Author Interview: Ruth Warburton 

 March 20, 2012

By  admin

Ruth War­bur­ton, author of A Witch in Win­ter, joins us on the blog today to chat about her debut novel. Click here to see my review.

A Witch in Win­ter has quite a his­toric feel — the idea of witch­craft being passed down through the cen­turies, the his­tory sur­round­ing the town Anna moves to — all of which I loved. Did you ever think about mak­ing A Witch in Win­ter a his­tor­i­cal novel, or did you always know that you wanted to write a con­tem­po­rary book?

It was always a con­tem­po­rary book in my head — I don’t know why — that was just how it started! I could def­i­nitely see myself doing some­thing set in the past in another book though. I loved doing the research and weav­ing it into the plot.

What kind of research did you do for the book?

Mainly it was research in order to write the spells the girls use. They had to sound really con­vinc­ing and authen­ti­cally “old”, but the real spell books I found didn’t quite work in the plot. There are lots of real gri­moires which sur­vive from the mid­dle ages and even ear­lier, but they aren’t what we would really think of as spell books — they’re often in Latin and full of com­pli­cated instruc­tions about astrol­ogy and spir­its and demons — they were designed to be read by learned men and are more like a whole study guide.

I wanted some­thing a bit more rus­tic and domes­tic, with spells and charms the girls could pick out and use indi­vid­u­ally, a bit like recipes. So I researched the lan­guage and style of real spell books, as well as the lan­guage of early recipe books, and I also researched folk charms and super­sti­tions, and tried to kind of com­bine all three into some­thing close to what I wanted, but con­vinc­ingly 16th cen­tury. Con­tinue read­ing →


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