When did you realize you were Pagan?
When I was a young child I was most often in nature. I found connection and communion there. At twelve I told my mother that I was not being confirmed in the Christian Church where I had just finished confirmation classes because it was not what I believed. It would be many years before I could articulate my beliefs. I met and worked with Native Americans during my thirties and discovered that their concepts struck a chord within me. Yes, to me all of life held a spirit, even stones. I also began researching different Goddesses around that time. Then I met and joined a circle that lifted these concepts, practices, and beliefs in a similar yet different way.
When and why did you beginning writing?
I began writing when my adult daughter challenged me to write for NaNoWriMo's November challenge. I wrote a book of fiction and feel head over heels in love with writing.
What life experiences led to this book?
My background has been in crisis intervention where much of what I did in my work was to challenge the limits that patriarchy places upon women and to work to have accountability for toxic masculinity. This book came about when I was at a women's conference with a friend. She wanted to practice flirting in a way that felt safe and fun for her. She asked me to help her because I am a master flirt. During the weekend she and other women commented on men's responses to me and said that I ought to give classes on flirting. All of those women were single and did not want to be, however they were missing the cues sent to them by men or other women. In many ways they were shut down to the present moment, and awareness of themselves and others. I came home and started writing the book. It reframes flirting as play, deconstructs the bullshit limits placed on women by the patriarchy about flirting and empowers them to claim the gifts of play.
Tell us a bit about your book.
Finding Your Flirt is a book designed to give women some information and exercises to help them let go of the limits around flirting that patriarchy places on them and to reclaim play in their lives. It shows women that they determine when, how and for what purpose they engage in flirting. I use examples from my own life and my relationship of thirty-five plus years and examples of other women's real-life journeys in the book.
Are you a fast or slow writer?
I have been both a fast writer during NaNoWriMo's November challenge and a slow writer. I put down Finding Your Flirt for three years before I finished it. Life took different turns that kept me busy in other areas. The thing I have learned is that everything has its time and that includes my book.
Is this your first published piece or have you been published before?
This is my first published self-help book. I have self-published a short story book titled, Lessons of the Sea Witch.
What is your experience with publishing vs. self publishing?
I am both published by a small press and self-published. It is easier to have your book published by a publisher because they know things that you may not when self-publishing. Self-publishing is tedious and time consuming for me. It does get your book out there but there are things that you may not know to include.
The community I am building through my social media and my blog is one of women who have found freedom to be and behave as they choose with joy, delight, fun and play.
Who encourages and inspires you?
I am encouraged and inspired by everyday people who are both true to themselves and who find a way to keep moving forward after life knocks them down.
Where do you go when you need to recharge?
I go to nature when I need to recharge. Walking out on the land, wading in a stream, or soaking up the sunshine at the beach always restores me. I often journey to nature to receive guidance, signs, and inspiration.
If you could go anywhere in the world for a writing retreat, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere in the world, I would like to go to Ireland for a writing retreat. That land has been calling to me for some time now. I'd like to answer that call.
What are your future plans for writing?
My future plans for writing are to write what calls me and pushes on me. In fiction I found that the characters prod me to keep giving them voice and life and that makes me want to write more.