The Paula Brackston Fan Group discussion

The Witch's Daughter (The Witch's Daughter, #1)
This topic is about The Witch's Daughter
12 views
The Witch's Daughter > A Note from the Author

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Angie (last edited Dec 03, 2015 08:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie (amgiammarino) From the Author

I have long been fascinated by the idea of witchcraft, and wanted to write a book based on this notion: What if there are witches living among us, here and now, using real magic? This in turn set me thinking about witches in times before our own, and how opinions have altered down the centuries. In Bess’s time (the sixteen hundreds) cunning women, or those using hedge craft to heal, were often accused of maleficia, that is, the use of magic to attempt to bring about bad events or harm to others. From our twenty-first-century perspective this seems like fear and superstition causing panic and injustice, and we accept that most of these women were harmless, and indeed in many cases effective healers. But then: What if some of those women were true witches? This gave me my start point for Elizabeth’s origins.
By granting her immortality I was able to place her in other eras that I find fascinating. For me, there has always been a frisson of menace about Victorian London. It was a place of so much poverty and suffering, where the poor and the desperate rubbed shoulders with the wealthy but could only dream of the comfort and security their birth had assured them. The poorest, as always, were the most vulnerable, which is why I wanted Elizabeth (who of course has a strong social conscience) to live where she did, helping the prostitutes as best she could. And I wanted to include Jack the Ripper, since he symbolizes all that was dangerous and cruel about the city as the century shuddered to a close.
I was particularly keen to position our heroine in the First World War. I wanted to see her tested to her limits, and to watch how she might be persuaded to use her magic to heal, whatever the personal cost. The very name Passchendaele conjures up suffering and emotion. The more I researched the third battle of Ypres—the conditions the troops and non-combatants endured, and the grim realities of the field hospitals—the more I knew Elizabeth would be irresistibly drawn to such a place.
I was born in Dorset and although I moved to Wales when I was five I have spent many years visiting that part of England. I love the quintessentially English feel of the landscape. It is Thomas Hardy, and cream teas, and thatched cottages, and bucolic life, and all that is good and quiet and peaceful about the countryside. This setting, then, was the perfect foil for the darkness that continued to pursue Elizabeth and threatened both herself and Tegan.
I found writing The Witch’s Daughter a wonderful and entirely consuming experience. My family had to put up with many long months of me going about with a distracted look on my face, or were forced to drag me away from one of the myriad books I devoured while researching. My children got used to all their bedtime stories being about witches, or the seventeenth century, or medical procedures one hundred and twenty years ago. My son is now well informed on the weaponry of the Great War, and my daughter insists on dressing as a witch for fancy dress parties. They are as thrilled as I am that Elizabeth’s story is now going out into the world. I hope readers find themselves as bewitched as I was by the idea of secret magic being among us if only we care to look for it.


message 2: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dhaupt) | 8 comments Paula, thanks for sharing this. And your fascination and love of witchcraft shows in each and every one of your amazing novels. Thank you!


back to top