Secrets of Writing Small Town Witch

Tomorrow and Monday, Small Town Witch is available on Amazon as a free Kindle download! If you’ve been waiting to check out the story, now is your chance!

I’ve talked about the characters, how I wrote the story, and even shared a deleted scene from the novel. But what else is there to learn about this story? These are the top five secrets behind Small Town Witch.

1. The dingbats between scenes represent the moon phases during the time passing, because the moon plays an important role in the story.

Significant events occur on the Full and New Moon, but there are more subtle effects on the story as well. Folklore says that things grow during the waxing phase of the moon, as it grows larger, and then diminish during the waning phase. I carefully tracked real-world moon phases (as well as weather forecasts for Calaveras County) while I was writing the book so that I could plot out significant events to correspond with these influences. If you’ve read the story, did you notice anything changing around the First Quarter? The dingbats are cues to aid readers. (Sadly, they show up better in the print version than the ebook.)

2. The last major addition to the story was the Ghost Town adventure in chapter 3 (and the repercussions that rippled outward).

The Ghost Town wasn’t even added until my second pass revision, when my husband suggested that I add something exciting to happen early on. This escapade helped bring Rosa and Heather closer together, and added major implications to the story. It also changed the ending. But I had no idea any of this was going to happen in the first two drafts of the book. Now it’s one of my favorite parts of the story!

3. Food cravings played a part in my inspiration.

Food plays a secondary role in the story and it was mostly based on what I was craving at the time. I did want to create a little atmosphere by contrasting the homey cooking of Rosa’s mom (fried chicken, homemade pasta sauce) with the decadence of the Faerie Court (souffle pancakes, flaming ice cream sundaes). I have recipes for a lot of these dishes, and I will probably post them at some point so you can try them for yourself. (Except for the flaming ice cream sundae. I wish I knew a Fae that could make this happen for me!)

4. Rosa and Akasha are not based on my step-daughters.

Contrary to some opinion, Rosa and Akasha are actually characters that have been in my head for almost ten years, well before I met my lovely step-daughters. Any sisterly fights in the story draw more inspiration from my childhood arguments with my own sister. (With some role-reversal, because while I was the older sister, I was the nerd who read books alone in her room, and my younger sister was more of the social butterfly.)

5. There are small pop culture references hidden in the book.

The biggest one is Menolly, Rosmerta’s cat, who was named after my favorite character by Anne McCaffrey. The Dragonlady died while I was working on the first draft, and I wanted some kind of tribute to her. Another instance is when Dandelion and Rosa are at the faeriekin party, and they see a jazz band with a chicken playing the trumpet. “Jazz chicken” is a recurring joke by comedian Eddie Izzard. And when Rosa asks about the chicken, Dandelion’s response (“How does a squid keep a diary?”) is another Izzard joke. Watching comedy routines helped entertain me and my family while I was writing, so no surprise that little crept in!


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.