BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature

A lively discussion of ancient and modern Pagan literature -- including children's books, graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries -- along with interviews, author highlights, and profiles of Pagan publishers.

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Author Interview: N.K. Vir




[Here, we sit down for a quick interview with N.K. Vir. The author of three Celtic-based fantasy novels, Vir discusses her work, her writing process, and her upcoming projects.]


BookMusings: How would you describe your personal spiritual path? Are you eclectic or part of a tradition?


N.K. Vir:  I am an eclectic green witch, that’s the simple answer. I deal with nature and the spirit of nature and work with herbs and crystals. I consider the Morrighan my patron goddess and follow a Celtic-driven path.


Of course, had you asked me these questions years ago I would have had a much longer (and a very unsure) answer. Finding the path, for me, was easy, but coming to the point where I understood who and what I was took some time. I’ve had some Cabot training, but do not consider myself a Cabot witch. I love Cunningham and his teachings and use his books on herbs and crystals regularly. I’ve been blessed to have first-hand teachings by many well-known witches after living and working in the witch community in Salem.


BookMusings: You recently released The Sinclair Witch. Congratulations! First, the book is only available in digital format. Why did you opt for only a digital edition, and would you recommend that approach to other authors?


NKV:  I am working on formatting The Sinclair Witch, and the others, into a print format. Currently  it is only available in digital stores. With so many of us carrying a library in our pockets it seemed the best, as well as the most economically sound, way to publish.


However, in today’s market you have many people firmly in one corner (digital) or the other (print); as such I do think it is important to have both options available to your readers. Digital is very seductive, though, it’s very easy to track your sales, manage new and updated versions of your novel, as well as control which platforms to publish on and which ones are not worth your time.  I do not necessarily recommend one version or the other. It all comes down to what the future author feels will give him/her the best exposure, as well as how much time and money they are willing to invest.


BookMusings: The Sinclair Witch centers around Kieran Sinclair and Rosemary Willows. How do they meet, and why are they so important to the balance of the Trinity of Others?


NKV:  Kieran and Rosemary grew up together and have almost always lived within shouting distance of one another. However, that doesn’t mean they know all of the secrets the other holds. They are best friends and, perhaps, more to each other. The Trinity of Others is old, immortal, and untouchable. Kieran and Rosemary are the check and balance in the magickal world for such raw power; for there must always be balance in magick. That doesn’t mean that balance is easy; it’s a struggle for each of us every day just as it is for Rosemary and Kieran.


BookMusings: You have also published The Silent Goddess and The Screaming Stone, which draw upon Celtic faerie lore. What sort of research went into the series? What does your personal library look like?


NKV: As I noted earlier, I was fortunate to be living in Salem, Massachusetts when I began writing The Silent Goddess and had at my disposal a plethora of advisors. I was good friends with a few local historians who helped me with the local myth and legend of Salem, but one of my most memorable sources was Laurie Cabot. I was lucky enough to be able to attend her class on contacting and working with the Fae and gained insight and information not readily available from other sources. After her class I collected as many physical and ebooks on the Fae that I could afford. A small, but not exclusive, example include: A Witch’s Guide to Faeire Folk by Edain McCoy; Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by W.B. Yeats, and Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race by T.W. Rolleston.


Of course, the internet also came in handy. I have pages of handwritten notes and ideas that haven’t made it into The Otherworld Series yet. To this day I have a hard time passing up anything related to Irish myth and folklore.


BookMusings: Which books would you recommend to those who are interested in faerie lore? What about other Pagan (or Pagan-friendly) authors?


NKV: I always recommend Lady Gregory (and she’s free on kindle). She was the first I read and in a way it is similar in style and set up to the Bulfinch's Mythology we all had to read in high school. I believe you must at least attempt to understand the lore before delving into the magick and Lady Gregory is a great jumping-on point. A Witch’s Guide to Faerie Folk by Edain McCoy is another of my favorites as it not only explains rites, rituals, and spells, but also gives a very comprehensive glossary of the fair folk. The Dark Goddess by Stephanie Woodfield is one of my favorites and has many sticky notes protruding out of it. 


BookMusings: Every author has a slightly different writing process. What is yours? Do you go for long walks? Scribble in a journal? Sit at a desk with a computer?


NKV:  I start each writing session by smudging and clearing my writing space (the location of which changes depending on my mood). When the weather permits I write outside, on my porch, watching the world pass by with a cup of tea next to my elbow. I am also a pen and paper gal. I have oodles of folders and notebooks stuffed with notes and research. Most of my writing takes place in the evening and almost always involves headphones and an eclectic mix of music. In fact, I wrote most of The Otherworld Series while listening to groups like Dragonforce, Kamelot, and Apocalyptica. Music inspires, and at times, drives some of my stories.


BookMusings: What other projects are you working on?


NKV:  I am finalizing The Otherworld Series with the release of the third book, The Lost King.  After the sudden, and unexpected, ending in The Screaming Stone I’ve had a few inquiries into whether or not I intend to continue the series. I always had every intention of completing The Otherworld Series, but other projects and ideas got in the way. The Lost King will pick up exactly were The Screaming Stone ended and push a little further into Celtic Lore. I’m hoping to have the book completed by early December.


I’m also kicking around the idea of publishing a sequel to The Sinclair Witch; and there are two semi-finished manuscripts sitting in my computer collecting cyber dust that just might see the light of day.


BookMusings: Which book fairs, conventions, or other events will you be attending in the foreseeable future?


NKV: Unfortunately my calendar is blank; at least in the physical sense. I’m in the beginning stages of setting up a few book tours in the digital world and the latest book in The Otherworld Series is due out in early winter.

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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.


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