Interview: “One Bad Wish” by Bonnie Elizabeth

Willow Vaughn grants wishes. She granted one just the other night. But now the world feels wrong.

Willow knows her world has changed but how? Cynical and self-reliant, suddenly she feels out of her depth. Though she hates to admit it, she needs help.

Willow is going to have to find someone who knows more about wishes before it’s too late. If not, she could be trapped in a world where she doesn’t belong.

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Being a fairy godmother isn’t something I ever intended to become. I mean, I wasn’t born that way—now that’s a scary thought, me in a fairy dress and sparkles all over me as a baby. Yuck. No, I wished the fairy godmother gig into being kind of by accident, and I’ve been stuck granting wishes for the last six months or so.

It’s not all bad. Basically, I’d been lucky—or unlucky, depending upon your point of view—to have made the wish that started it all. In a nutshell, I met this creepazoid old guy at the Farmer’s Market who told me to make a wish. So I stupidly wished to make people happy, meaning someone, anyone, because although I had done exactly what I had told my mother I said I would do, she was still not happy. And wham. There I was. A Fairy Godmother. There’s more, of course, but that’s a whole other story.

Being able to grant wishes is kind of cool. About once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, I get this urge, like a pressure and I have to go out and find someone wishing for something. It’s not that hard. I can think about a place that draws people to make wishes, you know, like wishing wells and crap like that, or I can just think myself over to someone wishing. Then I grant the wish.

I don’t get a lot of choice in how it happens. I mean, I grant a lot of cute kittens to cute kids and stuff. I’ve wanted to grant a zombie cat instead, but the magic doesn’t work that way. Probably a good thing, because I’m not really sure what would happen to the world if I was able to grant zombie kittens.

But yeah, that’s how I think. Even so, I’m not sure I’d really do something like that, but it’s kind of cool to think about the implications and everything, ya know? I mean, cute kid wants cat and I send them a re-animated creature straight out of the LOLcat version of the Walking Dead?

Unfortunately I don’t get to talk to people about this much. It’s a secret that I’m a fairy godmother. Although, would you really go around saying, “Hey, yeah, I’m a fairy godmother now!” Cause that’s just weird. Besides, I’d get everyone wanting me to grant their wishes.

It’s bad enough that I can always hear sentences that start with “I wish”. In high school, at least my high school, people are always saying “I wish this” or “I wish that.” Really, really annoying when you’re someone who hears about wishes. Fortunately, I can’t grant them all, largely because I don’t want to, not to mention that most of the things people say aren’t real wishes, even if they do start with “I wish.” But even if I could, there are rules. I’m not even sure what all the rules are. There’s this huge book of rules that I got when I became a fairy godmother—a file just appeared on my computer, can you believe it?—but besides being major league style boring it’s pretty vague about a ton of stuff. Come to think of it, there’s probably something in there about why I can’t grant zombie kittens, but I’m not going to go digging for it.

Last night, I think I granted a wish I shouldn’t have or something. Remember what I said about zombie kittens? I don’t get a choice. If you’re there wishing and I’m there with wish-granting power, well Kabam! The wish is yours. No matter what. Even if it’s a bad wish.

—from One Bad Wish by Bonnie Elizabeth

The Interview

What inspired you to write One Bad Wish?

I wrote the origin story of Willow Vaughn for a Fiction River anthology edited by Rebecca Moestra. She was an incredibly voicy character who had opinions about everything. She was also not the sort of person you expected when you heard the words, “fairy godmother.”

Because of that, I had to write more Willow Vaughn stories. Some of them ended up being YA novels rather than short stories. One Bad Wish, of course, explores what happens when Willow grants a really bad wish and what she has to do to make it right.

What are some of your favorite YA books as a reader, and what makes them stand out for you?

Like everyone else in the world, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I started reading them about the time the third book came out. In fact, I’d just finished books 1 and 2 when book 3 came out so it was perfect timing. I was working in a bookstore and this was before everyone was in love with Harry. I think that really hit our store about book 4. I remember we opened early the morning book 4 came out and we had costumes and such to wear for patrons.

As for why it stands out for me, as a reader, it’s just a darned good story.

I am also a huge Feyland fan. I love the world Anthea created and she writes with such a deft touch. It’s wonderful to imagine being able to walk into a fairy world, and be able to affect the world was fun. I liked how she set up the premise as well.

If you could be a fantasy creature for a day, which would you choose, and why?

I’d have to be a dragon. I mean, who wouldn’t want the power and the beauty of that? And they can fly!

What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

Right now I’m between projects. I just finished writing one short story a week for a year and I also have a three book paranormal cozy mystery series that will be coming out in July or August. My main character is a psychic who can read impressions from objects. She can also see the ghost of her grandmother’s favorite Siamese cat.

I’m moving into something that’s more urban fantasy and I expect that that will be most fun because of the way I’m using the cats in that book. They are important to the story and I want them to shine. I’ve rarely used cats as spotlight characters, just secondary characters, so this will be fun.

About Bonnie

Bonnie Elizabeth has been a writer since she was eight years old. While she always kept writing, she also floated through a variety of jobs including veterinary receptionist, library assistant, cemetery administrator, and licensed acupuncturist, all of which color her stories.

Bonnie writes in a variety of genres. While most of her work is geared towards adults, her Teenage Fairy Godmother series featuring Willow Vaughn is geared towards younger readers.

Bonnie makes her home in Kentucky with her husband and three cats, one of which channels his inner Willow on a regular basis.

Find Bonnie

Website ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

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