"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
-- It's all in the SPELLing!
PNR Poll: We Want More...Witches!
Maggie's novels say "romance" on the spine, but this is misleading to those who haven't read them. Her vampire novels won such critical acclaim that readers have demanded the publisher re-issue the books twice since their original release. Her series about Witches began with Eternity, which is now in its 5th printing, and has won nearly every award given in the genre. Barnes and Noble named it one of the best reads of 1998 and Publisher's Weekly called it, "Rich, sensual and bewitching." The second book of the series, Infinity earned the praise of New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz, who called the book, "a dark, enthralling brew" with "sweeping intensity and bewitching passion." Book Three, Destiny is the jewel in the crown of this groundbreaking, authentic Witchcraft trilogy.
Maggie Shayne's novels have been published in over a dozen languages and more than twenty countries. She's won numerous awards, appeared on bestseller lists including USA Today, Ingram's A-List, Waldenbooks, B.Dalton, BN.com, Amazon.com, and more. One of her novels, Fairytale, has been optioned for film.
Maggie leads a quiet life on a farm in upstate NY. She is the mother of five daughters, has two grandchildren, and has been practicing positive, nature-based spirituality for nearly a decade. What this means in layman's terms, is that she tries to live her life in harmony with nature, for the good of all, and with harm to none. And it means, too, that she believes in magic!
PNR: Maggie, you are no stranger to paranormal romance writing. You've done vampires, witches, fairies, and time travel in addition to your contemporary traditional romances. What attracted you to the sub-genre.
I've been in love with the paranormal since I was a small child. I read
horror comics, and never missed the local TV station's Sunday afternoon
feature, "Monster Movie Matinee." I think the reason I enjoyed
these kinds of stories so much, was because there was no limit to the
possibilities. When the limitations of what we perceive as "reality"
are removed, anything is possible.
fell in with Bela Lagosi as Dracula, again as a small child, and never
could understand why he didn't get the girl. He was far sexier than
Jonathon Harker, no matter what version of the story you read or watch
on the silver screen. As an adult though, I wanted a way to portray
a truth that I have seen played out over and over again in our "civilized"
society. We often fear and loath that which we do not understand. When
in reality, the only real monsters live within ourselves and our capacity
for hatred, for bigotry, for narrow-mindedness.
was sick to death of reading about vampires who spent their entire
have no idea. I know I love them, but I think it's like any form of
art, in that it's subjective. The appeal is in the eyes of the reader,
and it's probably different for every one of them. Part of it, though,
may be the sheer exhilarating joy with which I write these books. Some
stories are work. These are pure love, just pumping from my heart through
my fingers onto the page. Maybe something of that comes through. I don't
and I am so incredibly excited about that. The vampire character
these books when they're popular, and I write them when they're dead
PNR: Okay lets talk about the witch series. The first two books, Eternity and Infinity received critical acclaim, appealing to a wider romance audience, beyond the loyal sub-genre fans. To what do you attribute their success? Are readers becoming more open to paranormal elements, do you find that romance fans appreciate good writing and follow their favorite authors wherever they might lead? Or is there something magickal <g> about these witches?
Maggie S: The Witch books are the other books of my heart. I think there is something magickal about them. These are not ordinary romances, these are deeply spiritual books that contain the essence of my own most cherished personal beliefs. I am Wiccan and have been for almost a decade. For most of that time I've had to keep my beliefs very much to myself. But I've grown older, and have less and less tolerance for intolerance. I have a deep respect for the other religions of the world. I don't see why I shouldn't expect those who follow them to return the sentiment.
the reason the Witch books are so popular is because of the authenticity
with which they are written. I also think the idea of women with power--women
finding and controling their own feminine power--is frightening to a
great many people. I think the idea of a female Deity, a Goddess, is
even more so. But it's also a damned exciting, empowering, liberating
notion to women themselves. And women are the majority of my readers.
Therefore, these books are fun to read, because they let women believe,
for just a little while, in their own power, which has been stolen from
them by a patriarchal society for the past 4000 years or so.
PNR: Though death had separated them, the heroines of the first two novels, Raven and Arianna are sisters. The heroine of the third novel, the much awaited and recently released Destiny was introduced in the second book Infinity. Nidaba had a mysterious relationship with that novella's hero, Nicodemus? She is an ancient?
really don't want to give too much of the plot away, but yes. Nidaba
was born sometime prior to 2500 BCE in Sumer. She was a High Priestess
of Inanna. Interestingly, the oldest bit of written poetry known to
exist was recently translated. It is a poem to Inanna written by a Sumerian
High Priestess named Enheduana. (En means High Priest or High Priestess
in Sumerian, so I'm assuming her name was actually Heduana.) I love
this period, because it is the exact time when the matriarchy began
to change into a patriarchy. It is the time when women lost their power.
it is good in romance if you can ensure your readers that the
first two books were not historical. They began in the past (one in
Europe and then Salem during the 1690s, the other in Scotland a few
for Destiny: Nidaba, High Priestess of Inanna, and Eannatum, the king
of Sumer, fell in love, but were cruelly separated by his jealous queen.
Each believed the other to be dead. Ages later, Eannatum, living now
as Nathan King in the present day, sees a photo of a catatonic woman
in the newspaper. Authorities are asking help identifying her. He can't
believe she could be his Nidaba, but he has to find out for sure. And
of course she is. She has long blamed him for unspeakable wrongs done
to her. He has to break her out of the mental hospital where she is
being held, and care for her on his own.
PNR: I understand Puabi will appear again in an anthology "Out of This World" to be released in August 2001. Tell us about your novella. How does it fit into the series timewise, before or after Destiny?
Maggie S: Making this dark villainess into a heroine was the biggest challenge of my career. But as I fought my way through figuring it out, it came to me. The novella is perhaps the most spiritual of story of the entire series as I came to understand what could make the Dark villains of the series as cruel as they are, and what could change it. I believe the story has some truths to reveal about our own human nature.
this story begins immediately after the end of Destiny, and goes
Spells are very much like prayers in other faiths. However, we see the Divine as immanent and well as emanant. Therefore, when we cast spells, it is more a matter of focused will, bringing about desired change. Rather than asking for it and hoping for the best, we cast a spell and see the matter as a done deal. So if you combine prayer, with positive creative visualization, you'd be close to understanding spellwork. Any spell that messes with the free will of another person is forbidden. (So love spells aimed a specific person would not be something your average Wiccan would attempt.)
In Wicca we see the Earth as sacred. We believe in reincarnation--we live and die on this planet, return to her soil in death, and are born upon her again. Earth is a part of us. She is our mother. And we must begin to treat her as such, or she will die, and us with her.
We believe that God is as much Female as Male, and we honor the Goddess as the source of all life, just as the ancients did. We pay close attention to the cycles of life, and we celebrate the major holidays of the year as they were celebrated in the distant past: the Solstices, the Equinoxes, and the points that fall halfway in between.
It's very difficult to summarize an entire religion in the space I have here. However, I highly recommend books by Scott Cunningham, Silver RavenWolf, and Starhawk as excellent places to get more information. There is more information and a host of links at my website, www.maggieshayne.com.
PNR: You have a book out by Spilled Candy Books, "Witch Moon Rising, Witch Moon Waning", tell us a bit about the book. It will be released in May 2001?
and I'm very excited about this as well. I wrote a novella about
turned out my dear friend and colleague, Lorna Tedder had a novella
of her own that was similar. We put the two together, and they will
be released in both print and electronic versions by Lorna's company,
Spilled Candy Books, this May. (More info at www.spilledcandy.com)
next for Maggie Shayne?
Featured in this Issue:
She is Nidoba - a immortal High Witch so ancient, so legendary, that for thousands of years she has been the ultimate prize, relentlessly pursued by Dark Witches, she has eluded all who woould kill her...until a mother's grief makes her reckless and she is captured by a madman. After endless physical and mental torment, she escapes, but her captivity has damaged her spirit as well as her body. And though the wounds to her body have healed, the scars on her mind and soul remain.
After more than four thousand years, her destiny has finally found her...
Nathan King now has the peace he craved in the life he created for himself - until the day he sees her again. Can it really be Nidabe - the love he thought lost to him so many centuries ago? But the woman he finds is n ot the fierce, proud girl of his cherished memories - now her eyes are haunted by a pain so deep, and a hatred so bitter it divides them still. but if he is to understnad the source of her anguish and reclaim the passion that was once theirs, he must face the truth that the evil that tore them apart once again stands between them and their chance at forever.
Love, Supernatural Style
Love is the universal language. And nowhere is this more apparent than in these extraordinary stories from four of todays hottest authors. From a futuristic cop caught in a crisis of the heart to a smoldering vision of an unusual love triangle, from the hunger for a human touch on an alien planet to a witchs desperate search for the love of one man, these tales of paranormal romance will transport you to a time and a place youve never been before .
It will be available in print from Spilled Candy Books, as well as Amazon, BN.com,Borders.com, and through major distributors including Ingrams and Baker & Taylor.It will also be available in an E-version.
In Witch Moon Rising, internationally bestselling author Maggie B. Shayne (aka Maggie Shayne) delves into the ethics of Wicca: does a Wiccan school teacher defy her administrators, neighbors, and a student's father to teach a lonely student the truth about the religion? Will the peace of mind she can give this student spell disaster for the teacher's career, friends, and even her life? Maggie weaves a wonderful tale of faith, love, and suspense.
In Witch Moon Waning, a young Wiccan falls in love with a college student, who neither understands nor accepts her religion. More than anything, Lydia wishes her lover could understand her faith, and eventually she performs a full moon ritual asking for his understanding. As they say, Be careful what you wish for.... (Witch Moon Waning is the prequel to Lorna Tedder's Access.)
"In spite of Maggie's skyrocketing success in commercial fiction, her short novel, Witch Moon Rising, was too different for major New York City publishers. She and past life sister, Lorna Tedder, joined forces to bring this story to print." -- from the website of Spilled Candy Books
WINGS IN THE NIGHT series: