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May 5, 2021

One trip and one story can change your life, as author Ciannon Smart showed us in this episode. Listen to how her trip to Rose Hall in Jamaica stuck with her for a decade, how she embraced her weird kid energy to learn about vampires and witches, and how it evolved into her debut novel! 


Content Warning: This episode contains conversations about or mentions of slavery, murder, religious persecution, military/war, racism, and panic attacks. 



Of Jamaican heritage, Ciannon Smart grew up in a small town in the south-east of England. As the only daughter in a house full of boisterous sons, she developed a voracious appetite for reading from an early age, preferring anarchy in stories rather than real life. In YA she loves her heroines exactly as she loves her villains: wilful, wily, and unpredictable. When not writing, Ciannon can be found reading, painting, or taking the long way home to listen to a good song more than once. Her debut novel, Witches Steeped in Gold, is now available. 



- Recommendation: This week, Julia recommends The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers.

- Books: Check out our previous book recommendations, guests’ books, and more at

- Call to Action: Check out our previous virtual live shows, and information about our future virtual live events at



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- Skillshare is an online learning community where you can learn—and teach—just about anything. Explore your creativity at and get a two week free trial of Premium Membership. This week Julia recommends “Watercolor in the Woods: A Beginner's Guide to Painting the Natural World” with Rosalie Haizlett. 

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About Us

Spirits was created by Julia Schifini, Amanda McLoughlin and Eric Schneider. We are founding members of Multitude, an independent podcast collective and production studio. Our music is "Danger Storm" by Kevin MacLeod (, licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.