Our interview with author Lucya Starza:
What authors/ books influenced you in your early days of being a Pagan/following your spiritual path?
I loved tales from mythology when I was at junior school. I remember first reading the Greek myths from a children’s version in the school library and followed that by reading the tales of Cuchulain – a children’s version of the Ulster Cycle I think. I can’t remember the exact title, it was a long time ago. When I was in my 20s I followed a Celtic spiritual path along with my boyfriend at the time – history books and books of mythology were still our inspiration.
I should probably also add the Illuminatus! trilogy of fantasy novels as inspiration, for introducing me to the Goddess Eris when I was in my teens.
However, the first book I read on how to do modern pagan witchcraft was Circlework by Shan of House of the Goddess. I went on to train with Shan before joining a Wiccan training coven.
What drew you to your path?
Again I am going to have to say a love of mythology was probably the main thing. I was in a Greek play called The Bacchae when I was at secondary school. I was struck by how Dionysus seemed far more appealing to me as a deity than Christ.
Where do you find inspiration for your book?
Well, I have found that Eris, the Greek trickster goddess, has a great way of turning up and offering inspiration for all sorts of things – some more sensible than others. I wrote about her in Naming the Goddess.
Pagan Portals - Candle Magic came about because I love using candles for spells and rituals - as well as making my own candles. The best advice for writing a book is to write about what you know.
How did you become an author? Was it something you intended to do or was it by accident?
I always intended to be a writer. I wrote quite a bit for the role-playing game industry when I was younger, particularly for the Call of Cthulhu RPG published by Chaosium. I also worked as a feature writer on magazines and local newspapers for much of my working life, then moved on to doing freelance editorial work for a living. I still love writing though, especially about subjects that interest me, and I blog at www.badwitch.co.uk every day.
What do you feel makes a book worth reading?
It has to be engagingly written and well researched.
Are you working on a new book right now and if so what is it?
I’m putting together a proposal for a new book, but I’m not ready to say publically what the title will be yet.
Do you write part or full time?
I do editorial work, including writing, full time.
What's the hardest thing about writing?
Writing books is much harder than writing magazine articles or blog posts simply because you have to do so much more research and include so much more detail.
How can other readers discover more about you (website/facebook links etc)?
The best way is by reading A Bad Witch’s Blog at www.badwitch.co.uk
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just make a habit of writing something every day – even if it is just a paragraph or two. It doesn’t matter if it seems like rubbish at first, you will get better at it.
There are tons of pagan books on the market, what do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?
It is a bit embarrassing to praise one’s own work, but I do think my book on candle magic is one of the better ones. Although it is intended as a beginners’ book, it goes into more depth than most of the other introductory titles on the same subject.
Which one of your books are you most proud of?
I am very proud of Pagan Portals – Candle Magic. My earlier books were not about pagan topics, so aren’t the same kind of thing at all.