Interview with Iva Kenaz, author of The Witch Within January 30, 2015Posted by heidi skarie in Uncategorized.
Tags: book interview, fantasy, Iva Kenaz, spirituality
I just finished reading The Witch Within and greatly enjoyed the main character’s journey both physically and spiritually. The following is an interview with the author.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been fascinated with storytelling since childhood. I wrote many simple hand-written books and in my teenage years I wrote a three-part novel about past lives. I often had repetitive dreams and visions in which I experienced stories from another person’s point of view and felt compelled to note them down. I keep returning to these dreams for inspiration. Writing is something very magical and sacred to me. I believe that it’s a divine communication between the author and the worlds beyond.
What is The Witch Within about and what is the major theme?
The Witch Within is set in 16th century Bohemia and is about a sixteen-year-old gifted healer, Talitha who has been charged with witchcraft.
Talitha escapes to the abandoned Cursed Lands and seeks the ancient cave of her ancestors where her grandmother lived. In the mystical woods, she starts to remember her ancestral lore of healing and magical symbolism and receives guidance on how to survive from the local spirits. But then she is captured by two men who were sent to bring her back to the local justice. One is a brute, but the other one is fatally attracted to her.
After Talitha manages to escape them, she finds her ancestral cave, but also another one at the highest peak of the forest where a group of refugee women have established a camp. By facing both the dark and bright side of her kin, Talitha learns that what she thought was her curse, may yet become her gift.
The major theme is survival, both in physical, emotional and spiritual sense. It’s about overcoming one’s fears and limitations and becoming empowered using primordial inner wisdom.
What kind of research did you do for the book? What made you pick the 16th century in South Bohemia?
The story is inspired by repetitive dreams and visions I used to have and partly by a book called The Secret History of Czech Lands (by A.Cesal,O.Dvorak and V.Matl) that focuses on the long-gone mysteries of my home country.
During the 16th century the witch-hunts became more serious all over Europe but I decided on that period mainly symbolically, as the story is made up and thus remains a fantasy.
I was also inspired by the beautiful magnetic countryside of South Bohemia, particularly mountain Kleť, which could translate to Cursed or Mountain of Curses. In the middle ages many landscapes of South Bohemia were feared and some of them even drowned under lakes and ponds. People considered them cursed and haunted, however, those places had rich pagan history and concealed the wisdom of Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes.
How does Talitha, the main character, grow and change in your book from her experiences?
Talitha starts off as a gifted healer but she has a very low-self esteem and feels guilty about the death of her brother. She believes that her choice of herbs caused his death. It’s only once she manages to heal one of her captors that she realizes she is truly able to save lives.
Eventually, she also becomes initiated in the magical and healing power of runes and a part of her soul that used to be conscious of such ancestral mysteries begins to re-unite with her present self.
Her spirit is also greatly tested by the shadow side of magic but in the end Talitha learns to understand that the witch within her might not be a curse but an actual virtue.
What writing project are you working on now?
I’ve been working on a stand-alone sequel to The Witch Within that focuses on Talitha’s granddaughter, Berkana, and delves deeper into the mysteries of the natural spirit, runes and sacred geometry.
Iva Kenaz’s Bio.
I’m an indie author and a devoted student and practitioner of Sacred Geometry, Astrology, Tarot, Runes and Channeling. My novels are mainly visionary/metaphysical and are greatly influenced by spirituality, symbolism and philosophy.
In June 2014 I published my first novel The Witch Within and later that year also a personal confession titled My Melancholic Diary. I studied screenwriting at a film university in Prague, FAMU and MA Creative Writing at London South Bank University. Currently, I’ve been working on a stand-alone sequel to The Witch Within as well as doing a research for my non-fiction book about archetypes in storytelling.
Here is Iva Kenzaz’s website.