By David Cain
WITCH started with my narrator. I think a great deal about the narrator in fiction. Having read so many books, I now find I read a story, not so much for the events that transpire as the plot unfolds, but to know more about the person telling me the tale, putting the words together, making me see and feel. Not the author but the narrator. Even when they look like the author, they’re really not. The narrator is a beautiful, sometimes elusive, creature. It’s their mind we explore.
The narrator of WITCH has no name, no face, no figure. He is the key person in the story, not because he is a protagonist, but because he’s telling the story to himself. He’s recording his thoughts because he wants to understand. The book is not only about him, it’s for him. Unless he has no free will. Then he’s nobody.
He is a kind man and he loves his wife. They say he takes good photographs. He accepts well. He forgets. He’s smart enough to get through life but he is no intellectual. I don’t think he’s as smart as he thinks he is but that’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. He made fewer mistakes than his author did, getting started. And he knows a good thing when he sees one.
He tells the story in an amalgam of first person third person no person account of the events. It’s a relatively rare form of storytelling, related, in ways, to Moby Dick. But only in that way. This is no Great Whale. I create some unsolvable questions about the mind of the narrator, in subtleties of style. It’s clear he changes voices as the novel progresses but there are lots of possible reasons why. No one is really meant to notice. I amused myself.
Having found my narrator, the story began as a satire. Using a paranormal vocabulary and some of Poe’s methods, I found myself teasing my photographer with the presence of a real supernatural witch. The voice, his voice, was so much fun to work with, I quickly wrote a sequel. I couldn’t come up with a third scenario but I knew I wanted to explore this more. I loved working with my narrator. He’s just fun to know.
WITCH by David Cain
now on Amazon – http://a.co/d/bmLzIet