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  • djbowmansmith

Witches, Magic and the Menopause




My current work in progress is a story about a witch who comes into her magic in middle age. At the beginning of the story, Lilith, the main character, is deep within her menopause and is feeling awful. She is an empty nester. Her estranged husband is seeing a glamorous younger woman which makes Lilith feel worthless as well as ugly. Her body is playing up as never before. She is beset with brain fog and hot flashes. In short, poor old Lilith is at rock bottom. At the start of my tale, it would seem that my main character is beyond hope. What could possibly happen to a woman like her?

This is, of course, my fascination. And also my experience - no, I’m not a witch – but putting the magic aside, I can certainly relate to a lot of what my MC is going through. This is why I wanted to write a coming-of-age story that did not feature a young woman. But an older one. Someone who everybody believes, including herself, is useless and past it. Someone who must get the hang of middle age.

There are so many stories written which celebrate younger women finding their strength and worth. And they are delightful. But as this magical story developed in my mind, I imagined a different witch. A woman of an uncertain age who is trying to make sense of her menopause in a world where there is not much information about this vast change a woman goes through. And discovering she is also a witch of some considerable power, as her body does strange and annoying things.

This book, the Mid-Witch, is out soon, and I hope you will follow Lilith as she makes sense of her world and develops her confidence as a woman and as a new witch.

So why witchcraft?

Witchcraft has been in my peripheral imagination for many years. Once, long ago, I had a small hair salon in a little village in the New Forest. This village is still known for witchcraft and has many witch-themed gift shops. Some of my customers were witches. This was thirty years ago when I was young, slim, and things like the menopause were never spoken of. In fact, in my life, I would say I have had more conversations with witches about spell craft and prescience than I have had conversations with women about the menopause.

Anyway, a passing interest in witchy stuff has been with me for many years. When the character of Lilith started to wander about in my imagination, I began to read up on the subject. Because although the Mid-Witch is a work of fiction, fiction always works best and is more believable if rooted in fact. So, I have had lots of fun reading about Tarot cards and spell casting and witches, both ancient and modern, to weave into my story.

This first book in the mid-witch chronicles will see Lilith get a grasp on middle age and come to terms with her witchy self. Within the story is an enemies-to-lovers steamy romance, a dash of humour and some jeopardy. If this appeals to you, I am seeking arc readers. Please, do get in touch on the contacts page. I’d love to have you on my team of first readers.

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