She knows every embarrassing moment of your life, from the failed bangs experiment of 2002 to the Jonathan Taylor Thomas 4-Ever binder that you hid under your bed. Yep, we鈥檙e talking about your sister. Whether your sisters are of the traveling pants variety, or you and your ride-or-die BFF have shared everything 鈥 including parents 鈥 there鈥檚 nothing we love more than a good book聽about the powerful bonds of sisterhood.

Lana Popovi膰鈥檚 new YA fantasy novel, Wicked Like a Wildfire, takes your traditional sisterhood novel and adds magic, a curse, and an unforgettable setting: Montenegro. This thrilling read is exactly what you need to cure those post-vacation blues 鈥 just don鈥檛 expect to get any sleep as you plow through the incredible story. We caught up with Popovi膰 and chatted inspiration, writing tips, and more. Scroll on to learn more from this inventive author!

Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.

Lana Popovi膰: Witchy twins unravel a family curse.

B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?

LP: Since I juggle various jobs, including agenting and ghostwriting along with my own writing, I鈥檝e trained myself to write anytime/anywhere I can sit down if I鈥檓 on a deadline. (To those who write at standing desks, bravo, and how do you do it?! Seriously, how?) But I prefer to write at night time, in bed, and most of my writing is done propped up with pillows while burning way too much incense. I think it鈥檚 helpful to condition yourself to get in the writing zone, and for me, smelling sandalwood really does the trick.

B+C: What鈥檚 the strangest thing you鈥檝e ever done in the name of book research?

LP: I revisited Montenegro with my family to refresh my memory before I wrote Wicked Like a Wildfire, and since my dad is the human equivalent of a mountain goat, he took me 鈥渉iking鈥 near one of the peaks featured in the story. I鈥檓 not a hiker by any stretch of the imagination, and I鈥檓 terrified of heights, but I wanted to see/smell/taste the view firsthand, so I ending up sitting with him on a random, flimsy little bench that literally hangs over the cliff鈥檚 edge, huffing the air with my mouth open the way I sometimes do when I鈥檓 trying to memorize the palate of a place (it looks as normal as it sounds). There鈥檚 a great photo of me half-twisted away from the drop, clinging to the bench like a freaked-out cat. I鈥檓 smiling, but it鈥檚 a total lie.

B+C: What鈥檚 your go-to cure for when you鈥檙e stuck in a creativity rut?

LP: I like to put the story away for a day, if I can, and dive into a book I鈥檓 really excited about. Reading someone鈥檚 phenomenal work does the dual job of inspiring and bullying myself into getting started again.

B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?

LP: Laini Taylor and NK Jemisin. Laini Taylor鈥檚 gorgeous and heartbreaking Daughter of Smoke and Bone remains my all-time favorite YA novel, and the reason I started agenting 鈥 and writing 鈥 YA in the first place. Her writing is inimitable, so elegant and lovely and poised, every sentence devastatingly perfect. And her pink hair! Heart-eyes all day.

NK Jemisin I discovered recently, since I tend to read much more YA than adult fantasy, when I picked up The Fifth Season and literally found myself growling at the ceiling in pure awe because I couldn鈥檛 fathom the amount of intellect, talent, and perception of human nature that must have gone into such an elaborate, intricate story about magic seismology (YES). Do I get to include a fictional lady hero? If yes, then I鈥檓 100 percent here for Phedre no Delaunay, the anguissette courtesan-spy of Jacqueline Carey鈥檚 Kushiel鈥檚 Legacy聽series. (Photo via Laura Hanifin)

B+C: What鈥檚 your latest Instagram obsession?

LP: I recently discovered Gala Darling (@galadarling) on Instagram 鈥 she鈥檚 a witchy author who practices something she calls 鈥渞adical self-love鈥 while posting fabulous, magical photos of her life and times, along with badass quotes. There鈥檚 a lot of tattoos, hot pink, and fierce nails going on 鈥 three of my favorite things.

B+C: Can you name a book (by another author) that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?

LP: Sarah Porter鈥檚 Vassa in the Night is easily the most confounding, beautiful, and thoroughly bizarre YA book I鈥檝e read in a very long time. It鈥檚 a contemporary retelling of the Russian folktale of Vasilissa the Beautiful, complete with a modern, outrageously weird Baba Yaga in a Brooklyn that鈥檚 losing more and more hours to night.

B+C: What鈥檚 next on your to-read pile?

LP: Tana French鈥檚 The Trespasser. I just picked it up on my way back from summer vacation with my family in Croatia 鈥 I had a layover in London, and had just been wondering a few days prior when I鈥檇 see her next work, and boom! The best, most literary gift from the universe 鈥 and I鈥檓 dying to jump in.

B+C: What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?

LP: I think creative ladies tend to self-censor more than creative men 鈥 I definitely do. Try not to worry about what other people might think about your art as you鈥檙e creating it. The flipside is, you are not your work. It鈥檚 so easy to take every critique as a personal affront or judgment of yourself as a human, but that鈥檒l leave you bloody.

Got an author you鈥檇 love to see interviewed? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!

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(Featured photo via Lana Popovi膰)