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What Would You Give Up For A Spell?


What Would You Give Up For A Spell?

Everyone knows it’s going to cost you when you cast a spells, so Natalie Whipple is telling us what five things she would NOT give up for magic.

Five Things I Could Never Give Up For A Spell

By Natalie Whipple
There were many very personal reasons why I wrote House Of Ivy & Sorrow, but one of the less personal ones was that I just really wanted to write a book about magic. I have always loved magic in all its many fictional forms, and it actually took me a long time (a failed book included) to find my personal contribution to the narrative.
The magic in House Of Ivy & Sorrow is dark and full of nods to the more traditional iconic witchery. It centers around a key concept: Payment. You can’t get anything for free with this magic, so it’s always a question of what you’re willing to give up for a spell. Some spells require small things—spiders, a frog eye, crow ash. Others require a bigger payment—blood, a pinkie finger, perhaps even your soul.
With that in mind, I thought I’d admit to you all that I actually would never want the magic I designed. I’m too much of a chicken! Most of the magic I wrote makes me go like this:


Here are the top five things I could never give up for a spell:


5. Sense of Taste

I love food. All the food. If I had to give up my sense of taste for even a week I think it would be awful. My life revolves around food. I love to cook it, to try new things, to treat myself to a gourmet cupcake almost every week. Taking my taste buds away would be torture.

4. A Tuft of Hair

In the book, a witch has to pull out a tuft of hair to use in a teleportation spell. Have you ever done that before? It hurts! Also, then you have a bald spot. I don’t know about you, but I have this weird fear of what I look like bald. I just know I have a lumpy head, and this vanity would make me think twice every time I wanted to teleport.

3. A Tooth

Ow. Ow. Ow.

Nana, Jo’s creepy/adorable grandmother, has very few teeth. Not because they rotted, but because she has used them in spells. The idea of pulling my own tooth out…kinda makes me want to gag. I like my teeth where they are, thank you.

2. A Nail

Because seriously.

I think I’ve caused more of my friends to shudder because of the nails being ripped out in this book than anything else. That was a detail I added because it grossed me out so much, and I really wanted to gross readers out, too.

1. An Appendage

In the first paragraph, it says the witch in the house under the interstate bridge can make someone love you for the small price of a pinkie finger. I’m not sure I could do that. Ever. I prefer people to like me without being forced.
So those are my five, though I suppose if the reward was high enough maybe I would pay all these prices. To save a friend from pain? To preserve my child’s life? Yes, even for me there are some things I consider worth a heavy price.

About House of Ivy & Sorrow

They say a witch lives in the old house under the bridge. . . .
What the residents of Willow’s End don’t know is that there are two witches living in the crumbling old house draped in ivy. Ancient, toothless Dorothea Hemlock . . . and her seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Josephine.
Jo has always managed to keep her magical life separate from her normal one. But now the mysterious Curse that killed her mother—and so many Hemlock witches before her—has returned. Soon Jo realizes that the life she’s fought to keep hidden could destroy the one she’s worked so hard to protect.

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