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The Witches of Dark Root by April Aasheim

April Aasheim spent her childhood traveling the Southwestern portion of the United States with her fortune- telling mother and her get-rich-quick dreaming stepfather. During that time, April and her family toured with a carnival company, sold bug repellant door to door, and resided in an abandoned miner’s shack in The Superstitious Mountains of Arizona.

When April became a teenager she went to live with her biological father in California. Her father saw April’s need to express herself and encouraged her to write her stories rather than tell them. By learning to write April was able to make sense of her family and the world she lived in. She continues to do that to this day.

April currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She is the mother of two incredible sons and the step-mother to a beautiful little girl. She is the author of numerious short stories, has contributed to several anthologies, and is the author of the well-received novel: The Universe is a Very Big Place.

The Witches of Dark Root is The first in the Daughters of Dark Root series and April looks forward to writing the second book in 2014.


Deep in the forests of Central Oregon is a town called Dark Root, a place shrouded in secrets, mystery, and witchcraft.

But for Maggie Maddock, Dark Root is also a prison, a place where she is forced to spend her days working in her mother’s magick shop, forfeiting any dreams of her own. So when a mysterious stranger suddenly appears and offers to take her away from it all, Maggie jumps at the chance.

Now, seven years later, a strange phone call sends Maggie back to Dark Root and she is unprepared for what awaits her: a dying town, a sick mother, a renewed sibling rivalry, and a past she had hoped to forget. 

Part Practical Magic, part Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Witches of Dark Root is a tale that seamlessly weaves the normal with the mystical, the mundane with the fantastic. Zipping in and out of time from Maggie’s childhood as an apprentice witch to current day, where Maggie struggles with her increasing powers, as well as family obligations, The Witches of Dark Root is a book rich in both fantasy and heart which will leave readers believing in magic.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I love stories about witches and I love stories about family relationships. I decided to combine them and, like peanut butter and chocolate, the two created a yummy - and interesting -combination.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
I like to let a story brew in my head for a while before putting it on paper. I thought about the plot for The Witches of Dark Root for six months before I started writing it. Once I finally committed to putting it to paper, it took me approximately fifteen months to finish it (and of course it looked nothing like the story that was in my head). During the writing process there were some days when I’d work for an hour, and other days, especially towards my deadline, when I’d write for so long I couldn’t feel my legs when I stood up. I know it’s not healthy but when I’m immersed in a story I lose all track of time.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
I love breathing life to all the stories that play out in my mind. My imagination is constantly at work and a blank piece of paper is the perfect playground to let it run wild. Of course my very favorite part about writing is when a reader says ‘yeah, I can relate to that’. It makes all those hours sitting behind a keyboard worth it.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
When I’m halfway through a story and I discover that a plot line or a major character just isn’t working, it’s very frustrating. Then I go back through the manuscript and revise or eliminate, sometimes several times. Its never fun. But, once it’s done, and the story works, it’s very rewarding. It’s like giving birth. You forget the pain once it’s over.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Probably Tina Fey. She is smart, sexy, and has made it cool for women to be funny. She was a real inspiration for me when I was writing my first novel The Universe is a Very Big Place. Because of women like her I wasn’t afraid to be wild, bawdy, or even outrageous. I’d love to get into her head for just a day.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
When I get caught up in novel writing, something has to give. Usually it’s housework and the zipper on my jeans. At this point, I’m not sure that even carbon dating could track the age of what’s in my fridge. It might be easier to just buy a new refrigerator. Or move.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
My stories will always be a little different, a little offbeat, and a little quirky. They will continue to feature original characters who find themselves in unusual circumstances. There will be missed opportunities, soul-searching, betrayal, forgiveness, romance, humor, and above all, heart. In other words, it’s business as usual.
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