As you probably already know, my latest anthology, Saltwater Sorrows came out at the beginning of this month. One way we’re celebrating that is by sharing a series of blog posts by myself and some of my authors.

Today I’m pleased to host a post by E.E. King where she talks about what inspired her story, “A Witch’s Christmas”.

By E.E. King

The way I went about writing this story was somewhat different from usual.

Usually, I have an idea and write it. 

Sometimes, the most fun times, I just sit down and the words flow into me, no cognition needed.

This time however, I decided to write a Gothic. 

I even reread Henry James’, “The Turn of the Screw. “ 

I knew I had to start with an old scary house in the country and an young woman in dubious mental condition.

I have a friend whose family history is, tragically, very similar to that of my heroin, and so I borrowed it! (She never reads my stories, so won’t know that her family has turned to witchcraft.)

While I was writing, I came across an article about the discovery of witch pits in Cornwall, England that were still in use as recently as the 1960’s.

From there I began investigating witch trials in England and the infamous trial of the Pendle witches became the backbone- or perhaps back broomstick-of my story.

The end went through many changes. At one point my heroine wanders out to the coast  and drowns. 

In the another variation, she dies, and the housekeeper, another gothic traditional character, busies herself making ready for the new resident of the Manor,  a relative of the dead heroine, and so, the haunted tradition continues.

But though I liked that ending, I wanted something less definite.  I wanted there to at least be a doubt as to the veracity of the entire tale. Could it all be in our protagonist’s mind?

 “The Turn of the Screw, is supposed to have that same uncertainty though upon rereading it, I was convinced that that heroine is bat shit crazy and the haunting is definitely a product of her deranged mind and religion hysteria. 

Whatever you decide, I hope this witch’s Christmas offers a chilling reminder of our past, collective and personal, and its haunting of our present.

Deep, mysterious, beautiful . . . dangerous . . .

Women and the sea have been tied together in myth and story from the beginning of time. Tales of women being drawn to the sea or being left on the shore, waiting for their men’s return, have been passed down through the ages.

But what mysteries lie beneath the sparkling placid waters? What power drives the wind and waves crashing against the shore? There is transformation and exaltation—magic—in the ocean and women alike. And both know that while the sea gives, the sea also takes.

Sink into the icy depths of the ocean with these stories by: E.E. King; Natalie Cannon; Morgan Melhuish; Paul A. Hamilton; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Sarah Van Goethem; Adria Laycraft; Dino Parenti; B. Zelkovich; Lisa Carreiro; Lea Storry; Nikoline Kaiser; Elin Olausson; Chandra Fisher; Hayley Stone; V.F. LeSann; Catherine MacLeod; and Jennifer R. Donohue.

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Or ask your local library to order it in! 🙂

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