Bad Moon Rising Interview


Storm Wolf is infused with carefully researched authentic medieval and Renaissance magical practices and folklore, some taken from records of actual witchcraft and werewolf trials, as well as folk rituals.

What’s the first story you ever wrote?
I started telling stories when I was in grade school and began to write them down shortly thereafter. I wrote my first books – one was a story involving time travel using a “timeract,” similar to the tesseract from Wrinkle in Time (by Madeline L’Engle) and another with characters similar to those on Bewitched, my favorite television series — in middle school. I wrote an epic poem about the creation and fall of the angels similar to Paradise Lost in high school.

Which fictional character would you most like to meet and have a drink with?
The Wicked Witch of the West! From the Wizard of Oz movie, not the book! Hands down! Or, failing her then Margaret Hamilton (who played the role). That would be my dream come true! (*swoon*)

In the spirit of Halloween, what scares you?
I am squeamish and grossed out by blood-and- guts so I always look away during doctor shows or horror movies when they show close-ups of medical procedures or vicious attacks by monsters—Ugh! My peripheral vision isn’t always very good and so I am quite startled when someone just suddenly appears beside me whose approach I was unaware of. But I am truly scared of walking down a dark street at night when I am the only person on the block that I can see, or walking under scaffolding at night, where the shadows are even darker and deeper than the rest of the street. I will do almost anything to take another route or walk down the middle of the road to avoid those dark shadows!

Favorite hero and villain in a book/movie?
I first became interested in the occult and magic when I was very VERY young and saw The Wizard of Oz on television for the first and second times. The first time, my mom says I was terrified of the Wicked Witch’s appearance in Munchkin Land amidst smoke and flames and ran straight to bed! (I must have been 5 years old or so.) The next year I began watching the movie again and made myself stick with it past the appearance of the Witch and after that — I was hooked!

The Wicked Witch of the West became my favorite character because not only is she the most interesting but she is the only one who wields any real power in the movie. She became my idol for years and years! (When a major storm recently struck Manhattan, I made a comment on FB about the wind picking up our house and depositing it atop someone wearing peppermint stripped stockings and glittering red shoes and my cousin responded: ‘You’ve been chasing those shoes for YEARS!’ LoL!

My favorite hero? That character is much harder to identify because the Bad Guys and Villains are generally so much more interesting! I think Dallben, the enchanter in the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, is certainly one of my favorites. He is quiet, unassuming, and easily underestimated yet is clearly the mover-and- shaker behind the story, much as Merlin is in the King Arthur legends. I always thought that—given the choice and the opportunity—I would rather be Merlin than Arthur because Merlin may not be front-and-center but he is the one who directs all the action from offstage.

What do you consider the hardest part of writing?
I think getting the first half of any chapter down on paper is like scrabbling up a wall by your fingernails or struggling up a steep mountainside. Then, you crest the mountain’s ridge or reach the top of the wall and writing the rest of the chapter is like sledding down the other side of the mountain. I reach a critical mass or something that tips the weight and – “WHOOSH!” – down we go, the words flying out of my fingertips and onto the page. But then, what a struggle to begin the next chapter again!

What are you working on now?
I am currently working on both a nonfiction project and a novel. The novel is Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes and tells the story of Elizabeth, a young woman in late 1600s or early 1700s Waterford, Ireland who is forced to marry a wealthy, English landlord who beats her to death. But Elizabeth rises from her grave as the dearg-due (“red blood sucker”) who seduces and kills men. She is indestructible, immune to sunlight or garlic and can only be pinned back under the earth if a small cairn or tower of stones is erected on her grave.

(This interview first appeared on October 12, 2016 on the Bad Moon Rising site.)

Subway Magic

Subway tunnels are prime locations for magical activities requiring darkness -- and grit.

Subway tunnels are prime locations for magical activities requiring darkness — and grit.

NYC subways in the 1970s and early 1980s were a very different experience from what they are today.

NYC subways in the 1970s and early 1980s were a very different experience from what they are today.

Subways are a fact of life in New York. More than a fact of life, in fact. They are one of the defining characteristics of life in New York. They get us to work and they get us back home. They get us to the movies and to restaurants. They get us from the Bronx to the Battery and to Coney Island or Flushing. No one can say they’ve truly visited New York or had an authentic New York experience without riding the subway.

Subways feature in books about New York, of course. One great book about vampires on the NYC subways during the gritty days of the late 1970s or early 1980s is Light at the End. Another more recent vampire novel set on the subways is The Lesser Dead. (A wonderful guide to vampire literature of all sorts is The Monster with a Thousand Faces: Guises of the Vampire in Myth and Literature which I highly recommend as well.)

Subways tunnels are dark and dirty, prime sites ready for wicked magic and evil magic-doers: The Night Tourist opens doors to the world of the dead. Subways also take us to the East Village and other neighborhoods where occult supply shops like Enchantments can be found if you need a new Tarot deck, appropriate herbs and spices, or any other magical supplies.

Wouldn’t it be even more magical if everyone remembered a little etiquette while riding the subway?

Just as everyone-including men-should sit on the subway with their knees together, it is also true that everyone-including women-should keep both feet on the floor rather than crossing their knees and sticking one foot out into the aisle halfway across the space allotted for people to stand! ARGH!

Events This Week — Hope to See You There!



I will be answering readers questions and responding to comments live online at 1 p.m. NYC time on Friday, October 7. The event will be hosted by Books and Everything on Facebook; join the conversation here. Buy a copy of Come Hell or High Water during October and support the American Red Cross!


There will be a celebration of Indie Author Day on Saturday, October 8 in libraries across the United States. I will be participating in the events that afternoon at the Bronx Library Center (318 East Kingsbridge Road). See more details here. Copies of STORM WOLF will be available as well.