‘My mother was not a witch!’
Jessica Bell was five years old when she lost her mother to the blight. Now seventeen and working her fingers to the bone in the summer of 1589, Jessica dreams of escaping both the village of Orville and her father’s drunken rages – a dream that feels all-but impossible amid the daily grind of sewing and bed-making.
But then comes news of a girl afflicted with a deadly fever, and it seems the blight has returned to torment the women of Orville.
Amid rumours that the afflicted danced with the Devil, Jessica is recruited by the cantankerous Miss Isabel Hallow to seek a cure. Set on a dangerous path into the dark heart of Orville, Jessica is confronted with horror at every turn, and when witch hunter Matthew Bone arrives in the village, Jessica herself is targeted, with chilling consequences…
Set in the same world as the gripping Sentinel Trilogy, this fast-paced prequel delves into a world where magic can be deadly.
“Jessica and Isabel are two of my favourite characters. I’m so excited to be able to shed some light on their past and reveal how they became such formidable women” – Joshua Winning
What the heck is Witchpin?
It’s a novella – so roughly half the length of Sentinel – that hops back in time to reveal some of the history of Jessica Bell and Isabel Hallow. It’s basically the Rogue One of the Sentinel Trilogy. The story takes a look at witch hunting in the 1500s, and is hopefully an evocative historical fantasy that perfectly ties into the events of the other Sentinel novels.
So it’s set before the events of The Sentinel Trilogy?
Yep! You can read Witchpin without having ever touched a copy of the Sentinel Trilogy, although there are little nods and hints in there for the discerning reader.
Why did you want to tell Jessica’s story?
When I started writing Sentinel, I had a huge backstory planned for both Jessica and Isabel. But the more I wrote Sentinel, the more I realised that book had to be Nicholas and Sam’s story. There simply wasn’t room to cram in Jessica and Isabel’s history, too. They’re two of my favourite characters, and I’m thrilled that I’ve finally been able to tell Jessica’s story here.
Is Witchpin quite different to the other Sentinel books?
It’s set five hundred years ago, so the language is a little different. It’s still a horror-fantasy mystery, though, with some twists and turns – and hopefully a few things that’ll give you nightmares.
Will there be any other Sentinel novellas?
Woah there, I’ve only just finished this one! And yes, probably. Which characters do you want to see explored more? Let me know via the Contact page!