by Andrea Janes
Just released: February 2014
Amazon | Goodreads
Stealing the life she's always wanted is as easy as casting a spell.
That's what eighteen-year-old Christina Sundy is. All year round she lives in a one-stoplight town on Cape Cod, and when summer comes, she spends her days scooping ice cream for the rich tourists she hates. So when one of them takes a job in the ice cream shop alongside her, she's pissed. Why does a blonde and perky Harvard-bound rich girl like Reese Manning want to scoop ice cream anyway?
Something else weird is happening to Christina: tiny blue sparks seem to be shooting off her fingers. It isn't long before she realizes the truth about herself—she's actually a powerful hereditary witch. But her newfound powers are too intense for her to handle and, in a moment of rage, she accidentally zaps Reese into another dimension.
So that no one will notice that the rich girl has disappeared, Christina casts a disguising spell, or "glamour," and lives Reese's life while she tries to find a retrieval spell. But as the retrieval spell proves harder than anticipated, and as she goes about living Reese's life without anyone on the outside noticing the switch, Christina realizes that there's nothing to stop her from making the glamour permanent... except, of course, her fellow witches, a 16th century demon, and, just maybe, her own conscience.
Andrea Janes writes horror, dark comedy, thrillers, and historical slapstick. She is the author of Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories. She is also a licensed NYC tour guide, and offers a variety of ghostly tours around the city.
Her many obsessions include New York City history, old photographs, Mabel Normand, all things nautical, and beer.
She maintains a personal blog over at Spinster Aunt, where she discusses these obsessions in more detail than is probably healthy.
I was asked to share any “interesting witchy tidbits” I came across during my research for GLAMOUR. The truth is, I didn’t do very much research at all. I based the witchcraft scenes in the book partly on witchcraft histories I’ve ben familiar with since I was a child, partly on some books by Scott Cunningham that I’d read when I went through a “teen witch” phase of my own some twenty years ago, and the rest I just sort of intuited from my own set of general beliefs about how the universe works.
I’ve always been really interested in witches for some reason. When I was little my dad took me to the Salem Witch Museum; maybe that started it. I also used to go to the library as a child and read everything I could on the European witch trials. I remember sitting in the kid’s section hiding low down in the stacks and surreptitiously reading about thumbscrews and the rack. With me, the attraction of witches and witchcraft is and has always been atavistic and intense and inexplicable.
As a teen I read the sort of how-to books that I deride a bit in GLAMOUR, instructional stuff. In truth, I see no harm in these books. I enjoyed my time as a teen “witch,” taking ritual baths and then prancing about the backyard wearing a black robe that was a castoff costume from a former dance recital (for a performance to a techno remix of the Phantom of the Opera theme song if you can believe it). I must have looked pretty hilarious; I do remember everyone in my family making fun of me, though my mom was cool and let me plant an herb garden in the backyard, and poppies, too. Anyway, I remembered a lot about ritual and witchcraft and Wicca so that when it came time to write GLAMOUR, it came quite easily.
In terms of whether witchcraft is “real” or not, I think there are some legitimate psi phenomena that are actually coming into play during the casting of a spell, such as telepathy or psychokinesis. If you look at Christina’s initial spellcasting in GLAMOUR, it’s much more akin to psychokinesis than it is to what we think of as witchcraft. Incidentally, a lot of my knowledge of psi phenomena comes from listening to (and being a guest on) The Psi Show, an internet radio run by two paranormal investigators. I got to know them through my work leading ghost tours in New York City, and I’ve learned a lot from them. You can listen to my show on witchcraft here.
I do think that if you believe in something in your very marrow, it might be possible to alter events in a small way. I think that, used in combination with other things, the force of willpower is very real. I don’t think Harry Potter-type spells or the types of spells Christina casts in the book are possible. That being said, the famous English witch Sybil Leek was supposed to have been able to raise fire and raise the wind. She also kept a pet blackbird called Mr. Hotfoot Jackson!
I don’t claim to know how magic works or how the universe works, but I do have my own set of beliefs. There are many different types of witchcraft, from folk magic to voudon to Wicca and Neopaganism. Pagans originally were just “country-dwellers.” That’s what the word pagan means. Think of the original old woman in the country cottage making potions and poultices. Whether you’re using arcane knowledge passed down from your granny, or just basic botany, you are in some sense tapping into the energy of the universe and that is in itself a kind of magic. It’s easy to cross the line into being a raving idiot and believing in stuff like The Secret, which I find nauseating, but if you can pull back a bit from that, it is possible to behave nicely with the universe. I don’t believe in god and I don’t call myself a pagan, but if you offer me the choice between a church and a wooded grove, I’ll choose the forest every time.
-ends April 1
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