Amber Benson is an actress (you probably know her as Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) a director, and an author. Her most recent book, The Witches of Echo Park, comes out today. Here’s a quick summary of the book, courtesy of Amazon.com:
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…
When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.
Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…
1) What inspired you to write The Witches of Echo Park?
It’s a bit of a mash note to Echo Park – which is my favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles. It was also a way to write about lady friendships – how women relate to each other, support each other, have each other’s backs. My women friends are what keep my going – my ladies are my rock and I wanted to explore what that means – and what better way to do that then to delve into the world of witchcraft – a coven of ladies who are forced to deal with each other.
2) Is it tough to switch between acting (where you become someone else and are directed on how to be that person) to writing and directing, where you are clearly yourself?
I get bored so easily that I need to be spinning lots of plates in order to stay fulfilled and happy. So it’s less about switching back and forth between all the different things I do creatively, and more about living in a state where I stay fluid and open to anything at any time. I want to live in a way where I can jump into any situation and not be overwhelmed.
3) Where do the characters names come from? For example, Hessika, Devandra and Lyse are very unique, but seem to fit the characters perfectly.
Aw, thank you! I love interesting names – I kind of collect them. There was this kind of timeless quality to The Witches Of Echo Park, so I thought it would be neat to throw in some old timey names to add to that ‘out of time’ feeling.
4) Your other books also deal with supernatural topics. What draws you to that subject material?
5) What is the one thing that you want readers to take away from the book?
The Witches of Echo Park (Ace Trade books) is available in paperback form and in e-reader form today. I recommend that you go check it out.