Why I Write About Witches

Grimm's Fairy Tales
Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Illustrated by Arthur Rackham: London, Constable & Co. Ltd. 1909. This very book takes on terrifying magical properties in my horror novel Taken By Witches.

When I was 25 years old I almost died. I had a beautiful young wife who was very pregnant, a one-year-old daughter, the job of a lifetime, swollen glands in my lungs, white blood cells that were out of control, strange bumps all over my legs, and a raging fever that lasted for over a month. I should have known what my future would be when I overheard two doctors talking about how to tell a young man he was dying. Still, one of the first things I thought was, “what a really great romance novel this would make.” (Honest.) Four months later the doctors were dumbfounded, the symptoms were gone, but my troubles had only begun. 

Years later, I wrote the romantic story of my early experiences, took it to a world famous writer editor who read it and said, “You’re confusing reality with a really good story. But there is one chapter here that I love.” So did everyone else who read my manuscript. It told how, when I was four years old, I was afraid of my Polish grandmother because I thought she was a witch. “Focus on that,” the old man said, “and you could have a really great novel. Oh, and in the meantime, read everything you can get your hands on by Stephen King. Then do what he does.”

I read all of King’s novels, rewrote my romance again and again mixing in King’s horrors with real and imagined experiences. Then I did mountains of research into the history of witches, fleshed out the biography of my grandmother who by this point had become (in my story at least) one of the greatest, most persecuted witches in history.

Taken by Witches is now available on Amazon.


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