Rosie Boyes’ novel Snow Witch came out last week, and it’s another book I can’t wait to read. The story looks like a lot of fun, especially as we head into the holidays. I’m really excited to find out more about the Christmas curse and the mysterious St. Flurries. Read on to learn more about what inspired this unusual holiday story.
Q&A with Rosie Boyes
I find that a story was often inspired by a question. Was there a question that inspired you to write The Snow Witch?
I often imagine the thick snow-covered streets that Charles Dickens wrote about in A Christmas Carol, and the sense of wonder that Lucy Pevensie felt when she stepped through the wardrobe into Narnia – her small feet crunching through the fresh white snow – a puff of breath visible in the crisp, cold air. But due to climate change, a blanket of snow on Christmas day is rare, especially where I live in the south of England. Yet, every year, regardless, I ask myself… will it snow this Christmas? And that was the question that inspired me to write The Snow Witch.
Were there things about your favorite character or an awesome scene which you didn’t end up being able to include in Snow Witch?
Luckily, no, in fact, quite the opposite. After completing several edit checks, I sent my manuscript to a twelve-year-old boy who read the story and gave me his feedback. In his own words, he loved all of the characters apart from a snow creature called Pipit who he described as not very fun and needed more cheer. So, I wrote a new chapter, short and sweet, and in doing so, turned Pipit into an accidental hero. And strangely enough, the new chapter changed the whole dynamics at the end of the book.
Is there a scene or moment in your novel that really sticks with you? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
A chapter I found intense to write was when my main protagonist was cursed, and due to the curse, her family abandoned her when they believed she was dead. ‘Papa! Mama!’ she whimpered. ‘Don’t… leave… me…’ I hate sad scenes, I hate them with a vengeance. Yet, no matter how much the scene pulled on my heartstrings, I knew I had to leave it alone because it was a key element to the story.
I think it’s really cool and unusual to see a story about a curse (usually more of a Halloween theme) taking place around Christmas. What inspired this holiday mash-up?
I love snow! Love it! And I love the festive season mixed together with spicy yumminess and family hugs. So when I came up with the idea for The Snow Witch, I simply had to write a story set around Christmas-time. And into the mixture of the curse, I added three white mistletoe berries, a teaspoon of snow, two cat hairs, and…. well, I’ll let you read the story to find out what happens next.
What do you most hope that readers take away from your story?
Personally speaking, I enjoy reading books which blend an element of everything – fantasy, adventure, suspense, mystery, comedy, and maybe a little romance, all mixed up to make an unforgettable story. And so when it came to The Snow Witch, I wanted to evoke feelings, pure and simple. As an author, I want my readers to turn over a new page and not know quite what to expect. I want them to experience a rollercoaster journey until they finish the book, look around, perhaps a little disorientated because they don’t want the story to end. I want them to feel happy.
What is one question about The Snow Witch you are often asked by readers?
The question I often get asked is from my sister. Have you finished the story yet? When can I read it? In real life, she is an occupational therapist. She is warm-hearted and caring, funny, strong, empathetic and compassionate – in truth, she has all the characteristics needed to be a healthcare professional (but then I am a little biased!). Little does she know that I have loosely based her on a character in my book. Nurse Pamela Pintail, to be precise. It makes me wonder whether, subconsciously, I have based other characters on real-life people? Could it be you?
About Rosie Boyes
Rosie Boyes is a children’s author from the UK. She has been passionate about middle-grade books ever since she can remember. Her love of reading came at an early age when she escaped into classic stories, living out the lives of the characters she met. During her spare time, she dreams about dipping her toes in the sea, splashing through puddles, kicking up leaves in the autumn…
About The Snow Witch
A GRANDFATHER CLOCK. A GLASS LOCKET. A POWERFUL CURSE UNLEASHED ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
Twelve-year-old Kitty Wigeon can’t wait for Christmas at St Flurries, a grand old manor house in the countryside, until one chilly night she vanishes without a trace.
One hundred years later… Still grieving over the death of their mother, Kes Bunting and his younger sister Star, are sent to live at St Flurries. They find a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets.
Who, or what, is making footprints in the snow?
And what evil force is taking a cold grip on Star?
Wrap up warm as you join Kes, and a cast of eccentric snow creatures, in a race against time to solve a hundred-year-old curse. Will he succeed? Or will the fate of his sister be decided by a shivery kiss from… the Snow Witch?