For those who love a little magic, romance and FOOD in their novels, Susan Bishop Crispell’s THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES (Thomas Dunne Books) is a not-to-be-missed book! It hits shelves today, September 6th, and is as delightful and satisfying as a slice of homemade peach pie (trust us on this one.) It’s a story where wishes come true and secrets are baked into pies, and is the perfect read for Sarah Addison Allen fans …

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.

Susan popped by the Tall Poppy blog to share what always makes her laugh, what it was like to meet her author idol, and how she ended up writing books…

When you were a teenager, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?
From seventh grade through my first semester in college I was convinced I would work at Sea World and train killer whales. Forget the fact that I didn’t love science or that I wasn’t a great swimmer. And we’re not even going to mention that when I tried to learn SCUBA diving I just stood in the pool and cried because I couldn’t get my brain to cooperate and let me breathe through the regulator when underwater. I even picked my college because it was top five in the country for marine biology. I was committed. Until the day I realized I had no desire to actually do what I’d always thought I wanted to. Thankfully I stumbled into an intro to fiction class and fell in love.

Have you ever met someone you idolized?  What was it like?
Sarah Addison Allen is my favorite author. She is also absolutely delightful in person too. The way she reads her own words in a soft, melodic voice adds a whole new layer of magic to her stories. I’ve met Sarah at book events for her last two releases. And both times she’s chatted with me, hugged me, and deepened my admiration for her. At the last event, she even remembered me from the previous one when I ran into her outside the bookstore before the event. Life made.

Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.
I can always count on Gilmore Girls for a good laugh (and usually a good cry too!). I’m not a huge fan of straight comedies, apparently my sense of humor just doesn’t bend that way. But Gilmore Girls with its wit and quirkiness and mile-a-minute, pop-culture-filled dialogue always makes me laugh.

Which talent do you wish you had?
I’m a huge music fan. (Sadly, with zero musical talent.) I always have music on in the background while I’m working, in the car, when I’m writing. My husband and I go to an average of six concerts a year, and I’m constantly making new mixes of music I’m obsessed with. (I have more than 100 mix tapes/CDs/playlists since 1997!) So one talent I wish I had is to be able to sing well. My voice isn’t terrible, I mean I’m not breaking glass or anything. But I would love to sing along with my favorite bands someplace other than the safety of my car. 

Where do you love to be?
I’m a beach-girl at heart. Growing up in the mountains of Tennessee, beach trips didn’t happen as often as any of us would have liked. But my mom was great about packing my sister and me in the car late at night, driving all the way to Destin, Florida, and waking us up in the Donut Hole parking lot just so we could spend the day on the beach before heading back home. Now I live twenty minutes from the beach and still don’t get there nearly as much as I’d like. But whenever I have a day off, it’s the first place I head.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan, and happy book birthday to you and THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES!

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 literary-named cat. Susan is the author of THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES. As you might expect, she is very fond of pie. And she’s always on the lookout for hints of magic in the real world.