Sidmouth author releases next bewitching book for Christmas

Local Author Jeannie Wycherley. Ref shs 51 18TI 7121. Picture: Terry Ife

Local Author Jeannie Wycherley. Ref shs 51 18TI 7121. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A best selling Sidmouth author, whose debut novel topped Amazon’s horror chart, is putting a spell on readers with her first foray into fantasy.

Jeannie Wycherley intended to write just one story, The Wonkiest Witch, for her mum Carole to enjoy but has expanded the series to five books after encouragement from her editor.

The story became the start of The Wonky Inn series with the third instalment, A Weird Wedding at the Wonky Inn, set to be released on Boxing Day.

The series is less gory in comparison to her debut novel Crone, which was released last year.

The book enjoyed huge success when it leapt to the top of Amazon’s UK Occult Horror chart in September, beating the likes of Jeannie’s literary heroes Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.

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Jeannie, who runs Sidmouth Gifts with her husband John, said: “My mum doesn’t read horror, so up until now she hasn’t read anything I’ve written.

“I love all things witchy and magical so I’ve continued in that tradition, but eased back on the blood and gore and written something that’s clean, ‘cozy’ and humorous, meaning it is accessible for everyone from the age of twelve up – including my mum.

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“That (Number one) was truly thrilling. Those authors are my heroes so it was a dream come true.”

Looking to next year, Jeannie hopes to juggle writing horror and fantasy including a Victorian gothic ghost story.

Jeannie, who has self-published all her titles, said: “Horror is hard to sell. Building suspense, that’s always a tricky thing to do. You have to think of ways to keep the reader hooked.

“The readers have to be invested, they have to like the main character, otherwise they will go ‘kill him or kill her’, they have to be really rooting for them.

“They have to be really real and vulnerable.

“I like to keep things local, and while I do change the names of my towns and villages, using Abbotts Cromleigh for Ottery St Mary in Crone for example, and Durscombe for Sidmouth in Beyond the Veil.

“I think the places I use will be easily recognisable to those who live in East Devon.”

All of Jeannie’s books are on sale in Sidmouth Gifts and can be read as a standalone story with the final two books of the Wonky Inn series due out in January and March.

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