Pendle Witch Trilogy

A Ribble Valley teacher has recently published two books and is currently writing the final one as part of her Pendle Witch Trilogy

A busy mum of two who had always dreamed of writing a children’s book, has risen to the challenge having just had a book published in October – the second in her Pendle Witch Trilogy.

Rachel Lopiccolo, who lives in the heart of the Ribble Valley near Waddington, is a former accountant who retrained as a primary school teacher.

“Since a young age I have always loved writing stories. For years I would carry a notebook around with me, noting down different ideas, little snippets and imaginary characters.

“My partner Marc is a music teacher and he has written a successful book – he said to me, ‘If I can do it, so can you’. So, he set me a challenge to write a book by the end of the year,” recalls Rachel, who works at Waddington Primary School.

Having been interested in the story of the Pendle witches, Rachel penned The Curse of the Pendle Witch in 2019 for her daughter, and she went on to write The Betrayal of the Pendle Witch, which was published by Marc’s publishing company at the beginning of October.

“Marc’s books are very different from mine – they are adventure stories that link into the songs he writes. As a music teacher, he tells children to follow their dreams – his books are about children with ordinary super-powers!”

Rachel’s first book is set in the present and is about two sisters who find a mysterious box, which turns out to be cursed. Her second book is set in 1612 during the lead-up to the Pendle witch trials. It features two fictional girls as the central characters, who fear being accused of witchcraft. The book tracks their friendship as they attempt to avoid being arrested by the local magistrate.

“When I started writing the book my daughter was quite an advanced reader and she loved it. I was aiming at an age group from eight up to 12 years of age, but I have had lots of adults saying they have really enjoyed them too.”

Rachel’s book covers have been illustrated by Bolton-based Andrew Warman, who also contributed towards Marc’s book: “Marc’s books are beautiful, so I was keen for Andrew to be involved. He understood exactly the sort of thing I wanted,” says Rachel, who has resided in the Ribble Valley for eight years, having always lived close to Pendle Hill.

“I am still pinching myself, I can’t believe I have actually written two books and I am now working on the third!”

Since writing the first two books Rachel has been involved in a number of Zoom assemblies at various local schools, in which she encourages pupils to write down their dreams and ideas on paper: “I tell them how good it feels to write. It’s all about daydreaming and imagination and I read extracts from my books.”

Rachel has just started writing her third book, which aims to tie the storyline of the first two stories together. The final in the Pendle Witch Trilogy is due to be launched around Easter 2021.

The Curse of the Pendle Witch and The Betrayal of the Pendle Witch are available at Number 10 in Clitheroe and on the website:



Tedd Walmsley

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