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Pendle witches author in horror movie deal
AN ACCLAIMED local author is set to see one of her novels made into a horror movie on the big screen.
Accrington novelist Jeanette Winterson last year wrote the horror novella The Daylight Gate based on the Pendle witches. Now the author has revealed that the book is on the verge of becoming a film.
She announced to her 22,000 Twitter followers that she was in the process of signing the movie deal as the book is due to come out in paperback.
The Daylight Gate, which tells the tale of one of the most famous witch trials in English history, was published as a ‘Hammer Horror’, under the legendary British horror film brand.
Hammer, which has a revived publishing arm, approached the author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit last year with the concept of writing about the witches. The result is a novella set in the early 16th Century, which critics have described as dark, terrifying and ‘unputdownable’.
Jeanette revealed on Sunday that the book was now out in paperback and she was also dealing with paperwork for the movie.
She said: “My horrible Hammer Horror The Daylight Gate is now out in paperback. Just signing the movie deal. There are great parts for women, but sadly none survive.”
The story revolves around the real-life experiences of landowner Alice Nutter and a group of outcast Lancashire women, most of whom came to a tragic end on the scaffold. Their famous trial in 1612 is one of history’s best recorded and followed James I’s bloody campaign against witchcraft and Catholicism.
Winterson describes how men of power in the area assembled to discuss their campaign to prosecute anyone in the land suspected of sorcery. Her imaginative retelling pits them against a band of women who are determined to use whatever skills they have to stay alive.
The novella is also said to have been shaped with the advice of Winterson’s friend crime and thriller writer Ruth Rendell, for her first foray into the horror genre.