When considering the inspiration behind the character of Ana Lagori in, The Honey Witch, I want to say: "Take all you might believe about the witch, and even what you don't believe, and toss it into the wild wind."
The supernatural creature in literature is often viewed as either good or evil, beautiful or blatantly unattractive. Within those bounds of moral or physical attributes and flaws, the character is expected to follow certain precepts. The werewolf shifts by the light of the full Moon; the vampire sleeps by day (until sparkling by sunlight...rousing glorious debate); the witch is often viewed as one who, by way of ritual or spell, helps or hinders and in most folklore, it is the latter.
I imagined the supernatural character of Ana Lagori a little differently. Like the earth, itself, she is neither good nor evil. Like the undefinable, she is neither beautiful nor unattractive. She is her own power. Although taken from mythological meanderings, I wanted no preconceived expectations to limit her capability. Ultimately, she is the enigma I wanted her to be.
The cultivated New England biologist, Dr. Ethan Broughton, comes into the story restricted by his preconceptions about science, about nature, about reality and illusion. He is a haunted character;a man fighting his own demons and clinging to the belief that there is always a rational explanation, even if that explanation is, by definition, mere chimera.
The Honey Witch invites the reader to journey into a realm of dark enchantments and mirrors within mirrors in a place called Porringer Hill...where it is said a witch resides.
Image* Night and her Daughter Sleep - by Mary L. Macomber (1902)
In the spring of 1935, Dr. Leland Broughton was rescued from the effects of a snake bite in East Tennessee by the sudden appearance of a woman possessed of a powerful anti-venom. In 1996, Dr. Ethan Broughton, Leland's grandson, agreed to investigate a potent medicinal plant and a rumor of curative miracles on Porringer Hill in East Tennessee. What he found was an isolated community of disturbing superstition centered on one woman, Ana Lagori, a local apothecary with a mysterious ability to heal all wounds. This is the story of that most fateful encounter.