Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Angela’s Coven is about a modern-day witch who risks all to save an aging rock star from his unfortunate deal with the devil. Don’t worry, this is not a horror novel that will give you bad dreams and violent urges. Angela’s Coven will make you laugh, cry, laugh, and cry again, but most important, it will cast a different light on anything you may have ever considered as faith. This is a story about second chances, starting over and doing so for all the right reasons. My 12-year-old granddaughter read it with no adverse effects. (She’d also read all the Twilight books and the Hunger Games series.) My 80-year-old mother-in-law read it as well. Both (and many more in between) loved it!
Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
It’s my first published novel, and that means fiction. For years, I wrote national advertising copy for the automotive industry. Then I owned a travel and history magazine for boaters here in the Great Lakes. In those days, I did publish two books, but they were all about places to go, things to do, and restaurants not to miss. (Yawn.) In the past few years, I turned my interest to fiction, something I always wanted to try, but it takes a great deal of courage. I started with what I thought was a short story (turns out it was a novella), and then a longer one, and then a longer one. I was planning to put these into a book that would be a collection of similar stories when story #4 (Reggie, it was called) “became” Angela’s Coven, and my reading circle went crazy over it.
When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
I’ve been writing ever since I could read, and since I’m from a family of teachers, that was early on. I remember reading books in grade school and usually thinking one of two things: 1) What a great story that was! or 2) I could write a better one than that! When I was younger, I kept most of my writings to myself. They weren’t very good and usually generated a lot of laughter. The only problem is they were dramas! Once in high school, I became a lot more serious about my writing. I had an English teacher who felt writing was the best way to get command of the language, so we wrote all the time. He encouraged me greatly. In college, writing those term papers was a snap for me, and once out, I ventured into advertising and marketing only to have someone say: “Hey, you can write! You should be in the Creative Department!” Forty years later, here I am!
What advice can I give to young writers? First, don’t give up. Fiction is the hardest thing in the world to write. It’s all you and your concept of what entertaining can be. People are going to laugh at your efforts. It’s going to happen! But if you remember just one thing, the MOST important thing: Tell ʼem a story! That’s why they’re here and what they came for. They want you to tell them a GOOD story. A finely crafted, well-worded tale of little consequence is nothing but an exercise in how well you can follow the rules. It’s boring. Break some rules, but do so while telling them a story that will make them laugh, or cry, or sleep with the lights on, or imagine themselves as the hero. Tell them a story they can’t forget. That’s what it’s all about. And by the way, all those people who laughed at me? I now have more published novels than they have combined! One. But it’s one more than they have. Keep writing! And when you think you’ve run out of ideas, face another direction and tell them what you see over there.
How did you get the idea for this book? Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?
I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and found myself researching where a lot of our commonly accepted myths and legends got their start. I began to ask myself “why” and “what if” questions about our cultural pasts and discovered it was often harder to accept the long-standing myth than it was to draw my own logical conclusions. To put that more simply: My wife is a big-time angel collector, but who said angels have to have wings and fly around in the holy limelight? What if they were more like us? And the devil, Lucifer … What if he weren’t the perfect example of evil? I mean, what if he had faults and flaws of his own? Everybody does!
But it was the witches that interested me the most. I love Halloween, I really do! Great time of year, great imagery and legends ... but what if we had it all wrong? Did you know that the first women who were labeled “witches” were nothing more than midwives practicing home remedies and what we would today call holistic medicine? But it was the Dark Ages, and there were other motivations afoot that I won’t get into here. The bottom line is that the midwives were vilified as WITCHES to give the physicians (all men, by the way) the upper hand in the health care business. Really! All this “in league with the devil” crap was just that … crap.
In MY fictional world, there is a constant struggle between good and evil, but it’s the witches who are caught in the middle trying to make their own way in the world and not taking sides. My witches don’t have magic wands and don’t wear pointy hats. This is all alchemy and chemistry.
Do you plan a sequel or future books?
This is only the first in a series of books about the Cabbottown Witches. The second book, The Great Northern Coven, is scheduled to be released October 19, 2012, and I am currently working on Book #3, The Ragtime Coven. In each story, it’s the coven and whoever may be a member at the current time that is the continuing character. Angela’s Coven is set in modern-day NYC and upstate New York. The Great Northern Coven is a parallel story that takes place in Alaska and involves bush pilots and Native American beliefs. (It ties very nicely to the witches of my Cabbottown, NY. You’ll have to read it to see how!) The Ragtime Coven will be a prequel and tell the earlier story of the Cabbottown Coven and how Angela got the way she is. A total of five books are planned at this time.
Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
Angela’s Coven is currently only available in e-book format (paperback will be released by fall!). It is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I-Books, as well as many other e-book retailers, including my publisher’s page: www.museituppublishing.com. You can find the major links and the latest news on my page: www.covenbooks.com. And, of course, you can find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/angelascoven. Enjoy!
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links.