Meet DWW, who is just learning she’s a witch and her dog can talk. Throughout these short stories, each of which is told by a different character, DWW’s tale of growing up, her struggles to learn responsibility and her discovery of magic is told.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This first book in my Mortal Realm Witch series was largely inspired by the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show and book series. The animated series was also an influence. When I first watched the show, even though I was a bit young and didn’t fully understand what was going on, I quickly became addicted to it. As time went by I began imagining what it would be like if I had magical powers and was a witch like Sabrina. In many different situations I imagined what kind of spell I would use and what the results would probably be. Eventually I wrote down my imagined magical adventures and the first pieces of Learning About Magic had been created.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character of DWW who is part witch, mortal and wolf shape shifter, was actually based off of myself at the time I wrote her adventures. Even though I didn’t possess any kind of magical powers some of the things I imagined I would probably do if I did have them became the basis of some of DWW’s adventures. I liked the idea of DWW being part witch and part mortal as Sabrina was because DWW’s biggest dream is to bring peace between witches and mortals so being part of both worlds would be a big help to her here. I hadn’t expected her to be part wolf shape shifter and have the ability to become a white wolf but somehow out of my love of wolves this ended up happening. This is partially what helped me begin to separate her from myself and my original inspiration from her. Because she had become part wolf shape shifter I felt that this should mean something extra special as no witch I ever knew was more than half something else. What ended up happening was that I decided that she should be a protector of wolves. Through writing about her as a protector wolf and why she was one I discovered she could become a wolf without using any magic because it is a natural ability for her. Since witches have magical powers and can become anything they want anyway I had to figure out why being a wolf shape shifter would be so special. I found my answer in what I said before about her not needing magic to become a wolf. Because she doesn’t need magic, she can use her ability to escape detection of witch hunters if needed. Witches who are also shape shifters became known, in my book, as protector witches. This means that not only can they naturally become this animal but this is the animal they are responsible for protecting. DWW is not my characters real name. At the time of this first book DWW was not allowed to tell her Mortal Realm name in case witch hunters were to read the book. Instead DWW which means Dog Witch Wolf, is simply an acronym and a codename that she uses.
Her talking dog, the Golden Retriever by the name of Trillman, was created based on two things. First I had created a drawing of a witch and a black cat which was similar to what you would see on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. As I wrote the first chapter/story the cat ended up feeling too traditional and before the first story had been fully written I changed the cat to a dog which is what I owned at the time. I’m not sure what dog actually inspired how Trillman acted as he doesn’t always stay true to the Golden Retriever personality. Trillman’s name is basically just the name Tillman but I didn’t really care for the flatness of this name so I worked with it until I decided that beginning his name with Trill was enough to spice it up and make it feel right for him. Like Salem in Sabrina, Trillman is DWW’s familiar. Unlike Salem, Trillman has many more responsibilities and challenges as it is his job to teach DWW both magic and responsibility.
Trom, the Head of the Witches Council in my book I honestly don’t know where he came out of. Originally a Head of the Witches Council was created because with most books, movies, and TV shows about good witches or magic users there is some kind of council. He is one of the less developed characters in the first book as I didn’t get to know him too well myself until he began appearing in the later ones. Unlike the Head of the Witches Council in Sabrina, Trom is more than just the Head of the Witches Council. He also sometimes gets involved with teaching young witches and warlocks. He is also easier to get along with though he takes the rules seriously.
The other familiar, the Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Max was most likely created off of my frustrations with the dog I currently owned. It is very possible that part of Trillman’s personality was based off CeJaye’s which is why DWW and I often had a hard time getting along with our dogs even while we loved them and would both learn later that had we been together later in life we would have been a perfect match. Anyway, Max was probably my dream dog in a way because he was friendlier and more relaxed than either Trillman or CeJaye which is why Max was needed to help DWW through her struggles.
Sampson, the villain, who appears in the final story as DWW’s final test was inspired mostly by Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Like Salem, he dreams of taking over the Realms though his reasons are different. Sampson actually isn’t fully developed as a character or villain yet in this book as DWW wasn’t fully open with her readers or herself yet and didn’t really get to know Sampson so she only knew his actions and nothing else.
The other characters, the witch Ally, the dragon Air Raid, and the magical white wolf pups Witch and Warlock, I don’t feel came specifically from anywhere so I’m not really sure how I came up with them.
The way I develop my characters from this book to the end of the series is really unique in the sense that I learn about them as they allow me to. Some are more open then others, some are still learning about themselves in their first appearances and might not have decided who they are until their next story or book, and some are very direct and decided.
DWW started sniffing the ground searching for a strong scent of rabbit. Witch and Warlock copied her. As soon as DWW found fresh rabbit scent, she gave the pups a low warning growl.
Witch knew that this meant that they would have to start paying extra careful attention to how they moved and how much noise they made.
But Warlock, even though he had heard DWW and knew what the growl meant, was so involved in tracking the rabbit that he stepped on a twig. The crackling of the twig scared him and he jumped backwards right into Witch.
Witch growled at him and the two pups started play fighting with each other. DWW growled at them and immediately they stopped fighting and looked at her guiltily.
After this they resumed the hunt. Warlock was now paying attention to the rabbit scent as well as where he was putting his paws.
It wasn’t long before a rabbit was in sight of the three wolves. As soon as Witch spotted it she yipped excitedly scaring the rabbit. The rabbit took off and jumped into its nearest burrow.
DWW chased after it with the pups following closely behind her. She knew that the rabbit wouldn’t come back out for a while so she decided to use this time to teach the pups some patience.
The wind was also beginning to blow a little at this time so she also decided to teach them how paying attention to the wind can help them to hunt successfully.
DWW positioned the pups near the burrow, but not too close to it. She also made sure that the wind was blowing the scent of the wolves away from it.
There was tall grass surrounding the burrow which DWW and the pups used to hide themselves from view. Now all they had to do was wait for the rabbit to come back out.
After what felt like hours, a rabbit began to appear. It started to come out of the burrow, but then it stopped and sniffed the air before coming out.
Next it began to hop slowly away from the burrow, stopping to sniff the air every once in a while. Finally it began to feel safe and relaxed. It hopped towards a very green patch of grass.
DWW gave the pups a low, firm bark to tell the pups to stay and watch her as she slowly crept towards the rabbit. As she did this, she moved around, using trees and tall grass for cover. She wanted to move around to the front of the rabbit knowing that directly in front of the rabbit was its blind spot.
All rabbits see around them better than directly in front, so DWW knew that she was less likely to be spotted by approaching from directly in front of it.
DWW crouched as low as she could get in some tall grass and froze. The rabbit was still relaxed and too busy eating to notice her.
She waited for the right moment, and then rushed it head on. At the last second, the rabbit noticed her and tried to run away, but it was too late; DWW had caught it.
After DWW returned to the pups, she told them that next time a rabbit came out of the burrow it would be theirs to catch. But this time they would use a different strategy. DWW explained what they would do. Then she and the pups returned their attention to the burrow.
When the next rabbit emerged, Witch and Warlock were ready. They watched until the rabbit made its way to the same patch of grass as the previous one before acting.
Warlock moved to just in front of the burrow and crouched as low as he could get. Meanwhile, Witch crept around to the front of the rabbit in the same area as DWW had been.
As soon as she was in position, instead of waiting, she rushed directly at it. Almost immediately the rabbit saw her and took off towards its burrow with Witch almost on its tail.
The rabbit was so scared that it didn’t see Warlock waiting for it. When it was close enough, Warlock ran towards it.
The rabbit was now in between both pups. The rabbit quickly turned around, but not before Warlock managed to grab onto the back end of the rabbit. Witch used this moment to kill it.
The wolf pups ran back to DWW and she praised them on their catch.
DWW explained that all animals had to hunt to survive, and that it was part of the laws of nature.
After the hunt, the wolves ate the rabbits where they were before returning home.
The next night DWW decided to show them how to hunt bigger animals as a pack, although they weren’t a big enough pack to actually catch anything in the usual way.
DWW found a small doe, and with the pups watching, she created five duplicates of herself so that it would look as if a whole pack of wolves were surrounding the deer.
After doing this she explained to Witch and Warlock that wolf packs would usually work as a team to hunt deer and other large animals.
Before demonstrating how they could use duplicates to hunt, she tells them that the duplicates have no attack power.
This is because they are more like ghosts than anything else. They are used to scare only because the animal being hunted can run right through them, and each duplicate could only be controlled one at a time.
She also warned them that until they are more experienced hunters they can’t try this method on deer or any other large animal.
DWW then began to move towards the deer. She did her best to creep up on it. As soon as the deer was almost in her reach, it noticed her and started running.
DWW observed what direction it was moving in and chased after it while moving the duplicate that was in the direction the deer was heading forwards. The deer saw this and turned left.
DWW then moved another duplicate to rush it from the front. The deer then ran to the right.
DWW did the same thing again. The deer now was unsure of where to go and turned around to face her, ready to fight.
I am an author and an artist. I love animals and have a Chihuahua whose name is Taco, a Mini Rex rabbit named Kojikaki, and as of 10/08/14 I have a goldfish named Pumpkin who is almost 12 years old. I have adopted most of my animals from rescue centers and plan to continue to do so. In the near future I hope to become a rabbit and guinea pig foster.
Some things I enjoy doing include taking my dog for bike rides, spending time outdoors in the warm weather, taking photos of animals, horseback riding, reading, listening to music, watching TV and movies, and playing video games.
Currently I have written over 200 stories in the areas of animals, the relationships between humans and animals, magic, superheroes and more. This year, 2014, I contributed two stories and several photos to the Read for Animals Anthology #2. One story is exclusive to the anthology as all the profits go to help animals. I also take part in the occasional short story contest and post exclusive stories to my blog. I also plan to share some of my really short ones on my Facebook and Google + pages.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!