reread LITTLE WOMEN recently and it was a little dated - it feels like Jo settles for the Professor, and the moral lessons are pretty unsubtle - but I still love reading (and writing) about that complicated mix of love and jealousy between sisters.

2. L.M. Montgomery
My other elementary school favorites were the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and EMILY OF NEW MOON series. These, I think, hold up way better - except for the third Emily book, which I find kind of disturbingly dark. I love these spirited, smart, stubborn heroines - but what I really admire is L.M. Montgomery's lush sense of setting. Prince Edward Island comes roaringly, startlingly alive in these books; they read as much a love letter to that place as anything. They taught me how important setting is.

3. Margaret Mitchell
GONE WITH THE WIND is the book that made me write books, for its mix of swoony romance and history and deeply flawed but sympathetic characters. I can't tell you how many times I've reread this book; my paperback copy is falling apart and taped back together and it's one of the things I'd save if my house caught fire. Scarlett O'Hara is an incredible heroine - selfish and thoughtless and stubborn, but a survivor - a strong, independent, smart woman in a society that doesn't respect or value that.

4. Richelle Mead
VAMPIRE ACADEMY was one of the first YA novels I read when I started writing again, after grad school. I loved the balance between romance and the incredibly important friendship between Rose and Lissa and the fast-paced plot. And when I started to query, I put Jim McCarthy on my list because he represented Richelle. And now he's my awesome agent too!

5. Kristin Cashore
The GRACELING series is my very most favorite. I love all three books with an intense, evangelical passion. They feature completely amazing world-building, and strong independent heroines who are flawed but sympathetic, and swoony romance, and the writing is just beautiful. I can't even decide which one is my favorite. I think everyone should read all of them. When I went to one of Kristin's book-signings earlier this summer, I was such a dork, like: "Hi? I'm a Penguin author too? I LOVE YOUR BOOKS." I'm hoping to write a fantasy series after the Cahill Witch Chronicles, which has definitely been influenced and inspired by her work.
Find Jessica on: Goodreads | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Thank you Jessica for stopping by to share this wonderful post with us! I didn’t think it was possible, but after reading her response, I appreciate Jess even more. And did you see what she wrote…a fantasy series might be on the cards for Jess after she finishes the Cahill Witch Chronicles - exciting much!

If you’re a fan of Jessica, be sure to take the time and appreciate her! You could write a post, or if you don’t have a blog, a sweet tweet or facebook message does the trick as well!

Don't forget to go enter the AAA giveaway! It's open internationally, and there are DOZENS of books to be given away!


  1. Just because of #1 and 2 on this list I want to give Jessica's booka shot. :) It's always fascinating to me who author's list as some of their favorite authors. Sometimes the answers are completely unexpected.

    1. I love Born Wicked and hope you do too, whn you get round to reading it :) I've heard of all these authors but out of all of them, I've only read Richelle Mead's, VA series which I ADORED. I really must check the others out soon! Have I mentioned I appreciate your comments? Because I do! <3

  2. "I loved the balance between romance and the incredibly important friendship between Rose and Lissa and the fast-paced plot."

    THIS. The friendship between Rose and Lissa is one of my most fave parts of VA -- what attracted me to the series to begin with.

    And oh my goodness... what she has to say about Kristin Cashore? AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING! &HEARTS;

    LOVE this post!

    1. I adore the frienship between Rose and Lissa, too. Definitely one of my favourite aspects of the series. Aw, talking about VA has got me reminising. I feel like reading the whole series all over again, doesn't matter that I already read it all this year...

      I haven't read Kristin Cashore yet but everyone seems to LOVE her.


    2. Kristin is AMAZING, Becca! Seriously, you'll LOVE Graceling ♥

  3. SHE LISTED RICHELLE MEAD *POINTS* *JUMPS UP AND DOWN* VAMPIRE ACADEMY. JESSICA SPOTSWOOD IS A VA FAN! I love love love LOVE that series. So much. And eeee, Kristin Cashore! Graceling was AMAZING. I still need to read Fire, which I'm so excited to start.

    And Jessica hopes to write a fantasy series after Cahill Witch Chronicles? YES. PLEASE!!!!


      I haven't read anything by Kristin Cashor but I've heard amazing stuff. And to hear that she is an inspiration to Jess intrigues me most definitely.

      BRODIE! You MUST read Born Wicked, stat. It's MAGICAL.

  4. Oh yay! I love the first three on her list, that they're more classic authors. And I'm embarrassed that I haven't read the Vampire Academy books. I completely have no book blogger credibility, haha.

    The cover to Born Wicked is BEAUTIFUL. Her design team rocked it.

    1. You are totally forgiven as long as you read VA soon! I only started (and finished) the series this year. It's THAT good I could reread it all over again!

      The Born Wicked cover is STUNNING. I absolutely can't wait to set my sights on the cover of Star Cursed!