The road to "Witch Hazel and the Witchy Magnet "

by Veronica

With Halloween coming soon what better than to give the children a slightly different look at the event with a good witch for once.

Our lovely lady Sheila Marie has inspired me so much by her article on Fiona Theatre mouse and self publishing, that I thought I'd write about my children's book journey.

When my business partner and I decided to write a story for very young children it was a new and exciting venture for us. We decided we wanted the book to be quality literature and not the poor standard English which is so often found in children's books. My business partner wanted to do tasteful art work and not bold, brash pictures which ruin some children's books. We also wanted to show good witches and nature and have a moral stance as we are keen to promote a good example to children.

The book is aimed at up to 7 years old.

As a teacher of very young children, I was accustomed to Literacy expectations and so I included things such as alliteration, adjectives, similes. We were delighted when a local private school took the book for their infant school literacy class work.

I asked my eldest brother to do the editing for me and he was marvellously thorough and concise and worth asking.

As Sheila Marie said in her wonderful self publishing article here on Wizzley, it is difficult then to get a publisher. The world recession has harmed them too!

Finally I got it printed at a printers and we sold them just a first run of 50 at local fairs and such like.

Perfect for Halloween

Witch Hazel herself

We wanted Hazel, the good witch and woodland doctor to be not a conventionally beautiful heroine as this is generally an insult to women to have these stereotypes especially in literature  which may be read by girls. Here Hazel is pretty enough but not a stunning beauty. Hazel is a kind, helpful  but assertive gal.

We also wanted to show that witches aren't all bad as they are so often depicted in books.

Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel
copyright to Alison Gorton
details of Witch Hazel's clothes
details of Witch Hazel's clothes
Copyright of Alison Gorton

Alison drew the art work tastefully to make Hazel a quirky heroine with eccentric clothes sense.

Hazel's cat
Hazel's cat
copyright to Alison Gorton

These are just a few examples of the beautiful artistry that Alison does in the book.

We have included geography work and literacy so the book is very educational as well as a charming and funny read. Importantly it has some phrases to raise a smile amongst the adults too who may be reading it their children.


Perfect for Halloween. Copies are available through mailing 

Witch Hazel and the Autumn Ball, (2nd book in the series)
Witch Hazel and the Autumn Ball, (2nd book in the series)
Copyright to Alison L Gorton
Updated: 04/12/2016, Veronica
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Veronica on 04/12/2016

I have put some new art work on the page above from our second Witch Hazel Book

Veronica on 04/12/2016

Thank you.

I continue to do that when I take my Literacy workshops into schools.

frankbeswick on 04/12/2016

Yes, you were doing exactly the right thing for teaching children how to write narrative.

Veronica on 04/12/2016

I always told pupils to plan how their story was going to finish before they even started all the other planning.

Unfortunately "Witch Hazel " with its map-work, letter writing and use of quality language is not deemed suitable by publishers who are just looking for drivel these days. So we self-published.

You have read it and enjoyed it and your opinion is to be respected.

It is available to buy through us at and would be perfect for Halloween or at any time of year.

frankbeswick on 04/12/2016

When tutoring English I have had to educate children out of finishing on cliff hangers, and this act of unteaching has been occasioned by the inferior drivel churned out in Goosebump books. I taught students that a story is like a journey, for which you need to know the beginning and the end and the steps between the two.

Veronica on 04/12/2016

TY. Your words have captured out intention exactly.

We wanted it to be a good quality language experience first and foremost. How can children produce good work themselves when they are constantly presented with material that is not of good quality?

The illustrations are done by my business partner and she is excellent isn't she!

katiem2 on 04/11/2016

What a wonderful adventure, love the illustrations and the intent to focus on quality. Nice to have a story for the sake of the story, not prolonging it for the sake of money. Very inspirational story.

Veronica on 10/11/2015

It is great for Halloween.

Veronica on 10/11/2015

Correct, I always think these are written by weak authors who can't think of a good ending

frankbeswick on 10/11/2015

One good point is that Witch Hazel has an ending, not like those rubbishy goosebump books that finish on cliffhangers. The reason for this that they are churned off according to a formula from editors who cannot think of an interesting, creative ending.

You might also like

A Victorian Christmas

200 years ago Christmas Day was hardly celebrated at all. In England it was s...

Getting the children to eat veg

Some say getting their children to eat vegetables is not luck; they say it is...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...