Meet Ivy Elisabeth Mann -‘ I know what you are thinking, but I’m not half faery, or demon, or angel or anything like that. Mum’s a Body Shop consultant living in a bungalow in Birmingham and Dad enters crosswords.’Once upon a time, Ivy and her friends did a very stupid thing and now there’s a rift letting dark matter into the world. Dark matter that manifests as black magic which actually works. Now every teenager with access to the Internet is raising hell. Literally. Ivy’s doing her best to stem the tide, but her new job working school security barely pays the bills and there’s only so much one girl with a machete (and a cat possessed by her own dead grandmother) can do against the forces of evil. Now she’s facing a teenage goth with an attitude, her ruthless but frustratingly handsome brother, a dark cabal with a terrifying agenda and a potential zombie apocalypse. Ivy losing her job might be the best thing to happen to the world …
Q&A with Bryony Pearce
Why did you want to write Raising Hell?
When I came up with the idea for Raising Hell, I was in the middle of writing a very serious novel with deeply personal themes, which required a lot of research. So, I started writing Raising Hell as a sort of palette cleanser, a break from the heaviness of the other book. It ended up being such fun that I shifted my focus. The covid pandemic was really getting going by this point and I so badly needed the escapism that Ivy and her world provided.
Did you get to do any unusual research for this book? (Weird monster stories, magic, etc…)
Definitely – I was looking up sigils for protection, spells to raise the dead, heal, attack or defend and Latin phrases (to make up my own spells). It was almost as much fun doing the research as it was to write the story! It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. Which is one thing that made me ask the question – what if all of these spells suddenly started to work?
If Ivy took you along on her adventures, how would you gear up?
I’d take my son’s air-rifle (I’m pretty good with it), my husband’s cricket bat and my good Sabatier knife (It cuts through anything!)! I’d also take some bandages and some decent pain killers as I’m not as young as I was!
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know:
I started playing the cello a couple of years ago. I’m now doing my grade 6. I really love to play – it is such a complete change from all the other things that take up my mental space and requires a totally different way of thinking. I have to really concentrate on it, so that while I’m playing my brain can’t start throwing ‘things to do’ lists at me, I can’t worry about things, or come up with stories. It’s a great way to switch off!
Perfect cure for a bad day?
Playing a board game or card game with my husband and children. Perhaps with some snacks and a glass of wine. If the cat joins us, even better (he’s a bit of an independent spirit though, so he cannot be relied upon). Our favourites include Gloomhaven, Catan, Betrayal at the House on the Hill and Carcassone. It’s fantastic family time.
Luna: We are playing Gloomhaven atm, LOVE!
Finally, what is the question you wish people would ask and never do?
Would you like a free glass of champagne? Why yes, thank you very much!
Bryony Pearce is a multi-award-winning novelist working in both the YA and Adult markets. In the YA genre she has produced a mixture of dark thrillers, paranormal adventures and horror and currently has nine published novels: Angel’s Fury, The Weight of Souls, Phoenix Rising, Phoenix Burning, Wavefunction, Windrunner’s Daughter, Savage Island, Cruel Castle (2021) and Raising Hell (2021).
She also writes adult thrillers, and her first domestic noir, The Girl on the Platform is out with Avon (Harper Collins) in Spring, the next to follow in 2022.
In addition, Bryony writes adult science fiction short stories, which have been published in a number of anthologies.
She visits schools to talk about reading and writing and conducts creative writing workshops, as well as delivering entertaining and inspirational talks. She has performed at the Edinburgh Literary Festival, The Wychwood Festival, Comicon, YALC, the Sci Fi Weekender, The Just So Festival and a number of other festivals and events.
She both moderates and takes part in panels and interviews and loves to meet readers.
Bryony enjoys supporting aspiring writers and works as a consultant and mentor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and The Writing Coach. She currently lives in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire has two children and when she isn’t writing, she can usually be found drinking wine, eating chocolate, playing the cello, or providing a taxi service for her children!