A Letter from Heather Blake
When I was little I was a latchkey kid, often home alone.
But I was rarely lonely. How could I be with all the
characters from my beloved books keeping me company? Plus,
when I wasn’t reading I’d turn on the TV to
watch my favorite shows. I simply loved escaping into the
magical worlds of I Dream of Jeannie and
Needless to say those books and TV shows definitely
influenced my writing. It was only a matter of time before I
created a magical world that others could escape
into—the Wishcraft Mystery series featuring novice
witch Darcy Merriweather.
Darcy lives in Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts,
where the motto is “Where Magic Lives.” And does
it ever! Hundreds of witches live among mortals, secretly
yet openly practicing their “Crafts” under the
guise of tourism.
As a Wishcrafter, a witch who can grant wishes,
Darcy’s finding that her Craft isn’t as
straight-forward as it may seem. There are rules and
regulations and twists and turns, and she doesn’t
quite know what she’s doing (yet).
There are dozens of other Crafters as well, including
Curecrafters (healing witches), Vaporcrafters (who can
disappear into thin air), and Charmcrafters (who create
magical amulets). These books allow my imagination to run
wild, which is incredibly enjoyable and
rewarding—especially when characters appear that I
Like the familiars.
Familiars have been around in witchcraft for hundreds of
years. Usually, they’re a magical animal who works (in
some form) for a witch. Have you seen Disney’s
Aladdin? Iago the parrot is a familiar who’s
connected to Jafar.
My familiars are a little different. They’re not
really attached to any living Crafter in
particular—they’re actually Crafters themselves
who’ve died and chosen to have their spirits reside in
an animal form. They talk (oh, they talk!), and they let me
tell you, they’re fun.
First, there’s Pepe. He’s a cranky French mouse,
a master clothier, and the village’s historian. He
helps Darcy investigate her cases (and makes her some
Then there’s Archie. He’s a former theater actor
who now resides in the body of a scarlet macaw. Not only
does he keep Darcy on her toes playing movie trivia games
(they’re both movie buffs), but he’s also the
Elder’s (the governess of the Crafters) right hand
bird. If something is going on in the village, Archie knows
about. The problem is he’s not always allowed to share
that information with Darcy.
At first when these characters appeared, I balked a bit.
Talking animals? In a mystery novel? I wasn’t so sure
that was a good idea. But then I thought why not? The
familiars add so much, not just in terms of plotting, but in
terms of ambiance. They truly are the embodiment of the
Enchanted Village. It’s where magic lives...
And it’s the perfect place to escape because
don’t we all need a little bit of magic in our lives?