We're sending August off with mixed emotions. It's been a strange summer, n'est pas? Today we have author B. Austin stopping in for a quick little chat.
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
BA: When Medea was a wild teenager of 14, she did something to so anger her mother, that Dima cursed her, turning Medea into a cat as soon as the sun sets each night. Nineteen years have passed, and Medea is now a nicer person, though she is still a teenager. Age wise, she is just two years older than when Dima cursed her, even though 19 years have gone by and Medea should be 33 years old. The age discrepancy is because being half-cat, Medea has nine lives and she died once and came back to life. Every time Medea dies, no matter how many years have gone by since her last death, she only ages a year. Medea does have the wisdom of a 33-year-old. She can start fires with her mind, and unlock and open doors with her mind. She makes a living telling fortunes by reading cat scratches on people’s skin. She, also, conducts seances, and is a well-known medium. She dislikes her mother, and the two witches have some work cut out for them in their relationship. Dima, at least, treats Medea as an adult now and allows her the freedom she deserves. Medea has a tight bond with her younger, though 17-year-old sister, and really loves, Nikki. However, Medea is keeping two secrets from Nikki, and lives in dread of her sister discovering the truth.
Nikki, on the other hand, believes she has no magic and is jealous of her sister and mother. She, also, suffers from sibling rivalry because Medea has her own car, and has the freedoms of an adult. Nikki, on the other hand, travels back and forth to work on the bus and toils as a hotel maid. She has to give all of her money to Dima. However, Nikki is developing a magical gift, and doesn’t realize it. Instead, she’s terrified to what is happening to her. Most of The Witch with Nine Lives takes place in 1952. Nikki looks exactly like Marilyn Monroe and her beauty means everything to her. Nikki has her own secret regarding Medea, that she’s keeping from her sister.
SC: We can smell some sorcery there. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
BA: I definitely believe in the paranormal and have personal experience. I grew up in the Southwest, on stories about La Llorona, or the Crier. She is a witch who walks along the banks of rivers and ditches, searching for her drowned children.
My grandparents once attended an outdoor dance on a ranch when they were young. Some witches showed up, angry they were not invited to the party. My grandparents witnessed the witches rise in the air to a small canyon. The witches then spit and cussed at the partygoers.
My grandmother used to cut my brother’s hair and then burn the cuttings so no witches would get his hair and harm him using image magic.
As a child, my cousin and I used to spy on an old lady who we believed was a witch. She’d come out of her house and we’d run screaming.
We had a ditch behind our house, and I swear that one night at midnight when I was 13, I heard the witch, La Llorona, searching for her children, whom she had drowned centuries earlier. Our house was on an acre so the ditch was about ¼ acre away. It was a bone-chilling cry, and I was terrified to get out of bed and look out the window. The crying went on and on. The sound was so scary that for two months I couldn’t be by myself, even during the day.
New Mexico is a hotbed for witches. There is a town named Wagon Mound that I’ve heard is infested with witches. The newspaper mentioned one year that Albuquerque was the site for the annual witches' convention. Once, there was an article in the paper about a witch being killed by some other witches. I found out that there were a lot of witches at the company where I used to work as a Software Engineer. It was a big engineering company though, with around 13,000 employees. A good friend of mine confessed that she was a witch and she invited me to their witch’s sabbath at midnight on Halloween. I declined when she said that at midnight, they all got naked and got in the hot tub.
My mother died three days before Christmas when I was 16. The first time my teenage siblings and I went to the mortuary for a private viewing, I swear that my mother squeezed my hand to comfort me.
SC: Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm sure your mother is watching out for you. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
BA: I have a fabulous narrator recording Undying Witch: Prequel and The Witch with Nine Lives. The audio books will be out in October. A Dysfunctional Family of Witches Series makes really fun audio books.
I’m currently writing Witch Daughter, the third book in the 7-part series. The book takes place from the period 1952 to 2001. Just when the Romanov family is no longer so dysfunctional, along comes a third sister, the witch Liliya, and then her daughter Astra, a third-generation witch. Dima, the matriarch, is still alive, due to her shapeshifting stone. She is 180 years old by the end of the book, though Dima still passes for 19, an act that drives two of her “older-looking” daughters crazy. Of course, Medea coming back to life just one-year older each time she dies, also, drives her sisters mad with envy.
I have the book on preorder for January, but I’m hoping to finish it sooner.
SC: Then we'd better let you get back to work. Let's take a look at your novel now.
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