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Q & A

1. In your books, you write in great detail about spirituality so could you tell me more about how your beliefs guide your work, as I can see you are using these references to do much more than merely ‘colour’ the stories, they are integral to the characters and the situations they find themselves in?

This is an excellent question. To steal your word, the spirituality of my characters is integral to at least part of what I hope to accomplish as a Pagan writer. I think we’re an underrepresented bunch—not so much that there aren’t many Pagan authors because really, there are, almost as if Pagans and writing go hand-in-hand—but that not many choose to interlace their works with their spirituality. It can narrow one’s audience, alienating those of other beliefs who are uncomfortable with alternative religions.

But the fact of the matter is that Paganism is deeply misunderstood, and even more so the idea of witchcraft. As a witch whose spiritual roots run deep, it’s important to me to have characters that represent witchcraft the way it’s MEANT to be. To teach people that the stereotype isn’t always the case. Hollywood’s green-skinned, warty-faced evil villain and pop culture’s goth-girl in black lipstick and a bored expression are NOT what witchcraft is all about. Your average, every day witch is just like me—jeans, T-shirts, no make-up, but with maybe a borderline obsessive love for plants.

My spirituality is my everything. Second to none. I love everything about it, and that channels into my characters. When it comes to situations they find themselves in, well, they say write what you know. And I know witchcraft top to bottom; I’ve been on this path for ten years. When you have that kind of commitment, it tends to take over your brain. I write the kinds of books that I hope will speak to other Pagans, yet can also be enjoyed by anyone who just enjoys the paranormal.

One of the things I wish for as I continue my journey as an author is to represent witchcraft to people who don’t know it.

2.) How long have you been writing?

Since I was about ten years old. My mother was promoted within the local police department and began working four pm to midnight. I was a really responsible child—all cops’ kids end up being either really great human beings or rebels who end up with criminal histories—so I stayed home alone. I’d ride the bus home from school, lock up and set the alarm, and was pretty self-sufficient. After some time, though, I became bored. At ten, I didn’t really like television (still don’t), and I didn’t have the money to buy new books, so I started writing my own. I wrote 6 full length novels between ten and sixteen.

3.) What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?

There is no bottom line. We all do things differently, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Success has a lot to do with luck, but talent plays a big part, too. You must be talented, but you don’t have to be perfect. Readers will devour books, and books are subjective. Someone may sing my praises to Texas and back, while someone else may call me a hack who will never make it. I can’t strive to be perfect or to follow the footsteps of another writer, because no one way is THE way. We forge our own paths.

4.) Do you outline?

They made me do outlines in school. Outlines are evil and should be burned.

(What makes this answer hilarious is that in 2014, I began outlining my books! I have found much more success with this method.)

5. Do you consider your mom to have been an influence at all on any of your characters as I understand she is a police detective, a job which takes a great deal of inner strength?

I can’t remember the EXACT quote, but there’s a book by Liza Palmer called “Conversations with the Fat Girl”, and in it she’s says something like “My mother is, and always has been, my own personal concept of God.” Something to that effect. When I read it, it hit me like a wrecking ball. My life has always revolved around my mother, simply because her life has always revolved around me. When I was a teenager, I hated it. But now, I realize how important it is to me for my mother to be central to my existence. She is a superhero to me; I’m so proud of all she’s accomplished on the police department. In 21 years, she rose from a lowly street beat officer to a Major. That’s only two positions down from Chief of Police. She’s dedicated, hard-working, and intelligent, and she’s also very, very strong. She raised me alone for sixteen years while working as a police officer, and if that doesn’t take strength, I don’t know what does. I am very much my mother’s daughter in these respects.

Where am I going with this… Because my mom is such a huge part of my life, I guarantee she plays a big part in my books, if only because she has shaped the woman I am today.

Is there something you would like to know about me? Email me! I love connecting with readers :)

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Stuff you may not know about me:

1.) I’m a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, certified for life through the International Tae Kwon Do Alliance

2.) I shattered my left hand pinkie finger in 2010 — it was so broken the doctor called it a “jigsaw puzzle” that he couldn’t put back together. So he had to fuse it. My pinkie finger does not bend, and I can not use it!

3.) I put butter on my Pop-Tarts and it totally freaks my husband out.

4.) My favorite band of all time is Gaelic Storm. My favorite song is a toss up between Faithful Land and The Long Way Home.

5.) My favorite author is Jennifer Crusie, with Laurell K. Hamilton and Jim Butcher running a close second and third.

6.) I'm married to a police officer.

7.) I love gardening, particularly veggies and herbs.

8.) I have a house full of pets: 4 dogs, 15 cats, a chinchilla, and chickens.

9.) My entire family works in public safety — police, firefighters, EMS.

10.) I am a HUGE DISNEY NERD. My favorite Disney movies are Brave, Tangled, and The Little Mermaid. We go to Disney World at least once a year!

11.) I am a NUTCASE when it comes to writing. I'm often working on up to a dozen titles AT ONCE.

12.) I'm one of those grammar people who corrects everybody. (Which is why I want my readers to contact me if they find an error, so I can fix it!!!)

13.) I run a business formatting ebooks and print books for other authors.

14.) My favorite books of all time: A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett, The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, ANYTHING by John Green

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Links to my interviews online:

Greg James’s Blog — Favorite interview ever!

Athanasios Galanis’s Blog

Steven R. Drennon’s Blog

Jack Wallen’s Blog

Shéa MacLeod’s Blog

Mary Pat Hyland’s Blog

Alan Nayes’s Blog

Michelle Muto’s Blog

Talia Jager’s Blog

Karen Pruitt Fowler’s Blog

Charlie Romo’s Blog

Back at Alan Nayes’s Blog

Links to my guest posts online:

Taking the First Step

Multi-Genre Writing

What Scares Author Heather Marie Adkins

A Bad Halloween

Witches in Books

Dancing Naked in the Moonlight: Origins of Modern Halloween

Finding the Princess: One Little Girl’s Dress

My Funniest Halloween Memory

It’s Alive! My First Time Publishing

Taking the First Step

Writing Across Genres

Thoughts on Publishing for the First Time

A Review of my Writing Style by Jack Wallen

Reviews of my books online:

Author Larry Marshall

Underneath at Jessica Bronder’s Book Blog

Abigail at Jessica Bronder’s Book Blog

The Temple at Jessica Bronder’s Book Blog

The Temple at Quirky Girl Media

The Temple at Indie Press Review

The Temple at Book Briefs