We’re no strangers to witches in deepest, darkest Lancashire so we asked author Ella Duvivier to shine some light on the witches in her new book Helios Sphere…
The Gods and the Witches are the prominent supernatural forces in my book. There are two known witch families in the narrative:
The Heliotrope family are the last standing from the diluted bloodline that runs from the original Priests and Priestesses of Helios. These Priests and Priestesses formed the Cult of Helios. This cult’s main objective is to track remnants of Helios mythology throughout the world for use at the Temple.
They are skilled thieves and brilliant at the social politics required to gain traction in situations which would be advantageous in the world of antiques acquisition. They have good standing in the world and a business name Apollo Helios Acquisition with London based headquarters. Sarah Jayne is CEO of this organisation and the Head or High Priestess. Her daughter is Amber – a thief working within the cult.
are known to the Poinsettias, and know of the Poinsettias. It is not
known how their powers manifest but they’re believed to share the same
strengths and weaknesses as any watered down Sun magic.
The Poinsettias are another witch family. They have an odd-looking house in a crescent in Bristol. Their powers are an amplified version of their own actual human talents. They are descendants of Medea.
Fran, the previous head of the family, is a deceased famous author on all things pagan. She is also Ben’s mum; he is the hero of our story. Fran leaves Ben an inheritance so large no one even knows what it the amount is. This legacy is sought after by all remaining Poinsettia’s desperate to get a piece of it and her history. It is looked after by the family lawyer known only as Oz. It is not known where Fran has passed on to in the after-life.
To provide any more information on the Witches of Helios Sphere would be difficult as it would involve spoilers. Just know that they are descendants of Gods and Goddesses. They’re powerful in their own right. Not to be trifled with. And they are starting to re-write the balance of the old ways. Will the Gods cope with their meddling?
Meet the author Ella Duvivier at her Helios Sphere Book Launch, at The Gryphon, Bristol 7pm on Monday 24th June 2019.
Read a pre-publication interview with Eleanor below
Q1: Hi Eleanor, it is so good to have this opportunity to speak to you… First of all, I was wondering where the idea for ‘Helios Sphere’ came from. I know you’ve an interest in running and the classics, but it’s such an unusual story and has been told in such an engaging manner… Perhaps you could let us know the background to the story and how it came to you. Hi Lesley, thank you for asking! The story of Helios Sphere manifested itself due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, in 2014 I went to Athens to run the marathon and genuinely stumbled across the artefact itself in the museum that Ben visits. I love the idea of giving ancient artefacts and mythologies a new spin. The character of Ben was created during my degree in Classical History and Creative Writing. Ben and The Sphere seemed to fit so well together, both sons with long lost or unspoken powers trying to make their way in the world.
Q2: Did you write any of the manuscript while in Greece, or did you perhaps make notes during a holiday, with this story in mind? Did you always know the conclusion to the tale or did the story emerge organically?
I did a bit of both. I was the first of my group to arrive at Athens, my two friends due to arrive a day late. I spent the first day prowling the museums and then I sat in the Café of the New Acropolis Museum in which I wrote my thoughts on The Sphere of Helios. I started writing on the plane home. A year later I revisited Athens to gather more information for correct scene setting for the Cape. I didn’t always know the conclusion and the conclusion changed as the characters grew.
Q3: Five words that describe you. Five words that describe your writing…
Quirky, creative, aspiring, active, learner. Evolving write what you know.
Q4: Do you find Greek architecture, statuary and art particularly inspiring?
I absolutely do! My mum used to read me stories like the Iliad and the Odyssey as bedtime stories when I was younger. I grew up loving Greek and Roman history. I remember being terribly bored in history at secondary school as it all focused modern history.
Q5: I’d love for you to tell me more about what the bombweed means to you. Also heliotrope and poinsettia – why did you choose those plant names for your character families? Does heliotrope have connections with the helios sphere?
Bombweed is a wartime novel by my Great Grandma Margaret Smith which was published by my Great Aunt Gillian Fernandez Morton and Grandmother Maureen Armstrong. The novel was written in 1947 and published in 2018. It seems that writing was passed on to the generations of this family and it is an honour to have a book that I’ll be able to put on a shelf next to hers. Bombweed grew rapidly on bombsites in World War Two. Poinsettia and Heliotrope are witch family surnames. Poinsettia was a surname assigned to Ben as I created his signature look. He enters the book with a Poinsettia flower adorning his waistcoat and the family links itself to the bright colours. The flower is a star-shape which seemed appropriate to link to a pagan family and I started to write properly during the Christmas period of 2014. The Poinsettia is a favourite Christmas flower. Heliotrope is the name given to the Priestess of Helios. It means ‘Sun’ and ‘to turn’ due to the direction of the flowers growth. The flower is named after Clytie, an Oceanid scorned by Helios. It seemed in keeping with her power and ultimate fortunes.
Q5: So, what’s next for you and your writing? Have you got any further works in progress?
At the moment I’m doing a Masters in Creative Writing with The Open University. This means there is little time for ‘pleasure’ writing. There is the beginnings of a second book: Ben finds out his biological history and the true legacy. But that will have to wait until the Masters allows me the time. I also discovered another little written about ancient artefact in a museum when I last went away which I would love to write about one day. Thank you for reading.
Thanks so much for answering our questions. Look forward to seeing what happens to Ben in the next book!