Monday, January 23, 2012

Now That the Year is Up and Running...

So as 2012 groans into motion, I'm gradually (and also with much groaning) getting back "on the stick" with getting healthy, and making a concerted effort to move my writing and publishing to a new level.

Over the last year I have enlisted the freelance talents of Jo-Ann Byers- Mierzwicki as layout artist for Pendraig, and her husband Tony as editor, and the fruits of their labor can be seen in my latest book, Visceral Magick - both the standard and special editions benefit from Jo-Ann's clear aesthetic and Tony's attention to detail, not to mention his fearless pursuit of clarification. My book is so much better for their input, and I can't express how grateful I am to them. They have worked similar wonders for all the other recent Pendraig releases, and I have every faith that we will be going places together.

Work has begun on my next book, Enchantment, and I have study groups around the world helping me out as they work through the exercises, techniques and philosophy behind the "Jedi mind tricks". I think this is going to result in a detailed and extremely useful book on this aspect of Witchcraft.

Meanwhile, my previous two books, Visceral Magick and A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk have been selling steadily, and have picked up some nice reviews. I'd like to thank all of you who have reviewed, recommended or in other ways passed on the word about my efforts, and I especially appreciate the messages I've received by email, FaceBook or Twitter from people enjoying what I have created.

Last, but not least, we have signed up with SmashWords to provide Pendraig's books in all the different eBook formats. As you are probably aware, we have been putting out some of our books (mostly the fiction) on Kindle and Nook, but now with the aid of SmashWords, we can reach the full range of digital editions out there, so watch out for announcements of new releases.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A New Year, a New Project

2011 didn't quite live up to my expectations, though I really have no reason to complain. Eleven months ago, I was brought face to face with my own mortality, and although I have certainly moved well clear of that precipice, I have not progressed as far towards health as I was hoping. I certainly did not get everything done that I was hoping to achieve.

So I've got high expectations from 2012, and whatever else it turns out to be, it will certainly be busy. For starters, I will be attending PantheaCon next month and presenting two workshops, unlike last year, where I spent that particular weekend in hospital. I've got several other trips planned through the year too, not least another visit to the fine Pagan folk in North Carolina. But that is not my big new project...

The really exciting news is that I am working on a new book, and I've decided to involve others in my process. The new book will be called "Enchantment: The Witches' Art of Manipulation Through Gesture, Gaze and Glamour". It will be a practical manual on techniques like the Witches' Eye (or "Evil Eye"), Jedi mind trickes (or putting the 'fluence on people), and creating illusions in order to get people to do what you need them to. Unlike all of my previous writings, this book will be completely devoid of cultural or religious  context, being the pure theory and practice involved in this very old-school form of witchcraft. That way, you can add your own cultural/religious context to it.

But the really exciting thing is that I decided to set up a study group to work through the material, to make sure I am thorough in my explanations and demonstrations. At first, this was just going to be a local group, but whern I mentioned that on FaceBook, I got a lot of responses from people who are out of town, wishing they lived close enough to participate.

Well, the outcome of that was that I decided to video the study group here in Los Angeles, and share it on a DVD with groups elsewhere, and then get everyone to discuss it online together. So far, there are groups in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Florida, Tennessee, Pensylvania, North Carolina, Long Beach California, and perhaps San Diego too. Which means I'm going to get a ton of feedback on both the techniques and the background material, which means that the book is going to be something very special. Personally, I can't wait to read it...