Guest post: Sarah Painter

I am so excited to be hosting the first stop on Sarah Painter’s blog tour. I’ve been in online writing groups with Sarah for years and she’s absolutely lovely (we’ve yet to meet in real life, but we really must do that soon) and I can’t wait to read her debut novel, The Language of Spells, out TODAY. Over to Sarah…

sarah author pic_b&wThank you for having me, Keris!

I can hardly believe that my book is being published today, that something that began as a whisper of an idea is a proper novel, available all over the world.

The story began with a character talking (for me, that’s how ideas usually present themselves) and I knew straight away that my heroine had the uncanny ability to find lost things, a family with a history of magic, and a desire to be normal.

At eighteen, Gwen Harper left home and vowed not to go back, but when she inherits End House from her mysterious great aunt Iris, she has no choice but to return and face the town that branded her a witch.

To be honest, I was a little worried while I was writing this story. I’d had comments on a previous novel saying that it would be difficult to sell because it ‘mixed genres’. I was concerned that I was going down the same road – mixing a contemporary love story with magical elements.

However, I took courage from the advice to ‘write what you like to read’ and there were lots of books that I loved that mixed these elements. Here are a small selection:

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Single mother, Vianne Rocher, arrives in a devout French village with her daughter and opens a chocolate shop during Lent. Harris deftly weaves the supernatural with the commonplace, and her descriptions are mouth-watering.

The River King by Alice Hoffman

Set in a boarding school in Massachusetts, this story mixes a detective story with gothic horror and ghostly activity.

The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

The first in a series of police procedurals featuring PC Peter Grant. The books are set in a version of London in which magic exists and are fun and well-paced.

Wild Ride by Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer

An old-fashioned theme park that is infested by demons. There’s an ice cream-making sorceress, a crooked politician, and a love interest who isn’t what he seems… Light-hearted, action-filled and stuffed with the trademark Crusie humour.

imagesThe Language of Spells is available from Amazon UK,, with Nook and Kobo editions following shortly.

Sarah will be at Strictly Writing tomorrow.