Thursday, December 5, 2013

Interview with December's featured author Paula Brackston- The Winter Witch

We start our December featured read discussion on Monday 12-9 and I thought you'd like to get to know Paula a bit better before we do.

  • ISBN-13: 9781250001313
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352

Between now and December 7th enter to win a copy
to share with someone you know will enjoy the
read or maybe you know someone who'd it would
make the perfect Christmas Gift for
Enter HERE through Goodreads

 Paula Welcome back to The Reading Frenzy, I’m so happy you agreed to contribute to our December feature.
Hi Debbie, thank you so much for inviting me, and for choosing my book.

What is the appeal of witches to you?
Witches offer me such scope, as a writer. There are different kinds, after all, with hugely differing types of magic and gifts. And I love writing about strong, courageous, clever women, and witches are often a combination of these things. They have to be!

Paula, was there a particular catalyst that led you to write The Winter Witch?
As you know, I live in a mountainous part of Wales, and I wanted to write about the landscape I grew up in and love so much. In my book trailer for The Winter Witch it says 'wild  places make wild people' and that is the where the idea for Morgana came from. I see her as very much a product of her environment. My aim was to give readers a small taste of what it might be like to live in such a place, and to show the resilience of people who led rural existences here nearly two hundred years ago. They lived on the edge - a poor harvest, a bad winter, illness, all these things could spell disaster for a hill farmer. It was a testing, isolated, and often dangerous existence.

You have a new novel coming out in March of 2014 titled The Midnight Witch.
Can you tell us a bit about it?
After so many months writing about mountains and mud I thought I'd try a bit of urban glamour!
The Midnight Witch is set among the aristocracy of 1913 London, just as the First World War is about to start. Lady Lilith Montgomery is fabulously wealthy, beautiful, the daughter of a duke, and, of course, a witch. She belongs to a powerful coven that comes under threat. Since she has inherited the title of Head Witch from her late father she is put in a difficult and dangerous situation, made more complicated by the fact that she falls in love with a non-witch artist who comes from a class, and indeed a world, very different to her own. Her loyalties are divided at a time when everything she cares about is at stake.

The Midnight Witch will be your third book, fourth if you count your short story The Witches of the Blue Well.
How has your writing changed, or has it?
Well, a writer has to feel her most recent work is her best, surely! I have to feel I am striving to do better each time I sit down at my desk. I'm not sure my writing has changed significantly in other ways though. Perhaps my readers are better placed to answer this question.

Paula, are you a full time author?
I am, and I feel so fortunate to be able to say that. I gave up lecturing part-time at one of our local universities a little over two years ago now. I miss the interaction with the students - it was a privilege to spend time with other people passionate about writing - but it is wonderful to be able to concentrate on my own books. Every morning I am excited to start work. And the daily commute is a breeze.
Giving up paid employment was scary, but for me, and for  my family, it was definitely the right decision. I'm quite self-disciplined (so long as we're not talking about biscuits) and work pretty much to school hours in term time. In the holidays I continue to write for at least two hours a day. I'll sometimes have a few months of putting in late evening shifts (ten o'clock to midnight) to keep the momentum going and meet a deadline. I'm always happiest when I'm writing. It is my work, my creative outlet, and my meditation. The fact that it now also provides for my family feels like a huge achievement. I know I'm very lucky.

I know that you get much inspiration from the wilds of your native Wales.
If you had the chance to live anywhere on earth, would you move, and where would it be?
Ooh, tricky. There are times, I'll admit, when somewhere a little warmer and sunnier sounds like an excellent idea. In which case it would probably be southern France. I love the climate, the countryside, and the culture there. But I would pine for Wales, I know I would. Still, once the children have left school, given that I can write anywhere, well, who knows...?

Paula, how do you and your family celebrate the Holidays?
We are real home birds, and the children insist all the traditions are observed - Advent calendars, a tree, stockings up on Christmas Eve, food out for the reindeer (much to the cats' delight), drink and mince pie left for Santa, carol singing, Christmas movies.... We have friends and relatives to stay and eat all sort of unnecessary things. It usually snows up here, so a deal of time is spent sledging, building snowmen, or de-icing the pets. I shop and my partner cooks, so by Christmas morning I am officially off duty for a few days and it's bliss!

Paula thanks for answering these questions. I can’t wait for the discussion to begin!
If there's one thing I enjoy more than writing my books it's talking about my books, so I'm really looking forward to this too!

Connect with Paula Website - Facebook - Blog

Be sure and come back Monday as we start the novel discussion! USA, LLC


  1. That's so awesome you were able to go to writing full time. I can definitely see how that could have been scary but so exciting too. Congrats on the book! It looks pretty interesting. I've read a few on witches and they definitely are fascinating.

    1. Hi Anna, I loved the novel- ti made me want to go there
      thanks for the comment