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Alexis Henderson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Bethel Books

The Year of the Witching (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dawn of the Coven (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction author with a love for cosmic horror, witchcraft and dark fantasy. She grew up in Savannah, Georgia, one of the most haunted cities in the South that instilled in her a lifelong obsession with ghost stories and gothic themes. Growing up, her standard fare was Southern Gothic folktales and ghost stories and this would influence her later career as an author. Themes from several of her favorite tales such as “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt and particularly the “Hamilton Turner Inn” legend inspired many of the themes in her later works. “The Year of the Witching” her debut novel was very much inspired by the gothic and eerie themes she was exposed to during this time. As for the Darkwood, she has said that the forest has always been a place of fascination. Alexis Henderson lived in a house that stood on the edge of the woods. Even though going into the forest was strictly forbidden, she still remembers standing outside her backyard staring into the brush beyond the tree line and wondering what monsters hid in it. She followed up her debut with the novel “The Dawn if the Coven,” which was the second of the “Bethel” series of novels.

Alexis has always loved reading science fiction as she is naturally drawn to the effectiveness of speculative fiction in taking one from one realm into another. As such, it was natural that she would gravitate towards fantasy when she decided to pursue a career in fiction writing. In a way she does feel as if it is all she has ever known and even she does dabble in other genres, fantasy always will be and has been a creative touchstone that she keeps coming back to. She has also written in the horror and supernatural genres, both of which she believes have the power to sweep her away. When it comes to horror writing, she is driven by fear and when it comes to her supernatural novels the awe of the unknown and dark curiosity is what motivates her. As such, it seemed very natural to combine the two elements in writing her novels. Since she has been combining them for too long, it is now difficult for her to distinguish one from the other. Even though she cannot think of any novels that inspired her love for speculative action she has always loved the works of the likes of Seanan McGuire, Jeff VanderMeer, and NK Jemisisn.

Alexis Henderson comes from the South and hence she also finds some of the inspiration for her works from the “Salem Witch Trials.” When she was developing the magic system of her debut novel “The Year of the Witching,” she took a crash course on witchcraft, Wicca and other aspects of magic. Henderson purchased a ton of items related to witching and these helped with her research. Some of these items included a 1000 page book full of spells, ethically sourced oddities such as bones from rare animals, meditation stories, crystals, multiple tarot decks, and copious amounts of sage. She would often get nightmares when she started writing and remembers seeing Lilith and other witches of the forest but she quickly got used to it and was less afraid over the following weeks. Aside from the material stuff she bought, she also got some inspiration from her own life. Henderson has a natural fascination with how vices and sins are passed down from one generation to the next and trans-generational trauma. In writing her debut, she wanted to explore the possibility of a person defying the circumstances of their upbringing and freeing themselves from the demons of their past. When she is not writing her novels or reading, she can be found watching horror movies or painting. She currently lives in Charles South Carolina, in a sun soaked marshland away from all distractions.

“The Year of the Witching” by Alexis Henderson is the first novel of the “Bethel” series. The lead is a woman living in a very rigid puritanical society when she discovers that she has paranormal powers. Bethel is a land where no one dares go against the word of the prophet and the existence of the witch Emmanuelle Moore is blasphemy. Her mother who comes from a prominent family had gotten married to a man if a different race, casting the once proud family into ignominy. As such, Immanuelle tries her best to lead a life of submission, follow the Holy Protocol, worship the father and conform just like all the other women living in Bethel. But she gets lured into the Darkwood surrounding her community by accident and finds herself at the scene of the killing of four powerful witches. The first prophet had pursued and killed the four of them in the Darkwood but their spirits still lurk in the forest. In the forest, she is offered the journal of her dead mother. She is shocked to learn that she had also found refuge in the woods once upon a time. The diary has fascinating secrets and Immanuelle struggles to understand when and how her mother had congregated with the witches. But then she starts learning about the history of the church and begins to understand that darkness is the true threat to Bethel. She also begins to understand that she holds the key to liberating her community.

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