The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit
by David Minutillo
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Thriller
Dahlia’s world was turned upside down as a child and her innocence taken. But she chose to fight back with her own blend of magical mayhem. Levi has been let down by every person he’s ever loved. He’s betrayed, lost and about to end it all.
London, 2019. Our star-crossed lovers meet at a tattoo festival on the Thames. Big Ben might look the same, but magic is spilling onto the streets as Dahlia’s dark spirit begs for blood. Can she keep her raging orbit in check long enough to survive? Are they doomed? Or can Levi save them both?
I wrap up class after mumbling about homework then meet Ruben out front.
“They looked disappointed it all came to an end.”
“Everything comes to an end,” I answer.
“Well, at least they’ll know how to paint it, thanks to their 35-year-old hipster teacher.”
“Is that a compliment or a fucking dig?”
“Jesus, you’re getting paranoid in your old age.”
I want to say, “Paranoia is just the tip of the iceberg,” but I’d rather gargle sand than talk about how broken I’ve become. I need another, ‘try-to-engage-with-the-world-more,’ spiel like I need a kick in the bollocks.
The walk north into Camden Town is silent, lazy and almost enjoyable with that soft hum playing its soundtrack over the top. The streets are free of human clutter as most have found their café of choice and dug in for a deep session of Sunday morning tabloids, beans and toast. The smell of tea and bacon blend well with the incense and grime of the markets and alleys that run around my hometown like dark veins of the underworld.
A thick blanket of gunmetal-grey clouds cover the sky. Autumn has long since fled, leaving winter with its grubby paws all over the weather. The air doesn’t feel as cold as it should so I take off my trench coat and sling it over my arm.
My lack of inspiration seems like a distant memory by the time we switch from the Northern line to the southbound Piccadilly track at King’s Cross. The ride is also quiet and pleasant, until an eccentric-looking woman, stands and moves into the centre of the carriage as we sway along the rails at speed.
“For the sake of my pride, I ask you to lend me your ears, while I riff you a tale of my lifelong woes,” the dishevelled woman sings to her audience.
A small travel journal on a family holiday to Italy in 2005 would become the catalyst for my first book. After bad weather forced us inside, I found myself scribing a story about a fictional character named, Lucca from Portofino. Balcony Nights – Tales of a Moonlit Guitarist was born, and for the next year, my keyboard took a beating as my imagination leapt into print.
But my downfall was self-belief. And eventually, niggling inadequacy won the battle, and I shelved the project. Over the next decade, I would get random hot flushes of enthusiasm and open the manuscript from time to time. Though inevitably, after a day’s tinkering, I would see a complete rewrite was in order and quietly back away from the near finished draft.
Ironically, another holiday would change all that, when I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (the Holy Bible for anyone suffering with procrastination). It was time to kick my own ass into submission and get a book finished. The idea for Dahlia came into my head a few days later, and once again, I spent morning and night, before and after long days of work, bashing away at the keys. One day I looked up and there it was. A 120,000 word, completed manuscript.
Not long after, came the redundancy call from Egan. And just like that, I was a full-time writer. It’s now been a year and change since that day, and I couldn’t be prouder of sticking to my guns and working my ass off to make this dream come true. In that time, I’ve started and finished a novella called Travel Infinity, completed a second, 100K manuscript called Scarecrow and have just published my first novel called Dahlia - The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit on all major sites.
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