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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, in YA novel Madame Voodoo by A.W. Jackson, Nkechi, a voodoo witch in New York makes friends with fellow witch Kosum, and starts dating Charlie, but her past comes back to haunt her.
Putting the overlooked and under-represented firmly in the limelight, Madame Voodoo by A.W. Jackson is a captivating, original, and truly relatable YA read. Covering many of life’s bigger issues, including the death of a parent, coming out as gay and loneliness, A.W. Jackson’s debut novel will instantly resonate with those struggling to find their place in our judgmental world.
Young voodoo witch, Nkechi, is about to start her freshman year and is unsure what to expect. Alone in New York, and still coming to terms with the death of her mother, she worries that she will struggle to keep her magic hidden, and is afraid that her mortal classmates will reject her quirky personality. Fortunately, Columbia College is a big place, and she soon finds her people in the form of Charlie, a mortal, and Kosum, a fellow witch, who quickly introduces Nkechi to the local coven.
But all is not as it seems, and with her life finally going in the right direction, the last thing she expects is for a mysterious girl infused with magic to implode right in front of her. Determined to discover who is behind these magical occurrences, Nkechi embarks on a journey that forces her to confront her past, re-evaluate her present and embrace her future.
This poignant and validatory novel offers a magic-laden, relatable and accomplished literary middle finger to all those bright and shiny people who have passed over the chance to connect with some of the best humankind has to offer.
My writing lends itself to prose, and I enjoy creating easy, relaxing and relatable stories. There’s no overly convoluted language to try and distract and confuse you from the story, because it doesn’t need it; the plot and cast of diverse characters are enough to keep the reader enthralled. To put it simply, this book is about a couple of 18 year olds trying to get through college and life, who just happen to be living in a fantasy world full of witches.
As a child, I loved reading, and was always desperate to buy a new book each time I went food shopping with my dad.
Sadly, my passion for reading fizzled out during high school, as a mix of steady bullying and being forced to read certain books as part of my studies made reading feel like a chore. It was not until I started college and began to pursue my career as a chef that I started writing my first novel, Madame Voodoo. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have often felt overlooked and under-represented by characters who purely exist to either fill a box or provide comedic relief at their own expense.
Once I noticed there were many other minority groups in the same situation, I wanted to create captivating stories with these overlooked and exploited groups at the forefront. Unfortunately, during college, I didn’t have the confidence to finish Madame Voodoo and, over the years, I picked it up and put it back down a handful of times.
However, in 2022, I finally set myself a goal to complete Madame Voodoo by the end of the year. I also watched a ‘little’ show called Heartstopper and decided to read the book. Quite frankly, it changed my life, and I wish that I’d had something like that when I was growing up. I have never seen such accurate representation of those like myself, and it helped push me to decide that I want to provide that for others. I want to create stories that make people feel seen.
Having given up my full-time job as a manager of a large chain of coffee shops to become a part time barista, and with my first novel soon to be published, I now have the time to work on the many stories in my head. I hope to be able to fulfil this dream full time and bring to light stories that can help people feel seen in life, in the way Heartstopper helped me.
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