Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where There's a Witch

 LUCY BURDETTE: Yesterday we heard from an incredibly prolific first-time writer. Today, meet Heather Blake AKA Heather Webber, a seasoned pro who started out writing cozy mysteries, then moved to romance, and now has a new paranormal mystery series out. I asked for her secret method of writing fast--she said "I sit down and type." Sigh. Since that won't fill a blog post, she's here to talk to us about the fun of writing a witchy mystery. 

Welcome Heather!

 Heather Blake:  The tag line for my recent release A WITCH BEFORE DYING is “Where there’s a witch, there’s a way.”

Which (witch?) is so true of the series, but it started me thinking about witchy-type powers. 

My main character can grant wishes. Others can disappear into thin air, bake a mean cupcake, grow amazing flowers, craft a spell...

But what power would I want?

There’s something to be said about invisibility. Think of the conversations you could overhear, the hilarious pranks you could pull.

Or maybe telepathy. Knowing what others are thinking. On second thought, cross that off—there are some things I probably don’t want to know.

Ooh, flying. That could be...amazing. Broomstick optional.

Oh, oh! Or maybe unlimited free shopping? Groceries, clothes, appliances (can you tell my washer and dryer are about to die?).

All pretty good options, but ultimately I think I’d choose teletransportation. Only being a blink or a twitch away from another destination holds a lot of appeal. Especially when stuck in a traffic jam. Or when looking at the cost to fly to Paris from Cincinnati, OH (not that I’m discouraged or anything).

What would you choose for your witchy power? Heather will be around today to chat about magic and answer your questions!

The first book in the Wishcraft series, It Takes a Witch, came out in January:

Darcy Merriweather has just discovered she hails from a long line of Wishcrafters-witches with the power to grant wishes by casting a spell. She's come to Enchanted Village to learn her trade but finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation...

"Blake successfully blends crime, magic, romance, and self-discovery in her lively debut..."
-Publisher's Weekly
Congratulations on the new book Heather!


  1. Congratulations on your book, Heather.

    As for the witchy power, I am definitely on board with the teletransportation . . . it could take the place of my usual mantra: "Scotty, I need you to beam me over there!"

  2. I would like the power of time travel, so I could visit history, not the future. I want to know what happened in Salem. What really initiated and sustained the local terror. What made it possible for the accusers to accuse and the believers to believe, What released the accusers from it, that they realized almost just as suddenly that it was a huge mistake and injustice.

    If I were a real witch and had the power of time travel, I would go to those who were not and who suffered for it. It is the danger of social life - the mystery of group control and freedom from it - that I am driven to know.

    Just make sure I can get back, okay?

  3. Joan Emerson, please email me: lucyburdette at You have won a prize from Donna Andrews for your title suggestion: When the Chirps
    are down!!

    Hallie wins second prize for Giblets of Fire:)

  4. Heather--welcome! Joan and Reine--sounds like you were thinking about special powers before Heather brought them up:)!

    My question Heather, is how you go about designing a magical world? How do you figure out what your characters special powers will be and why?

  5. Joan, that Scotty would be handy to have around, wouldn't he?

    Reine, fear of anything--especially of the unknown--can cause people to do crazy things, which is still true even in this century (unfortunately).
    I once started writing a time-travel novel and got stuck on the whole how-to-get-back thing, LOL. We'll make sure your power, however, definitely includes a return trip home.

  6. Hi Roberta! Thanks for having me here today.

    With the magical world, I've tended to create powers to fit my stories. I needed a magical doctor, so a Curecrafter appeared on the page. Same for when I needed a person to disappear in the middle of a scene--she turned out to be a Vaporcrafter.

    It's actually been a lot of fun coming up with different Crafters and also creating limitations for them as well. It's when I have too many rules and regulations that things get a little mucky...

  7. Heather and Roberta:

    I've been [impatiently] waiting for that teletransportation thing ever since the very first "Beam me up, Scotty!"

  8. Congrats and good luck, Heather. Say Hi to Kimberly Frost (a good friend) if you run into her on the Witch sub-genre circuit.

    As for special powers, I've always found the True Blood vampires' ability to "glamor" people most attractive. I could corner Neil Nyren or somebody like that at Bouchercon and come up with a five-book contract!

  9. Welcome Heather - one of the nicest gals on the mystery circuit.
    Congrats on the new book...but I still love your gardening series, guess I'm prejudiced!

    And jack, don't sell yourself're a glam guy! Neil doesn't know what he's missing.

  10. Hey, dear Heather! I've thought about this more than is actually necessary, I confess. Reading minds would be good, although rob ably disappointing.

    Reine, yes, time travel, if we could be assured of coming back. ANd Heather, if you can get them there, you can get them back, right?

    STOPPING time, that would be good. But we know from Harry Potter and Superman that would have its problems.

    Healing people seems like a good thing, but it probably isn't. Even "nothing has calories" is no good.

    YOu see how I've over-thought this.

    Heather, welcome!

    Wait--I know--the magical power to write a best-seller. Now,wait, I mean--not the POWER, the reality. Oh, I'm stopping now. xoo

  11. Welcome, Heather! Such fun writing about witches and special powers.

    My witchy power:
    Heal the sick and sooth the angry of course. But that would be turn into scifi "be careful what you wish for" if that actually played out. Anger and illness have their roles.

    What I REALLY want is a power like the "replicator" on Star Trek did: instantly create whatever food my little heart desires... and greedy me, eat it all and not get fat.

  12. Hi Jack--thanks, and if I meet Kimberly, I'll definitely say hi. And getting a five-book contract definitely would be a super-power in this day and age!

    Aw, thanks, Ro! I love that gardening series, too. So much so that I'm self-publishing them now (book #6 came out last December and #7 will hopefully be out this December). I can't tell you how happy I was to be back in that world again. Most fun I'd had writing in ages--like visiting old friends.

  13. Hi Hank! Unfortunately, there's always the "be careful what you wish for" adage to worry about. But I can't see any consequences to having a best seller. :)

    Ooh, Hallie, instant food and no calories? Sounds like heaven to me.

  14. Congrats Heather on both your latest and your versatility.

    I'm with Reine on time travel and likewise would go backward not forward. I'd like to see NYC when my father was going to high school there in the 20s.

    I would not want invisibility because I think the worst thing in life would be to overhear conversations not meant for your ears.

    I mean, really, why ASK for it?

  15. Teleportation would be my first choice, followed closely by being able to make my favorite foods calorie free.

    Heather, I'm looking forward to your book. I just ordered it.

  16. Love me some Heather :) And I think I'd choose time travel, too. There are def some things I'd like to go back and do differently or experience once more.

  17. Congratulations on your book, Heather. I'll definitely add it and the first one to my TBR pile. Jungle Reds is so bad as an enabler of us book addicts. Really, a pusher.

    As for magical power, I like teleportation and time travel, but I can see problems with both of them. To be invisible--no, I'm with Jan on that one. Reading minds has the same bad side effects. If you're kind enough not to tell me how bad you think I look, why should I riffle through your thoughts to find that out?

    I think I'd go for healing. My grandmother and great-grandmother were healers. Or maybe Hank's power to write a bestseller, but then we probably all have that power--it's doing the actual work (not all of it writing) that trips us up.

  18. Oh,Heather,Heather, Heather! People like you are contributing to my space problem at home,not to mention what happens to the food budget when I opt for books over groceries!

    I am loving paranormal more and more all the time and now I need to look for YOUR books,too:-)

    Maybe my primary super power ought to be mysteriously finding space for all the books I want to own, and always having room for more, despite living in a teeny little condo.

    I also would like teleportation. My version would ALWAYS have me arriving wherever I want to go. To make it exciting,there would be mid teleport accidents or near accidents. Or perhaps several people would teleport themselves at the very same second to buy the LAST couple of tickets to a sold-out concert...and then fight over who got there first. In my world, perhaps the person who had to travel the farthest to get there would win. Or maybe not.

  19. Thanks, Jan! Versatility was born from necessity. ;) I agree about mind-reading. Trauma potential outweighs any benefits.

    Darlene, thanks so much for ordering the book! I really appreciate it.

    Hi Kristine! Thanks for stopping by. Hmm--there are some things from my past I'd like to change, too. Time travel is looking more and more appealing.

  20. Linda, the Reds are the best kind of pushers! Healing would be pretty great...

    Deb, LOL--who needs food? And a teletransportation race sounds very cool.

  21. Heather, I love your Lucy Valentine novels, so I'll have to pick up your new series and try the gardening mysteries as well! You have a great sense of humor.

    I've thought about the "which (witch) power" question a lot. Flying is tempting, but I'm afraid of heights. As you and others have pointed out, telepathy has its drawbacks, and so does invisibility (though the latter would come in handy sometimes.) Time travel... I love history, and it would be so fascinating to go back and see what things were really like. But I really like having modern technology (like hospitals and flush toilets), and come to think of it, a lot of the interesting events were difficult to crash inconspicuously, or highly dangerous to be around.

    However, there's an aspect of time travel that really appeals to me, and that's the Harry-Potter-style Timeturner. Oh, to be able to turn back the clock an hour or two when the alarm goes off in the morning! Or sneak in an extra few hours to study, or when I really need to be two places at once. No more "I can't go to that concert because I'm directing a rehearsal." No more groggy mornings because I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. to finish a book. Yup, I could really use a Timeturner.

    If I can't have that, though, I'll take teleportation. It would save an awful lot of time -- and think of the savings in gas!

  22. Congratulations on your book release Heather.

    I've read both books in this series and they are magically delightful.

    I want Samantha Stephens powers...she an all-emcomposing witch with major class powers.

  23. Lark, thank you so much! Lucy V holds a special place in my heart. :)
    A Timeturner would be pretty cool--especially in the morning. My snooze button is my best friend some mornings.

    Thanks, Dru Ann! (((hugs)) I love Samantha and (as you know) she was such a huge influence in these books.

  24. Thanks for coming by today Heather--it's a been a pleasure:). See you and Hank on the NYTbestseller list!!

  25. Hi Heather! I just finished A Witch Before Dying and loved it. Your series is so original and I love the characters.

    What would my witchy power be? I think I'd like to be able to talk to animals. Wouldn't it be nice to know why they do the things they do?

    Cathy AJ

  26. Cathy, I'm so happy you loved AWBD--thank you! I have an animal communicator in my last Lucy Valentine novel (Perfectly Matched) and thought that would be so cool to have that ability. I can only imagine what they really think--LOL.