Best Known Works: The Secret People
Where can you find her? Website, Facebook
Top Writing Tip: Never, never lose the strength to dream … and never give up.
Hi Melusine, thank you for taking the time to talk to us!
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and even from school-days I wanted to be a writer. My first serious job on the Path was as an editorial assistant on a house-journal for an international cosmetics company but it wasn’t until 1987 I became a full-time, professional writer.
When did you realise that you were Pagan?
Since I was brought up within the Shinto belief, it’s safe to say there wasn’t a time when I wasn’t ‘pagan’. The basic belief that there is a universal life-force inherent in everything made it easy to step between Shinto and Old Craft
Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?
I am part of the traditional British Old Craft tradition and my books reflect that journey from novitiate to Initiate, and the various stages in between. Since there were few titles on the subject of genuine Old Craft I thought it would be my contribution to preserve Coven of the Scales teaching for posterity.
Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.
The Temple House archive series of novels is an esoteric amalgam of New Tricks, The Legacy and CSI. Drawing on a veritable mine of esoteric knowledge and experience of international intrigue, the Temple House was established to combat ‘evil forces’ of a human or supernatural agency, and those who would use occult power for destructive purposes. The current members of the Temple House, or ‘the Nine’ as they are referred to in memory of the original nine founder members of the Order, are all specialists and magical practitioners in the diverse fields of occultism and its relevant histories. I use a lot of genuine psychic stories in the text, so there’s a lot of ‘faction’ included as part of the adventures.
How did the topic of your books come to you?
Not a question I can readily answer but obviously from somewhere buried deep in my subconscious. I usually start getting the germ of an idea in the early hours of the morning and by the time I’m fully awake the whole idea for the content is mapped out in my mind. I’ve learned never to ignore this process!
How long does it take you to write a book, are you a fast or slow writer?
Generally I’m a very fast writer – it only took me five weeks to write Pan but at the other end of the scale, it took me ten years to write Starchild: a rediscovery of stellar wisdom – but they were completely different applications
Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?
The Secret People is my 25th magical title plus there are the two novels in the Temple House Archive series – House or Strange Gods and Realm of Shadow.
Are you published or self-published, and what has been your experience of this process?
I have books published by main-stream publishers and have self-published others. There are currently 16 titles with Moon Books and we’ve had an excellent relationship, not only with the publisher but also with the other Moon Books authors, since it’s more like a writing community than just a contract deal. Some of my old titles I’ve recently re-leased on Kindle, and all my novels have been self-published because that was I have total control over any subsidiary deals that might come my way. It depends on how you see your future as a writer as to which you choose – both play a valid part in modern publishing.
Who encourages/inspires you?
The landscape in which I’m living can either inspire me or completely stultify any creative urges. Fortunately, where I live now generates a constant flow of ideas for both fact and fiction.
Where do you go when you need to recharge?
I don’t need to go anywhere because I live in a beautiful Glen in the shadow of the mountains with my dogs. The Glen is a very magical place and its energies have some remarkable powers.
What, or who do you enjoy reading?
I read fiction for relaxation and my favorite author is the late Simon Raven with his Alms for Oblivion series. I also enjoy David Hewson’s Nic Costa series and Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you most like a writing retreat?
In dream-time I would like to go to a traditional Japanese inn with its own Zen garden and koi pool.
If you could pick one book you wish you’d written, what would it be?
Without hesitation it would be the original 1977 version of The Magus by John Fowles. This novel has a fine literary style combined with an ‘otherworld’ feel to the plot and ends indeterminately. Fowles received many letters from readers wanting to know which of the two apparently possible outcomes was correct but he refused to answer the question conclusively, sometimes changing his answer to suit the reader. Now that’s a literary legacy!
What are your future plans for writing?
I have two more books coming out in the next few months – ‘Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches’ and ‘By Wolfsbane and Mandrake Root: The Shadow World of Plants and Their Poisons’ – and then I shall be finishing off the third in the Temple House Archive series. There’s also a vampire novel in the planning stages.
Thank you again, Melusine for giving us a glimpse into your passion and process. We wish you all the best with your next projects!