I have just recently started a new project because, like my reading habits, I cannot read, or write, one book at a time. I have always had a fascination with witches. My favorite play has always been Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and I loved studying the Salem Witch Trials in school. I enjoyed learning about the Druidic and pagan religions of the pre-Christianity Celtic Isles and I am reading a book on modern Wicca. Many branches of modern witches claim their religion reaches back into ancient times, but mostly their beliefs have stemmed from groups of underground covens of the 1950s. I have always respected their love of nature and wanted to explore that more fully in a fictional story. Living in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains, I frequently wonder how many covens of goddess and nature-worshipping witches live off the land surrounded by the beautiful landscape of Appalachia. Then I wondered what it would be like to throw a nature-loving God fearer in their midst. Having friends who are practicing Wiccans we have always agreed to disagree when it comes to spiritual matters, but surrounded by the beauty of nature, how could these two different worlds coexist; could they at all? I also wanted to explore the discord that follows every group of humans and I wanted to use the Appalachian Mountains as a backdrop for a potential moving drama. If you were to flip the book open and read the cover sleeve, even in the early stages of my research, this is what I have come up with.
Blake Terrasen has moved to the Appalachian Foothills of North Carolina following a particularly nasty divorce from a husband who has committed unspeakable crimes. Her parents have retired to the area but, in light of Blake’s recent tragedy, they feel the need to smother their recently singled daughter. She struggles for several months to find a job until the urge to just escape the world overtakes her and she decides to fulfill a lifelong dream and hit the Appalachian Trail, live off the land, and hopefully have a spiritual experience. Along the way she runs into a coven of witches. This religious group is far more traditional than the average practitioners and like the Blake, are living off the land. She decides to live among these witches when the priestess takes a liking to her. Her year of living with the coven shows her the depth of love and betrayal in every circle of human interaction and the devastating effects. She also learns respect for other people’s beliefs and she gains a deeper understanding of the type of people she has been raised to distrust. This is the story of a young woman’s emotional journey to discover herself and find faith in humanity beyond her small familiar world.