113 | Tea and Tattle with Mary Watson
Listen to Episode 113: Tea & Tattle with Mary Watson
This week on Tea & Tattle, I’m joined by the author Mary Watson, to discuss Mary’s latest novel, The Wickerlight. Mary was born in Cape Town, but now lives on the West Coast of Ireland with her husband and children. Her struggle to adapt to a new place inspired Mary to write a story that drew on the beautiful landscape of Ireland, as well as the fascinating tales of Irish mythology. The result was Mary’s first YA novel, The Wren Hunt, a captivating tale that reflects Mary’s own love for fantasy blended with the everyday world we all recognise.
In The Wren Hunt, Mary created a magical world that exists in the shadows of the real world, run by two warring factions: the judges and the augurs, members of which are both able to draw on the power of the natural world to create their own kinds of magic. The Wren Hunt was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards, and Mary’s sequel, The Wickerlight, which is published this Thursday, May 30th, has been eagerly anticipated by her many fans.
The Wickerlight introduces a new character, Zara, who has recently moved with her family to the small village in Ireland in which The Wren Hunt is also set. Shortly after their arrival, Zara’s teenage sister, Laila, is found dead on the village green, with no obvious cause of injury. In a quest to solve her sister’s death and understand why Laila had become so involved in the local stories of magic and folklore, Zara is drawn deeper and deeper into the mysterious and dangerous world of Judges and Augurs. As Zara hunts for answers to her questions, she meets David, a young Judge man who is struggling to find his place within his family, as well as his role in an ancient magical feud.
I particularly enjoy Mary’s stories for their brilliant plots and intrepid heroines, and I would recommend both The Wren Hunt and The Wickerlight as gifts for any teenagers in your life, but they’re also brilliantly entertaining reads for adults. I had a wonderful time chatting to Mary about her books and was intrigued to learn how she first started writing YA fiction and how her own reading and life experiences shaped her work.
The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson.
The Wickerlight by Mary Watson.
Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.
Mary Watson’s website.
Find Tea & Tattle on instagram at @teaandtattlepodcast.
Read my blog, Miranda’s Notebook.