There are many influences at play in my works, both fiction and non. First, long time readers probably already know about my background in clinical psychology. I’ve worked in the fields of mental health and educational psychology for over 16 years now. My interest in old-world, earth-based spirituality, shamanism, and the processes of spiritual development began in my early childhood, but really blossomed when I was 18. I was most inspired by the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, activist and spiritual leader Starhawk, and the works concerning transpersonal development brought forward originally by psychologist Carl Jung and many others thereafter.
Of course, hands on practices have informed my spiritual writing as well. Practices that have taken center stage in my life have included those of British traditional Wicca, global shamanic practices (such as those taught by Michael Harner), studies in Ceremonial Magic, and practices from the east, such as Zen and Taoism. My approach to what I write and my own spiritual practice is based in the desire to develop a sustainable, sensible, and livable practice that blends together the most effective, powerful, healing and evocative work from each path of my training. I believe that a spiritual practice must be vital and alive. It should inform the life we’re living right now, rather than standing as a quaint or quirky homage to the past. Spirituality is not an exercise of the mind. In order for a spiritual path to be useful, it should involve and inform every aspect of life. I consider readers first when developing a spirituality title, but the practices I write about are hard-won and are very personal to me.
Fiction writing is new for readers of my other works, though the Briar Blackwood series has been in development for eight years now. I have had a long time interest in fairytales and folklore (as do many of us). And here’s a little secret that only some of my closest friends know: long before I was published, I was a performing arts major in college. I enjoyed performing, but always had my hand in the writing process. I had several plays produced here in my home town, Los Angeles (when I was in my 20s, which was in the 1980s), including a critically acclaimed musical spoof of the fairytale genre. After completing five non-fiction spirituality works, I wanted to head back to my roots and reunite with my old familiar friends from the fairytale world. For more about the Briar Blackwood series, click here.
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