Characters on the Couch: Phoenix Johnson’s Siobhan Wardell & Morgan Healy

Autumn in the South is such a tease. Here we are on the first day of fall, and although we’ve been getting a comfortable day here or there, the high today is supposed to be 90 degrees. Le sigh…

At least you can count on the forthcoming box set A Wicked Halloween to be as hot as promised and arriving on schedule on October 4. See what I did there? Today I’m happy to welcome Siobhan Wardell & Morgan Healy, author Phoenix Johnson’s characters. Her book So Mote It Be wins for witchiest title so far.

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As I will it, So Mote It Be.

Siobhan is a powerful young witch, rightful leader of the Coven of Salem. She’s not interested in the role, and instead her dear friend, Morgan, claims the position. Both women are formidable women, not to be crossed.

Their Coven, their home town, is under threat. A family of Bokor, practitioners of Black Voodoo, has arrived from New Orleans, with a hunger for the power that has saturated Salem. Siobhan will have to call on their Goddess, Hecate, to keep their homes safe.

But that isn’t their only problem. An enemy from the past stirs, thinking to exact her revenge on Morgan and the Coven that denied her years ago.

Can the Coven survive the threats? Will Siobhan and Morgan be strong enough to keep their homes and loved ones safe? Will the two women get their chances to love?

1. If your character were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in? Yes, a court order is a valid answer.

Siobhan would go to a psychologist probably to deal with the stress of worrying about her lover, Pascal. He’s a trouble maker, of sorts, and is slightly reckless when it comes to keeping Siobhan safe. This just makes her worry about him more. After losing her mother when she was younger, and the battle with the Bokor, she has become over protective of those she loves. Her frustrations with Pascal’s slight recklessness would drive her to seek help willingly.

Morgan, on the other hand, would probably see a psychologist to deal with not feeling worthy of her position as leader of the Coven, as well as not feeling worthy of… well, I don’t want to spoil the second part of the story. You’ll just have to read it.

2. Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?

Neither of these are present until later, as they’re kept too busy dealing with first one enemy, then another. These are post-battle issues, so to speak.

3. It’s always interesting to see how people act when they first enter my office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?

Siobhan would be pacing in front of the couch, arms crossed. She’d flop on the couch a couple times before getting up to resume her pacing, often speaking with her hands. Morgan would sit on the edge of the couch, fiddling with the edge of her shirt or the tassels on any cushions.

4. Does your character talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be? What will he or she say first?

Siobhan would definitely talk easily. Maybe a little too easily. She may be a quiet woman, but her frustrations with Pascal, although exaggerated due to her anxious worry about losing him, would bubble over and she’d be very open about her fear of losing him if he insisted on being involved in the Coven’s fights. She knows deep down, of course, that she can’t stop him and she does appreciate his care. She just really wishes he would let her protect him sometimes.

Morgan would be less open to begin with. She not only feels unworthy, but she also feels silly for it. As she relaxes, though, all her concerns would pour out, along with some tears. She has been strong for so long, as Coven leader, that she finally is allowing herself to open up and admit that she’s scared of failing.

5. Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?

Siobhan would have a funky cocktail, something fun to treat herself after venting her frustrations. Something with fruit on the rim of the glass, like an Austin’s Mojo or a Yellowbird (click drink names for a link to recipes – love this!)

Morgan would go for something simpler and stronger; an aged scotch on the rocks. Possibly The Macallan Fine and Rare (29 year old single malt whisky). Something for comfort after draining all her worries and fears.

6. When you’re building characters, do you have any tricks you use to really get into their psyches, like a character interview or personality system (e.g., Myers-Briggs types)?

To be honest, I really don’t do anything like that. I have a think of how they feel as I write them, where they fit in the story, and it’s the name choosing that tells me more about the character. Siobhan for example, to me is a red haired and feisty young woman, connected with the power within her more than anyone around her. She’s strong, but not arrogantly so, and doesn’t seek the spotlight. That is the type of person I picture when I think of that name, and that is exactly how I wrote Siobhan. It’s all in the name.

Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing.

Phoenix has multiple works in progress, and her favourite writing genres are the same as her reading genres; erotica, romance, paranormal, thriller and a combination of these. Her Wolf Smitten Trilogy and the first two books have all made the finals in 2 different categories for the first annual Easychair Bookstore Awards.

Phoenix currently lives in a small rural town west of Ipswich, Queensland, with her partner, their daughter, cats named Flash and Sirius, their red cattle dog named Rusty, and their three pythons, Kahlee, Thor and Mayhem. 

Phoenix can be reached on her social media accounts via the contact page on her website here, all of her books are listed on Amazon, and you can request her digital autograph here.

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So Mote It Be, along with the next book in the Lycanthropy Files series, a novella titled A Million Shadows, is part of the box set A Wicked Halloween. If you haven’t already, you can still preorder the box set – 13 novels and novellas – for 99 cents for a limited time.

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