Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Interview with Author Alex Bledsoe

I was lucky enough to be able to interview my fellow-author, Alex Bledsoe, who also has a story in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it. An interview with C. S. MacCath will follow next week!

DB: How long have you been writing short stories and is this your first pagan story?
AB: I've been seriously writing since 1996; and my first published story, "The Chill in the Air Wakes the Ghosts Off the Ground," was actually a pagan-themed story, although that wasn't a primary consideration at the time. In the nineties I had several pagan stories published in PanGaia magazine, and have also been published in The Wheel, Five Feathers (South Africa) and Dragonswood (UK).

DB: What draws you to write about pagans and how did you get the idea for the story in the anthology?
AB: I found the pagan view of the world to be amenable to my own, and it allowed me to deal with issues and topics that fascinate me in a way that might surprise the reader. Respect for nature, balance between men and women, and a direct relationship with a higher power free of institutionalized dogma are all things I believed in *before* I knew about paganism, and within these ideas are plenty of places for conflict with traditional society's values. That's usually where my stories come from.
When I heard about the anthology I knew I wanted to submit something, and I asked myself, "What's the *least* likely genre to have a pagan-themed story?" I decided the answer was a Western, so I challenged myself to write one that was both a traditional "oater" with a sheriff, a gunslinger and a showdown on main street, and that also brought in pagan ideas to generate the conflict.

DB: Your story takes place in the Old West, but in a very nontraditional way. You tend to write work that combines genres in an unconventional way, like your novel The Sword-Edged Blonde, which mixes sword and sorcery fantasy with the noir detective novel (quite successfully, I might add). How do you pull off such unusual pairings and what draws you to this approach?
AB: Usually it's a variant of the question I mentioned above: What's the least likely way to tell a particular story? The Sword-Edged Blonde started out as a straight epic fantasy, but it was too traditional, too average if you will, to come alive that way. So I thought, what's the most unusual way to tell this story, and decided to write it as a forties pulp detective novel, keeping the high fantasy setting. (The sequel, Burn Me Deadly, continues that approach). When I wrote my vampire novel Blood Groove, I had a story that technically could've worked in a contemporary setting, but had no real spark to it. So I backed it up to 1975, which put it before Anne Rice revolutionized the public idea of the vampire and allowed me to work with the vampire archetypes that spoke to me (Stoker, Hammer, etc.) free of any post-Rice irony.

DB: What can people expect from you next?
AB: Blood Groove will be released by Tor in the spring of 2009. The following fall, Burn Me Deadly (also from Tor) hits shelves. And a couple of other projects are making the rounds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New books are out!

Hi all,
This is a big month for me. I have TWO books out. Well, one and part of one, really.
My second book from Llewellyn is out and looking great! I hope you'll all check it out. It's called Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusting, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft.
And my short story, "Dead and (Mostly) Gone" is included in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales, also out from Llewellyn this month. (My story is the first one in the book, BTW, and won 3rd prize in the contest that started it all.)
All in all, a pretty exciting month as an author.
I hope you all have a wonderful Mabon (Autumn Equinox, for all you non-pagans).
Blessings, Deborah

Friday, September 5, 2008

News and updates

Here’s the current news, good and bad.
Good news:
The new book is out! Yahoo! I got the advance copies for Everyday Witch A to Z and they look great! They should be available to all within a week or two. If you want a signed copy, you can go to my website and order one there, or contact me and let me know. Also out, The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales, containing my short story, “Dead and (Mostly) Gone.”
Blue Moon Circle is heading to Canandaigua NY this afternoon for tomorrow’s Fingerlakes Pagan Pride Day event. We went last year and had a great time. I hope that anyone in the area will come and say hi! I will be selling my jewelry and my first book there, and anyone who shows up can get 10% off the new book if it is ordered from my website. I love taking trips with the Blue Moon Circle gang, and I’m so glad that Shannon, Chris and Jenn are going with me. Blue Moon Circle rocks! We’ll miss Robin, who had planned to go bad had a sick toddler insteadL
Bad News:
My beloved cat Samhain (the kitty with me in my photo) has been diagnosed with kidney failure. Hopefully we caught it soon enough to be able to treat her and buy us a few more years, and at the moment she is doing pretty well. (I, on the other hand, am a wreck.) For now I have changed her to a special food and am giving her subcutaneous fluids every day (no fun for anyone, I assure you). Thankfully, she is pretty cooperative. All prayers and positive thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Special thanks to author Yasmine Galenorn (if you haven’t checked out either her nonfiction books on Witchcraft or her wonderful paranormal romances, run don’t walk to do so!). She’s been though this herself, and has been very generous with advice and support.
I’ll give an update on the trip and the kitty when I get back from FPPD. I hope everyone has a magickal weekend!