Moonlight Monday: The Party That Started It All

I don’t know how many novels have been inspired by a Halloween party, but my upcoming novel, BLOOD MOON, June 22, 2013, was given life by my annual witches party. Here’s the history:

2009: The First Witches Party

In 2009 I hosted my first Halloween witches party, something I had wanted to do for a long time. Luckily, I have an incredible group of women in my family who are as crazy as I am and indulge my quirky parties. That first party – a Witches Tea Party – was a small, humble gathering at my home. We had a fabulous time and a new tradition was born.

Witches Tea Party
2010: The School House

Then in 2010 we stumbled upon an incredible and shockingly cheap venue, perfect for a witches party. The Camp Floyd School House convinced me to really go all out. Nothing will ever be as amazing as that first party at the school house, on the night of October’s full moon

See the moon, to the left of the schoolhouse??
I did a ton of research for this party – Wicca, pagan, magic, etc – to draw inspiration for decor and games.  It was during that research that I stumbled on the name and beliefs surrounding the October full moon, known as the Blood Moon.
After the party, my husband suggested I take all the research and inspiration and write a book. At the time I was actually querying another book,  but was getting no where except seriously discouraged. So I took his advice.  
Me at the 2010 party. My husband made the wand I’m holding from an aspen branch, one of my favorite trees. I call him my witch enabler 🙂
2011: Captured on Film

Six months later, BLOOD MOON, was written and was off to literary agents. I thought for sure I’d have an agent and a book deal by the next party. Frustratingly, I did not. But happily, what I did have was a huge party to plan and a film crew from Studio 5 coming to catch all the witchy action.

To see the segment with footage and hosting ideas, CLICK HERE.

Our 2011 party was ridiculously fun. We dressed up as our favorite witches and walked the black-cat walk, in a wickedly cool fashion show.

 The black-cat walk and our wands held high.
My hubby also made the cat walk. He’s pretty handy to have around.
 My brother John took pictures for me and got this amazing shot of the schoolhouse. There are even stars in the sky if you look closely.
I love this pic of my sister, Carol, dressed as one of the MacBeth witches.
2012: Of Witches and Ghosts

This year with all that I have going on, I scaled the party back and decided to do an outside location for ghost story telling around a roaring fire. Everything was perfect (except that I burned the hot chocolate – sorry ladies!). The camp ground was eerie and quiet. The weather was divine – cool, clear sky and no wind. And the ghost stories – well, let’s just say we kept looking over our shoulders into the darkness around us.
Willow Park Campground in Lehi, Utah. All the trees are old willows.
Very simple food this year: cookies and hot chocolate. I also set up some of my favorite witch decor and lots of candles.
We hung lanterns in the trees, all around the fire pit, which created seriously cool atmosphere.
All the witches gathered around the fire, wearing witch hats and wrapped in blankets, and we told scary ghost stories. A magical evening! 
(That’s my hubby building the fire. Once it was roaring he took our kids home for a movie party, while mommy had her witch party. He’s amazing!)
If you’d like to read the creepy story I read around the fire, CLICK HERE. And if you like it you can vote for it. It’s part of the Jolly Fish Press Creative Frighting Contest. The winning author gets a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble. I’m not gonna lie – I really wanna win 🙂 And if you vote, YOU could win a $25 gift card to B & N. 

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