When Miss Mabel’s School for Girls first came out, my friend Terry, as a kind of aside, mentioned that I’d probably have people who refused to read it because, well, it’s about witches. JK Rowling got it in spades, right? Nobigdeal, guys. But I didn’t think it would be a thing for me.
As Terry predicted, it happened.
As the book continued to grow, (check out an awesome Barnes and Noble article that included Miss Mabel’s School for Girls.) I had more people emailing me about the book. Some of them were really excited . . .
. . . until they found out it had witches.
Writing about Witches in a Mormon World
Here’s the thing: I was raised a Mormon (yes, we believe in and follow Christ) and I am one now. If you have any questions, you can see stuff ’bout it here, here, and here. By choice, I’m an old fashioned kind of gal. I don’t drink, smoke, and try to curb the swear words when I can.
I also write fantasy about witches.
Which, for some people in the Christian world, is a big no-no. (Ironically enough, so is being a Mormon. A lot of Christians don’t like Mormons. Weird, right? Like, where’s that whole love your neighbor principle?) I get it. I seriously do. We all have things that we prefer, and I completely respect those who don’t read about witches. I turn away erotica books because I don’t enjoy them or their content. In fact, I totally admire people with that conviction to stand up for what they believe because I do it all the time. I know how frightening that can be, so I’d never judge another person for turning away my book because it may clash with their spiritual beliefs.
That being said, I’ve had a lot of readers ask me what it’s like to write about witches as an active Mormon.
So, for those of you who have asked, here it is:
What it’s like to be a Mormon author writing about witches.
I sit down.
I write about imperfect people trying to do good things.
I find things that I struggle with, or I see other struggle with, and I put it to paper.
I infuse magic into my writing because to me, writing is magic.
I eat a couple pounds of brownies. Just kidding. #butnotreally
I have a few books about Wiccanism that I’ve skimmed and studied and genuinely enjoyed learning from. I am not a practicing Wiccan, but I find that their closeness to the earth and seeking to be good and do no harm very inspiring.
I go to church.
I pray for guidance in my writing and business.
I put characteristics in my imperfect characters that I wish I could embody. Bianca’s pretty tough, and confident, and I wish I could be as brave as her.
Yep. That’s pretty much what it’s like.
So . . . how do I feel about the book as a whole?
I feel great about it. Amazing, actually. I’m proud, my husband is proud, my mama is proud, and I think that’s great. In the books, I don’t mention God. I don’t even create a deity for the Antebellum world. I don’t have a Christ-figure in the work. Neither do I have a spiritual warfare kind of battle where God helps Bianca overcome her evil teacher. Bianca overcomes with inner strength, which is also something I believe that God asks of us.
I believe that’s okay.
Do I feel like my book takes away from my belief in God?
No. I think God’s okay with how I’ve handled it. I think expanding my talent, living the way I feel I should, and staying close to my what I believe is true is as acceptable to God as it would be if I wrote a different kind of book.
Am I saying that one or the other is good or bad?
I’m just saying that I’m a Mormon and I write about witches, magic, and girls that don’t need a man to save them.
Tell me what you write about and how you do it.