Today I am welcoming the author of a magic realism book Matt Wingett to my blog with an exclusive post. I am looking forward to getting some time to read this novel. First the blurb about the novel then on to the first post.
The Snow Witch
A Portsmouth Novel
A woman on the run arrives in a British seaside town, a refugee from a horrifying past. Trapped by a freak blizzard, she finds unexpected kindness from the locals – except for one man who seems hellbent on possessing or destroying her.
Unable to leave the icebound city, she is drawn into the lives of its people, whose stories force her to face her own cruel past.
What is she running from, what dark secret does she carry with her – and how can she escape it if she won’t acknowledge it exists?
The Snow Witch is a tale of loss, love, murder, obsession and witchcraft, rich in magical scenes that delight, horrify and intrigue.
‘A haunted and haunting book, infused with humanity at its rawest.’ – Andy Paciorek, Folk Horror Revival
‘…weaves folklore and magic in such a natural way, as to make you believe and want magic like this in your everyday life…’ – Grainne Rhuad, Subversify.com
‘Beautifully realised… Wingett places descriptions on the page as an artist adds images to canvas’ – Mark Norman, author; creator of The Folklore Podcast
I know them now. I know the truths I had forgotten a long time ago. What I’d hidden from for all this time. I know the truths about the believers and the non-believers, and I know about the deaths that need to be avenged, even now. I see them all, the startled faces, the abuses by men with guns, the towns lying smoking and empty.
But I also know this. I know about the light in the woods, and how you will find friends along the way who will help you. I understand now about the power in starlight, and the songs my mother sang to me when I was young, with all their hidden messages.
Sometimes when I walk in the sunlight I feel the light from the old home upon me. I feel the currents in the air, and the possibility that is waiting that will allow the past to be undone. I see the smile of that little dear one whom I now love, and walk by the lake and enjoy friendships, something I never did before. That is a change in me. Before the events happened, I would have been afraid to feel.
All the world is transformation, it seems. Everything changes. Nothing is the same as it was half a second ago. Everybody and everything is in the process of becoming, just as my mother told me. And I am becoming, too. Thanks to this town.
The events that happened didn’t happen to an abstract concept, to a distant stranger. They happened to me. I know they were true, because I was there. I saw the magic in the woods, I saw bigotry that led to the murders, the pure butality of the militia men, and I felt how snow piled on snow and buried all these sights for many, many years.
I so wish I could have done something when I was a girl to stop those horrors from happening. For years I ran from the fact that I did nothing, until in the end, I learned that I could do something, something now that would make some kind of amends for the past.
And to do it, I used magic. Magic, that poetic power that imbues the world, that holds the stars together and that the priests and imams tell you is evil. Magic is not evil. The thing about magic is it’s pure. It has no moral intention, but it is also a temptation in some hands. That is what I learned when the changes happened, that is what I learned when they began to call me The Snow Witch.
A witch! I would have laughed at that word once, but that is what I am. A witch. And I am here neither to do you good nor do you ill, but simply to be, to learn, to understand and to grow. And that, in the end, is what witchcraft means. It is the art of wisdom.
So, it is true that I can do terrible things. It is true that I can change the shape of men, and calm the savage wolf.
But I’ll tell you, once that is all done, if you don’t fear me, then I won’t fear you.
Because you, too, have the power.