When I was at university, I studied American History. I remember being struck by the isolation of the first settlers who founded New England and thinking about how they must have felt, surrounded by vast forests, on the edge of an unexplored continent, an ocean away from home. Many years later, I was reading a book about 17th century witch persecutions. One of the accounts was of the Salem witch trials, and those fearful isolated communities came back to me. In the same book I found a description of the activities of one Matthew Hopkins, Witch Finder, at work in the English Civil War period. At about this time, I also read a book about shamanism, and it suddenly occurred to me that the beliefs and skills which would have condemned a woman to death in one society would have been revered in another. In North America, at that time, two communities with these sharply differing values could have been living side by side – Native Americans were, broadly speaking, a shamanistic people. That got me thinking, what if there was a girl who could move between these two worlds? ... Mary came into my head and Witch Child began ...