first time I visited Whitby, I stepped
off the train and knew I was somewhere
very special. It was a grey, drizzling
day but that only added to the haunting
beauty and lonely atmosphere of
the place. Listening to Carmina
Burana on my headphones, I explored
the ruined abbey on the clifftop.
The place was a fantastic inspiration.
In the Whitby Witches I have interwoven
many of the existing local legends,
such as the frightening Barguest,
whilst inventing a few of my own,
most notably the aufwaders."
"The appearance of the fisher-folk
was based on the inhabitants of
Victorian Whitby as captured in
the wonderful sepia photographs
of the time. Looking down from the
cliff, I could imagine the wind
burned and weather beaten aufwaders
wandering the sands and peering
into rock pools.
What were they searching for? Why
was their existence hidden? What
did they fear, and what were the
secrets of their tribe? It was an
intriguing puzzle to fathom, and
one that fascinated me more as the
trilogy evolved. In my mind Whitby
was beset by all manner of terrors
and enemies - could those simple
creatures defeat the advancing storm,
and escape their doom?"