COULD IT BE MAGIC?
BEA DAVENPORT TALKS ABOUT HER LATEST NOVEL THE MISPER
“I knew this girl, you see. No one thought she really mattered much, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because she blew a hole through my life – and the lives of everyone I knew.”
Anna’s found the perfect friend in Zoe: she’s cool, she’s smart, she’s goth, she’s gorgeous. If only geeky Kerry would stop hanging around and cramping their style. They’d like to get rid of her. But they should’ve been careful what they wished for...
The Misper is the story of obsessive adolescent friendships, jealousies and the consequences of your actions.
It’s that time of year – we’ve just had Halloween and the nights are darker and colder. Stories about ghosts, witchcraft and the supernatural are everywhere – there’s something strangely comforting about telling ourselves scary tales when we’re safe indoors on a gloomy winter’s evening.
My children’s novels have all featured some elements of magic, be it time travel (The Serpent House, 2014) or shape-shifting (My Cousin Faustina, 2015). But when I started writing my novel The Misper, it began as a story about three teenage girls and some intense friendships. It still is about those things. One of the girls – Kerry – isn’t quite part of the group. She’s awkward and uncool and the others just wish she’d disappear – until she does just that. But who was to blame?
Like many young girls, Anna and Zoe, each with their own troubles, turn to witchcraft to try to take some control of their lives. I didn’t start off with the intention of this happening – but these teenage characters were hard to control!
Young girls turning to witchcraft is certainly something that’s a topical subject. It’s all over Instagram and it’s a feature of many current novels and dramas. A piece in UK The Observer asks these questions
I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon. It’s a more visible trend, thanks to Insta, Snapchat and other social media. And it’s not surprising that a generation of writers who were brought up on the likes of Bewitched or even Sabrina are still keen to keep stirring the cauldron in their own writing.
In The Misper, at first, things seem to work well – Anna’s dad moves back home, Zoe finds a place of safety from her damaged family. But it’s not long before everything starts to go badly wrong.
The question I want to plant in the reader’s minds is – do Anna and Zoe really manage to create magic? Is the magic the reason why things take place – or is it all just a coincidence? When things get really scary, have the girls invoked something evil – or is it all in Anna’s head? And there’s a very real situation – a girl gone missing – at the heart of the novel.
You could read the story and come to either conclusion. I want the reader to decide – because stretching the imagination and asking yourself questions is one of the joys of reading. Close the blinds and curtains, turn up the heating and I hope you enjoy The Misper.
'I knew this girl, you see. A sort of a friend. No one thought she really mattered much, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because she blew a hole through my life - and the lives of everyone I knew.' Anna's found the perfect friend in Zoe: she's cool, she's smart, she's goth, she's gorgeous, If only geeky Kerry would stop hanging around and cramping their style. They'd like to get rid of her. But they should be careful what they wish for...
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Meet the Author...
Bea Davenport is the writing name of former UK newspaper and BBC journalist Barbara Henderson. She writes crime novels for adults as well as books for children and teens.The Misper (The Conrad Press, 2018) is her fifth commercially published novel. She teaches journalism and creative writing.