Today we have for you Maggie Shayne! She is a New York Times Bestselling Author of more than 50 novels.
The Portal Series is her newest trilogy!
You can find my review for Legacy of the Witch HERE and my review of Mark of the Witch HERE.
Here we go with the interview.
You bring a new meaning to the term opposites attract. A middle eastern woman and an American solider then a priest and a witch. Did you decide up front to make them so different or did it just happen?
After 54 (or something like that) novels, one thing I've learned is that the stronger the conflict, the more powerful the story, and the more rewarding the resolution. If their love is easy, there's no story. It has to be all but impossible to make the reader keep turning those pages.
Will each of the couples carry over into the following book?
Yes, although Tomas and Indy (MARK OF THE WITCH) don't come into book 2, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER until near the end, in Book 3, BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS we'll see a lot more of all the sisters together, and there will be a reunion with Amarrah (from the FREE prequel, LEGACY OF THE WITCH) as well.
I enjoyed learning about the past alongside Indira and Ammarah. Will the other books follow the same path where these women don't know who they are until they start getting flashbacks?
Magdalena is a bit different in that she's been having visions of her past life in Babylon since she was a little girl. She (like me) has a collection of construction paper storybooks she wrote and illustrated herself with Crayola crayons. Most of my collection was stories I'd heard Captain Kangaroo read aloud on TV, which I then rewrote and "improved." (Usually by adding a ghost or monster.) Magdalena's stories are all about her past lifetime and her love affair with a prince.
Any minor spoilers you can give us about the series as a whole?
Not everyone is who they seem. Book 3 seems to delve into figuring out why we, as spirit, decide to spend time in the physical world as humans at all. And love is the most powerful force in the Universe.
I read on your website that you are a practicing witch. What can you tell us about your experience?
Since I was maybe 19, I've been on a spiritual quest. I studied many religions, and used to sit with several translations of the Bible around me, along with a concordance that gave the word for word literal translations from the original Greek and Hebrew. I was convinced there was one truth and I was determined to find it. That passionate quest never ended. But I no longer think there's one truth to be found. I think there is what's true for me and what's true for you and that both of those truths are equally valid, equally sacred, deserving of respect, and above all, absolutely true. Religion seems to evolve to best serve the people who use it to connect to God. I can trace the Sumerian Goddess Inanna's evolution into Ishtar of Babylon, into Isis of Egypt, into Venus of Rome, into Yemaja of Nigeria, into Mary of Bethlehem. Not to say each of these wasn't real and true, just to say that each took the message of the former and found her own way to BE that message. There was a flood story two thousand years before the Bible's flood story, etched into clay tablets, with Utanapishtim in the role of Noah. Same messages of hope and a past cataclysm, evolving and being retold over and over.
In my quest, I eventually started developing my own philosophy about things. My study of ancient Mesopotamia (which comes in handy in writing a book with an Ancient Babylonian backstory) revealed that in the earliest written language we know of in Ancient Sumer, the word for God was also the word for Sky. (An) The word for Goddess was also the word for Earth. (Ki) They had an entire pantheon, but each of the oldest deities was also a part of nature. And it occurred to me that nature was the basis. The holidays we celebrate were originally celebrations of the changing seasons, the solstices and the equinoxes. I figured that religion had spread out from there, taking on more and more complexity, making many paths seem to be different, but that they all came from the same natural roots. The sun, the moon, the stars, the seasons. And I thought too, that all our great prophets and saviors came to further amplify the same message. All to point us in the direction of a simple, basic, universal promise that life always triumphs over death, lightness over dark, love over everything else and that every pattern we see in nature is repeated over and over again, from the tiniest imaginable scale of the nucleus of an atom, to the biggest we can imagine, galaxies, universes. All just the same way. "As above, so below." I had a lot of other insights, too many to list here, but the gist of it was that I stumbled upon Wicca and found a lot of the conclusions I had reached on my own, were reflected in its teachings and practices, and I felt at home there. I especially loved that the Craft teaches us that every religion is valid and must be respected. I've studied the Craft for most of my adult life. But I believe that it too, is a religion made up by mankind to help us relate to the Divine. I don't believe it's any more valid than any other religion. It just happens to work for me.
Can you tell us a little about your upcoming non-fiction book The Magick of the Witches?
I'm changing the title, and right now we're teetering between WITCHCRAFT AND THE LAW OF ATTRACTION or MAGICK AND THE LAW OF ATTRACTION. It will release in ebook format by Halloween and I'm shooting for a little sooner. (watch the website, www.ThePortalBooks.com from 10/15-10/31.) It's going to give a primer on the practice of magick, what it is and how it's done, but more importantly, why and how it actually works. That explanation is found in The Law of Attraction, which is a very scientifically based fact, (like the law of gravity) not a rule, like the law of "thou shalt not kill."
This law explains how we create our experiences with every single thought we think, and how we can learn to use that simple fact to take control of our lives, and make them what we want them to be. (So there will probably be a subtitle.) The book will tell you how to change your life, and get what you want, and also, why this witch has given up spells to banish or get rid of anything. Ever. In fact, there's only one "spell" any witch or anyone else, ever needs, and I'll lay that out for you in the book. This is an approach I haven't seen anyone take before, not in all the books written about the Craft of the Wise and not in any of the countless volumes written about the Law of Attraction. And yet the more I've studied LOA, the more I've kept saying, "Well, we've been saying that in the Craft all along!" THE SECRET was never a secret to the Witches.
EXTRA: I've had lots of questions lately about erotica. What's the difference between a steamy romance and an erotica novel? What's the difference between erotica and porn?
Romance, as a genre, is not about sex. It's never been about sex, despite the confusion that seems to be happening in the marketplace right now. The 50 shades books are about sex. They are not romances. Romance is a story about two people, their emotions, and their love, where sex is sometimes a part of the bigger picture. Erotica is a book about sex and titillation, where romance is sometimes a part of the bigger picture.
Porn is just about the sex, and mostly aimed at men. Erotica is a little tamer, though not much, and mainly aimed at women.
I don't write erotica or porn. I write romance. The sex in my books is usually limited to one or two scenes, and the point of it is not to titillate, but to show a powerful moment between two people and their emotional responses to it. Just thought you should know that going in.
I hope you enjoy The Portal Series. It's the deepest, most spiritual trilogy I've ever put together, and is more than just a set of stories.
Thanks so much for having me!
On The Portal Series Website you can find out more about each book, check out Maggies online book of shadows, and even have her tell your fortune.
You can also find Maggie Shayne
Purchase The Portal Series
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Maggie is giving away one ecopy of Daughter of the Spellcaster to one lucky winner.
Please enter via the Rafflecopter below.