A bit about the book:
Half Bad is about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches. You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch. You get sick if you stay indoors after dark. You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one. You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen. All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.
How to enter:
To be in with a chance to win a copy of Half Bad, all you have to do Continue readingby
Sally lives in north-west England with her husband and son. We loved her debut novel, Half Bad and were thrilled to be part of her blog tour. We chat to Sally about her book, her advice for new writers and which magical ability she’d like to have…
Thank you for joining us today, Sally. Can you tell us a little about Half Bad and how the idea originated?
Half Bad is my first novel and the first book of a trilogy. It’s set in the present day and most of the action takes part in the UK. It’s the story of Nathan a teenage witch. At the beginning of the story Nathan is a prisoner of the White Witches. He is being kept in a cage, not because of anything he has done, but because of what he is – a Half Code (half White Witch and half Black Witch) – and because his father is the most feared of the Black Witches. The story traces Nathan’s life from birth to his seventeenth birthday by which time he must escape White Witches and go through a Giving ceremony (receiving three gifts) to become a true, adult witch. Nathan’s life is full of physical hardship, even torture, but his mental struggles are as difficult as his physical ones. He is alone, abused and afraid of both the White Witches and the Black, and added to that he is not sure how he himself is going to turn out – whether his Black half or White half will dominate.
I think my first inspiration came from a storytelling festival I went to in 2009 (Festival at the Edge in Shropshire). I was steeped in folklore for three days and loved it, but it was noticeable that in virtually all the old stories three was a significant number (three suitors, three branches on a bramble, three wishes etc.). Continue readingby
Nathan is between good and evil. He is a half code: he’s half white witch and half black and therefore is on the edge of conflicting worlds – not really belonging anywhere. This is a fact that the council, his half-sister and the purest white witches don’t want to let him forget.
He is a prisoner of the council, being put through assessment after assessment, wondering whether each time is going to be the moment he’s given freedom as a white witch or whether he will be condemned and will face a darker future, if one at all.
His father is the most notorious black witch and the more he learns about his dark ancestry, the more he has to try and live down a reputation in the real world as he approaches his seventieth birthday and the traditional giving ceremony. He also wonders about his father. He wants to search for him and meet him.
This book is the first part in the series focusing on Nathan as a child and his struggles as a teenager. Continue readingby