I’m so pleased to be part of The Witching Moon Book Tour (The Witching Moon by K E Bonner). The genre of this book is Young Adult Fantasy – and normally not a genre I’d go for, seeing as I am a “not so young” adult – but I really enjoyed this fast paced story.
THE BOOK SUMMARY
Every once in an eon, when the Earth eclipses the moon on a winter solstice, an immortal is born under a witching moon. Anne has always had the strangest feelings—memories she couldn’t place; strangers she inexplicably yearned for. After she rescues the enigmatic Phillip from a shipwreck, her comfortable life on the island of Cusabo is shattered, and the mystery of her destiny starts to fall into place. Anne leaves behind the life she’s always known and sets out with Phillip on an arduous journey to Amaranth, where her ancient family awaits her. But the path is dark and daunting, and Anne’s powers have only just begun to manifest.
Publisher: Belle Isle Books
Print Length: 298 pages
Salutations! I’m K.E. Bonner, author, reader, wife, mother, anesthetist, wanderer, gardener, and home chef. Fifteen years ago I found out I was dyslexic, which explained why I was labeled as a ‘slow reader’ in first grade. Note to teachers: never label anyone as slow, it hurts. Having dyslexia has taught me to never, never, ever give up.
“Witching Moon” is your debut novel. Who or what inspired you to start your writing career?
Have you ever heard of the book Twilight by Stephanie Myers? In 2005 all of my friends were obsessed with it, so I read it, loved it, and became determined to see why it was so hard to put down. I re-read it and then outlined the whole book to discover what secrets it held. A year later I met my friend, Leslie Muir, who shared with me that she had just signed with a literary agent. Suddenly being a writer seemed possible. I rushed home and began writing.
“Witching Moon” is a Young Adult historical fiction/fantasy series – although I absolutely was enthralled with the story and it was fast paced enough to keep me engrossed to the last page. I found your descriptions of places, the food, the characters and the even the “smells” very vivid. I loved the main characters, Anne and Philip – and I was mesmerised by their growing relationship! Which character did you enjoy writing about the most? Which character was the hardest?
Anne was the easiest character to write because I could hear her voice clearly and I spent so much time with her. Elodie was the most difficult character to write because she was a person of color and a runaway slave, and I am neither. It was important for me to honor Elodie, where she came from and her experience, so I read Fredrick Douglas’s autobiography, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Color Purple by Alice Waters, and Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I wanted to get inside of Elodie’s head as much as I could. It was important for Elodie to be a strong character with her own power because I didn’t want Anne to be a white savior. Anne saves Elodie but then Elodie saves Anne and Phillip by securing them a spot on the Underground Railroad. Kindness repays kindness.
The novel is set in 1865 during the American civil war in South Carolina. Living in Georgia yourself, your depiction of the States is believable but I am intrigued by the island of Amaranth, off the coast of France. My mind conjured up a vision of Mont St Michel and the Ile de Ré …. but is Amaranth, the island, a figment of your imagination or based on a real place?
Amaranth is based on Mont Saint Michel, a place I’ve never visited. I’ve been fascinated with Mont St Michel since I saw it in Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: The Three Musketeers. Cusabo is based on the sea islands of SC. There is no actual island named Cusabo, but the Cusabo people were the original inhabitants of the South Carolina low country.
As this is your debut novel, were there any aspects of writing the novel that surprised you, pleasantly or otherwise?
Writing is both an escape and therapy for me. When I go through a period when I’m not writing I don’t feel whole. There is no doubt in my mind that I was born to share stories. Witching Moon taught me how to write, my following books will share with readers what I’ve learned about how to cope, live, and forgive.
Hypothetically speaking, if you could visit any country/place in the world, to base a future novel in, where would you go and why?
Iceland. The Icelandic people believe in elves, faries, and trolls, they call them huldufolk or hidden people. In my mind’s eye the huldufolk are leading Anne across a steaming field of moss covered, gnarled volcanic rock. Iceland is a country brimming with magical realism and the huldufolk are calling to me.
If “Witching Moon” was made into a film, what actors/actresses would you like to see cast as the main characters, eg Anne, Philip, Mama Jane etc?
Undiscovered actors should play Anne, Phillip, Elodie, and Rory. I love the idea of giving a talented and hardworking young person a chance. An indigenous actress like Morningstar Angeline would play Mama Jane. I like Mads Mikkelsen for Bello, Idris Elba for Rex, and Kate Winslet for Rowan. My brother, Brendan Murphy, would be my choice of director. He is an award winning video game writer and he wrote and directed the movie Speakeasy.
Are you a bookworm? What is your favourite genre and/or authors? Kindle or actual book?
I’m a real book kind of gal. I love the weight of a hardback in my hands, the texture of the pages, and the smell of ink. Few odors are as heady as the aroma of a secondhand bookstore; the dusty, woodsy, aged glue smell gets my heart racing. I adore southern gothic books, and books that introduce me to new places and cultures. Memoir, non fiction that broadens my mind, fat and colorful coffee table books, travel logs, little known histories, romance, true crime, spy-thrillers, short stories, and whatever strikes my fancy. Toni Morrison, Pat Conroy, Rick Bragg, Jane Austen, Mary Karr, and Maurice Sendack are some of my favorite authors.
Is “Witching Moon” available to purchase worldwide?
Yes, On Amazon, Bookshop.org, and Barnesandnoble.com
Growing up had you always wanted to be an author or did you have other career aspirations?
I grew up watching my parents sit at the kitchen table struggling to pay the bills. My goal was to be able to pay my bills and travel. I went into medicine because I knew I’d always have a job. I’m lucky because I get paid to take care of people, but working in healthcare is stressful and hard on one’s body. My dream is to be able to support myself with my writing.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Comfort is very important to me. Brooks Adrenaline GTS is my shoe of choice, paired with jeans and a sweater or hoodie. I try to hit the gym everyday to either swim, lift weights, or do a spin class so I’m often in athletic clothes.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
I like quality well made clothes that I can wear for more than two seasons. Tori Burch for handbags, Nordstrom for clothes, Athleta, Theory, J Crew, and American Giant. I like clothes that canbe worn with jeans or dressed up and that travel well.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
My dream shoes are the Gucci lug sole loafers with gold bees embroidered on the heel, but they are crazy expensive. Even though I know I’ll be able to wear them for a long time, I can’t pull the trigger on them.
Boots or Shoes?
I love sneakers. I have two pairs of Taos Plim Soul sneakers that I wear with jeans, pants, and skirts that are perfect to travel with. I have a pair of black Born riding boots and a pair of Frye chelsea boots that I feel great in. I like classic pieces. I don’t mind paying a little more for quality clothes or shoes that I know I will wear for ten years.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
Facebook: karenbonnerBOOK TOUR DATES
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED WITH KIND PERMISSION OF K E BONNER , APART FROM THE HEADER PHOTO AND PHOTO OF ICELAND( BY ETHAN HOBDEN). THANKS ALSO GOES TO K E BONNER FOR A COPY OF THE WITCHING MOON FOR REVIEWING PURPOSES.