Friday, January 18, 2013

FIVE DAYS OF SHAYNE! DAY ONE!!!!

Welcome to the FIRST day of Shayne!!!
 
Today's going to be a fun day, because today we're going to focus on the wonderful and extremely tallented MAGGIE SHAYNE!!!
 
So put on some mood music, because we're going to get sneaky with an interview!
 
BUT FIRST!!!
 
 
About The Author
 
Maggie Shayne is best known as the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels, nearly 30 novellas, a former soap writer, (The Guiding Light, As the World Turns,) a former advice columnist (Shayne on You,) and RITA Award winner. But what’s less known about her is that she’s been a practicing Witch for almost as long as she’s been a published author.
Known within the Craft of the Wise as LadyHawk the Mythmaker, Maggie studied in the Black Forest Circle Seminary for three years, earning her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree elevations there. A licensed minister of Wicca, Maggie was later made a Craft Elder, and co-founded a new Wiccan tradition called RavenMyst Circle. Her coven, The Coven of the Redtail Hawk, turned out five new high priestesses, several of whom went on to form covens of their own, and making Maggie, according to the Old Ways, A Witch Queen.
While The Portal series is entirely fictional, and necessarily brimming with special effects, any portions of the stories pertaining to the actual practices and teachings of witchcraft are entirely authentic. Due to the oathbound nature of some Wiccan rites several of the spells and other rituals, particularly rituals of Initiation and elevation, have been altered, abbreviated, or are deliberately vague. These rites are revealed only to Initiated Witches who reach the appropriate levels of study in traditional Wiccan Covens.

Now lets have some fun ;)
 
 
Q: What was your first reaction when you hit the NYT Bestseller list for the first time?

I was absolutely shocked. I hadn't even considered it would happen with the book that hit first, TWILIGHT HUNGER. I think that's why it happened so easily. Wanting something too badly can keep you from getting it. It's a subtle energy that is the difference between "why don't I have this yet?" and "I'm so excited because I know this is coming for sure." In the first example, you can only get more of it NOT coming. In the second, you help it come to you. It's all where you focus. The year I finally won the RITA award (after 13 nominations) was the year I forgot about it. My mom was sick and my focus was all on her. I skipped the conference and didn't even realize it was the night of the awards ceremony until my agent called to tell me I had won. This is a life lesson for me. If I want something really REALLY badly, sometimes the best thing I can do is just let it go and stop thinking about it at all. Then all my resistance falls away and it comes to me.

Q: Out of all your books, which one had the most impact on your life?

I have to name two. First, ETERNITY which just reverted to me from Berkley, and is now available for the first time in E formats and coming this week to a new print version, and later to audio. ETERNITY was not just a story. I'm pretty sure I drew from something more. Maybe past life stuff, maybe just the collective experience of all the witches who lived at the time of its setting. I don't know. But it was a powerful writing experience to me. As soon as I started it, I was hit with a heart issue, a racing beat of about 220 that wouldn't stop without a visit to the ER. And every time I worked on those opening scenes, it happened again. I saw a psychic at a conference for fun, who took one look at me and said her guides were screaming ETERNITY into her ears. (The book hadn't even come out yet, and I was unknown at the time.) She said it was important. The man who was to become my best male friend ever, read the book and said he'd been there with me on the gallows in a previous lifetime. Readers reported having weird reactions to those opening scenes. There's something more happening here than just a book.

The second book that had the most impact on my life was TWILIGHT PHANTASIES, the first of my Wings in the Night series (vamp novels) which continued throughout my 20 year career. I released the final two books of that series just last year. However, it's already calling me back, so I imagine there will be more.

Q: After all these years, do you ever become self conscious about your work

I'm always self-conscious. It's what makes me do the best I possibly can.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment?

My five daughters. Oh my Goddess, when I think what wonderful, beautiful women came into this world through me, and all the children that came through them, (9 of them now) it seems so miraculous I can barely wrap my mind around it.

Q: Is there anything you haven't accomplished with your writing that you have set out to do?

I don't think in terms of "what I haven't accomplished." I think in terms of "things that haven't shown up in my experience yet, but already exist in the astral." I believe that as soon as I launch a desire, it is done. All I have to do is get myself lined up with it and it becomes my new reality. Desires I'm expecting to manifest soon, include returning to the Times list with my fiction, increasing my readership exponentially, and the birth of a second branch of my career in the non-fiction, self-help field.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to writing?

I don't know if I have any about the writing itself, however, my biggest pet peeve about the career, is people who post nasty reviews on line, anonymously. You know, not legitimate criticism, but just bashing the book for fun, or being sarcastic because they think it's cute. That really gets to me, so I just try not to read any negative reviews, and focus instead on the great ones.

Q: What's in store for the future?

As I said, we're releasing ETERNITY in ebook (now) in print (this week) and in audio on the coming months. The sequel INFINITY will follow in the coming week to two weeks. BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS, book three of my PORTAL SERIES, releases on Tuesday 1/22. RT Book Reviews magazine gave all three books in this trilogy Top Pick rankings, which has never happened to me with every book of a series before. I'm so excited about this release. Next projects are a pair of thrillers with a paranormal twist, SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON, and WAKE TO DARKNESS, which should release in October and December of this year, respectively.

Q: Did your time working as a soap writer influence your characters interactions?

Not at all. In fact, my time working as a soap writing made me appreciate my career as a novelist SO MUCH more than I already had. It was really not my cup of tea at all.

Q: What was your favorite thing about being a soap writer? What was the worst?

I remember then they offered me a 1 million dollar/3-year contract as co-head writer of The Guiding Light. I sat in the Manhattan hotel where they had put me up, and I made a list of all the reasons to say yes, and all the reasons to say no. The Yes column only had one thing in it.: Money. Nothing else was good about that experience. It makes a nice line to include in my author bio, and I suppose it adds some legitimacy to me as a writer, but it was just completely wrong for my soul. I wept buckets, because let's face it, turning down a million dollars is a very tough call. But I have never once regretted that decision. I am to this day convinced that little journey happened to me for a reason. I worked with them for a full year before this offer came in, and when I first was considering diving into it (they came to me, I did not go looking for this) I was watching GL one day, and there on the TV in one scene, there was a mirror. Just a prop. But someone had drawn a pentacle on it with their finger. You know how a fingerprint will show in glass? It was very clear. I saw it, briefly, but it was real. As a practicing Wiccan, that symbol meant something to me, so I took it as a sign that I was supposed to pursue this. I still don't know what the reason was, but I am convinced there was a reason and that it will come clear to me at some future point. Maybe someone I worked with during that year will become important in my life again or something. I can hardly wait to find out.

Q: You're very outspoken about your religion, and personally, I'm proud of you for that. With the thought of 'withcraft' and paganism being Taboo or thought of as playacting in today's society, what have you personally done to overcome people's disbelief and fears of your craft?

Oh, I don't do a darn thing about that. You know I'm an unusual Witch in that I'm a very avid believer in the Law of Attraction, which says that you attract when you pay attention to, what you believe in, what you focus on. I don't believe in banishing or hexing, which are spells to get rid of something, because I think the very act of paying enough attention to the thing to cast a banishing spell, can only result in attracting more of it. So I ignore the things I don't want to include in my experience, and pay attention only to the things I DO want. I believe every lesson taught in learning how to do magic, is now being proven true in the science of quantum physics. I believe that every modern day spiritual leader–Deepak Choprah, Gregg Braden, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, all of them–are teaching all the same things I taught every single student who came through my coven. Lessons about wording your affirmations and spells as if the thing is already done, lessons about letting it go once you've done the work, lessons about attracting exactly what you put out–it's all there. The Wiccan Threefold Law: "Ever mind the rule of three, three times what thou givest, returns unto thee" is talking about attracting what you put out. The Wiccan Rede, "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt" is again warning you against projecting negativity. It's all the same. I don't really believe that any religion, including my own, is anything more than a system created by humans to help us relate to the Divine. I don't think any of them are "right." I don't think any of them are "wrong." I think they're simply tools we use to enhance our spirituality. Spirituality is a whole different thing than religion, and it is personal and unique to each individual.

So as to what others think of my belief system, I adopt one of my favorite quotes by Abraham as channeled through Esther Hicks: "What you think of me is none of my business."

Q: What was the worst reaction that you recieved when people found out you are a Witch Queen?

Haven't had any reaction really. I don't tout that very often in any serious way. It's fun and cute, because it's in some old Book of Wiccan Law (which is really made up by humans) that if your coven raises three witches up through the training and those three go on form covens of their own, (or "hive") then you are a Witch Queen. When this happened to me, my coveners got me a little plastic crown from a toy store. I treasure it, but that's about how seriously we took the whole "Witch Queen" thing. We can call ourselves anything we want, it's what we are inside, and how we treat others that really matters in life.

Q: Does your family support you through all aspects of your life?

I choose to focus on when they do and ignore when they don't.

Q: If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?

Everything happens for a reason. Even the painful things. I think when we're on the other side, we can see the Whole and how every little jigsaw puzzle piece had to be exactly as it was, in order for the entire puzzle to work. One change, and you'd have a very different picture. Everything happens for a reason. And we'll know what those reasons were when we cross over and can see it from a broader perspective (like crop circles you can only see from airplanes, if you get my drift.) I am so happy and content and fulfilled in my life, I wouldn't change a thing, for fear my now would then be different.

Q: If there was one piece of advice you could give to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write. Write for the love of it. Stop thinking about the goal of publication or money or success, and just focus on the joy of telling the story. Enfold yourself in that, relish that, and stop worrying about the rest. If you manage to do that, the rest of it will fall into place easily. Don't struggle. Here's a bit more from Abraham that I love so much, and it's paraphrased, but.... "Stop paddling your boat so hard upstream. Relax, let go of the oars, lean back and just enjoy the ride. Your stream will take you where you're supposed to go."

There now. Doesn't that feel better?


 
 



As you can tell, Maggie is truly an inspiration.  I think we could all learn from her and become better people through her teachings and views on life.
 
 
Now, it's time to start the GIVEAWAY!
 



 
BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS, the Portal Series, book 3, goes on sale 1/22

Kindle:Amazon
Amazon, Print: http://amzn.com/0778314219
Nook or Print at BN.com:Barnes&Noble
Kobo:Kobo Books

For more info on The Portal Series, videos, excerpts, free trading cards, music, visit: www.theportalbooks.com
ETERNITY is on sale now in E, coming soon in Print!

Kindle:Amazon
Nook: Still processing, check back.
Kobo: Kobo


Visit me at MaggieShayne.com
www.facebook.com/MaggieShayneAuthor

Twitter: @maggieshayne

And learn more about positive thinking, and creating your life at:
Maggie's Bliss Blog: www.maggiesblissblog.com