I am having a busman’s holiday at the moment. I am writing a young adult/older child chapter book at the moment, with a goal of writing 20,000 words by the 14th of January. This gives me a break from my editing and job seeking, while at the same time giving the muse an outlet for a build-up of writing energy and inspiration. It is a win-win situation.
My protagonist is a witch who specializes in breaking curses. This is a theme I’ve visited before, in another novel aimed at an older audience. This is a very different take on the theme, with my protagonist very different to the heroine of that other narrative. Coriander Jones is currently trapped in the shape of a small black pig, due to the backfiring of a curse. However, she finds that people tend to talk more freely to a pig, and hasn’t been in any rush to lift her own curse.
My background notes for Coriander:
Coriander Jones is a powerful witch who has unfortunately been turned into a pig by a curse. She is a trim and neat black sow with a white saddle, not fat but plumpish, with the floppy ears of the Cornish Black breed. Because pigs can’t ride a broom, she travels by a living chair with wings. Her grandmother was Mrs Corrie (of the Mary Poppins fame), her mother was Annie Corrie, and her father is David Jones (a son of the infamous Davy Jones (Locker) family).
Mother Carey/Corrie is a supernatural figure personifying the cruel and threatening sea in the imagination of 19th-century English-speaking sailors. She was a similar character to Davy Jones. Mrs Corrie is a Fay or nature spirit: Mother Carey is a Mother Nature figure, the “Angel of the Wild Things”, who favours the strong and the wise but destroys the weak: “She loves you, but far less than she does your race. It may be that you are not wise, and if it seem best, she will drop a tear and crush you into the dust” from Ernest Thompson Seton.
As you can see, I have been inspired by reading the Mary Poppins books late last year. I was intrigued by the Mrs Corrie character and her two daughters, particularly after reading about the Hempstock family in The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Word of God from Mr Gaiman: I’m writing a story about Lettie Hempstock. Who may be distantly related to Daisy Hempstock in Stardust and Liza Hempstock in The Graveyard Book. This got me thinking about strange families (seeing my own family over Christmas probably contributed to this train of thought). So, in this new story I have twin sisters witches, and a mother and daughter as witches.
How would magic run in families? One thing I know, a powerful witch would come from a powerful family.