Meet These Authors: Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Q: What were some of the witchcraft tales that inspired you both to create your latest book?

We have both been fascinated with witches since we were young with classics like The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty (1959) and getting into the real history, culture, and lore behind these and other classic tales was a delight! We delved into ancient tales like the Baba Yaga from Russia as well as spoke to experts who taught us about contemporary topics related to witchcraft. We’ve been inspired to learn even more!

Q: When did you begin writing The Science of Witchcraft?

It was after we had wrapped up the first draft of The Science of Serial Killers in early 2021 and it was such a delight because after the very serious subject matter we were eager to delve into some more fun stuff, like divination and potions. Not that there isn’t serious history in The Science of Witchcraft…

Q: How many books have you published so far in this nonfiction series?

We are currently writing our sixth book in The Science of Horror series! They include: The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror (which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and a Rondo Hatton award!), The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, The Science of Witchcraft, and the forthcoming The Science of Agatha Christie.

Q: Tell us, readers what your latest release, The Science of Witchcraft is about.

We approach our topics first from a filmic POV. Each chapter begins with an examination of a witch film as varied as The Wizard of Oz, to The Wretched, to Death Becomes Her. Then we dig deep. We take the reader on a journey of science and history, often interviewing scientists or even filmmakers. Truth truly is scarier than fiction!

Q: What are the main discussion points in your new release?

We cover everything from classic witch fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel from Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812) to a more recent movie, 2019’s The Wretched. We interviewed experts in a variety of fields including an Indigenous ethnobotanist, a mortician, writers, directors, and a practicing witch! We discovered the real history behind the traditions and beliefs of witches and realized we all hold the power to be independent, altruistic, and fierce.

Q: What themes will readers find in The Science of Witchcraft?

Much like our The Science of Women in Horror there is naturally a feminist angle to this book. Witchcraft and womanhood are intertwined. There are also themes of nature, youth vs. aging, the art of filmmaking, and the differences and similarities of witches throughout cultures and history.

Q: Describe your writing style using three words.

We would describe our writing style as fun, feminist, and freaky!

Q: What was your inspiration for writing nonfiction horror books?

We are both die-hard horror movie fans! As well as “book nerds” who love to do research. It made sense to us to explore our favorite scary movies through the lens of science. And we’ve been so pleased to continue the series, as our fans love the mix of horror and science!

Q: For aspiring writers in your genre, what advice would you pass on to them?

We encourage people to not be afraid to ask for interviews from experts! We have found that most people have been very willing and happy to take time out to talk to us either in-person, via Zoom, over the phone, or over email to answer questions about their profession, area of expertise, or experience. We’ve learned that the worst case scenario is that someone can say no but usually, they lead you to another person who has time to help!

Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?

You can find our books wherever books are sold including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and Bookshop.org

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