With just a couple of months until Truthwitch is published, we caught up with Nicola - the lady behind the @Truthwitch Twitter account and the leader of Susan Dennard's amazing street team! And UK readers - don't forget that you could get your hands on some exclusive Truthwitch goodies when you pre-order your copy from the stunning Witchlands website!
Firstly, tell us about how you came to discover Susan Dennard and her writing?
I found Susan through my love of Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass books. They (Sooz and Sarah) would always chat with each other online, so I knew of Susan's name, but not Susan herself. Truthwitch was my first Susan Dennard book as her other series was, sadly, never released in the UK. Back in April, through sheer luck, I won the first manuscript of Truthwitch from Sarah and Susan's joint giveaway and the idea of the street team came to mind that very day, before I had even read it or had it in my hands. So I (very nervously) pitched the idea to Susan and here we are! It was a very anxious month for the both of us because we were both so afraid that I wouldn't like Truthwitch when I got it! But, obviously, I adored it.
And what’s your involvement now? How did you come to be the leader of the street team?
I am still very much involved in everything Truthwitch, coming up with new ideas to promote the book online and creating competitions and devising new ways to excite the fans. Plus keeping up street team morale. There's no shortage of things to do. You never get bored, I'll say that! As for how I've become the leader, I'd say it's because of how much work I've put into it and for Truthwitch in general. During the early days of the street team planning, there was SO MUCH to be done and sometimes I did think "Oh my God. I'm waaayyy out of my depth here!" But the team, Truthwitch and Sooz are well worth everything.
For anyone that doesn’t know, can you tell us a bit about what the street team do?
The street team is a group of dedicated people made up out of bloggers, reviewers and fans that devote their time to promoting Truthwitch and building up the online (and real life!) buzz for the book. And I have never seen such an amazing team like the Truthwitch street team. They go above and beyond for Susan and Truthwitch.
What’s your favourite thing about the job?
It's impossible to pick just one thing. But I really love interacting with the street team members. Many, many of them and I have become very good friends as a result of the team. Each clan is almost like a family now and I feel honoured that they all consider me a part of their clan family.
The overwhelming enthusiasm that I see in the @Truthwitch mentions on a day to day basis from fans is pretty awesome too. Truthwitch gains more fans with every passing day.
And of course, becoming friends with the lovely Susan Dennard herself is utterly amazing. In fact, it's one of the highlights of my year. As is interacting with so many wonderful people in the publishing business. I have learned a great deal more about the publishing industry and publicity processes through this experience.
Are you a member of a clan or do you have to remain impartial?
Once I was the clan leader of Void, but I thought that it wasn't fair on the other clans since Void obviously had a massive advantage. I now stay neutral, helping the clans if they have any questions or need any help. Plus much more. The clan leader of Void now, Danielle, does a splendid job.
What do you think it is about Susan and the Witchlands series that has created such excitement on both sides of the Atlantic?
Firstly, it's impossible not to fall in love with Susan. She is genuinely one of the nicest authors and people out there and folks are naturally drawn to lovely people. She is unfailingly kind and more than generous, and people love her. Secondly, Truthwitch is something very special and everyone knows it. Truthwitch offers everything you could want in a high fantasy book and more. Every review is a rave about how they loved it and the hype has been there right from the very start, kicked off by that amazing cover. But when the street team came along, that existing enthusiasm tripled. There is a massive amount of love for Truthwitch online and I feel that because there's so much fun and community surrounding the book already, people want in on that. They want to be part of something great. The fact that the book has a flourishing and active fandom so far before publication is all kinds of awesome. Also, I feel like I should mention Aeduan and his abs, too, as they drew in many, many fans alone! Haha! Plus Merik and his aversion to buttons.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is published in the UK on 14th January 2016. Did you know you can request an extended extract the book on NetGalley now!