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 ...