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Deborah Blake is the award-winning author of Circle, Coven and Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice (Llewellyn 2007), Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft (Llewellyn 2008), The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch (Llewellyn2009), Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (July 2010) and Witchcraft on a Shoestring (September 2010). Her new book, Everyday Witch Book of Rituals will be released in October 2012. She has published numerous articles in Llewellyn annuals, as well as other Pagan publications, and her ongoing column, “Magick on a Shoestring” is featured in Witches & Pagans Magazine.
1. What made you want to become an author?
I have always written, from the time I was a kid. For years I didn’t pursue it actively, until I got the idea for my first Llewellyn nonfiction book, which simply INSISTED on being written. After I’d sold that book, I could no longer use the “I’ve never finished anything” excuse, and went on to write novels as well.
2. How do you come up with the characters in your books?
Mostly they come to me. I have very little to do with it—lol.
3. Are your books based on real life experiences?
My nonfiction books on Witchcraft certainly are. As for the rest, my first novel had a lot of “me” in it, and there are always miscellaneous bits and pieces of things that have happened to me in real life, but since they tend to be urban fantasy and paranormal romance, most of the events of the books are too “way out” to have happened. (Or at least one hopes that’s true!)
4. Which of your books did you enjoy writing the most?
That’s a tough question, since they are all different and all enjoyable in their own way. But I’d have to say, probably KING ME, which was my second (and still unpublished) book. It was a funny paranormal romance, and I like writing humor.
5. You are also a jewelry maker. What is your favorite gem to use?
Stop making me pick favorites! I really like carnelian, but also labradorite, and black onyx. It really depends on my mood at the time.
6. Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you’ve made?
Years ago, I designed a black onyx and amber necklace for the members of my coven, Blue Moon Circle. I really like that one.
7. You are also a Wiccan high priestess. How long have you followed the Wiccan religion?
About fifteen years.
8. While following the Wiccan religion did you ever expect to be a Wiccan high priestess?
Nope. But apparently the gods had other plans for me… They’re tricky that way.
9. You hold workshops for others. Was this your idea or did someone else help bring it to light?
I’ve been giving online writing classes for years on other people’s sites (usually writers loops run by various RWA chapters) and in-person Witchcraft workshops when I attended Pagan festivals or conventions. But recently, so many people asked me to start giving Witchcraft classes online, I began to seriously consider it. When an author & Pagan friend, Heather Long, offered to help set up and run a workshop loop for me, I finally said yes. I couldn’t do it without her.
10. Which of your workshops do you suggest for upcoming witchcraft authors?
That depends—do you mean fiction authors who use witches as characters? Is so, I am giving a great class on the Savvy Authors loop in April, called “Beyond Fangs: Creating New & Interesting Paranormal Characters.” Any of the classes I give on my own loop are good sources of information, too.
11. What is your favorite holiday to celebrate?
Again with the favorites! I like a number of different ones for different reasons, but if I have to pick just one, I’d say Samhain (what most folks know as Halloween). It is very “witchy” and celebrates both the light and the dark aspects of life.
12. Where do you go when you need to relax?
I love the beach, but sadly, I don’t live anywhere near one. If the weather is nice, I often go out to my garden and dig around in the dirt. Otherwise, I head to the couch with a good book!
13. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’m not much of a traveler, but I’d love to see Greece some day. And maybe Ireland. Also Venice… And I hear Provence is nice!
14. If you could spend the day with someone who would it be? (Dead or alive.)
My critique partner, Lisa DiDio. She’s a blast, and we love being together, but she lives on the other side of the country from me, so we rarely get to be together.
15. What advice would you give to others that are interested in being authors in the witchcraft and paranormal genre?
Research, research, research. I read a lot of books in this genre, and it makes me cranky when I come across a place where someone clearly didn’t bother to find out how things really work. Also, read as many books as you can in the genre—both to find out what has already been done, so you don’t end up repeating a storyline that has been done to death, and so that you can see how the best writers are doing it.