lucky day…we have author Titus Murphy in the house to talk about the first book in his series BLACK OAK. Welcome, Titus!
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
TM: His name is Mark. He is the hero of the tale and he reminds me a lot of myself. A self-made man who has dreams bigger than his relative circumstances and his heat is big and has been conquered by the sweet woman of Sharon in his hometown. His story –arc will take him through quite a bit by the time the story have evolved through the series and where I envision him being by the time it is all over, will be quite a transition from the man we met in Black Oak.
SC: It sounds like he is going to go through a lot. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
TM: I do. Although I don’t have a specific story myself, I have friends and family from Louisiana and they’ve shared their experiences with me about visitors from the ‘other side’ that they totally believe are real. Ghost stories, are only fake to those who have not experienced them and I believe that we all have the power to tap into the spirit world if we so desire.
SC: What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
TM:I have a slew of ideas for continuing the Black Oak series with 3-4 books, along with spin-offs that follow the stories of other characters as the tale evolves. I really connected with the characters in this first book and ultimately want to see them grow and have readers follow them on the journey and grow too.
SC: Thanks for joining us today. Let's take a look at your book now.
Exclusive Bewitching Excerpt:
“I don’t mean to
sound pushy,” Beth started, “but earlier you said that I’m a Dreamer. Tell me
more about what that is.”
Zack turned away
from Frank, walked over to Beth, and took a seat back at the table next to her.
“I’m going to give you the short version,” said Zack, “only because I need to
get to the real reason for our visit.”
“So straight to
the point, you are a Dreamer, as I said before,” Zack said. “That makes you
part witch and part psychic but with an added benefit of being more powerful
than both. The main difference between you and normal witches is that you can
see into the future without using magic because your psychic side empowers you
to do so naturally. And you don’t even need to train this skill. Where other
witches fail, you succeed because they don’t have the natural psychic ability
you do. They have to use magic to see into the future.”
Beth gawked in
amazement at Zack’s words. “So how far into the future can I see?” asked Beth.
“To be honest, I don’t know. But what I do know is that the answers you seek
can only be found in the grimoire. The grimoire is the most powerful spell book
among witches and warlocks. Every spell from growing flowers in your garden to
conjuring up lightning is recorded in that book. Every name of every witch and
warlock, whether good or bad, down to every war, including the Great War of
1782 is recorded in that book. You can even find spells on how to create
magical objects like amulets and talismans.”
“And even the
mystical arts of performing magical charms and divination, on summoning or
invoking supernatural entities, is also a part of that book,” Zoë chimed.
“Do you know how
many supernatural beings would love to get their hands on that book?” Zack
“Where is the
book now?” asked Beth.
Zack said. “It was given to a very powerful witch like yourself to keep safe.
She also was a dreamer, the first of your kind, and the only one until now. You
are the second, my sister, in our 250 years of traveling on this earth.”
second?” said Frank.
“Yes, only the
second, and we’ve been everywhere in this world, so that should tell you
something. Your wife’s kind is rare.”
“Well, the question here for you to answer now
is, who and where is the first?” asked Beth.
“Her name was
Tiara. And she died along time ago,” replied Zack somberly.
“I’m sorry to
hear that. Did you know her? I mean were you close with her?” asked Beth.
was the one who taught Zoë and me how to use our powers,” said Zack. His eyes
beat over to Zoë. “She protected us during and after the Great War. If it
wasn’t for her, we would’ve been dead long ago.”
“God, I miss
her,” said Zoë, finally speaking up.
“Well, now that
you know everything there is to know, keep this in mind. Power is innocent. The
one who wields it…” said Zack with a brief pause. He pointed directly at Beth.
“Well, that is what taints it. He or she must decide to use it for good or
evil. That choice makes a difference.”
who you are,” said Zoë, cutting in.
“I will,” said
“Good, now let’s
get to the real reason why we’re here,” said Zack. “After the great battle back
in 1782, Jackals and witches all went their separate ways as the town was no
longer viable. The fallout of the fight was tremendous; houses were burned to
the ground. Bodies were everywhere, and the land was saturated in blood and
rotten flesh. The stench was unbearable. It was all a complete mess. So some
witches migrated to the east while others went north. Zoë, Tiara, and I headed
west. After settling down for a few months, we split up again and went our
separate ways. Tiara told us she was going on a journey to find someone very
important and that she would be back in approximately one year.”
“If you don’t
mind me asking,” said Beth, “why didn’t you two go with her?”
“We wanted to,
but she forbade it. She insisted that we remain behind and give aid to any
stragglers that needed assistance,” said Zoë.
“Yes, she did,”
said Zack as he nodded in agreement. “There is not a day that goes by that I
don’t live with the regret of my decision that day.”
happened to Tiara?” asked Frank.
“We never saw
her again,” said Zack, his voice raspy and soft. “But anyway, after 30 years
away from Black Oak, we had grown very powerful, teaching ourselves the ways of
mysticism and sorcery. And then one day in the fall of 1812, Zoë and I felt
something: a surge of power we’d not yet experienced before. Not since the
Great War. It was all in the air, calling out to us. So we packed our things
and followed the surge to its source until it led us back here to our original
home of Black Oak.” Zack took a moment to smile as Zoë placed a gentle hand
over his. “I could see the town in the distance and, as Zoë and I approached,
we started preparing ourselves for a fight because we didn’t know who or what
was living there. But the closer we got, our minds began to calm. The visions
before us were heartwarming. People were everywhere. Families and friends were
bustling about. The town was good as new. It was like nothing ever happened and
the magic we felt there was good and pure and untouched by evil.”
“You could sense
it,” said Zoë.
“And now it’s
happening again, but only this time, the magic feels different. It’s evil for
sure, I know it,” said Zack.
“How can you
tell?” asked Beth.
question for me,” said Zack, staring intently at Beth.
“What did you
sense from my sister and me when you first opened your door?” asked Zack.
“Good. I felt
good in both of you,” said Beth. “Nothing bad…not even a little bit.”
“And I too felt
the same thing when I saw you. And I’m not talking only about tonight,” said Zack.
“But what I feel in this town now is wicked. Mark my words. Something is
coming. What’s more, is that something is already here. And that should be
impossible. Do you know why?” asked Zack as he stared at both Frank and Beth
for an answer.
They were both
speechless, but Beth took a stab at it anyway. “There’s some special magic
“Yes. A force
field—placed over this town hundreds of years ago by the witches, that was
supposed to stop dangerous beasts or any other supernatural creatures from
passing through,” said Zoë.
“But I’m afraid
the force field failed against whatever forced its way in. Now Zoë and I need
to find out who or what it is before someone gets hurt or maybe worse…killed.”
“Yes. On the way
over here, we came across a sea of dead bodies in the woods. Most likely
campers who were mauled to death, and it looked like the work of Riffs,” said