My Favorite Bit: Mindy Klasky talks about SINGLE WITCH’S SURVIVAL GUIDE

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Mindy Klasky is joining us today with her novel, Single Witch’s Survival Guide. Here’s the publisher’s description.

Jane Madison’s life is perfect: She’s left her unsatisfying librarian job, moved to the country with her boyfriend David (who is also her hunky astral warder), and opened a school for witches.  Alas, Jane never thought her students would be so challenging. And she didn’t think Hecate’s Court would mandate a Major Working by Halloween. And she never imagined she and David would end up fighting about … everything!  Before long, Jane wonders if she should ditch the Madison Academy. But that would have dire magical repercussions – in addition to tossing her love-life in the trash. Jane needs a Single Witch’s Survival Guide!

Single Witch’s Survival Guide is the first volume in the Jane Madison Academy Series.

What’s Mindy’s favorite bit?



Thank you, Mary, for letting me chime in on My Favorite Bit from Single Witch’s Survival Guide, the first volume in the Jane Madison Academy Series!

Once upon a time (because that’s how all the great stories begin), I was a little girl who attended religious school at my synagogue.  And I was a little girl who loved books.  So when I was allowed to choose my first elective class, I chose “Library”.

Alas, the synagogue library wasn’t exactly well-stocked with exciting stories – at least not for an elementary school student.  But I found one book that I cherished – enough to check it out over and over and over again.

The volume was a collection of folktales, translated from Yiddish.  And my favorite folktale was “The Man Whose House Was Too Small”.  You can read a version of it here:  Link:  (tl; dr:  A man complains to his rabbi that his house is too small, then follows the rabbi’s successive instructions to bring his chickens, then his goats, then his cow into the house.  When the rabbi tells him he can return all the animals to the barn, the man revels in how large his house has become.)

I have always loved that story.  At heart, it’s about learning to be content with what we have.  It’s about changing the lenses for our everyday-viewing glasses, about making a basic adjustment to who we are and what we think so that we emerge happier and healthier.

And that’s why “The Man Whose House Was Too Small” became a backbone for Single Witch’s Survival Guide.

In my novel, Jane Madison is a librarian who finds out she’s a witch.  Everything in her life is going perfectly when she decides to create a school for witches.  But then, her students turn out to be a lot more challenging than she expects.  And Hecate’s Court demands that Jane and her students complete a Major Working by Halloween.  And Jane finds herself fighting constantly with her astral warder (who happens to be her boyfriend, or beau, or significant other, or whatever word is most appropriate for a young thirty-something in a committed relationship).

Jane is filled with discontent – about her magical life and her mundane one.  Alas, she doesn’t go to the local rabbi for a solution.  But she does seek guidance from the next-best source – her octogenarian grandmother.  Before long, Jane’s life is turned upside down, to the point that she might as well be surrounded by chickens, and goats, and a cow.

My Favorite Bit of Single Witch is a story I first read almost forty years ago.  And I loved playing with that ancient folktale and making it part of a light, witchy novel for today.


Sample the first chapter of SINGLE WITCH:

Buy the book here:


Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere in the world through stories. She never forgot that advice.

Mindy’s travels took her through multiple careers – from litigator to librarian to full-time writer. Mindy’s travels have also taken her through various literary genres for readers of all ages – from traditional fantasy to paranormal chick-lit to category romance, from middle-grade to young adult to adult.

In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her endless to-be-read shelf. Her husband and cats do their best to fill the left-over minutes.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

3 thoughts on “My Favorite Bit: Mindy Klasky talks about SINGLE WITCH’S SURVIVAL GUIDE”

  1. As a beta for this adorable book, I am thrilled to read about its inspiration. What a cool story, and so very true. As parents of three boys, I recall our relief when another family of three kids left our house after spending the day.

    Finally, quiet! we said, as our boys tumbled in the backyard, not quiet at all. But in comparison…

    And I, too, hung out in my church library. Fortunately for me, our librarian did find occasional kids’ books to stick in there. It’s where I first read Pippi Longstocking, and I am almost sure, Edward Eager.

  2. Jagi Lamplighter (Wright)

    Sounds just delightful! I’ve always loved that story, which I heard from my Jewish converted to Buddhism father as a Chinese story. What a wonderful idea for havoc in a character’s life.

  3. I read that story as a kid too! And having read Single Witch, I can now see how that worked out as a core for this book 🙂

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