Author Archives: JK

INTERVIEW: Jamie Clay, author

In case you haven’t heard, a group of writers (including me) were recently published in a book of short stories called Murder They Wrote – available here!

All of us were anxious to see the publication, but two of us were tweeting about it. That’s how I met author Jamie Clay. You too can follow her on Twitter @mystcwind

Clay’s story “Murdered on a Midnight Train” accomplishes in a few dozen pages the intensity, depth, and twists of a full-length novel. You just have to to read it. I was graced with an interview with the new author.  Here’s how it went |

JK – When did you first know you wanted to write? What or who first inspired you to write?
Jamie Clay – I think that I have always written since I learned how to form sentences! One of my earliest school memories is from Ms. Belle’s class in 3rd grade. We had an author/poet come to the class and talk to us. I was captivated by her. Before she left she had everyone in the class do a writing exercise. While everyone moaned about the project I was excited and took it seriously. Ms. Belle later told my mom how creative I was, how well written my story was for someone so young and that I would be a writer when I “grew up.” So I would say that my inspiration has always come and still does come from the people who believe in me.

JK – Who are your top three writers or influences?

JC – My answer may surprise you! My favorite band of all time, is “The Cure.” The lead singer Robert Smith has written all of their songs. He is brilliant. I call him a literary genius. There is so much shock value to what he says, and it flows perfectly. I truly believe that I have formed this same writing style. Of course there is also Edgar Allan Poe, who as far I know I have read every piece that he has ever written. It always bothered me that the greatest artistic minds were unheard of until posthumously. Anne Rice is another huge influence on me. She took horror and made it beautiful.

JK – Your characters are very real. What kind of character work or research do you do?

JC – I usually just go for it! I will typically come up with a title first though, no matter what I am writing. The story develops itself. I have to connect with my characters. I have to see their past and feel what they are feeling, never exactly knowing what the future holds for them. In the case of this story, I had an entirely different concept going into it, almost a different story. But, I didn’t spend enough time with my main character and I didn’t truly know her, so to me the story was garbage. Only after I connected with her through another character did I understand her and the story became what it is. This was a factual based story in many ways so I did do research, even down to the weather on one particular day! I actually don’t like to do research online though. I prefer books for knowledge.

JK – Excluding horror, what’s your favorite genre?

JC – This question continues my answer from the last, I love non-fiction! Mythology, witchcraft, organized crime, religion, biographies of Kings and Queens. I suppose anything with a cult like following. I learn so much and retain the information so well that I apply what I learn to my lifestyle. I don’t believe in boring conversation, and if you are well read it really helps with socializing. History is astounding, the writers of the past have in every way influenced today’s way of thinking.

JK – What project are you working on? What’s next for Jamie Clay?

JC – I always have multiple pieces in the works. Now that I am brave enough to put myself out there this is just the beginning for me! I have a novel that I have been working on since I was 16. So fifteen years later it has grew with me and became such a part of me that for awhile I almost forgot to try and publish it. It is a Vampire story but also so much deeper than that. You must remember though that I started this before the Vampire craze ever existed and they have been changed so much that my story literally takes you back to Vampire roots in more ways than one. So my hope and dream is to get it out there. Along with other stories and poems I have written and still continue to write, both large and small. Writing is it for me. I have done many other things but nothing is as fulfilling as seeing your name in print.

JK -Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer these questions! Looking forward to your next project!

 

 

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Why witches in 2017?

Note:

The articles I’m about to write are nothing new. I’ve read some things, but am so far behind, there’s no way I could claim this work to be scholarly. I’ll leave that to the experts. Why I write about witches is what this is about. But I have been heavily influenced by The Malleus Maleficarum, The World of Witches, by Julio Caro Baroja, The Golden Bough, by Sir James George Frazer, The Popul Vuh, The Devil in Massachusetts, by Marion Starkey, and the many enlightening lectures and books of Joseph Campbell – to name a few.

Part One
Snakes, Bulls, and Moons

One reason I’m writing about witches is to try to show that witches’ are completely misunderstood. They are vital, complex, and, in different ways than we may think, very real. The power of the witch is essentially the energy at the origins of our reality, we’ve been handed a system that has cruelly, detestably, and murderously denied that.

I started writing The Witch at Sparrow Creek in 2005 and it was published in 2015. Sometime in those early years of writing, I learned about cave drawings showing the moon’s connection to the counting of the months and days – a mathematical system was created to track menses. Math – and a bull’s skull and horns in the shape of a uterus. The horns were later attached to Satan’s head, the moon became the strange power that caused lunacy, and over time, feminine energy became associated with the night, darkness, and magic.

In the Abrahamic religions, the woman’s power was originally associated with life and creation, but the creation myth flipped the game. In other cultures, you can look up snakes and always see them around or at the base of trees, representative of the energy of life, luck, and resurrection. In Eden, the major drama does not occur between a man and an evil snake he must slay (knight and dragon), but a woman and her own symbol. Following the snake encounter, Eve gets her powers inverted. The patriarchy is born from the original matriarchy. However, Eden is the ideal state from which humankind falls. The ideal state originally consisted of a woman interpreting and interacting with the wisest of creatures in the garden, the snake, and a man following her orders.

The lens that most view a witch through is carved from the flipped matriarchy and the association with the moon, night time, and everything that goes bump. I guess I want to change that because we’ve come to believe that magic doesn’t really exist; so that these stories, tales of power, or secret wisdom, must only be fiction. I’ll tell you in the next essay why they’re not.

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