Tuesday, March 15, 2022

India Holton Interview - The League of Gentlewomen Witches

Photo Content from India Holton

India Holton lives in New Zealand, where she’s enjoyed the typical Kiwi lifestyle of wandering around forests, living barefoot on islands, and messing about in boats. Now she lives in a cottage near the sea, writing books about uppity women and charming rogues, and drinking too much tea.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
At university I learned how to make language and grammar work as specialist tools to convey my message on various subjects, from literature to science. That technical education has been invaluable to me.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
Honestly, I never experienced such a realisation. The desire to write is as integral to me as my respiratory system; I’ve had it forever.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
I don’t have one all-time favourite book, but I do have a favourite quote. It’s from the movie Ever After, and the heroine says it after the hero tells her to pick a book: “I could no sooner choose a favourite star in the heavens.” That’s how I feel about my beloved book collection.

  • 1. The moment Alex turned up when I was writing The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, I fell in love at first sight with him.
  • 2. Charlotte’s mother was the character who most surprised me, she kept saying the most unexpected things!
  • 3. The book is more steamy than The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels.
  • 4. Jane Austen is my favourite classic author, so I really enjoyed (mis)quoting her books throughout.
  • 5. The best thing about using Austen quotes was that there turned out to be one for every situation. This is probably because Austen was such a wit, so many of her sentences are easily employed for ironic purposes.
  • 6. I find the Wicken League scarier than the Wisteria Society!
  • 7. I listened to Independent Love Song by Scarlet a lot while writing the action scenes in this book.
  • 8. My editor was such an inspiration during the working-through of the manuscript, her thoughts added great value.
  • 10. The symbol of the bee used in the story relates back to the Goddess whom many real-life witches revere.
  • 11. There is a fun, madcap scene which we cut from the manuscript that I’m really looking forward to sharing with readers down the track!
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There have been so many! But I think the most rewarding experience was seeing the Penguin Random House penguin logo just above my name inside my own book. Dream come true.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
Only my own books. I believe stories give themselves to particular authors for a reason. I don’t think I could, or would want to, write anyone else’s book.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
I tend to be highly distractible, so pretty much anything and everything!

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Honestly, every book I read changes my life or my spirit in some small but meaningful way. But I’ll highlight Anne of Green Gables, which I first discovered in my 20s. Before then, I’d never met a dreamy, bookish girl, apart from myself. That whole series was wonderfully validating, and I only wish I’d read it in childhood.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is about the spirit of existence making itself known in a thousand different ways so everyone can be in relationship with it. I believe not only humans but all living things tell stories amongst themselves.

Can you tell us when you started THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEWOMEN WITCHES, how that came about?
I was contracted to write a companion novel to The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, but even before I started writing I’d met Charlotte in the tea house of chapter one, and I’d spent months dreaming of a rain-soaked scene which ended up being the heart of the book.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?
Skipping this one because of spoilers :)

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEWOMEN WITCHES
One of my favourite scenes is when Charlotte and Alex meet for the first time.
“Pirate,” she said in disgust.
“Thief,” he retorted. “Give me back my briefcase.”
How rude! Not even the suggestion of a please!

What is the first job you have had?
I did babysitting while I was in high school.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
Putting the tea kettle on!

What is your most memorable travel experience?
We were driving on a very narrow dirt road halfway up a cliff and a car appeared in the other direction. As we passed each other - very carefully! - I looked down at the sheer drop outside my window and honestly thought I was going to die.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
I’d always choose true love under any circumstances.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Queen Elizabeth I, to be at the centre of a fascinating time, and to make such a difference in the world. Probably some of my choices would be different from hers, though!

What event in your life would make a good movie?
Not so much an event as a whole year when we lived on an island and had many wonderful experiences, from the weekend when a storm rolled in and lightening caused our power transformer to explode while we had a dozen people visiting, to rowing in a leaky dinghy through storm-whipped seas, sun-soaked adventures as teenagers let free in the woods and hills, night fishing, a wildfire threatening the need to evacuate, a massive flood, giant stingrays in the bay, starlit dinners of freshly smoked fish eaten on the beach, swinging on a rope over a cliffside above the sea, and more.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the teahouse...

Miss Charlotte Pettifer belongs to a secret league of women skilled in the subtle arts. That is to say—although it must never be said—witchcraft. The League of Gentlewomen Witches strives to improve the world in small ways. Using magic, they tidy, correct, and manipulate according to their notions of what is proper, entirely unlike those reprobates in the Wisteria Society.

When the long lost amulet of Black Beryl is discovered, it is up to Charlotte, as the future leader of the League, to make sure the powerful talisman does not fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is most unfortunate when she crosses paths with Alex O'Riley, a pirate who is no Mr. Darcy. With all the world scrambling after the amulet, Alex and Charlotte join forces to steal it together. If only they could keep their pickpocketing hands to themselves! If Alex's not careful, he might just steal something else—such as Charlotte's heart.

You can purchase The League of Gentlewomen Witches at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


  1. I read 'The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels' by India Holton, and I loved it. I can't wait to read this!!!

  2. I love the cover! It gives the reader a preview of the book.

  3. Thank you, thank you to the author.