Q: You write contemporary fantasy, magical realism, and spiritually or metaphysically oriented speculative fiction, which is a bit of a mouthful. What does that mean? Who will enjoy your stories?
A: I write stories about people finding doors to heaven in their closets, or rose gardens spitting up bones. I’m a bit like Madeleine L’Engle or Tim Powers in the way I explore physics and metaphysics with my work, but my stories are really all about people finding connection through engaging with the world. Style-wise I write a bit like Ray Bradbury or Ursula LeGuin, but always with a spiritual or psychological edge. The “correct” answer is that my stories are visionary fantasy–exploring the physical, metaphysical, psychological and spiritual connections between different dimensions of the world through mythology and indigenous and ancient wisdom traditions, shamanic storytelling, mystical strains of religious traditions, and dreams, and their parallels in theoretical physics, psychology and cosmology. But all that is just the scaffolding behind my stories. What I do is create sacred space for people to come and experience connection with the Divine, nature, other people, and the world around them, in magical ways. My books are about how everywhere you look, the world is gorgeous, strange, and full of love, compelling us to come one step closer. The people who will love my stories are dreamers and spiritual seekers, people looking for answers for their lives that need to be more than information. Answers that need to be experienced. People who need to feel a connection to something more.
Q: You explore a lot of speculative intellectual ideas in your books, and you seem to hold some very strong opinions about the supernatural and spirituality. Are your books a way to bring others to your way of thinking?
A: My aim is always to invite people to engage with their own experience of life, to consider things in a light they may never have before. I have my own vision of the world, but I’ve been through enough to have discovered that I don’t know much compared to how much there is to know. I trust my readers and respect them enough to find their own way from where I take them to wherever they’re going. I’m also known for intensely emotional plots, lyrical prose and an evocative sense of place, so many people enjoy my books just for the depth of heart, the landscapes and imagery and the language.
“Unfold Your Own Myth” by Rumi
… But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you have grown,
Q: Some of your work has religious content, but other works are pure fantasy and dreamscapes. Does your work aim to be spiritual?
A: It’s not purposeful. That’s just the angle from which I come at life and always have, because a dangerous childhood opened my intuition to experiencing other dimensions of reality, so that I could find my own answers and keep myself safe. Some of my work explores speculative ideas about how the universe is knit together, and those books tend to lean in the spiritual direction because of my own life experiences. But other stories are cross-genre fantasy parties that just celebrate life in all of its complexity and joy and beauty. The common threads in my work are the healing power of love, a mystical worldview, and a fascination with the supernatural and with dreams, which I think are essential in helping one fully understand a person or reality.
You can read more about my life story here.
My rule is this: no boring stories. And I believe life is magical enough to keep me busy for a very long time. I hope you love to read my stories as much as I love to write them!