About My Writing

I'm currently revising a young adult historical fantasy novel, titled BELLADONNA.

One hot August day, a fractious young lady named Hazel escapes from her governess, raids an apple orchard, kisses a boy, and smashes a witch's window.  The witch curses Hazel into servitude until she speaks her Name.  Soon, Hazel is milking the cow, fetching water, scrubbing floors, and utterly ruining her fine hands.  As she works, the witch recounts the stories of her centuries upon the earth, tales of her otherworldly father, of the mortal man she loved and lost, of witch hunts and fairy revels.  After a time, Hazel begins to see the witch not as a fiend, but perhaps as the mother she never had.

When Hazel discovers her father is dying and the witch does not immediately let her go to him, Hazel runs away to Faerie, desperate to learn the witch’s Name.  Instead, she falls into the clutches of the Fairy Queen – the witch’s vengeful half-sister.  

The germ of this novel came to me on my 20th birthday, on the bus coming home from university.  I'm currently line-editing and hope to be submitting to agents by the end of the year.

Books that inspired Belladonna, or remind me of it, include: Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty (and the rest of the Gemma trilogy), Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Julie Hearn's The Merrybegot/The Minister's Daughter, Sally Gardner's Coriander, Martine Leavitt's Keturah and Lord Death, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Franny Billingsley's Chime.