Monday, September 5, 2016


Susan Bishop Crispell's debut, THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES(published by Thomas Dunne Books; on-sale 9/6/16; 304 words) is a charming and utterly delicious novel about wishes, secrets, and the power of pie. Called a "bright new voice in romantic magical realism" by Amy Sue Nathan, Susan lives up to this praise. "A lyrical and imaginative read about the redemptive power of self-acceptance in the wake of heartbreak" (Ilie Ruby, author of The Language of Trees), THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES follows Rachel after she grants an outlandish wish (involving unicorns). Running away from her hometown of twenty-six years and arriving in Nowhere, North Carolina, she tries to start over by putting her past behind her. Rachel befriends a spitfire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange ability of her own—to bind secrets into the pies she makes—and Ashe, Catch’s neighbor with southern gentleman charm and a complicated history. Rachel settles into Nowhere, hoping her own secrets will stay hidden. Her budding romance with Ashe makes Rachel want to believe, for the first time, in her own happily-ever-after. When the public discovery of Rachel’s wish-making abilities collides with secrets and ghosts from her past, her future in Nowhere seems to come to a close. 

Susan Bishop Crispell has woven enchantments into her debut novel—a spellbinding narrative of love and loss. Full of small-town charm and heart-wrenching romance, this tale speaks to those who have had to start over.


“Susan Bishop Crispell has created a magical world where secrets are baked into pies, wishes do come true, and second chances are possible. Sarah Addison Allen fans will flock to Crispell's charming novel, leaving the last page as satisfied as they would after a slice of homemade peach pie.”
–Karma Brown, author of Come Away with Me

“This is a lovely, lark of a novel filled with imagination and energy. The warm characters, in the most engaging way, learn that you must be careful for what you wish for or live with the consequences.”
–Ann Garvin, author of I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around and The Dog Year

“Susan Bishop Crispell delivers a page-turning and moving story of family, love, and second chances complete with touches of humor and heartache. If you don't already believe in magic, you will, when you arrive in Nowhere, North Carolina along with Rachel Monroe, meet the town's charismatic residents, and learn everyone's secrets, hopes, and deepest fears. Fans of Sarah Addison Allen will delight in this bright new voice in romantic magical realism. I know I did!”
–Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives 

“A romantic confection of pies, wishes, and a spoonful of magic. A delectable read.”
–Shelley Noble, New York Times-bestselling author of Whisper Beach

“The fervent wishes and life-changing secrets at the heart of Crispell's magical tale are as addictive as the mysterious Catch's strawberry pie. I adored this story of romance and friendship, heartache and healing , and the transformative power of hope.”
–Loretta Nyhan, author of I'll Be Seeing You and All the Good Parts 

“A truly enchanting tale. One to cherish.”
–Menna van Praag, author of The Dress Shop of Dreams 

“A magical, tenderly-told story about one woman’s journey to embrace a gift she has always feared as she confronts a past she cannot quite remember. A lyrical and imaginative read about the redemptive power of self-acceptance in the wake of heartbreak, and the ways in which new love can blossom even in the darkest, most hidden corners of the human heart.”
–Ilie Ruby, author of The Language of Trees

“How I loved this warm hug of a novel about what it means to get what you want most--and how to figure out what that really is.”
–Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and The Love Goddess' Cooking School  

Susan Bishop Crispell

Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Born and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, she now lives twenty minutes from the beach in North Carolina with her husband and their two literary-named cats. She is very fond of pie and is always on the lookout for hints of magic in the real world. Her debut women's fiction novel The Secret Ingredient of Wishes comes out in September 2016.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. I draw a lot of inspiration from other writers (both novelists and screenwriters). I write magical realism and two of my favorite authors are Sarah Addison Allen and Anna-Marie McLemore. Their writing is stunning and their characters are so vibrant and real. Every time I read one of their books all I want to do is try to write something that spectacular. I’m also a huge fan of Bryan Fuller’s brand of magical and quirky TV shows, like Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls, as well as shows like Gilmore Girls, Everwood and Hart of Dixie that mix small-towns, family drama and believable love stories. There are pieces of all of these woven into my characters and towns.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. I love that one tiny speck of an idea can explode in my brain and turn into 300+ pages of a story. So much changes from that initial idea as the story unfolds, but that’s part of the fun. Seeing how the characters reveal themselves and new ideas that spark because of those changes makes for a different writing experience with every book.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Finding time to write with a day job. I work 8-10 hour days and fitting writing in before and after work is challenging most days. I’m usually pretty good about hitting my word count (when I’m on a deadline or just really dedicated!), but after particularly busy days at work, writing can be painfully slow.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. We’re going to ignore the fact that I have day job and pretend that I could have any job that I wanted! In that case, I would love to be a baker, especially if I could be trained to make pies and cakes look as gorgeous as the ones in magazines.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. I’d probably steal the name I used for my blog “Confessions of a Fangirl”. When I love something—a book, a TV show, a movie, and band—it influences so much of my life. I work these things into my books (I have references to both Firefly and Doctor Who in THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES!) and will happily geek out with other fans any chance I get.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Oh, my gosh. This is the hardest question! I love so many books. So many. But if I had to pick just one, I’d say THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON by Sarah Addison Allen. I love the combination of magic and cakes and small town setting and redemption. And it’s beautifully written.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Okay, I take it back. This is the hardest question. I see parts of myself in lots of characters and I see even more qualities I wish I had. One character I really identified with was Cath from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Like Cath, I love getting swept away in fictional worlds.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. I’m probably most like Penelope from THE PROBABILITY OF FATE, which comes out next fall from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. She’s a big believer in fate and family and magic. She loves music and chocolate with equal intensity. She has a big heart and wants to see the good in people, but she knows how to hold a grudge against people who have hurt her.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Ooh, this one’s easy. Harry Potter, hands down. I want to hang out in the Gryffindor common room (I’m a Ravenclaw so I’d have to sneak in, but I’d totally do it!) and go to Hogsmeade and visit the Burrow so I could hug all of the Weasleys.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. I love summer. All that warm, sunny weather with late sunsets and all of my favorite fruits in season. Nothing beats fresh peaches, raspberries and strawberries. Unless, it’s putting them into a pie!

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. Magical pie is a big part of THE SECRECT INGREDIENT OF WISHES. From the friendships that are formed while baking, to the townspeople’s secrets that are magically sealed into the pies, to the quirky fruit trees behind Catch’s house that hide secrets of their own. So when I talked to the designers, the only thing I knew I wanted on the cover was pie. And they gave my book the perfect cover.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I’m just getting started with promotions for THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES so no great stories yet. But whatever happens, I know it will be a lot of fun.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes! As I mentioned above, THE PROBABILITY OF FATE comes out next fall. It’s about single-mom Penelope Dalton who has lost faith in her magical fate-changing hot chocolate when it fails to heal her terminally-ill daughter. I’m really excited about that one. It’s been through so many iterations over the years and I’m so happy to finally have gotten the story right. I’m also writing a young adult novel about two sisters who can give a year of good luck with just one kiss. But when the younger sister ends up curing a boy instead, they both have to come to terms with their family legacy and who they want to be apart from it.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  I just want to say thank you for loving books! Without readers, writers would have a lot of words and no one but ourselves to care about them. So just thank you, thank you, thank you! <3 span="">

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