Why Witches?

When I first announced that my debut novel, Something Wicked (to be called SW, henceforth.  I have always wanted the chance to refer to my book with an acronym) was going to be published, I was met with an endless stream of questions.  And I am sure most novelists, whether they are debut novelists or seasoned authors, get the same questions, the most common of them being, “where did you get the idea for this book?”

            In my case, that is surprisingly not the number one question I am asked.  However, if you are interested in how I got the idea for SW, you can visit the “Welcome” page of my website.

            Instead, I have found a lot of people ask me, “why witches?”

            Well, I will certainly tell you all about why I chose to write about witches.  In this essay I shall…

            Just kidding.  The simplest explanation to this is that witches were always my favorite characters to read about.  Even the bad ones. 

            Roald Dahl depicted witches as horrible, grotesque creatures that killed children and were only women.  Ahem to the late Mr. Dahl, but I beg to differ.  (Witches are also men in my novel).  And even then, the story he wove around them, the coven that sat in plain sight of the oblivious humans and turned two children into mice –the boy might have been the main character of the novel, but it was The Grand High Witch that stole the show for me.

In 1996, The Craft, otherwise known as the most iconic movie about witches (fight me), graced the big screen. Yes, I know The Witches of Eastwick was amazing and I love it, but nothing compares to a group of high school girls ensnaring their crushes, getting sweet, hair-dropping revenge on racists, and having an all-out epic magical girl fight at the end. EvenPractical Magic, which is dear to my heart (I loved both the book and the movie) does not measure up to the genius that is The Craft.

            So here I am, a mere ten years old at the time, already dreaming about what it would be like to call upon some unearthly power and have it do my bidding (and don’t tell me you never once thought about it too).

            And then, at some point around eleven years old, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes comes into my life with her Triste and Macht witches.  The Macht witches were born witches and of what I remember, the Vida line were warrior witches that hunted vampires.  The Smoke line were healers, of a sort.  But it was the Triste witches that had my attention from day one.  Only able to become immortal Triste witches through a rigorous training that either transformed them or left them dead, they then had enormous power to wield.  Oh, and their blood was poisonous to vampires.  I was sold.

            But of course, I can’t mention my love for witches without the wizard that propelled witchcraft and wizardry into utter coolness:  HARRY EFFING POTTER.

            I guess that pretty much speaks for itself.

            Aside from the power legends say witches can wield, it is also the fact that they exist, in some form, throughout history.  Every culture, dating far past medieval times, has their own version of witches.  That aspect always amazed me, that despite our differences in beliefs and spirituality, every society has some form of being that can be considered a witch.

            And there you have it.  My love for witches stemmed from a very young age.  And who knows?  Maybe if I decide to trace my ancestry back one of these days, I’ll discover I am a witch myself…or maybe that is already the case 🙂

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