We have come to that time of year, when the C-word is not allowed to be mentioned until after Halloween. (Or for some of my British readers, everything xmassy gets put off until after Bonfire Night)
We are into the rundown until Halloween, which means for most modern people that it's time to knock together costumes, and stock the cupboard with sweets for the local kids. (I'm planning on dressing as Maleficent this year - a child-hating witch - perfect!)
For anyone who doesn't know, the origin of Halloween is widely agreed to be the Celtic festival of Samhain. It used to mark the end of the harvest season, and the time to bring in the livestock for slaughter, ready for the beginning of the dark half of the year.
Traditionally, bonfires were lit, which were thought to have cleansing properties.
Being more than just a Harvest Festival, there was a big connection with the otherworldly and souls of the dead. At this special junction of the year, it was thought that the walls between worlds was thinner. This meant that one could expect interactions with spirits and faeries, and the souls of deceased loved ones visiting their old homes.
The thin veil also allowed their priests and druids a stronger and more accurate ability to make predictions about the future, which would guide their people through the coming dark months.
I always loved the history of Halloween.
When I was a kid, my mum never let me go trick-or-treating, because she didn't like the idea of children celebrating demons and ghouls, etc. Instead of being deterred, this had the opposite effect and I was fascinated!
So when the grown-up-me wrote books about witches, I knew that Halloween had to play a large role. I wanted that thin veil to make witches more powerful; strong enough to break a thousand-year-old curse and set an old danger free.
I wanted the modern-day witch-hunters to know without question, that Halloween was the most dangerous time of year. Something that they had to train towards, and plan.
I also wanted to put one of my characters in a pirate outfit, just because.
((My university friends laughed at my home-made pirate outfit, but I think I rocked it!))
So it is inevitable that there are going to be a few Halloween-centred events.
Drumroll for the first...
You have until Halloween to enter & win a paperback copy of each of the Witch-Hunter trilogy.
Click the images to link over to the Goodreads giveaway.