Interview with paranormal author Damaris West

Today is a virtual book tour stop with Damaris West as she tours her novel, Skolthan.

Welcome, Damaris. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
was born and brought up in Cambridge, UK, and became a modern linguist,
librarian, nursery teacher and finally Director of a UK-wide employment agency
for professionals. I currently live with my husband and 3 dogs in a rebuilt
farmhouse in Umbria, Italy.  I write a
daily blog about my life here –

My hobbies
include playing the violin, gardening, photography, and reading.

tell us about your current release, Skolthan.

the story of a very private woman with a secret that she tries fiercely to
protect. From her lonely house on the edge of a salt marsh, Hilda can reach an
island which is the portal to a paradise world. This world is the object of the
machinations of witches and a warlock, who will stop at nothing to gain access.
Hilda needs to outwit them and kill the invasion.
inspired you to write this book?
a feeling for the real-life island, which is quite beautiful, and also a sense
of what it would be like to live on the edge of the marsh, isolated, with life
revolving around the weather and the tides. It was a short step from there to
imagine hostile forces trying to break through to a world beyond.
And then I saw Joshua reappear. I knew
it was him because of his stature and the authority in his gait. He seemed to
be surrounded by a thick mist which moved with him, and the contours of his
features and of his limbs blurred and shifted from one form to another. It was
Joshua, and yet one moment there was a man dressed in neutral-coloured clothes,
grey-bearded and powerful, and the next there was an animal with a hair-covered
chest, horns and the pointed beard of a goat.
The half-human figure seemed as tall as
a tree in comparison with the girl huddled at his feet, and the women drew back
so that she gradually became aware of his presence. As soon as she saw him she
shrank away, but he reached down and picked her up with one arm under her
shoulders and the other under her legs. Then he straightened and held her
carelessly so that her head lolled back and her dark hair streamed down like a
waterfall. After a few moments, in which she never struggled, he raised her, so
that I wondered if he was going to kiss her. But instead, with one massively
energetic gesture, he flung her with both arms like he might have hurled a pile
of bedding, and she sailed through the air, over the margin of shore and into
the opaque water of the mudflats, without even uttering a single cry.
Her body disappeared, sucked down into the glutinous silt
which in places has the properties of quickmud. In my dream I moved towards her
and saw her head reappear: damp hair clung to her cheeks, rivulets of mud ran
down over her forehead and her eyes were wide and black with emotion. The
emotion didn’t seem to be fear any more, or even desperation; it looked more
like bewilderment, and with that expression on her face, staring straight at
me, she sank back under the brown water.

exciting story are you working on next?
nearly finished a story about wolves as a force for good and against child
abuse. It’s set here in Umbria.

did you first consider yourself a writer?
think when I wrote my first poem about a wild goose migrating. I was 8 or 9,
and I showed it through the fire escape door at school to some older girls who
gave me the thumbs up. After that a group of friends and I started writing a
sort of chain novel, with each of us writing a chapter and passing it on. The
result was quite comical.
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
run a publishing company with my husband Clive, but he’s very good to me and
allows me more than my fair share of time to write. My main distractions are to
do with living here: seasonal jobs in the garden, house maintenance, or things
regarding the dogs. I don’t have a daily programme and I basically write when
there’s nothing else pressing.

would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
make only a vague plan and then allow the book to suggest its own development.
Also whenever possible I write about the current season in order to get the
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
lady of leisure with a big house and garden and lots of animals – then a
additional you want to share with the readers?
you’ve got the talent, have written something worth reading and don’t want the
hassle of self-publishing, please submit your book or outline plus sample to us
so we can consider it! The URL is

Ways to connect with me:

Thank you, Damaris!

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