Author Interview with Jaime Questell

POSTED ON January 23, 2018 BY Austine IN Interview

It’s Tuesday! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Today I’m excited to introduce Jaime Questell, author of the upcoming YA fantasy, By a Charm and a Curse! Featuring a circus surrounded by mystery and magic, this book is likened to The Night Circus and definitely worth checking out! Stay tuned for my review, coming soon!

About Jaime Questell

Jaime Questell is a writer and graphic designer from Houston, Texas. She has also been a bookseller, a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and an administrative assistant. None of these jobs involved wrangling corgis, which is quite sad. She lives in the ‘burbs with her husband, children,

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All About Jaime


You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired By a Charm and a Curse?

Sure! I had been listening to this song by the Dresden Dolls, Coin-Operated Boy, and had an image of a girl falling from a great height. That set my mind churning. Did she survive? What did she fall from and why? All of that turned into a short story that I submitted to my writing group, who urged me to expand on it. And that novel became By a Charm and a Curse.


Introduce us to your main character!

First, we have Emmaline King. Emma has been dropped off in a small town to live with her dad while her mom does research. She’s used to living in a bigger city, where she has access to coffee shops and art supply stores, and all the entertainment she could ask for. So moving to Claremore is a bit like moving to a deserted island for her.

Then we have Benjamin Singer. Ben has lived with the carnival since he was a kid, and even though he has first-hand knowledge of the magic running through the place, he’s tired of moving around all the time. All he wants is to stop in a place of his choosing, and to build a life there.


I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

At the moment, I’m loving Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. Her writing is sumptuous, and the world she’s created is amazing. I can’t wait for the second book to come out!


Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

Ha! Okay. If you like your fantasy to have a touch of darkness, your love stories to have a bit of angst, and if you’re prepared to never look at a Ferris wheel the same way ever again, you should definitely read my book.

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Now for the Fun…


Describe yourself in 3 words.

Creative. Loud. Extrovert.


What is your most embarrassing memory?

There are too many! 😀


What is your Hogwarts/Ilvermorny house?

Gryffindor!


Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?

This is hard! But I think it would be Whiskey, because that girl is ruthless.  


A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters. Which actors/actresses make the cut?

Okay, so I think you have to squint your eyes and pretend that the ages and hair colors aren’t off, but this is who I’d pick:

Emma: Kara Hayward, because she was wonderful in Moonrise Kingdom

Ben: Taron Egerton, because Sing! Proves that he has heart and The Kingsman proves he can rock a pair of glasses

Leslie & Lars: Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman because they were the inspiration for both of those characters

Marcel: Trevor Jackson

Duncan and Pia, fortune telling twins: Cameron Boyce and Skai Jackson

Gin and Whiskey, equestrian sisters: Dakota and Elle Fanning


You just won America’s Got Talent. What’s your talent?

I want to say singing, but I know I’m not that good of a singer. It’s far more likely that I’d win because I was able to bake an awesome cake.


This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where/when would you go?

I’d want to jump forward to a point in time where people of color and women have equal rights. Because as a half-Mexican woman, going back would not be fun times.


Coffee or tea?

Coffee, all the way.


Best ice cream flavor ever?

Chocolate Therapy by Ben and Jerry’s


Your theme song/personal anthem?

She’s a Rebel by Green Day

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Author Interview with Jaime Questell
By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell
Published on February 6, 2018 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 300
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the Book!
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Indiebound / Wordery
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Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.


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