If you prefer your romance with a side of witchcraft or mysteries enhanced with magic, a new author conference could be your ideal event. Nearly 300 authors will meet with readers for Getting Witchy With It, an interactive bookish event at the Boston Marriott Peabody on Sept. 16 and 17.
From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, attendees can meet with authors, purchase books, and get their copies signed. There will also be vendors selling crowns, cloaks, and other magical-themed items, including jewelry, tumblers, soaps, and more. While most featured titles are housed under its namesake theme, the event’s author lineup doesn’t adhere to a singular genre. Additionally, writers published through traditional publishing houses as well as self-published authors will be in attendance.
“It’s going to be everything from children’s books to horror, a lot of paranormal, of course, being the type of event it is, a lot of romance, but you’re gonna be able to find anything,” said Virginia Johnson, the event host and CEO of Anytime Author Promotions, the company putting on the weekend production.
Not all featured authors incorporate witch culture or paranormal activity into their plot lines, but largely, the writers don’t shy away from scenes that generate steam. BookTok sensations like Kathryn Moon and Lana Kole will be in attendance, as will writers creating a HEA — happily ever after — for readers of regency (Tabetha Waite) and young and new adult (Abbi Glines).
Lynn Montagano, a self-proclaimed “spicy” romance writer from Bellingham, heard about Getting Witchy With It from fellow author friends. After signing up for the author waitlist, she was able to join as an author when another writer dropped out. She said she enjoys any opportunity to connect with other book lovers.
“I like being out there with authors. I like meeting readers,” said Montagano. Her second series, “Royals and Legends,” debuted in May and revolves around a soccer player in England and a media relations director for an American football team who has vowed to not date professional athletes.
The event will be the company’s first event near Salem, somewhere Johnson had deemed a “bucket list place” for their efforts. She added that the event has already been renewed for 2024 in Peabody. Entrance to this weekend’s event is free, but guests can upgrade to a $45 VIP package, which includes perks like priority access and a tote, or the Saturday night Witches Ball, where they can mingle and dance, for an additional $35. At the time of reporting, Johnson said they anticipate approximately 1,500 attendees.
North Andover resident and former midwife J.M. Davies is also a romance author, focused on contemporary and paranormal stories. She began writing coming-of-age fantasy before transitioning to the adult realm. Her “The Rise of Orion” paranormal romance series follows a 16th-century witch, whose tragic fate leaves her with scores to settle in her next lives — to say the least. A spinoff of the series, titled “The Vampire’s Witch,” was released in August.
Davies explained that author events are often expensive and difficult to travel to, but Getting Witchy With It is convenient for her. “It really is a no brainer, because it’s in Peabody, so it’s a half an hour drive [from my house],” she said. “I don’t have to stay overnight in a hotel, so there’s no fee involved there.” She added that attending author events and meeting readers makes all of her hard work feel worthwhile.
“When you finish a book, you want to share it with people, and you want to be able to talk about it,” said Davies. “To me, that is the icing on the cake, actually being at events like [Getting Witchy With It], because the energy and the enthusiasm of readers — which is incredible — is what I live for.”
GETTING WITCHY WITH IT
Sept. 16 and 17, noon–5 p.m. Free. Boston Marriott Peabody, 8A Centennial Drive, Peabody. eventbrite.com
Maddie Browning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.