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In the Middle with Lauren Magaziner

I was obsessed with witches and magic as a girl. Kid-me would have read today’s book ragged. Kid-me would have also told adult-me to hurry up and tell you about the book! Today, we are in the middle with Lauren Magaziner and her magical debut, The Only Thing Worse than Witches:


Roald Dahl meets Eva Ibbotson in this hilarious middle grade debut perfect for reading aloud!

Rupert Campbell is fascinated by the witches who live nearby. He dreams of broomstick tours and souvenir potions, but Rupert’s mother forbids him from even looking at that part of town. The closest he can get to a witchy experience is sitting in class with his awful teacher Mrs. Frabbleknacker, who smells like bellybutton lint and forbids Rupert’s classmates from talking to each other before, during, and after class. So when he sees an ad to become a witch’s apprentice, Rupert simply can’t resist applying.

But Witchling Two isn’t exactly what Rupert expected. With a hankering for lollipops and the magical aptitude of a toad, she needs all the help she can get to pass her exams and become a full-fledged witch. She’s determined to help Rupert stand up to dreadful Mrs. Frabbleknacker too, but the witchling’s magic will be as useful as a clump of seaweed unless Rupert can figure out a way to help her improve her spellcasting—and fast!

The Only Thing Worse than Witches is available on IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Books A Million, and in bookstores near you.

Q&A with Lauren

What draws you into writing for a middle grade audience?

Laughter, laughter, laughter. Jokes and joy. Guffaws and giggles. Chortles and snortles. My humor skews more toward silly and absurd, which is a perfect fit for middle grade stories, where funny and fantastical things often happen! I feel very lucky to write for middle grade readers, who love humor, adventure, magic, and silliness as much as I do!

Middle Grade Me

If you had a time machine and could visit middle-grade you, what would you tell her?

Oh, I wouldn’t tell her ANYTHING. The repercussions of tampering with the laws of time are rather immense. Just by giving Little Lauren advice or a warning, I could unravel the very fabric of our existence! Create some sort of paradox! Get us both stuck in a time loop! Break off into alternate parallel universes in which Little Lauren never ends up becoming an author, thus the Lauren that’s sitting here answering this question doesn’t exist, thus this blog post never gets written.

And you would be very sad about that, I know.

Besides, fourth-grade Lauren doesn’t need my help. In some ways, she has a lot of things figured out: like being able to proudly and confidently dress up as one of her favorite book characters in public. (Some things will never change for her.)

Choose your own adventure: Is there an interview question you’d love to answer, but haven’t been asked?

After passing the witch Bar Exam, which witch name would you choose, and why?

The Collywobbles Witch

Why? Because collywobbles (which means stomach pain or queasiness) is the singularly most amazing sounding word in the history of time. And because I’d hope to be a fearsome enough witch to induce collywobbles in humans. *cackles*  (Though in honesty, it would probably be one of those names that’s ironic, as I’m very friendly.)

I love the word collywobbles! Thanks for stopping in today, Lauren, and congratulations on your debut!

Lauren Magaziner recently graduated from Hamilton College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works in children’s magazine publishing (her coworkers still think her last name is a hoax). Her debut novel, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, has been called “a fun, frothy story” by Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews says, “Readers will banish themselves from the real world to finish this book in a flash.” Lauren continues to write humorous, whimsical, wonky children’s books. To learn more about current and upcoming projects, visit her at

Book Things and My Face in a Shark

Hook’s Revenge is out in less than a month! This is your last chance to read it early and lord it over all your friends and loved ones. Disney•Hyperion is giving away ten advance copies on Goodreads. Enter below or click here.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hook's Revenge, Book 1 Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz

Hook’s Revenge, Book 1 Hook’s Revenge

by Heidi Schulz

Giveaway ends September 04, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you prefer a free hardcover (or you are hoping to win everything, and why not, don’t you deserve it?), go sign up for my newsletter, here or on the right sidebar. One person who signs up in August will win a signed hardcover and a $25 gift card.

A few words I think should be compound words:

  • Giftcard
  • Nevermind (Thanks to Nirvana)
  • Everytime (I have no excuse for this one. But I do it almost everytime every time.





Let’s Take This Show on the Road

Hook’s Revenge comes out in little more than a month! Can you believe it?

I’d love to celebrate with you. Here is a listing of where you can find me. (Additional details on my events page.)

If you are local to me (or in the mood to travel), please consider coming to one of my launch parties:

Cedar Hills Powell’s in Beaverton, September 19 (International Talk Like a Pirate Day), 7:00 pm

Salem Oregon Public Library, September 20, 3:00 pm

In early October I’m going on tour with my lovely friend Emma Trevayne, author of one of my favorite middle grade books ever, Flights, Chimes, and Mysterious Times!

Heidi Emma Collage

Along the way, we’ll be meeting up with some other fantastic writers and celebrating all things middle grade. Come see us in:

Seattle with Kevin Emerson, Wednesday, October 1 (Panel moderated by Martha Brockenbrough) Details

Salt Lake City with Matthew J. Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen, Friday, October 3 Details

Denver with Lindsay Eland, Sunday, October 5 Details

Portland with Shelby Bach, Tuesday, October 7 (Panel moderated by Kari Luna) Details

And in November, some of my favorite local writers and I will be taking a road trip to:

Boise with Miriam Forster, April Tucholke, and Robin Herrera, Friday, November 14th Details

I have a couple other appearances in the works. I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I can!

Hope to see you soon!

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