EE18ers ~ The Sea Witch Fun Facts by Sarah Henning + Giveaway!

Posted October 15, 2017 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 4 Comments

A beautiful picture of the Havnestad Coast where THE SEA WITCH takes place



The Sea Witch Fun Facts!

Eight fun facts (one for each tentacle!) about THE SEA WITCH by Sarah Henning

1. First things first, I’m going to disappoint you: this isn’t Ursula’s origin tale.

Still reading? I love you.

2. So, if you’re still with me, I’m happy to tell you that THE SEA WITCH is the origin story of Hans Christian Andersen’s sea witch—not Ursula. Ursula is a wonderful, magnetic villain, but she’s also completely Disney’s creation. As are Ariel, Eric and the rest. In the original tale, the sea witch is more of a neutral character who questions the little mermaid’s motives for wanting to become human. Like, do you really want to leave your family, friends and everything you know for a boy you’ve never met? It’s a valid question, even if the answer is LOOOOOOOOOOVE (which is a darn good reason). I wanted to know who would have very good reservations for helping the little mermaid but then do it anyway (because LOOOOOOOOOOVE).


3. I gravitate toward writing strong women who work for what they want within the context of real history. Therefore, in many ways, THE SEA WITCH is pretty much true history reflected back through a funhouse mirror. The time, place and plot have touchstones in real events and people, with a fantastical twist, because magic makes everything more epic.

4. Example A of funhouse mirror history: I wanted to set the story during Hans Christian Andersen’s lifetime in his home country of Denmark. So, the story does take place during the 1860s, when Andersen would’ve been alive, but in an alternate Denmark, where separate sovereign states are ruled by different branches of the Øldenburg family, the true kings of Denmark and Sweden for nearly 1,000 years. Which means, hey, more kingdoms! More castles! More princes! The story’s particular sovereign kingdom is called Havnestad and is loosely based on Kronborg Castle (aka the castle in Hamlet!).

5. Example B of funhouse mirror history: The Øldenburgs are famous for their own version of the Salem Witch Trials. The twist in the Danish version being that they were presided over by the king, Christian IV, who liked calling himself “The Witch Hunter King” nearly as much as he liked to tie innocent women to ladders and throw them into a fire. 

He was a power-hungry jerk who was truly afraid of women who spoke their minds. I mean, let’s face it, a lot of women who were combative were accused as witches back in the day because that was scary to powerful men who couldn’t take it (and, cough, still can’t). Christian IV lived 200 years before my tale, but his actual actions have very real consequences for the main characters in THE SEA WITCH, two of who are his descendants and one who is actually a witch.

6. That means secrets. Lots of secrets. Deadly, important secrets baked into the very fabric of the story and its characters.

7. Oooh, speaking of characters, want to know my dream cast list? Well, if we can reverse times so the ages would line up (and with magic, we could, right?), here would be my dream cast for my four major characters (clockwise from upper left): Evie, Iker, Nik and Annemette.


8. I hope you’re excited to meet them on the page and to join me for more adventures of historical badass ladies in many more books to come. THE SEA WITCH releases May 1, 2018 from Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins.


*~~About the Author~~*

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultra marathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.
Social Media Links: Goodreads ~ Instagram ~  Twitter ~ Website 


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4 responses to “EE18ers ~ The Sea Witch Fun Facts by Sarah Henning + Giveaway!

  1. danielle hammelef

    I enjoyed this post and can tell that this author did her research and has a sense of humor that will definitely come across in this book. I can’t wait to read this book and get to know this POV character.

  2. I know this post is late, but I read The Sea Witch and absolutely LOVED IT! I’m currently reading the sequel, Sea Witch Rising. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet.

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