Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
Part-time witch, full-time glamorous high-flyer Esme Mcleod rubs shoulders with celebrities for a living, has a sort-of-boyfriend …and just enough magic in her fingertips to solve life’s little irritations; why shouldn’t she cast a little spell to catch the busy barman’s attention, or to summon a latte to aid her all-nighters?
Called back to her small Scottish home town and meddling family, stiletto-clad Esme is way out of her comfort zone… But Esme must embrace her abilities as a witch, or watch her family lose their beloved café.
Except Esme has never claimed to be a whizz at witchcraft, and her charms are starting to go awry - she certainly never meant to cast a love spell on her ex-boyfriend Jamie! It’s time for urgent lessons in magic as well as love – it seems there’s only so much that muttering a few words over cupcake batter will fix…
She did a degree in English Literature, then trained as a journalist, writing about everything from pub grub to EastEnders. Her first novel, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, took six years to finish and was mostly written in longhand on her commute to work, giving her a very good reason to buy beautiful notebooks.
Kerry lives in London with her husband and two sons, and Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes is still her favourite novel.
The magic of music!Music is a really big part of my life. My parents are in their 60s now but they’re always going to gigs and going to see their favourite bands play live. My husband and I recently bought a record player and now we’re enjoying revisiting lots of classic albums on vinyl (man, that makes us sound really geeky, doesn’t it!) and our top nights out always include going to a gig. Our four-year-old son sings all the time. Seriously – all the time. Apparently he once got told off at the childminder for singing at the dinner table, which I think is a little bit sad. So we let him sing through every meal at home if he wants.
So anyway, this is all a long-winded way of explaining the titles of my novels. I’d been writing my first novel for ages, years possibly, before I came up with the title – Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. It fitted perfectly with my story of reluctant witch Esme who was struggling to make sense of her love life, and family problems.
Not everyone knows it, but BBB is a song from the musical Pal Joey – and the version that’s most famous was sung by the amazing Ella Fitzgerald, who I love. Link here.
Once I’d found that title, the rest were easy. Novel two – about Esme’s cousin Harmony who’s the target of a vicious hate campaign – became I Put A Spell On You – I adore the Nina Simone version of the song. Link here.
By then the series of novels had a name too – the Could It Be Magic series. My lovely publishers came up with that – and I was so pleased they’d chosen a name with another musical link. And yes, I know Barry Manilow sang it first, but I like Take That! Link here.
I’m in the middle of writing book three in the series, which sees Esme and Harmony come up against some pretty bad weather – and an unexpected face from the past. At the moment it’s called Baby, It’s Cold Outside, but that might change because though I love it, it's not got a magical angle. Who knows what book four will be called. I’m always open to suggestions, so if you’ve got an idea, please let me know via twitter @kerrybean73. I’d love to hear from you!