We had a little Witches Tea Party with Mark Taylor
We found Witches Tea Party and wanted to share with you a feisty female protagonist written by a male author. I find the whole Salem history captivating, so this novella just begged to be added to our Guest Author pages. There is also a giveaway on our Fun page. Enjoy!
Genre: Dark Fantasy
In Salem, 1692, Marie-Anne witnessed the death of her friend and confidant, Sarah Good. Charged with being a witch, Sarah goes to the gallows to protect Marie-Anne, a true witch. Three hundred years later, Marie-Anne, under the name Mary Anson, vows to put things right. With a new coven – Dina, Excalibur, and Lady – Mary puts in motion the steps to right what went wrong…and what followers is a chase across the country, a chase against time, pursued by monsters and darkness… will Mary put things right? …or will she die trying?
Author Mark Taylor settled in and helped himself to our scones and Irish Breakfast tea:
- Every author has a story about how their work first came to them. Tell me a little about how you came up with Witches: Tea Party.
Women kicking ass? The Devil? Well, it’s all me, isn’t it. I was looking to write something featuring a witch, or some witches, and I started playing with the idea of them historically. I was thinking of having the whole story set hundreds of years ago. Then, when plotting The Devil’s Hand, I considered writing them contemporarily. The Clucky Bucket scene is what swung it for me. As I planned it, it had to be modern. I felt I would have struggled defining characters and themes without things of this period.
- Who is your favorite character in Witches and why?
Well that just has to be Excalibur. I mean, how can it not be? She’s the feisty, sulky, loud-mouth of the group who’s always got your back. Plus she likes fried chicken. How much fun is that?
- The major characters in your novella are female, but obviously, you aren’t. How difficult was it to write in-depth characters of the opposite gender?
It’s a cake walk. A lot of men say that writing developed female characters is tough, but I ask them why? They’re people. They are characters. Honestly it’s a bug bare of mine when writers say how hard it is.
- Your story begins with the Salem Witch Trials. How much research did you have to do regarding the accuracy of the descriptions?
While I don’t usually do a lot of research I do for historical events. A lot of people will know the truth of what happened, and sometimes even purchase a fiction book based within a time period because of that, so I think it’s really important.
- The majority of your stories are horror based – what is it about this genre that you prefer?
Gotta love the scares, right? I’ve always been into the genre, even from an early age. I used to read (still own, in fact) The Little Vampire books, by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. I watched Nightmare on Elm Street too young. I suppose I got the taste for it, and it stuck. It seemed only reasonable that I stick with it with my writing.
- What is your favorite work of literature?
I truly adore Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. That, and the Star Wars screenplay. What? It’s a work of literature.
- If you could rewrite any story, with a slight twist, what would it be?
I always wanted Tiny Tim to go postal on old Eb Scrooge in an orgy of blood, beating the crazy hallucinating old man to death with his crutch. A retribution killing. So…that.
- Can we expect more from the Witches?
Of course! Although Tea Party is an enclosed story, it’s very much the beginning for the coven. I’ve already started planning two further books.
- What’s next for author Mark Taylor?
I have the third part of the Devil’s Hand coming out in March, and the fourth and final part sometime later in the year (and the paperback omnibus), although I have two further stand-alone books to add on next year. I have two more Witches books on the cards. I’m currently plowing my way through a dark science fiction novel that I’ve been contracted to write, and I have another dark science fiction novel in editing called Trinity, and a half finished detective noir horror/thriller novel, Vampire Blue.
So not much, really.
- Where can we find out more information about you?
Thank you, Mark, for stopping by! Read on for an excerpt of the story:
Witches Tea Party Excerpt
As Mary drove past the fields heading back into Wichita, she glanced at Dina who hadn’t felt the need to speak since they had left the Cemetery, leaving Mary to feel more than a little uncomfortable. Trying to open a conversation, she said, “I don’t think that Excalibur likes me much.”
“I would not worry. I have known her for…” Dina paused for thought, “around one hundred and twenty years, and no, she does not tolerate others well. If, however, she has decided to take to you—which she has or she would have turned the other way by now—she will help you and protect you.”
“So she likes me?”
“I said taken to you, it is quite different.”
The traffic had become heavier now—quite different to how it was when Mary had come the other way some two hours ago. SUVs had started to roll along the roads, trucks and workers starting the commute. She even needed to concentrate on the road, all the while maintaining a view on the car following—making sure that Lady and Excalibur hadn’t lost sight of them.
Mary glanced to Dina. “So will you help me?”
Dina nodded. “I expect that we will. Once we reach your apartment we will discuss the arrangements and decide how to move forward.”
Mary felt warm. It was the first time that anyone had offered help to her in over a hundred years. Sheer companionship was something she had simply done without. It felt…nice. With a small and compassionate smile on her face she looked at Dina. She looked concerned…worried even. “What is it?” Mary asked.
Dina replied with only one word. “Damned.” Her eyes were fixed firmly through the windshield on the cars in front. She squinted through the early morning light. “It is an Essence Monger.”
Mary shook her head, looking out of the car in the same direction as Dina. “What? What is?”
“There.” She pointed toward the cars in front. “Do you see that…the SUV, the one with the tarps on the roof?”
Mary nodded, “Yes, of course.” She waited for Dina to explain, and when she didn’t Mary continued, “Well…what?”
“They are not tarps.”
Mary took another look at the SUV with the black materials flapping in the wind above it. It looked smooth—like silk—and its blackness was unlike any material she had seen before. “I don’t understand,” she said, “what’s going on?”
Dina stiffened in her seat. “It is not of this world.”
Whatever it was that was attached to the SUV suddenly released. It flew through the air—seemingly carried on the wind—towards Mary’s car. The closer it got, the less likely it was to actually be carried by the wind. It spun through the air, dodged the traffic around it…aiming for Mary. It finally came to rest on the windshield of the car, removing the roads—and traffic—from the view of the occupants.
Mary didn’t know what was more disturbing: the loss of view at sixty; or the tormented face of Hell that grimaced through the glass at her. It looked like Death. Its half skinned fingers wrapped around the edges of the car—curling around the corners of the doors. It slid its face up the windshield and leered with rotten skin and through rotten teeth at her, and through the glass, and the wind, she heard its voice.
“You betrayed him…”
About the Author:
Mark Taylor’s debut novel crash landed on planet earth in 2013. Its dark brooding style benchmarked his writing and has led to further releases of novel and short story collection alike. While most of Mark’s work is macabre, occasion has it that he will write about kittens and daisies. Just not very often. Some say he is a product of his environment, others, a product of his own imagination.
Book Blog Tour arranged by European Geeks Publishing
Witches Tea Party Tour Participants: