COLOR THE SHELVES: Interview with Julie Abe, author of Eva Evergreen semi-magical witch

Hello friends and welcome to Color the Shelves!

Today I’m bringing you an interview with Julie Abe, the author EVA EVERGREEN SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH, otherwise known as one of the cutest and most heartwarming middle grades I’ve had the pleasure to read. This book follows a little witch who only has a pinch of magic and is trying to do the most with, which doesn’t always work in her favor. This is also a story of so much more, which you’ll get to find about if you continue reading. I found myself getting emotional by the end of the book and can’t wait to see where Eva’s head out to next. But without further ado, here is the interview!

Hello Julie and welcome to Color the Shelves! I’m so happy to have you joining me today for what will hopefully be a fun interview. Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical witch is a wonderfully magical story. What can you tell the readers about it that the official synopsis leaves out?

Hi Fadwa! Thanks so much for having me and Eva join Color the Shelves!

Eva Evergreen is the story about a girl with a pinch of magic who must pass her test or she’ll lose her powers forever. What the synopsis only hints at is that it’s about the beauty of friendships that are as close as family, and the strength of your own voice—and your own powers, whether magical or not. It’s comped a lot to Kiki’s Delivery Service because of the warm, whimsical vibes and young witches on journeys. Readers have told me they find it’s perfect for Ghibli fans while being an adventure all its own.

Eva is such an easy character to love and root for, what was your favorite part of writing her? 

Aw, thank you! Writing Eva is like capturing light on page. She’s so full of heart and warmth, and I just want to protect her at all costs. (Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to simply stay in her seaside cottage in peace…)

She’s also known for having only a pinch of magic, which often makes her spells go wrong and puts her in sticky situations. What are some failed spells that have put her in funny and/or awkward situations? either mentioned in the book or not.*

Eva’s magic misfires so much! It takes her such a long time to get a handle on how to cast magic. (As background, spells in her world are rhymes – but each person has to create a unique incantation, in the way that a phrase or certain set of words have different meanings and associated memories for you or for me.)

For her mother (her idol!), Eva wanted to summon flowers to celebrate her mother’s birthday… Instead of flowers, she ended up with cabbage heads! Cabbage is super tasty when pickled Japanese-style, but definitely not what she expected, hah! 🤣

This book delves deep into the expectations we have for ourselves and those other people have for us and how that can shape our actions. Why was that such an important theme for you to explore in your middle grade story?

I’ve always been weighed down by expectations. For so long, I’ve been living with the expectations others have for me. I wanted to write about a character who saw beyond that. A character who would come to believe in her own strength to accomplish the expectations she had for herself.

In a non-spoilery fashion, what can we expect from Eva next?

Eva had a pinch of magic in Book One, but she’s going to be in a pinch of trouble in Book Two! There will be curses abound and hidden pasts coming alight. Eva and her friends will have to search for answers to save the realm and the people they love. And, of course, Ember will be in Book Two… with a few surprises of his own!

And last but not least, what is something you’d like your readers to take away from your story or something you’d like to tell them?

Especially with the pandemic and so, so much chaos going on in the world, I simply want Eva’s story to be an escape. I hope reading Eva Evergreen will feel like a warm hug on a lonely day, or a cup of tea when it’s raining outside. And, of course, I hope readers will remember that their pinch of magic is *always* enough.

About the author


Julie Abe is the author of the EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH middle grade fantasy series. She has lived in Silicon Valley, spent many humid summers in Japan, and currently basks in the sunshine of Southern California with never enough books or tea. Keep up Julie’s latest books and adventures at

About the book

Publication date : August 4th, 2020Julie Abe - Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch

Publisher : Little Brown Books | Hachette

Genre : Middle Grade | Fantasy

Synopsis : Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before she turns thirteen years old. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test:

ONE: Help your town, do good all around.
TWO: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon.
THREE: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.

When she lands on the tranquil coastal town of Auteri, the residents expect a powerful witch, not a semi-magical girl. So Eva comes up with a plan: set up a magical repair shop to aid Auteri and prove she’s worthy. She may have more blood than magic, but her “semi-magical fixes” repair the lives of the townspeople in ways they never could have imagined. Only, Eva’s bit of magic may not be enough when the biggest magical storm in history threatens the town she’s grown to love. Eva must conjure up all of the magic, bravery, and cleverness she can muster or Auteri and her dreams of becoming a witch will wash away with the storm.

Goodreads – Amazon – Indiebound Barnes & Noble Bookshop

The gorgeous banner template was created by Skye @shuurens on Twitter. Here’s her website and portfolio.

That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.


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