Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Magic of Magic

nature-of-the-witch, helen-t-norwood, author, book, blog-tour

When I was in the first year of primary school I remember myself and a group of friends spending our break-times trying to fly. We stood at the top of some concrete steps that lead on to the playground and then we jumped off and flapped our arms. Sometimes we got a little frustrated that it didn’t seem to be working. We decided that we weren’t flapping our arms hard enough or jumping high enough. As the bell rang to signal the end of break we would head for the classroom feeling slightly baffled that we hadn’t sussed it yet and vowing to try again at next break. I don’t remember it occurring to us that maybe it wasn’t working because it wasn’t possible. We assumed it was our own error and that we were doing something wrong.

As a child, I loved reading. My favourite books generally contained some element of magic. I would’ve loved to have stumbled across Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree and met Moonface, or discover I had telekinesis like Roald Dahl’s Matilda. For children reality is blurred, anything is possible; our teeth are collected by fairies and Santa flies through the skies at Christmas.

Then we grow up, and no matter how hard we try to ‘Peter Pan’ our way through life, reality kicks in at some point. We start to realise that no matter how high we jump and how hard we flap our arms we are never going to fly.

nature-of-the-witch, helen-t-norwood, book

When we are trying to do the whole ‘adulting’ thing we lose sight of the magic. We are studying, working, having children and life is busy, and that element of wonder that we never doubted was real as children are lost to life and logic.

However, I think it’s a wonderful feeling to pick up a book, or watch a film, and lose myself in the kind of world I believed in as a child. I may spend my days now feeling a bit old and sensible, but there is still a side to me that is secretly waiting for my Hogwarts letter to be delivered (I’m assuming the owl has been delayed).

This is why I enjoyed writing Nature of the Witch so much. I was able to let loose that side of me and create a world within a world. Kiera and Jack are leading normal lives until witchcraft returns after its two hundred year absence.

However, I haven’t written the same story that I would have written if I’d had the idea as a child because I’m not that little girl anymore. I have different experiences now and I’m looking at magic from a different angle than I did back then.

nature-of-the-witch, helen-t-norwood, book, blog-tour

My dad died not long before I started writing the book. In the story, Kiera is in a similar position and is struggling with her grief. At the time of writing it seemed obvious that, once Kiera had her powers, she would try to use them to bring back her lost loved one. That is certainly what I would be thinking of doing. I believe Kiera and I shared that journey together as I wrote the book. Magic makes anything possible. Can it be used to cure heartbreak and grief and reverse death? Whether the answer to that is yes or no, it was still therapeutic to absorb myself in a world where there are those sorts of possibilities.

For me, stories with witchcraft and magic and unfathomable situations provide the ultimate form of escape. They open up a part of me that often gets lost in modern life. They remind me of the child I once was, who thought that if she flapped her arms harder she could fly. It’s good to be reminded of her sometimes. Reading or writing about magic provides a release from our usual, everyday pressures. There is certainly a real magic in magic.

Helen lives in the UK with her husband, two children and one diva-like cat called Tiger. Helen, like many others, was captivated in her childhood by books from the likes of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton and any books which took her to new worlds and showed her places of magic and mystery. She has enjoyed writing and creating her own magical worlds from a young age. She is currently writing the second book in the Nature of the Witch trilogy which will be out soon.

The Nature of the Witch is available to buy now. For more about Helen, follow her on Twitter.

What do you think? Are you a fan of magical fiction? Let me know in the comments below!

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