Happy Halloween! Interview with a 13th Century Horsewitch
---John Charles, Chicago Tribune
A wonderful reader recently sent me the above review of my book, DARK RIDER, which she found in the theme park section of the Chicago Tribune!
The review was listed in the romance section under the title: It takes all kinds: Witches, assassins, servants and even wolves need love.
So, in the spirit of the day, I’ve posted an “interview” with the heroine in DARK RIDER, a 13th century horsewitch:
First, why do they call you horsewitch?
I am a horse healer, who on occasion (if I am involved in highly emotional or intense situations), can speak to the beasts with my thoughts and make them do what I want.
Could be a useful talent if you were engaged, say, in a 13th war. You could probably take out the enemy’s horses and turn the tide of any battle.
I would never harm a horse if I didn’t have to. But I had to once to save my people and the man I loved. I use my gift with extreme caution. It isn’t always easy to judge who is right and who is wrong. Innocent horses might suffer unnecessarily.
Where did you learn your healing/telepathic talents?
From my mentor, a Saracen named Safia. Her people know more about horses and healing than we English ever will.
Didn’t she kill a lot of horses once?
In self defense. She sickened horses belonging to English crusaders. The men rode in to destroy her village. What else could she do?
What’s the worst thing about being known as a horsewitch?
That everyone assumes I’m evil, that I can’t be trusted. Or they don’t believe in my gift at all and they mock me. Both make me furious. For the longest time I denied what I could do. No more.
How would you cure, say a horse with colic? Or one with a bad cough? Any favorite treatments?
Is this a test, good sir? For colic, try a drench with beer and wrapping the horse’s belly with hot, wet burlap sacks. For a bad cough, try mare’s milk and honey. I’ve no treatment for death, if you should ask. I cannot resurrect a horse who’s passed on.
Are there others out there like you?
I assume we are few in number. I’ve never met another horsewitch other than my teacher. ‘Tis a God given gift. Most women keep their talent a secret for fear of persecution.
I have to ask, are there horse wizards? Men who have the same gift as you?
Yes but only one walks the earth at a time. One is born every hundred years. A horse wizard is pure evil and a mortal enemy of a horsewitch. There’s one on earth now. I don’t know where he is. Pray that I never meet him.
Can a horsewitch fall in love?
The question should be can a man fall in love with a horsewitch? It takes a special kind of man, a master horseman perhaps, or one who understands who and what we are. I was lucky. I found such a rare man. But I have high hopes for my daughter.
Uh oh, I smell a sequel…;-) Happy Halloween, everyone!