Something a little different for you today! I’m really pleased to welcome author Cathie Devitt to Being Anne, to tell us more about her trilogy featuring Bernice O’Hanlon, a contemporary Wiccan witch. The first in the series, Don’t Drink & Fly, is already available in paperback and for kindle (via Amazon and major book stores):
Bernice is a witch with many skeletons in her closet. She has an addictive personality, works as a holistic therapist, and struggles to maintain any intimate relationships. Her spells are not always as accurate as they could be, often the result of her having a few too many goblets of red wine. When mysterious letters start appearing at her door, she begins to think about her childhood and, with the help of her long-suffering friend Maggie, tries to come to terms with her past and the family she left behind. But nothing in Bernice’s life is ever simple…
The second, Don’t Doubt the Magic, is available for pre-order and will be published in October. The third book, Don’t Break the Circle is due for publication December 2017 to February 2018. Over to you Cathie…!
My current trilogy of novellas has been hailed as a totally new genre – Witch Lit. I am not sure that the content is as frivolous as that term seems to imply, although the protagonist, Bernice O’Hanlon, is a witch and you will find the odd romantic encounter between the pages.
I do have a few more racy works in progress so if it is hot sticky romance with a touch of magic that you are after…watch this space.
Some sites listed the books as fantasy or even horror neither of which is correct. I think my mistake was to have an almost cartoonlike witch on the original cover which threw people off taking it seriously. This is about to change though as I have just had the cover to Part 1 re-designed and this matches up with Parts 2 and 3.
I originally wrote the story of Bernice as a novel but was persuaded by my publisher to break it down into a trilogy as it would be more digestible (anyone for literary tapas?). It is a hectic read which I like, I enjoy the fast pace and the many threads that weave between the three books to create a tapestry of Bernice’s life.
Bernice is a contemporary Wiccan witch. I felt it was important to show readers another world that they may not be aware of.
I first became interested in Wicca when I met my friend Pauline who is a High Priestess within her coven in Glasgow. Now before you stop reading and switch off thinking this is a load of hocus pocus please remember that we are all different and unless you explore different ways of life you will never understand why so many people embrace them.
One definition for Wicca is a form of modern paganism, especially a tradition founded in England in the mid-20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian religions.
The title for Part 1 Don’t Drink & Fly came about following an evening at the home of the High Priestess where following casting spells and the consumption of red wine, her cauldron accidentally toppled, burning her floor. “Hard one to explain to the Insurance company”. So the books are also peppered with humour.
Many books with witches as their protagonist tend to treat them as one dimensional almost comical characters and don’t show the lives of true witches, the ones without crooked noses and warty fingers.
I was invited to speak at Witchfest International in London and I was amazed at the numbers who were there, some in full garb: sweeping cloaks and pentagram jewellery etc, others in jeans and tee-shirts. I found them to be extremely welcoming and realised that I agreed with and even practiced some of their Wiccan ways without realising it.
I have never flown a broomstick although I do enjoy tarot card readings, the magic of crystals, herbs and holistic therapies.
I developed a strong character with a main plot and several sub plots. It was important to me that I did extensive research to show the world of Wicca as being as natural as any other whilst telling the story of Bernice and how she faced her life challenges.
You don’t have to know anything about Wicca to enjoy the books as the storylines are universal in that they cover, love, death, friendships, secrets, deceit and triumph. Many Wiccans have said how refreshing it is to have the protagonist as a witch depleting some of the fear and mystery out for readers not acquainted with the craft and praised my depiction of Bernice as being realistic.
Thank you Cathie – wishing you and the trilogy every success!
About the author
Cathie Devitt is a writer from Glasgow: her debut novella Don’t Drink and Fly is the first in a trilogy about fictional character Bernice O’Hanlon.
This follows various writing successes including publication of short stories and poetry in anthologies, Creative Writing awards, and theatre success in particular with the play Mammy which Cathie wrote for Magner’s International Comedy Festival in 2011. Following five star success the play toured the UK and attracted sell-out audiences at Edinburgh Festival and Henley Festival.
Cathie has work published in many anthologies including Magic Mixtures, Distant Shadows, Spotlight poetry, New Writing Dundee, and Grown ups in the loft, and in international magazines such as Scottish Women, Scottish Memories, Womens Weekly, Management Tomorrow and The Lady.
Cathie was born curious and continues to be that way. Her mother says that Cathie’s first words were “But Why?”. Cathie has since increased her vocabulary to include “Why not?” and “What if?”.
Find out out more at: www.cathiedevitt.com