Posts Tagged ‘non fiction’

Bestselling author Rosalind Miles answers my questions about writing, women writers and the ladies of the Arthurian world and gives readers useful advice…

Hello Rosalind, thank you for answering my questions on Veronika Asks. Could you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I am an Englishwoman who always wanted to write. I went to a very strict and academic girls’ school, but then I got to university to study and I never looked back.

Then, if you could describe yourself with three words…
Lover, mother, writer.

You’re Capricorn, aren’t you? I’ve heard they’re usually known for being practical, reliable and thoughtful. But they’re also quite temperamental. Do you consider yourself a typical Capricorn?
I’m not temperamental. For me a Capricorn is down to earth, pragmatic, reliable and hard working, and I like to think I am all those things. But the goat must climb. That’s where the creativity, the fantasy comes in. If you tied our front legs together (which all societies try to do with energetic, ambitious and aspiring females) we Capricorns would still climb.

Who were you prior to becoming a full-time novelist?
I had my first job at 13 in a plastics factory when all such work was still done by hand and by female labour. I have worked as a travelling saleswoman, a stable hand, a ganger in a chain factory, all alongside studying and graduating. I then married a fellow student from the university and we had 2 children, a girl and a boy, but I still persisted with graduate work, part-time teaching and trying to write. This was hard because my children were so lovely I really only wanted to be with them!

How did you break into the publishing world?
As a graduate student I had to write 2 theses, one for my M.A. and one for my Ph.D. I then set about trying to get this work published, to no avail. Then I saw an announcement in the literary section of the Times of London that there was to be a new series of studies of the novel, and 20 names were listed, not one of them a woman. I was so enraged I wrote a furious letter to the editor and to my amazement he wrote back to say if you care so much about this, why don’t you write a book for me? Or course I had to write about all the women writers in one volume when each of the men had a volume of their own, but at least it was acknowledged that women wrote fiction too!
That book was called The Fiction of Sex.
Then once I had published that, they asked me what else I wanted to do and I published my doctoral work about Shakespeare, in a book called The Problem of Measure for Measure.

How much time did you spend looking for a publisher (or agent)?
I lucked into my first publisher via the editor who was interested my idea of women writers, but I was still locked into an academic format. But through my husband I met an agent who said if you want to write for the popular market, what would you write? Oh, hold me down! I had a hundred ideas and he sold the first one – Danger: Men At Work.

You write an Arthurian trilogy (composed of three trilogies) with the Guinevere and Isolde trilogies. How was the trilogy born?
The more I studied the story of Guenevere, it was clear that her life fell into three distinct sections.
Also, three is the Goddess number – the old matriarchal religion was based on the holy trinity of a woman’s life: maiden, mother, wise old woman. This concept was hijacked by the Christians who reduced women to the simplest level, virgin and mother (? please!). So all those stories had to be trilogies.

Can you tell us more about the third and final one?
That is still brewing. There are so many Ladies of the Lake in the Arthurian world.

There is a controversy surrounding the Arthurian world: some people suggest Arthur, Guinevere and the Round Table are only part of a legend. Others believe they were real. I even read that some people suggest Arthur was in fact Slavic. What do you know (and think) about it?
In British history, there is no doubt that a national hero emerged at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire in Britain, who may or may not have been called “Arthur”. There were also many Celtic queens regnant like Boudicca and Cartimandua, so we have no problem accepting Guenevere. Around these people and the knights who served them, many stories, myths and legends naturally grew. I am quite sure that a Slavic Arthur could have fulfilled the same role for his people, fighting to protect and preserve the life they knew.

What is a typical working day for Rosalind Miles?
Get up and get into it, don’t mess around! Up at 6, writing this at 11.30 pm, but don’t do it if you don’t love it, and you have to have a life in between, or where will you get your material?

Do you have writing secrets?
Keep at it. Never give in. Fake it till you make it, keep going all the time.

Thank you, Rosalind!
You can learn more about Rosalind Miles and her books at


Richard WebsterBestselling author Richard Webster answers my questions about his books, the psychic world, pendulums, auras and past lives…

Hello Richard, I’m happy to welcome you on “Veronika asks”! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi Veronika, I’m thrilled to be on “Veronika asks”! I’m a fulltime writer, based in New Zealand. I’ve written 93 books on many different subjects, but for the last thirty years almost all of them have been on psychic and occult topics.

If you could describe yourself with three words…
Born to write

I read some of your books and found them very interesting – “Practical Guide to Past-Life Memories”, “Color Magic for Beginners” or “Aura Reading for Beginners”, for instance. You believe that anybody can learn magic, discover past lives, see auras, use magic candles?
Yes, I believe we all have much more psychic potential than we realize, and this can be harnessed and used by anyone who is interested and prepared to learn.

How did you start writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. When I was nine my favorite author (Ronald Syme) spoke at my local library. Afterwards, I wrote him a fan letter and received a charming reply. My parents invited him home for dinner and he told us about his life as a fulltime author. By the end of the evening I couldn’t imagine a better career.

How do you work (when, where, how)?
I usually write one book while researching the next. I start writing about 8.00am and try to write 2,000 words a day. Sometimes I can do this by about 10.30, but usually it takes several hours, as I am easily distracted. I love spending time with my grandchildren, and frequently meet friends for coffee or lunch. I also spend a great deal of time in libraries and bookstores. These things all eat into my day.

Why are you so interested in magic?
My mother was extremely interested in magic and the psychic world. She read tealeaves and used the pendulum. A neighbor taught me the basics of palmistry when I was ten, and I joined the Theosophical Society when I was seventeen. Like writing, this interest seems to have been with me since early childhood.

Can everybody see auras? Can you see the aura only looking at a photo?
Yes, everybody can see auras, although most people need to practice before being able to see them whenever they wish. I don’t see auras everywhere I go, although I can if I want to. Sometimes I see them spontaneously. If someone is extremely angry, for instance, but is trying to conceal it, I can virtually always see his or her aura. Unfortunately, I can’t see auras in photographs.

How do all these great things you know about magic help you in your daily life? I imagine that with all the things you know, you must have a different vision of the world…
I guess they help me in daily life. Sometimes they cause me more trouble than anything else. When I was at high school, for instance, the teachers wouldn’t look me in the eye after they discovered I was hypnotizing the other students on the train to and from school. A few years ago, I was on 20:20 discussing psychic topics. As a result of that, a few of my regular clients stopped coming to me. They seemed to think my interest in these subjects was satanic! Fortunately, I’m used to this sort of thing as I’ve always had it. The biggest help to me is that I have no fear of death as I believe in reincarnation.

There is something I really want to ask, about the “Practical Guide to Past-Life Memories”. According to the Past-Life theory, I have great-grandchildren somewhere in the world (even if I am 16 years old)? Is it possible (because in that case, I already have a list of names and dates of birth of several of my great-grandchildren living in the USA :)? What do you think about it?
Yes, what you are saying is correct, although I haven’t taken it as far as you. I find life complicated enough with the relatives I have from this lifetime without adding even more.

Is it possible to discover information about your future using a pendulum? Or is it only possible about past information (according to what I read in the “Practical Guide to Past-Life Memories”)?
You can learn about the future using a pendulum in the same way you can uncover information from the past. I didn’t discuss that in “Practical Guide to Past-Life Memories” as it wasn’t relevant to that particular book. In practice, I seldom use my pendulum to part the veil of the future. However, if I have a choice to make and am unsure about which option to choose, I’ll let my pendulum decide for me.

What do you think about paganism? There are many different opinions about it…
I have always been fascinated with the spiritual life of people in the past. Consequently, paganism as practiced by the Greeks and Romans, in particular, is of great interest to me. This includes concepts such as “know thy self” and everything is actually One. I’m also interested in shamanism, which plays an important role in the modern Neo-Pagan revival movement.

How do you imagine your reader? I mean, when you’re thinking “there is somebody reading my book right now…” Who do you picture?
I imagine my readers are intelligent, curious and open-minded. They are keen to learn, and I hope my books read as if I’m conversing with them, rather than lecturing. I want them to be entertained as well as informed.

How can we improve our insight? Is there is a training?
I think the best way to improve our insight is by reading as much as possible, and experimenting and practicing with the information. I have attended countless courses and workshops over the years, and have learned from all of them, but most of what I’ve learned has come from reading followed by experimenting with one or two close friends.

Can you tell us more about your upcoming projects?
I have completed an Encyclopedia of Superstition, which will be published next year. I have almost finished a book on flower magic and will be following that with another book on angels.

Would you like to add something, Richard?
People sometimes ask why I write books on so many different subjects. My usual answer is that I’m a Sagittarian, with a Gemini moon, and in numerology I have a 5 Life Path. That probably explains it, but to me, the books follow a definite progression and record my own growth and development. Hopefully, I’ll continue to grow and develop for many years yet!

And now the nothing-to-do-with-books question: You’ve just found $100 in your pocket, what will you do with it?
I’d probably buy a Lotto ticket, spend some of it on my grandchildren, and give away the rest.

“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ? My wife and I always go out. I worked as an entertainer for many years and my long-suffering wife ended up spending every Saturday night at home, as Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest nights for entertainers. Although I stopped working as an entertainer several years ago, I still find it exciting to go out on a Saturday night for fun, rather than for work.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ? Mountains – maybe because I have beautiful beaches within walking distance.
Country or City ? Country. I live right on the edge of a city, which gives me easy access to excellent libraries and bookstores. However, I can also walk for ten minutes and be in the country. I love walking and am able to walk in the country almost every day.
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ? Comedy. I avoid sad movies as I cry far too easily. I love alternative movies.
Shy or Easy-going ? A bit of both.
Serious or Funny ? A bit of both.
Traveler or not ? Yes. I started traveling when I was 20, and hope never to stop. I’m always planning for the next trip.
Sporty or not ? I like participating in sports, but am not interested in watching other people play. The exception to that is watching my grandson play soccer. I’m on the sideline every Saturday morning.
The Leader or not ? I’ll be the leader if necessary. I’m not a follower, either, and prefer to do my own thing. I think that’s a good quality, but it was considered a bad trait when I was at school.


TV show: Fawlty Towers
Movie : Pan’s Labyrinth
Book : “The Settlers of Carriacou” by Ronald Syme. (He was my favorite author as a child, and it’s entirely his fault that I make my living as a writer today.) I’m currently reading “Bad Luck and Trouble” by Lee Child, and am studying “The Complete Magician’s Tables” by Stephen Skinner.
City : London
Food : Salmon
Music : Monteverdi, Mozart, Beethoven, Neil Sedaka, Beatles and most 60s music.
Favourite place to write in : My office, when everyone is out of the house.
Quote or motto: “Writers’ write.”

Thank you, Richard!
Visit Richard’s website