Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?
What a generous offer. I’m at the end of a long project and am suffering from the blahs as I put the finishing touches on Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes, which will end my Gothic/Fantasy Romance Trilogy. I’ve been with these characters for a couple of years and I’m finding it hard to let go. So I need a spell to get me going on this last phase and to make the pain of parting a bit less. I’ve got new projects in the offing, but endings have never been my strong suit. I want to do good by my Zoraida Grey characters and give them a worthy send-off. Something to knock me back to work and help me say goodbye. Thanks!!
I have heard this problem from a couple of authors. It can be difficult to let go. I suggest this spell from The Moonlight Shop. As for getting started, I believe your characters deserve to know how their story ends. Don't you? "Parting is such sweet sorrow," but everything must come to an end. Perhaps talking about your story will help. Tell me about Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, the second book in the Zoraida Grey Trilogy, which just released August 1.
Zoraida Grey needs help.
With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic.
Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now, he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.
Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?
A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?
A cold, dead vapor crawls across the walls of the cenote, rustling the branches of the Ceiba trees and obscuring Al’s worried face. The stench of death floats upward. Something stirs in the black pit.
Shea moves closer to my side. “What in the name of Horus is that?”
“That’ll be the bloody vampires. God Almighty! I’ll be glad to get back to Scotland where the worst ye have to deal with are the witches.” Jock puffs out an exasperated sigh.
“I thought you were joking about vampires.” My feet freeze to the ground.
“Camazotz is what the Mayans called ’em. Means Death Bat, if ye want to know.” Jock expels another frustrated burst of air. “I’d love to drink tea and tell ye all about the finer points of battling these wee beasties, but we havenae the time. Mind their fangs and claws.”
With a shimmer of silvery-green lightning, Jock disappears.
How exciting! How many creative liberties did you take with the folklore and cultures?
I tried to stick with the basic tenants of the legend, but then to take it to the next level by considering what such creatures lives are like and how they would interact with other magical people in the neighborhood. What would it be like to sit down to tea with one? Or try to get rid of one? What if one of them married into the family? I don’t think I took too many creative liberties that counter the basic legend. My intention was to extend the tales already told by adding more detail.
As a reader, I truly appreciate that approach. What are your witches like?
My witches don’t wiggle their noses, and they aren’t green and warty. They are modern men and women who just happen to understand how to manipulate and manifest. It’s a skill you can learn, but some are born with a predisposition for magic. As one member of the Logan clan puts it, “I’m sure there is a scientific explanation—some gene, a particularly shiny strand of DNA. It survives in our family and in one or two others. They called us Anunnaki in Sumer, Druids in Europe and Britain. Long life, a particular skill in magic, and a penchant for debate run in the family.”
Of course, some of the male witches are smoking hot. I don’t make the rules.
In the Nature/Nurture debate, I fall firmly in the middle—believing that both elements play a part in what kind of person a kid grows into. Some in the Logan clan are concerned with preserving the blood line while others concentrate on instruction to regenerate the magical skill the clan once enjoyed. All of my witches share a reluctance to come out of the broom closet and a healthy distrust of their own kind.
Out of the broom closet, hehe you must know some real witches in your life. What are your vampires like?
The two main kinds of vampires in Zoraida Grey come directly from folklore. The Death Bats are large vampire bats of Mayan legend. They do what you would expect vampire bats to do, but they do it with more enthusiasm than your run of the mill vampire bat. Often, they snatched heads off and were associated with sacrifices to the gods. Our encounter with them in Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen is brief but memorable.
The Baibhan Sith is a Scottish vampire who lives in the Highlands where she often seduces muscular young men and then claws them to death and laps their blood. She’s not a vampire in the Dracula vein (!) but she shares the fear of sunlight and a taste for blood. She’s more an evil fairy. One of these ladies played a large part in the establishment of Castle Logan back in the day, and she’s not quite finished with the Logan Clan. A Logan witch reminds her of an old lover, and she’d really like to get her claws on him. Another character has gotten on the Baibhan Sith’s bad side, which stirs up trouble in Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes.
Vampire puns! I love it. Are there other supernatural creatures that the cast encounters?
Oh, my, yes. I wanted to use as many bits and pieces of folklore from as many cultures as I possibly could. After all, the Logans have been around for a good, long time. They would naturally be well aware of all the other magical creatures nearby—and how to best make use of them. The Logans are all about manipulation. But they might not know all of the legendary creatures in other parts of the world. What would happen if they encountered unfamiliar beasties? In the Zoraida Grey Trilogy, I’ve added ghosts—several varieties; brownies—in Scotland, they aren’t cute and sweet at all; dragons—just a one, really; shapeshifters; a snake goddess from Africa; a bit of voodoo legend from Haiti and New Orleans; faeries—turns out some of them are quite bloodthirsty; and one fellow nobody understands—the only creature who strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan clan.
I love using lots of “ghosties and Ghoulies and lang-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.” I’m planning a Zoraida Grey Bestiary about the time Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes comes out. Around Halloween, I hope.
SO MUCH AWESOME! Pirates too, eh? Tell me about them.
The pirates are modern-day smugglers in the Gulf of Mexico. They just like to think of themselves as pirates. I can’t say much about them without spoiler alerts.
Good call. I was surprised by the mention of Horus, he is an Egyptian god, is he not? Is it a spoiler to ask why a Scottish witch is exclaiming an Egyptian god's name?
The Scottish witch got the saying from his mother who got it from her father. They are a long-lived family, so the connection with Egypt is somewhere back down the line. My main character, Zoraida, is named after an Egyptian witch. I toyed with the idea of doing a bunch of prequels taking the Logans back to their roots, but that sounds hard. I’m doing a short story anthology, which already contains one little prequel, but an entire family history would be quite lengthy.
Indeed, a project for another time. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Tell me! I am an insecure writer and every good review gives me a warm glow. So readers who enjoy the Zoraida Trilogy can post reviews, contact me on my website, tell their friends, and buy more of my books. Also, during the first couple of weeks of August, I’m blogging all over the place and doing a giveaway. Prizes include a hand-crafted birthstone pendant and, of course, books. Hop over to my website to see all the goings on.
We all need those little compliments to keep us going. What can we expect from you next?
Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes will end the Zoraida Grey Trilogy. I’m putting the last sparkly bits in it now and hope to release it around Halloween—by the end of 2018 for certain. After that, I am working on a story titled Winter Solstice, which is shaping up to be a medieval romance with (what else) witches. If all goes well, that will be available around December, 2018. Then, I have a murder mystery in outline form. The tentative title is Festival of Blood, but that may change. It’s about several murders during a Celtic festival in the U.S. and may be the beginning of another series. While I’m not planning this to be as magical as Zoraida Grey, you can bet a few ghosts and skeletons and witches will peek out of the woodwork from time to time.
Wow, you have a full schedule. Well then, I won't keep you. Good luck in you're endeavors, and happy writing! Come back soon.
Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest with seven cats, one dog, and one husband. A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals, watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason. She likes a drop of Scotch now and then.
You can connect with Sorchia on her website, blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, BookBub, and Instagram. You can also sign up for her newsletter. You can get a copy of her books on Amazon or on any of these platforms.