Saturday, October 17, 2015


BEAUTIFUL BOOKS is a writerly blog linkup event, focused on NaNoWriMo novels. It is taking the place of BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE FOR WRITERS, this month. This month we’re introducing your work-in-progress and next month we’ll talk about YOU as a writer (!) It was designed with NaNoWriMo in mind. NaNoWriMo is a writing event where you write a 50,000 word novel in a month. But you can do it for ANY novel if you’re not a NaNo participant. 

I am not doing NaNoWriMo, but I am opting to do this seeing it is in place of this month's BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE feature.

*NOTE: Blogger is still putting garbage code in my html. Going in and getting rid of it usually works, but this time it didn't, so sorry about the random font sizes and wide spacings. The text was also this light grey color, so I had to bold all the print. I didn't want everyone to think I am crazy. I am, but  I don't want you thinking about it. Ha ha!

  1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
  2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
  3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
  4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
  5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favorite to write? Tell us about them!
  6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
  7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
  8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
  9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
  10. What themes are in it? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

1. We started reading the Harry Potter books when my son was seven and the first three books were already published, but after we finished the third book he was chomping at the bit for more. One night I made up a bedtime story about an American witch named Saffron who goes to a witching school called Belfry Academy and he loved it. I started writing the stories down so I could read them to him in a more developed manner, and not have to come up with scenarios off-the-cuff. I guess in a way it was fanfic because my American characters would make reference to Hogwarts and Miss Cackle's Academy (Worst Witch) , but at that time I had never heard of fanfic. I came across a box full of the Hidden Magic notebooks, so I decided I wanted to serialize the stories on Wattpad. Since then I have made outlines for two more HM books.

2. I am excited to write these books because I love telling stories.

3. The full title of this book is Hidden Magic: The Adventures of Saffron Browne. It is about a nine year old American witch who attends her grandmother's small witchery school (ten students) called Belfry Academy. The flavor of it is more like the television series Bewitched (if you have ever seen the classic reruns) and the movie Practical Magic.

4. One word characterizations...
SAFFRON: nurturer.

SAFFRON'S GRANDMOTHER, Isadora "Izzy" Browne: traditional.

 FIG: wise.

SAFFRON'S MOTHER: narcissistic.

SAFFRON'S 13 YEAR OLD COUSIN, Belladonna "Cyx" Burke: confused.


HER GRANDMOTHER'S BEST FRIEND, Imogene "Gi Gi" Blackmore : trustworthy.

SAFFRON'S GRANDPAPA, Aramis "Ari" Browne: absent.

5. Other than Saffron my favorite character to write would be Fig.
Saffron hates Fig's monthly midnight moanings! I like writing this character because they don't remember whether they were male or female in life.

6. I think Saffron's original goal was to be successful at everything her mother is not. She has taken over mothering of her younger brother and wants to be a dedicated and skilled witch.

7. This novel is set mostly in Sleepy Hollow, New York (my father's family was part of the founding membership in the 1600s) , but there will be some traveling to Salem, Massachusetts and Mystic, Connecticut.

Belfry Manor, home to Belfry Academy has three distinct sections. The original part of the building seen above is from the 1700s and has a simple clean, light, colonial feel to it with pine flooring and painted white woodwork. The sitting room, kitchen, ballroom (now the dinning room/gymnasium) and solarium (now the art/dance studio) are in this part of the building. 
The second wing that you can just barely see on the right, was an add-on built in the mid 1800s. It has oak flooring, dark oak paneled walls, and the fireplaces have thick, carved dark wood mantles. The library, music room, and Saffron's grandpapa's study are in this part of the house.
Grandpapa's study.
The third wing, which you can see on the right side end was built by Saffron's grandparents after they bought the house as newlyweds in the 1920s (witches don't age as we do). It was specially built with no electrical wiring, so that its energy would not interfere with magical energies. Her grandmother's study, the apothecary room, and several small rooms that will be converted into classrooms are in this wing.
Isadora's study.

There is also what Isadora calls the "backhouse".

For orientation as to the manor house,  you can see the back of the 1920s wing through the archway. The cook and her husband, the groundskeeper/driver, live on the first floor. There are guestrooms on the second floor and a full finished attic. The guest rooms will become rooms for the older students and the attic a common room space.
The backhouse attic renovation in progress.

And last, but not least in the farthest back corner of the property, the spell casting tower.
Built in the 1950's because of the numerous new electrical devices in the first two wings of the house causing a slight energy leakage into the 1920s wing. This building is used for important spells and also serves as a rookery for the Manor's conspiracy of ravens.

8. At this point in her life Saffron's most important relationship is with Fig, the entity in the belfry attic. Of all of her family she feels closest to her grandpapa, but he is gone ten months of the year. She had always felt secure and comfortable with her grandmother's best friend Gi Gi, but now that Gi Gi was to become a Belfry Academy teacher, Saffron feels strange treating her like a buddy. Her grandmother is not unkind, but has a seriousness about her that makes it difficult for Saffron to feel affectionate towards her, and sometimes even comfortable around her, so that leaves Fig. Fig listens to her problems and gives her advice. Fig dances, sings, plays games and reads with Saffron. Fig is always there when Saffron needs them.

9. Saffron changes in a few different ways. First she starts to see that she doesn't need a smartphone, big screen television, and her laptop to be happy. She also begins to trust others enough to let them help take care of her little brother. She starts seeing the difference between trying not to become like her mother and seeking to become her best self.

10. The theme of this story is finding your authentic self, and self realization. I would love it if the reader felt empowered to just be themselves after reading the story. 

If you would like to see more of my Hidden Magic inspiration images, the Pinterest board is, HERE.


  1. Awww, how inspiring! I really envy you for taking the plunge and then writing your books :) I have lots of ideas in my head but I can't seem to find any motivation to start any of them. Saffron sounds like such an endearing character, though! Here's to hoping your character will have a wonderful time and will learn a good many things in Belfry Academy that readers can also learn from ;)

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Faye, you need to do Pinterest inspiration boards! They are so, well, inspiring. Ha ha. I always get in the writing mood after adding images to my WIP boards. I guess there is less pressure, too because all this is fanfic, really. If I were writing a book to publish I would be a little more stressed.

  2. Omg, I am in AWE of how much detail you have here and! IT SOUNDS SO TERRIFIC. (I think I say that every time you talk about Saffron, but it's truuuuuue. xD) And that's so cool how you were writing it for your son! omg. :') I would like to think I will one day write something for my nephew/nieces, hehe, but whenever I try to write something MG it turns out horribly. >_> But I will conquer one day! :P
    Thanks for joining in! I LOVED reading this!!

    1. I don't know if I could have written MG before I had Sebastian. In fact my other WIP that I started when I was fresh out of college was an Adult Fantasy and I am changing it to a YA. I am really happy I started the Pinterest boards because tjry get me going. :)

  3. That look amazing! I am so in awe of you - I have always wanted to do NaNoWriMo but never gotten my act in to gear to do it.

    There is just much awesome in this post, it sounds amazing and I want to live in that tower!!

    1. Start some Pinterest inspiration boards! They have been invaluable to me to light a creative fire under my butt! I don't think I could do NaNo because I am a mood writer. :)

  4. I'm seriously so excited for your story! I cannot wait till we can get to read it! Saffron and Fig sound like such an unlikely but lovely friendship!!

  5. Thanks, Pili! Writing is such great therapy for me too. I am hoping the new Kindle will give me enough extra typing time to get a chapter or two up on November 1st. :)


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