Wendy Steele: Perception of Reality
Wendy Steele, or Wendy Woo, is the author of the ongoing Lilith Trilogy, the Standing Stone books and the Lizzie Martin Witch Lit series. Witch Lit has become a widely used term for magical writing, and there’s even a group on Facebook where aspiring Witch Lit authors share ideas and inspiration. Wendy also sells gorgeous Pixie Coats, perfect for any Pagan camp! Wendy was kind enough to take a break from her busy schedule to have a chat with us about her books and more.
Mabh Savage (MS): When did you first start writing and what drew you to it?
Wendy Woo (WW): I wrote my first poem when I was twelve years old, after visiting the Tutankhamun exhibition in London and there began my love of Egypt and all things Egyptian, and a love for writing things down after visits and events. I began my first novel, Hubble Bubble, after a two day writing course on characterisation. All 100k words are sitting under my bed, waiting for me to edit them into a decent novel!
MS: Do you think the genre Witch Lit is becoming more popular at the moment? If so, why do you think this is?
WW: Witch Lit is becoming more popular on a couple of different levels. Books about vampires and werewolves have saturated the market, so the time for real people and real magic is now. Magic allows the reader a different perspective on reality, and with science making discoveries in the area of quantum, the possibilities of other dimensions and discovery of matter we’re unable to see, our perception of reality is changing.
MS: What’s been your favourite book that you’ve produced so far, and why?
WW: Choosing a favourite book is like choosing a favourite child! I’ll say The Naked Witch because Lizzie Martin, the protagonist, appeals to everyone, despite the fact or maybe because she’s a witch, and this novel was a delight to write. I still remember the excitement of writing a contemporary story, with a hint of magic, that every reader could identify with and learn from.
MS: What would your advice be to aspiring writers who aren’t sure where to start?
WW: Don’t write unless you’re compelled to do so! Writing a good short story is hard; writing a novel is harder. Characterization, plot and setting are all very well, but make sure you really know what your story is about. It might never be mentioned in the book, but the author needs to know, or the story won’t work. Be prepared that editing might take you as long as writing the story. Do not be precious about your writing; listen to all advice, think long on it, even if you don’t take it all. Be prepared to slash and cut if your writing needs it. Good luck!
MS: Your Witch Lit series starts off with protagonist Lizzie struggling between corporate life and her own integrity and passions. How much of this was inspired by your own life and experiences? Do you think we all struggle with this from time to time?
WW: BC (Before Children) I ran an offshore fund settlements department in the City, so the office world was familiar to me, but all Lizzie’s experiences are her own. I witnessed women attempting to make long term careers in a man’s world, and know the difficulties they faced. It was not my place to judge, but I wouldn’t have made the sacrifices they did to climb up the career ladder.
MS: What’s your most magical experience that you’d be willing to share? ?
WW: Many of us ‘see’ in different ways, from auras and energies, to scrying, tea leaves, tarot cards and crystal balls. Within magical ritual, I ‘see’ through my third eye. On one such occasion, at a secret well site in Essex, I ‘saw’ the god of the forest, Cernunnos. Though I call in gods and goddesses to my circle, I usually work with the goddess, so to spend time in the presence of the god was truly magical, offering me insights and ideas into a different kind of masculine. He had the strength of a lion, but the mischief of Pan about him, yet there was a gentle, sensual power and when he visits me now on my riverbank, it’s this energy he brings.
MS: What’s your favourite time of year, and why?
WW: Now I live entrenched in the Welsh landscape, I love them all! There is something magical about the first buds and green shoots piercing the earth in early spring though, especially if the winter has been long and hard.
MS: Finally, what’s next on the horizon for you? What projects are you currently working on?
WW: With the first three books of the Lizzie Martin Witchlit series being devoured by readers, I’m working on the next three of this series. The Eloquent Witch, book four, is almost complete, but then there will be editing and polishing, and my plan is to write books five and six while I’m doing it. Short stories still spring from my pen, and these I tell on my riverbank for my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon. Having written a steampunk ghost story recently, I’m considering more adventures for the two main characters, and I’m planning on publishing a short story anthology in the next year.
Best of luck with the upcoming books Wendy, we look forward to reading them! Keep up to date with Wendy’s work at her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Her books are available via Amazon and she’s also on Goodreads and AllAuthor.
About the Author:
Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.
She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.