On March 26th 2013 (next month!) my novel The Witch of Little Italy will hit the shelves. It will be at all the major booksellers, at Target, at independent bookstores. It's been a truly magical experience and I feel so-- charmed.
One of the things that people have asked me about my novel, is how I created the subtle-- yet very present magic in the characters. Some call it world building...
My life has always had magic in it. Not the kind you think of right away, not the romantic sort of woozy magic that we think about when we say things are "Magical". No, I had real magic. Good and bad. Black and White. Green, mostly...
It was always obvious that my stories would have a magical realism bent, because I was brought up that way.
In the kitchens of my childhood there was magic. Real, honest to goodness spell crafting. Garden under the moonlight. Oil in water on New Years Eve to remove and evil eye. Curses. (Yes, curses...)
But fun things too!
Want to know the sex of the baby you are carrying? Who needs an ultrasound? Put your wedding ring on a chain and have let one of my Great Aunts dangle it in front of your stomach.
She always got it right.
Sick? Make sure the "patient's" bed is made with white sheets. All white. Mustard plasters. Menthol. Tea and honey and lemon. Prayers. Who needs a doctor?
Rub down a fever with rose water and rubbing alcohol. Say the Rosary.
Because my mother was a child of the Sixties (hippie, spiritual, flower of a woman) and my Grandmother was a first generation Italian American... I was brought up with a certain kind of Pagan/Catholicism steeped in magical traditions.
So when my characters needed magic (to help or harm), It was easy for me to give them the things I already knew. I simply gave them the gifts that so many people in my life gave to me.
It's not a matter of believing something or not. It's a culture. A way of life.
I was a sad and lonesome child, but I knew, early on, that I was a daughter of the sea. My mother would bring me to the ocean and that's where I remembered, under the water, that I was a mermaid.
There's nothing salt water can't cure. There's nothing the sun won't bleach out of you. You can't hide from sand.
None of us live without it. We just don't look hard enough for it. Turn around. I'm right here! And I have a few spells for you. Just take a peek inside my book!
About The Witch of Little Italy
The Witch of Little Italy
St. Martin's Griffin, March 26, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
In Suzanne Palmieri’s charming debut, The Witch of Little Italy, you will be bewitched by the Amore women. When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her. She has only been back once before when she was ten years old during a wonder-filled summer of sun-drenched beaches, laughter and cartwheels. But everyone remembers that summer except her. Eleanor can’t remember anything from before she left the house on her last day there. With her past now coming back to her in flashes, she becomes obsessed with recapturing those memories. Aided by her childhood sweetheart, she learns the secrets still haunting her magical family, secrets buried so deep they no longer know how they began. And, in the process, unlocks a mystery over fifty years old—The Day the Amores Died—and reveals, once and for all, a truth that will either heal or shatter the Amore clan.
You may read an excerpt from The Witch of Little Italy at the Macmillan site here.
Her debut novel THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY will be published by Saint Martin's/Griffin on March 26, 2013, and has sold internationally. Her co-authored novel, I'LL BE SEEING YOU (written as Suzanne Hayes) will be published by Mira books on May 28, 2013, and has also sold internationally.
She lives by the ocean in Connecticut with her husband and three darling witches. Suzanne is represented by Anne Bohner of Pen and Ink Literary.
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