I’ve “known” Darragha online for a spell (hah! I’m so clever!) and I’d known for most of that time that she wrote, and wrote pagan fiction. In fact, she’s one of the people I had in mind when I started this series — because her writing is damned good. It’s a bit embarrassing that I have, at this point, only read her With Intent release. So many stories to read, so many stories to write, still haven’t figured out how to re-arrange time to my liking!
Please enjoy this next installment of our Celebrating Pagan Fiction series, and thanks again, Darragha, for taking the time to answer these questions.
What is your pagan tradition/path?
I was Northern Trad before I even knew it had a name. At age 10 my walls plastered with posters and art of the Norse gods. I devoured everything I could find on the subject. I took two years of private lessons in Icelandic during high school and made my first (solo) trek to Iceland in 1979. There, my life changed forever when Odin rolled up at the national museum (see FATE Magazine, January 2001) 🙂 The basis for my first published novel, “Love’s Second Sight,” occurred shortly after my Odinic blessing when I was pulled into an astral adventure after falling asleep on a church lawn beneath a statue of Leif Eiriksson. Twenty-plus years of research and a return trip to Iceland solidified my path as an Aesir-loving author. That said, I have been a practicing Buddhist for 30 years with the SGI-USA.
How does your particular paganism or spiritual path influence your writing?
Loki made an appearance as my muse in 2003. I wrote that rather epic mall encounter/adventure into a fictional account in “Devil King of the Sixth Heaven” in the anthology “Teaching Old Gods New Tricks.” Knowing I had a muse, and knowing his name and his penchant for spicy fiction propelled me. I find allowing my muse to *inspire* me at his leisure makes for darn good stories. (I believe a Hail Loki would be appropriate here).
Was it a conscious decision on your part to write about pagan topics or was it a natural outgrowth of ‘writing what you know’?
I hadn’t really considered my writings pagan until it was pointed out to me. I write what I know, what I love and from my heart. I honor the gods with every click of the keyboard even if I’m writing about shapeshifting whale gods or demon cowboys.
Do you view your fiction as religious fiction, in that it has either a didactic or an inspirational purpose?
I hope my writings inspire others in some way, but my intent has never been so. I once had a reader email me and say, regarding “Love’s Second Sight,” that upon reading it aloud to each other, that it was the best foreplay they’d ever had. Nice! So, if that couple had a religious experience while reading one of my books, praise the gods.
There is an abundance of pagan-friendly stories on the market these days, especially with the gaining popularity and ease of independent publishing. Do you find there is a difference between material written by pagans about pagan or pagan-friendly stories and material written by non-pagans about pagans or pagan-friendly stories?
Nah, it’s all good. Like Loki has said (UPG alert), “The Marvel universe is totally off, but at least it keeps my name on people’s lips.”
Where do you hope to see the future of pagan fiction go?
I think pagan fiction is holding its own in a fickle industry. I’d like to see it marketed in broader categories so that more readers will pick it up and enjoy it.
Lastly, tell us where we can find more about your and your available work?
I write as Darragha Foster, Elspeth MacLean and El Mac.
I’m on Amazon.com under all three pen names and all over the place online as Darragha Foster and Elspeth MacLean. El Mac is my “man/man romance shorties” and they’re only on Amazon.com
Getting this up a bit late in the day — sorry about that! I’m still distracted by the snowstorm that’s got me housebound with mere inches on the ground.