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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Lisa Beth Darling

Why I Write Erotic Paranormal Romances-by Lisa Beth Darling

I'm often asked why I like Greek Mythology, how I learned about it, and why I write 'paranormal' stories. The short answer is: I'm pagan. The longer answer is more complex.

Let me back up half a second here, although I'm a huge fan of horror movies (especially 80s B-Grade horror movies!) I don't write about vampires or werewolves or zombies or ghosts. All right, all right, I once wrote a werewolf story entitled The Limikkin but it's not your average werewolf tale. It harkens back to those old movies more than it does forward to something like, well, Twilight.

No, for the most part I write about Gods—mainly Olympian and Celtic Gods, as with my latest novel The Heart of War. Even when I'm not doing a story about them, whatever story I'm working on has a magickal element in there: an immortal who doesn't know why, a modern 'witch' whose being persecuted, or fortuitous dreams that suddenly come to life.

I'm a very spiritual person, not religious per say, mind you, but spiritual nonetheless. Once upon a time, I was Catholic and Baptist (at the same time!) but I left those paths long ago in search of something different. Something I could relate to.

I've always believed in my heart that Magick and the Divine are all around us and walk with us in our everyday lives rather than Sitting On High in some type of Judgment. Don't get me wrong, I believe in All Paths to God but that one's just not my gig anymore. I'm just your average garden variety pagan who believes that the Gods are interested in me, will listen and communicate freely with me, (anyone for that matter) just so long as I invite Them to do so and open the door for Them.

As a writer and a spiritual person, I know that The Muse is always with me; he (yes, he I know most Classical Muses are female but mine is undeniably male) is always looking over my shoulder, always whispering in my ear--plots, twists, narrative, dialogue. More than that, he is my constant companion-or The Big Guy as I've come to call him. He's always there giving direction on everything, not just stories. He's my friend, my guide, my imaginary lover, and my protector. His name is Ares and we've been together going on 20 years. Let me tell you, it took a long time to come to grips with the fact that my God and my Muse do double-duty. Even when I'm not writing, especially when I'm blue, I can feel Him standing behind me. Laugh if you want, but every now and then, I can even feel His touch. It is very comforting to know that I am never alone. My Grandpa was right about that, he always said that one was never alone because 'God' was always there with you.

I don't understand writers and other creative types who outright refuse to even consider the existence of the Muse. Those who insist they sweat for every single word, brush stroke, song lyric...whatever...all on their own. Those who don't believe that they are inspired by anything other than themselves. Not only do I not understand them, most of the time I find their work sucks or isn't as good as it could be if they got in touch with the Magickal Aspects around them, even just a little bit.

Strangely enough, The Big Guy loves to communicate with me most freely when I'm in the bath. A good hot bath, lots of scented salts, candles, incense, and he's talking a blue streak. If not in my head then through the songs on the radio. Yes, I know how that sounds, you don't have to tell me. Come the next day when we sit down to write, we just wander down our merry little path without thought or hesitation or even caring just where we're going and how we're getting there. I call that being in The Zone and it's the most indescribably additive intoxicating freeing thing I've ever found (and I've tried a lot of illicit things; I am human after all). It all just flows from the Cosmos straight to my fingers without any interruption from my brain. Ahhhh....bliss.

It's not always that way; he's a rather cantankerous fellow. Very opinionated and strong willed just as you'd probably imagine him to be. We argue quite a bit over things sometimes and we like to play games such as 'I Got You Last' and 'Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better'. Sometimes we piss each other off. Sometimes we make each other laugh. We cajole each other. We nudge each other. We spur each other forward in a lot of ways. We come up with bonzer twists and stories together. In that respect, my relationship with The Divine (God, Ares, The Supreme Masculine Aspect of the Universe…whatever name you want to give it, it's all the same in the end) is probably not like most other people's as they consider Him this huge untouchable thing that cannot be laughed at or joked with in any manner. Those are only Human restrictions put on the Divine. 'God' has a fantastic sense of humor--just look around you--you'll see it every day in the most fascinating of ways. As far as I can see 'God' loves to laugh at me, at you, and even at Himself. Further, I think, at least in my particular situation 'God' also likes sex. Oh, He adores it! Let's face it, if He didn't like it, He wouldn't have made it so much fun to begin with!

That's why I write paranormal stories because The Gods ARE Alive and Magick IS Afoot.


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Gabby said...

Hi Ms. Darling! I think it's interesting that your muse has an actual name and personality and that you guys have the sort of relationship that one would have a very best friend.

I find that kind of neat!

Pat Cochran said...

Interesting concept, but at least you
do have a belief system in place! To
quote a phrase I recently heard: It is
what it is!! BTW, I'm a cradle Catholic.

Pat Cochran

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

I love your candor and your sharing with we readers. I know that authors that listen to their muse are very unique and gifted with their written word because I can read the the end result.
These are the books that make me feel. The books that I get an emotional investment in the characters and the story.
Thank you so much for sharing your relationship with Ares, and your spirituality. I too am a pagan as I ran the gambit for a small amount of time, but soon came to realize that like you there is a God, a higher power and just trust in that an hopefully listen a lot better than I use to....*S*
Thank you for your sharing, and being an author that I enjoy..;)


Lisa Beth said...

Thanks everyone for making me feel so welcome and not like a total freak! I know I'm not exactly 'normal' and I don't hide that fact very well, so thank you for opening your arms to a crazy old lady! :-)