One question I get asked a lot about my Dark Root books is 'why does book one start out like that?'
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The 'start' referred to is Maggie's time in the cult. Yes, cult, I said it. I think we can officially agree Maggie was in a cult.
There are a few reasons for this, and it was very intentional. The first being that this book was originally defined as 'women's fiction' rather than 'paranormal.' In women's fiction, the emphasis is on relationships and inner problems. For Maggie, who was a middle child and felt at odds with her natural family, her relationship with Michael was her first outside of her family. Its important for the rest of the story, as Maggie (whose mother has always distrusted the male gender) has to learn her own way to love, and to trust men. Its tricky for her, and I really wanted to solidify her heartbreak. That way, IF she can move past it, thats a form of transcendence.
Secondly, though my books are about 'witchiness' they are about so much more. Family comes to mind. But more than that, faith. Though it didn't work out with Maggie and Michael's religion, she learned about another faith (misguided though it was). Faith exists in many forms and Maggie had to lose hers again, in order to have it later restored. I also feel its very important to show that one faith is no more important than the other, its just important to believe in something. Sometimes that belief doesn't work out, but that doesn't mean we are done. There are other things we can believe in: a higher power, our friends and family, humanity. I think at times many of us are just stumbling around, trying to figure things out, and I wanted Maggie to embody that human struggle.
And finally, some of what happened at the beginning of book one MAY come back later in the series. And Michael may end up playing some pivotal roles. Just because his beliefs have been torn apart, doesn't mean he cant rebuild either. Thats the cool thing about faith. If you really have it, deep down, it might change over time, but it stays there.
So yeah, that's why theres the cult scene. And for those of you who've read this book and asked 'is Jason ever coming back' I will say, his story isn't done. It may come back in flashbacks, or stories, or appearances, but he's still around. I kinda fell in love with him and I didnt forget him. He's just not around 'yet'.
But more of that in The Curse of Dark Root, Part two perhaps.
BTW if you haven't read The Witches of Dark Root, you can read it in Happily Ever Alpha, along with 21 other stories, for just 99 cents. Preorder today.