Impress Books has signed my historical novel, Widdershins, which is a book about witches and witchfinders. (Click here if you’d like to read the full blog post from Impress Books.)
Widdershins was inspired by the real-life Newcastle witch trials that took place in the mid-seventeenth century, where fifteen women and one man were executed in a single day.
My novel tells the story of two people: John Sharpe, a Scottish witch-finder who came to Newcastle in the seventeenth century to rid the town of its witches; and Jane Chandler, an apprentice healer who used herbs to cure the sick.
Launch day is set for 1 July 2017, and although it feels like a long way off, it’s only 138 days (not that I’m counting, or anything)!
What makes it all feel very real is that my book is already listed on Amazon and Waterstones for pre-order, complete with its very own ISBN! If you want a sneaky peek of the full synopsis, just click on one of the links.
In the meantime, getting ready for publication has been a new experience for me. As an editor and proofreader, I’ve often been involved in various aspects of publishing, but by looking down the other end of the telescope. So, it’s been quite a novelty to be on the receiving end as an author.
Contract signing was very exciting, done in duplicate, and on paper with actual ink. It feels strange to deal with ink and paper when everything seems so virtual these days. Then came a long form to fill out all about me, my book, the cover and the characters.
Next came revisions. So far, I’ve been through two rounds of revisions with my editors (plural – I know!), which was surprisingly pain and anxiety free – for me, anyway, I can’t speak for my editors…
Now, we’re into cover design, and I was kindly consulted for any ideas and thoughts I might have. I’ve just seen an early mock-up, which was an excellent design. Soon, it will go to the designers to work up. I’m itching to see the next iteration, and I’ll post the final cover here once it’s available.
By the way, for anyone who wants to know, widdershins means going anti-clockwise, in the opposite direction to the sun, something which used to be associated with sinister goings on, witchcraft and occult practices. It’s a word oft-used by DH Lawrence, Dylan Thomas, and Terry Pratchett…
Best wishes, Helen