Sigils & Secrets
Myths & Music
1- How would you describe your work?
I’ve always been fascinated by mythology and the supernatural. I truly believe that there is much more to our world than we can currently comprehend. In my work, I like to explore the possibility that all the different myths and legends in the world are real, and just hiding beneath the surface.
It’s kind of funny actually, I’ve been writing, in some form or another, pretty much my whole life. I used to write stories and poems, even as a small child, but I hadn’t really considered the idea of being a writer, until a few years ago. From the time I was very young, I thought I wanted to be an actor (I still think it would be a lot of fun), because I thought it would be such a great experience to bring stories and characters to life. I had this need for an escape from boring, ordinary life, so I would invent characters for myself. I would create backstories for them, and think up whole scenes for them to play out in my head. At some point, it suddenly struck me that this was not acting, it was writing. I felt kind of stupid when I realized that. I thought, “I could have been doing this all along.”
3- What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m working on editing the third book in my Black Magick Series, which I am hoping to release in the fall of 2021. I’m also attempting to record an audio version of the second book, Myths & Music. I’m still not sure how it’s going to turn out, since I’ve never done anything like it before, but hopefully I’ll get something useable.
4- How long have you been vegan? And what inspired you to become vegan?
I’ve been vegan for nearly sixteen years now. I’ve always felt a deep connection to non-human animals and, even as a child, I knew that killing them for food was inherently wrong.
My mother told me that once, when I was around three years old, she was cooking a turkey and, thinking that it would be educational, began pointing out the different parts of the animal to me. She didn’t know that, at that time, I hadn’t understood that turkey, the food, and turkey, the bird, were actually the same. I started crying, when she pointed out the different parts of the body, and I finally made the connection that this thing we were about to eat had been a living being.
Sadly, it still took me until I was thirteen years old to finally stop eating meat. Over the years, I learned more about the dairy and egg industries, and went fully vegan when I was eighteen. It was the best decision I ever made, and I regret the fact that I didn’t do it sooner. Bonus fact, my whole family eventually gave up meat as well, though I haven’t quite convinced them to give up dairy and eggs . . . yet.
I do. I try to be sort of subtle about it, to not let it overshadow the story. I think there are a lot of people out there who would never intentionally read a book with a strong animal rights message, but those same people might be more open to it, if it were presented in a more discreet way. In my first book, I really only mentioned animal rights and veganism. Carrie, one of my main characters, is vegan and is involved in animal rights activism. In the second book, I was a bit more obvious about it. I added some new characters, who are animal activists, and went into more detail about Carrie’s involvement in the movement. I also try to draw correlations between spiritual themes and veganism; the idea that we are all connected, humans and non-humans alike.
6- Do you believe that fictional stories can have a positive impact on the world? If so, in what way?
I believe that stories are incredibly powerful, and that oftentimes fictional ones can be even more so than true ones. Fiction gives a writer the ability to truly get inside the mind of a character, in a way that is seldom possible with a real person. This deep understanding of the characters can make them seem more real, to the reader, than any living person ever could. In addition, fiction affords the writer the opportunity to explore a limitless well of ideas. It allows us to imagine all that could be possible, instead of just looking at what already exists. I believe that, to a large degree, fiction is what moves us forward, it’s what helps us evolve.
7- What would you do if you became a best-selling author? What in your life would you change? And what would stay the same?
My first step would definitely be to pay off all of my debts, and my family’s debts. I think the feeling of not owing anyone anything alone would be enough to change my whole outlook on life.
I’ve never been satisfied with my living situation, but I’ve also never really been certain what I do want, in that respect. So, I think I would buy myself a camper, large enough to live in, but still able to be moved easily. That way, if I decided I wanted to go somewhere else, I could just pick up and leave. There are a lot of places I would like to see, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to travel much.
I’m a fairly simple person, and I don’t think having money would change that. I don’t want to be weighed down by a bunch of stuff, and I certainly don’t care about having “nice” things. Once I had enough to get by, and to make sure that my family did as well, I would probably give most of my extra money to worthy causes, or invest it in responsible, cruelty-free companies.
Also, I would get SO many tattoos!
8- What is a fact about you that people might find surprising?
A few years ago, I won my weight class in the West Virginia Tough Woman contest.
9- What character, or characters, have you written that you felt an especially deep connection with? Please explain.
My Black Magick Series focuses mostly on two characters, Ben and Carrie. I feel like they sort of represent the two sides of my personality. Carrie is more like the person I want to be. Her beliefs and ideas are the same as mine, but she’s more confident and extroverted. Ben is more like the person I would be, if I didn’t force myself out of my comfort zone a little, and if I hadn’t embraced the idea of ignoring expectations. He also shares a lot of my anxieties and neuroses. I guess maybe that’s what prompted me to create them, as a couple; they kind of symbolize the concept of bringing these two halves of myself together, to create a balanced whole.
10- Is there anything you have learned in the course of your career that you wish you had known when you started out? If so, what?
This one is kind of hard for me, because there are a lot of things I didn’t know, when I started writing. But, if I had known them, I might have been too daunted to ever start writing in the first place. So, perhaps it’s better that I didn’t know.
The only thing that I think would have been really helpful to understand, ahead of time, is promotion. I didn’t realize how much effort goes into just getting your work out there, and getting people to notice it. If I had been aware of this, I might have taken a marketing class or something.