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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
To submit articles of interest to our readers Email Barbara.

March 2001

Witches -- It's all in the SPELLing!

PNR Poll: We Want More...Witches!


Maggie Shayne

Author/Screenwriter
In her 9 year career, Maggie Shayne has published close to 30 novels and has sold several major storylines to CBS's Guiding Light. Late in 2000 she was offered the job of co-headwriter of that show, but after much soul-searching, she decided to turn the offer down. It would have left her away from her rural 200 acre farm and her family far too often for her peace of mind, and would have left her no free time to write the novels she loves. She realized that accepting the job would have made her as miserable as it would wealthy. And happiness in one's work is something Maggie deems priceless.

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!


An Interview with Maggie Shayne

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.

Maggie S: 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.

PNR:
Your Wings of the Night series, has been pivotal in making the transition of vampires from the stuff of nightmares, monsters, to dark and dangerous romantic heroes, and yep heroines. Why vampires?

Maggie S: I 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.

PNR:
You have managed to make them sympathetic, mortals who carry a rare genetic factor which sentences them to premature death. The reader wants them to live and find love. Clearly they are not "damned". It seems like it would be much harder to make a vampire sympathetic than a witch or a fairy. Can you tell us what your thought process was at the time you created them?

Maggie S: I was sick to death of reading about vampires who spent their entire
existence whining, "Oh, poor poor me! If only I could be mortal again! Look at me, forever young, forever strong, immortal! How can I bear it?!" Gimme a break, please. I also was sick of seeing vampires portrayed as monsters. In my own imagination I thought about what it might be like to live as they did, and realized being pure evil, killing, and whining, were not necessarily the only options. I also see the immortality of the vampires (and the Witches) as mirroring for us something we don't get to see as clearly--our own immortality.

PNR:
Silhouette discontinued the Shadows line of book due to marketing considerations, but the vampires lived on. Readers continue to demand them. To what do you attribute the success of the Wings series?

Maggie S: I 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 know.

PNR:
I understand there will be a new book released from Mira in March 2002, "Twilight Hunger"?

Maggie S: Yes, and I am so incredibly excited about that. The vampire character
is Dante, who readers sort of met in "Twilight Vows," one of the stories in the special two-in-one Intimate Moments titled BRIDES OF THE NIGHT (October
1998). I'm writing it as we speak, actually. I have to admit that at first, I almost couldn't dive into the story. I was so intimidated to be finally doing a Wings in the Night story for MIRA. I had wanted it for such a long time, and here it was, finally. Now I had to come through with a story good enough. This series is incredibly important to me, and I had to write a book that would top every vampire story I had done before. For the first few days of work, I had a serious case of performance anxiety. But finally I just dove in a started writing, and almost immediately fell into that sense of almost giddy joy in the work. I can't tell you how much fun it is to write a book you love this much. Or how painful it is. Because it's a mixture of both.


PNR:
Gothic novels are making a comeback, Dorchester has launched a new line (Candleglow) and Silhouette is re-releasing selected Shadows as Dreamscapes. Do you think gothic romance is back to stay? Do you think that demand for paranormal romance is on the rise?

Maggie S:
Everything goes in cycles. The sub-genres that are pronounced dead
don't get published, the readers who loved them get hungrier and hungrier for
them. A demand is created, a vacuum. Publishers sense it and voila! The subgenre makes a comeback. The next phase of the cycle is that eveyrone jumps on the bandwagon, writing them and publishing them, until there's a glut in the market, the sales slow down, and then we go back to square one.

I write these books when they're popular, and I write them when they're dead
in the water. I write them for the love of it. That's the only reason to write anything as far as I'm concerned. Trying to predict (much less follow) trends is useless.

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.

I think 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:
The series features witches of the hereditary and immortal variety, both light and dark. How does one come to be born an Immortal High Witch? It is a
incarnation, no? What is the distinction between the light and the dark? How are they recognized?


Maggie S:
These elements of the stories are completely fictional. I've created a world with rules, just as I did with the vampire series. It's important in fiction, especially paranormal, SF, or fantasy, to make rules, tell the reader what they are and then stick to them. I don't want to go into all the details here, as I believe they need to be read in context for them to make any sense at all. Here they would sound completely beyond reason. In the books, they make perfect sense <g>.

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?

Maggie S: I 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.

PNR:
As with the vampires, there is no discrimination between the sexes, the witches, both good and evil come in both genders. This is rather uncommon in
romances. Readers tend to prefer their vampires to be male, their witches female. Yet a happily ever after would seem to require that both partners be immortal, right?

Maggie S: Well, it is good in romance if you can ensure your readers that the
characters would be together forever. That's part of the appeal of the
subject of immoratlity in the books. But I enjoy writing powerful female
characters as well as powerful heroes. If my vampires were always male
and my Witches always female, I'd playing right into the stereotypes we all
wish would go away.


PNR:
The first two books are more historical in nature. The hero and heroine of Destiny are quite a bit more ancient, going back some 4500 years to Sumer. Yet
you've completely shifted gears and brought them forward to modern day NY/NJ. That had to be a lot of fun. I guess those two had a lot of catching up to do <g>. Outline the scenario for us and tell us a bitabout Nidoba's hero.

Maggie S: 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 centuries
earlier) and then came forward in time to the present day just as Destiny does. The difference is that in the first two books, part one was the part, part two the present, while in Destiny, I shift back and forth between the two realms. This was an experiment in technique for me, the shifting back and forth.

The premise 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:
The light can't exist without the dark, so I'm assuming there is a villain in this piece. Another of the Dark Immortal high witches, I presume?

Maggie S:
The villain of this piece is Queen Puabi, (an actual historical figure,
like Eannatum). She was married to the hero, but he never loved her. It was
a political alliance. And yes, she is very dark. The darkest villain I think I've ever written.

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.

Time-wise, this story begins immediately after the end of Destiny, and goes
forward in time in a straight linear fashion. No flashing back to any distant historical period. We deal with Puabi in the present.


PNR:
You've stated that your witches' spirituality is based on Wicca. Can you tell us a bit about their beliefs.

Maggie S:
I would love to. Thank you so much for asking. First, let me clear up one of the most common misconceptions directed at modern day Witches: that we worship the devil. This is absolutely untrue. There is no devil in the Craft. There was no devil in the Pagan religions that came before Christianity, and it is those, nature-based and Shamanic religions upon which Wiccans have attempted to base our own. Wiccans live by a very strict code of conduct, the admonition that we must do no harm. We believe that whatever energy we put out returns to us, multiplied. Therefore the more good we can do in this lifetime, the more good will come to us.

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?

Maggie S: Yes, and I'm very excited about this as well. I wrote a novella about
a modern day Wiccan and some of the problems she faces. Some of the
situations in the story are taken from actual headlines -- there was in fact a teacher brought up before the school board when it came out that she was Wiccan, and she wound up losing her job before all was said and done. It's far from an isolated incident. Even though the story was a love story, I knew it wasn't going to fly with my mainstream publishers. Too risky. A teacher who's a Witch, a student with questions, a town full of misconceptions and bigotry.

As things 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)

PNR:
Well we know that the vampire series will continue with the new Wings novel in 2002, will you continue to include witchcraft in future romances? Other types of paranormal romances?

Maggie S:
They say "write what you know." I know Witchcraft, and I know paranormal romance. I'll continue writing on both subjects forever, whether they sell or not. I will also continue stretching my creative wings with other types of writing, fiction, non-fiction, whatever genre strikes me at a given moment. I am pretty much a slave to the muse. I write a great deal of non-paranormal romance, and plan to continue to do so as those books have a loyal and hungry following.

PNR: What's next for Maggie Shayne?

Maggie S:
Next I'm trying my hand at single title romantic suspense. Not a paranormal element or a Witch in the whole book! THE GINGERBREAD MAN addresses a topic that is very important to me, that of child sexual abuse. The book will go on sale in October of this year from Berkley.

 

 

 

Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with:
Carol Lynn Stewart
Karen McCollough
Maggie Shayne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Maggie Shayne

Website

 Books


IMMORTAL WITCH series:


Buy it now!

Book #3
Jove

February 2001
336 pages
ISBN: 0515130133

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.

Jove Pubns.
August 2001
ISBN: 0515131091

Novella: "Immortality"
also includes
stories by JD Robb,
Laurel K. Hamilton,
and Susan Krinard.

Love, Supernatural Style

Love is the universal language. And nowhere is this more apparent than in these extraordinary stories from four of today’s 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 witch’s desperate search for the love of one man, these tales of paranormal romance will transport you to a time and a place you’ve never been before….



Buy it now!

Book #1
Jove

December 1998
352 pages
ISBN: 0515124079



Winner of
PEARL AWARD 1999

INFINITY
Honorable Mention
Best Fantasy/Magical


Buy it now!

Book #2
Jove

October 1999
352 pages
ISBN: 0515126101


COMING SOON!
Two Book Collection


Order it now!

Spilled Candy Books
May 2001

160 pages
ISBN: 1892718332

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:



BOOK ONE
Eric and Tamara

Silhouette Shadows #18
October 1993
ISBN: 0373270186


BOOK TWO
Roland and Rhiannon

Silhouette Shadows # 30
January 1994
ISBN: 0373270305


BOOK THREE
Damian and Shannon

Silhouette Shadows # 47
January 1995
ISBN: 0373027047X


BOOK FOUR
Beyond Twilight
Ramsey and Cuyler

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
Anthology
Silhouette,
October 1995
0-373-48312-0


BOOK FIVE
Jameson & Angelica

Silhouette Single Title
October 1995
ISBN: 0373483384

Read the Review!


BOOK SIX
"Twilight Vows" - Novella
Donovan & Rachel

BRIDES OF THE NIGHT
Two Story Collection

Silhouette IM #883
October 1998
ISBN: 0373078838

Look for:

WINGS IN THE NIGHT, the collection
TRADE EDITION
*reissue of the first three books in the series
October 1999, Silhouette
0-373-65208-9

WINGS IN THE NIGHT, the collection
MASS MARKET EDITION
October 2001

COMING March 2002!

TWILIGHT HUNGER

From Mira Books
BOOK SEVEN

This story picks up, right where BORN IN TWILIGHT leaves off. The hero, Dante, is introduced in TWILIGHT VOWS, (from the Silhouette Intimate Moments 2-in1, BRIDES OF THE NIGHT,)


PARANORMAL NOVELLAS:


Buy it now!
Novellas by:

Susan Krinard, Maggie Shayne,
Lisa Higdon, and Amy Elizabeth Saunders

Jove
Oct. 1997- Reissue Oct. 1999
352 pages
ISBN: 0515121576


Buy it now!
Novellas by:

Katherine Sutcliffe,
Maggie Shayne, Angie Ray,
and Lindsay Longford

Jove
Oct. 1998
336 pages
ISBN: 042516571X



Winner of
PEARL AWARD 1999

VEILS OF TIME
Honorable Mention
Best Anthology



Buy it now!
Novellas by:
Lynn Kurland, Maggie Shayne,
Angie Ray, and Ingrid Weaver

Berkley
July 1999
400 pages
ISBN: 0425169707

All book synopsises are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.


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