Wolves and Witches: Thursday’s Children

Welcome to the Thursday’s Children Blog Hop, where writers come together to share whatever inspires them throughout their writing journey. I’d like to thank our lovely hosts, Rhiann and Kristina, for inviting me to participate. Thank you! Make sure to check out the other bloggers via this Link—> http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=195700&type=basic. We’d love for you to join us!

Rhiann’s post on fog inspired me and got me thinking; what elements always appear in my writing? I knew immediately which two were prominent, but here are a few others first:

Trees, skeletal or otherwise, play a huge role in two of my novels.


On the eastern edge of the lake rose a brilliant white tree, tall and majestic, its leaves sparkling silver and sapphire in the dusk. “What is it?” I whispered.

The Winter Tree,” Coll said with reverence. “The Dawn, the Light, the Soul of Winter. It’s the source of all life and power in these lands.”

Rivers and creeks—I wasn’t aware of this until I started making this list. I tend to pick cities with rivers.


It was nearing dusk when we reached Budapest. A sprawling paradise of gilded domes and Gothic spires spread below us, the Danube River winding through its center like some endless, primordial serpent—a veritable master of its Eden.

Fate. Whether simply a reference to it, or as a manifestation.


Behind the shimmering bowl stood three crowned and hooded figures. Their dark cowls obscured most of their features, but not all. They were spectral; timeless entities of radiant and terrifying beauty. A thrill of fear swept through me. The one to my left held in her ghostly hands a distaff and spindle. The one to my right a measuring staff and a starry globe. The one in the center held a set of scales and a gleaming pair of shears.

Creation. Destiny. Ordinance.

The Moirai.


I should like to begin this tale with “Once upon a time”, for it is apt in more ways than one, and Fate—who is, by his own happenstance, The Playwright—would have it no other way. And so, drunk on absinthe, and with the denizens of the Parisian underworld roaring in the streets below me, let me begin.

Which brings me at last to wolves and witches. Both have fascinated me since childhood, the combination of darkness and mystery irresistible.

One, or both, are in every single novel I’ve written. In DARKEST BEAUTY, the Báthory witches unleash the wolves of the Carpathian Mountains at their pleasure. In A SONG IN WINTER, the faith of Genna’s grandmother is that of La Vecchia Religione—a pre-Etruscan tradition of Italian witchcraft.

And in my WITCHWOOD trilogy, wolves and witches abound…

Of my long held questions regarding this family, I had, finally, at least two answers.

One: they wanted me. It was clear in their loving glances and affectionate touches, their smiles and the occasional tear. The reasons for my guardianship with Aunt Charlotte still confused me, but I knew they’d be made clear in time. For now, I was content to simply be here.

And second: my family members were indeed witches.

Whether or not that was the right term, I knew not, but of a surety, they had power. It emanated from them like a heady perfume, intoxicating and alluring. Even the children, whose manners were no different than others their age, possessed an air of influence that fair shouted enchanting abilities.

And later, a prophetic dream…

I pulled against the force holding my legs and broke free. I ran to Costin, slipping on his blood that now covered the floor and walls. He writhed in agony. Deep gouges and cuts lacerated his chest and face as if an invisible beast had slashed my cousin to pieces. Sobbing, I fell to my knees and held him close. The full moon cast its glow across the balcony, illuminating Sebastian who crouched with predatory grace upon the rail. His silver eyes shimmered, mirroring the moonlight.

It’s too late,” he said with sorrow.

No!” Fury and grief ripped at my soul and I looked down, but Costin was no longer human. He’d turned into a nightmare creature of mindless slaughter. His feral eyes locked on me. Before I could scream, his razor sharp teeth tore open my throat.

Happy writing!


18 Responses to “Wolves and Witches: Thursday’s Children

  • Wow – some really startling images there Kate. The last ones especially. You seem to have a lot of influences on your writing which I think is good. It makes an author’s writing richer.

    • Thank you SO much, Elaine! 😀

  • “Happy Writing!” Lol. Now I want to go to Budapest even MORE. Don’t know if I’ll ever get there, but it’s on my bucket list. Can’t wait to read! Love the serpent/river image – fabulous 😀 I like trees and witches. Wolves not so much, but there are evil Scottish deerhound/witches’ familiars in one of my books.

    • We’ll have to go together 🙂 And I love the evil Scottish familiars!! I’m beta-ready for some scary stories. *nudges*

  • I also love witches, wolves and trees and I especially love yours! 🙂

    • Thank you, Chris! *smooshes*

  • Great post. I love creeks and brooks, too. Especially ones that have been frozen over. It may be a little macabre, but I love to imagine everything that may have been trapped below!

    • Macabre indeed! Who knows what eerie stories lie beneath!

  • Some gorgeous descriptions there. Loved the description of Budapest. Your writing is really atmospheric. Reading other people writing about wolves, witches and fantasy worlds always makes me want to write fantasy. Great stuff!

  • Did I mention I want to beta-read ALL YOUR BOOKS? Because I do. NOW.

  • *shivers* Creepy vibes, woman…

    And I love it! It sounds like your writing skirts around some dark corners. I think we’re kindred spirits in that regard 🙂

    • We are. Totally. Thank you, Laura! 🙂

  • Ha! My sister and I write about wolves and witches so much, that’s what we named our book. (Which is how I found your blog. Thanks, Google Alerts!)

    I’ve made whole lists of elements that keep turning up in my work, including: the desert, unassisted flight, crappy weather, physical disability, world-weary characters, and magic with extremely limited usefulness. Glad to see I’m not the only one! 😀

    • Hi! Just put your book on my TBR list, lol! Thanks for visiting 🙂

  • Well…you had me at witches! 😉 Great post and lovely/intriguing excerpts.

    I’ve had this on my mind lately too, how several tidbits or themes are repeated through my novels…those pieces of myself that never disappear despite what/who/where I’m writing.

    Also, I keep meaning to tell you – I love your cover photo…the winter tree/scene. Beautiful!

    • Aw, thank you, Jessika! And yes, “pieces of myself” is absolutely accurate. Well said! <3