Tag Archives: The Naked Witch

The Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team

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Now you’ve met my first readers, it’s time to meet my cover designer, formatter and all round tech supporter, Kate Murray. Kate is an artist and author in her own right who kindly offered to help me when I’d been let down.

I asked her some questions…

1 How do you write and draw? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

Sometimes there is a plan, but more often there isn’t. It depends on how complicated I’m going. When I plan a large piece of work that has meaning then it has to be meticulous in pre drawing and notes. But if I decide to work to a feeling then there are no plans – I simply have a go.

In my writing there tends to be more of a plan although the characters very rarely stick to it.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

 Trousers? No… I do have a specific set up. My computer, which is a Wacom drawing tablet, earphones (have to be red) and music, normally from the mid 80s to present day. Oh! And Queen. A cup of coffee and a handful of peanuts. Then I’m ready for anything.

 

 3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I love to bake, knit and do creative things.

I grow stuff, from herbs to flowers.

If I can I will have some DIY project on the go, although my partner is the one who has to bail me out.

I love that my home is full of family that come and go as they please. That the house always seems busy.

I collect ornament cats. And I name them. Give them characters and places in the house.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My partner – Roland. I would forfeit the other four things for him…

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

The Prowlers by Christopher Golden. This book isn’t about curses but the stark reality of the werewolf if they existed.

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. He survived but how he did it is amazing.

The Fireman by Joe Hill. I love all Joe Hill’s books but this is about love and sacrifice, and is just brilliant.

Hollow World by Michael J Sullivan. Because it is a future I can see happening. And love without the barriers of gender.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It starts with murder and carries on from there. Beautiful, modern fairytale.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Tricky, but I would have to chose Freddie Mercury. He had a hell of a creative mind and I have a feeling I would just listen. Anyone who can put an operatic section in a rock song has got to be interesting. Scaramouch Fandango; where does that come from?

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I have a Tudor colouring book for Key Stage 3 on the go at the moment. A murder mystery screen play and a couple of artworks. Life is busy and a lot of fun.

 

8 Other published work and links….

 

‘Nomora’ – Aberystwyth Masters Magazine 2012

‘The Wait’ – Female First (magazine) 2013

‘Searching Pride’ – Female First (magazine) 2013

‘Oil and Water’ – The Lampeter Review 2013

‘Vanilla and Caramel’ – Ether books and in Twisted Tales Anthology 2013 published by Raging Aardvark Press

‘The White Ghost’ – Ether books 2013

‘A fur coat, a guitar and a song’ – in the ‘Busker’ anthology published by What the Dickens magazine (ebook) 2013

‘James Herbert – biography’ – Thresholds (University of Cirencester) 2013

‘Vanilla and Caramel’ – Twisted Tales Anthology, Aardvark Press 2013

‘Dust’ – published by Jotters United Literary Magazine 2014

‘Crimson and Scarlet’ – published by Jotters United Literary Magazine 2014

‘The Phantom Horse’ – Self-published flash fiction collection 2014

‘The Constant Bicycle’ – in the ‘Spooky Tales’ anthology published by What the Dickens magazine (ebook) 2014

‘Love Just Is’ – Short story Collection published by Raging Aardvark Press 2014

‘Shadows Close’ – Short Story Collection published by Raging Aardvark Press 2014

‘Truth and Lies’ – Self-published crime novella 2015

‘The Gone’ – Self-Published horror novel 2015

‘The Shallow Sea’ – Self-published disaster novel 2016

‘Here Be Dragons’ – Self-published children’s novel 2016 (Shortlisted for the Firefly prize 2015)

‘Tunnels’ – Self-published Children’s novel 2016

‘Fey’ – Self-published Children’s novel 2016

‘How the Moon Lost the Stars’ – Self-published picture book 2017

‘The Gone 2 – Evolution’ – Self-published Horror Novel 2017

‘Here Be Wolves’ – Self-published children’s novel 2017

‘Adult Tudor Colouring Book’ – Self-published colouring book 2017

 

Most are available through my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-Murray/e/B00IS2FP98/

Or my website: http://kate0murray.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kate.murray.author.artist/

https://twitter.com/the_toymaker

 

Kate is wonderful to work with! She’s patient and thoughtful and meticulous in all her work. Her artwork is stunning and her books magnificent and she’s far too modest to tell you, but she’s been accepted to study for a PhD at Swansea University. She’s a truly inspirational, unstoppable creative bombshell and I’m privileged to call her friend.

Join me tomorrow to meet the final member of The Wonderful Wendy Woo WitchLit Team.

 

 

 

 

The Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team

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On the run up to The Flowerpot Witch blog tour, I’ve been introducing you to the fabulous team of women who help me get my book from my imagination into the public domain. Today is the turn of my final first reader, Melanie Collier.

Hi, I’m Melanie, dance and movement teacher, crafter, blogger and provider of document services such as proofreading, copy-editing, data entry or just plain old typing.

I teach belly dance in Pembrokeshire, where I also provide cover for LIFT (Low Impact Functional Training) gentle exercise sessions for Age Cymru. My first love was ballet, but I’ve been to workshops or courses in lots of other dance styles. I also studied contemporary dance, and through that was introduced to somatic movement practices. Since I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis several years ago, (something of a hindrance and embuggerance to a dancer) I’ve found yoga and Pilates useful and become increasingly interested in somatics, both as physiotherapy and as applied to dance.

When I’m not dancing, exercising, proofreading and editing, I like to mess around with yarn (I always have a pair of socks on the needles), wire, beads, sequins, sea glass, fabric, ribbons, paint/pens/pencils or Photoshop. I take commissions for things like socks, jewellery and fabric flowers. Various bits of my digital art are gradually being added to the print-on-demand sites Zazzle, Redbubble, Cafepress and Deviant Art as I engage in the perpetual fight with my antiquated PC to load them.

And when I’m not doing any of that, I’m gardening, watching wildlife, recording moths (like proofreading, identifying moths requires an eye for detail) and butterflies, blogging, doing mindful meditation, and trying to find time to practise drumming, learn other new skills and curl up with my cats and a good book. Housework is low on the list of activities!

I met Wendy through dance and it was only later that I learned she’s an author. I was quite flattered to be added to her team of first readers for The Naked Witch, a new genre and activity for me. I immediately fell in love with Lizzie and her daughter, and was enthralled by the way she thinks and works and the descriptions of her sessions in her sanctuary, so was very glad to get an early look at the following two novels. I’m not sure if Wendy likes or loathes my nit-picking (especially the lack of commas before clauses beginning ‘but’, which drives me NUTS!). However, I am sure that readers will enjoy the books very much indeed.

Melanie is a creative, vibrant spirit and a beautiful dancer. Of course I like her nit-picking! With Melanie’s sharp eye and unflinching determination for perfection, she helps me whip my books into shape, ready for you readers.

http://dancingmoth.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DancingMoth/

Join me tomorrow to meet the cover designer and formatter of the Wendy Woo Witch Lit books. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the blog tour poster and, if you haven’t yet been introduced to the Lizzie Martin series, check out my books on my author page.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

 

The Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team

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On the run up to the blog tour for The Flowerpot Witch, here’s another first reader for you to meet, Melanie Jackson Bridge. If I was married, she’d be my sister-in-law, so she’s married to my partner’s brother, but I’m lucky to call her friend as well as family.

I’m Mel and currently I don’t really do very much at the moment. I’m an older parent to a 7 year old who keeps me on my toes. In the absence of employment, I’m a wannabe polymath. I feel that you’re never to old to learn something new, and over the last year I’ve participated in a number of short courses on a variety of subjects including creative writing, critical thinking, eminent Victorians, Jane Austen, and understanding autism. At the time of writing this, I’m 2/3 through an evening adult education course, and I’m about to sign up for some online learning. If I’m not filling my time with my evening class, you may find me at my local ecology group, at yoga, bellydancing, doing school governor things, doing parents association things, or reading. Occasionally I make cards, or jewellery. From time to time I help my husband out with the admin side of his photography business.

I’ve known Wendy for many years and its her resolute spirit and ability to apply herself 100% to what she does that really inspires me. Therefore, it was a great honour to be asked to be one of Wendy’s first readers, as I greatly admire Wendy’s ability to tell a good story. Lizzie Martin is a wonderful character; wise, measured, compassionate, warm and a genuine friend. Just the sort of person we all aspire to be. What marks Lizzie as different is her connection to the natural world and the unseen, and her magic always strikes me as beautiful and practical in equal measures.

Like others in Wendy’s circle, I see myself as an author, but as yet, my story is unfinished and so unpublished. At least once a week I remind myself I’m trying to write a novel, but I spend so much time researching the WW2 period I get sidetracked by reading different accounts from the Mass Observation. Because of my propensity to procrastination I’m in awe of Wendy’s determination and focus as an author.

 

And, like all of my Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team, Mel has failed to mention her degrees! She has a BSc and MSc in Conservation (management) and studied while pregnant and managing a new baby. She’s a stickler for grammar and a stern critique of my work but I love her for it. She knows she’s lazy and incredibly pedantic, but she’s a feminist, a pagan, an LGBTQ ally and a great charity supporter. My most remembered magical moments are with Mel, sharing magic in my circle beneath the moon. I’m blessed to have her on my side.

Check out her writer page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KMacDonaldAuthor/

and on twitter: https://twitter.com/tooftalf

 

You’ve met Sarah, Eve and Mel so pop back tomorrow and meet another Mel, Melanie Collier, to complete The Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team first readers.

Keep your eyes peeled for The Flowerpot Witch blog tour coming soon to a website near you!

 

 

 

The Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team

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With less than a week to go until The Flowerpot Witch blog tour begins, I’m showcasing on my blog the women who have made my writing and publication possible. Today’s first reader is Eve Merrick-Williams…

I’m Eve, a retired lady of a certain age, but don’t buy the stereotype. I sport large tattoos and some recent body piercings. I love Rammstein, Junksista and Suicide Commando to name a few of hundreds of loved bands. I had the great luck to meet Wendy four years ago when I joined her belly dance class.

I was hugely flattered when Wendy asked me to be one of the first readers of The Flower Pot Witch, as I greatly admire Wendy’s writing. I love the Lizzy Martin character  who is the sort of woman we’d all like as a friend. Lizzy is a modern woman who deals with all the challenges faced by  modern women; a modern woman who just happens to be a witch.

I write myself, mainly dark, gothic short stories and flash fiction. I’ve had some success getting published in small press magazines. I always joke that I can only get published in magazines I wouldn’t want to be seen reading.

 

Eve is a good friend, but one who can be totally honest with me. She’s far too modest to tell you but she has BAs in Classical Studies and Ancient History and an MA in Ancient Philosophy and Myth and inspires me every day. Despite insisting that she has no rhythm, she’s a fab dancer and valuable member of Tribal Unity Wales.

You can find her on Facebook here:https://www.facebook.com/Eve-Merrick-Williams-783933638314022/

And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EveMerrick

 

The Wonderful Wendy Woo Witch Lit Team

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The Flowerpot Witch is nearly here and like all heartfelt, all consuming endeavours, I couldn’t have done it on my own. Family and friends supported me over the nine months it took to write and edit, but a very special team of people… in fact, a very special team of talented, creative women then took the book on, to be ready for publication and online, out into the public domain.

Over the next few days, I’m showcasing my own personal heroes, the real and amazing women behind my books.

Today I’d like you to meet Sarah Ward, one of my first readers. I met Sarah four months after she’d delivered her second child, when she  came along to a lesson to learn American Tribal Style® Bellydance with me at Tribal Unity Wales. She’s a friend but one I can trust and who will always be honest with me….

I’m Sarah, and I run an independent photo print shop – Y Stiwdio Brint (“The Print Studio” in Welsh) – in Lampeter with my husband, Ash.

I do a bit of design work here and there, but mostly spend my time ensuring that our business runs efficiently, and continues to flourish the way it has over the two years we’ve been open to-date!

I volunteered to read Wendy’s first Witchlit novel rather selfishly as an excuse to read something fictional and non-business related; since our three children came along, and then the business, reading for pleasure seemed to be a distant memory! I got stuck in, fell in love with the main character Lizzie, and savoured every word I read! The laid-back depiction of any “witchy” goings-on made it feel like I was reading about a friend, and the warmth of Wendy’s writing made the book a total breeze to actually read!

The biggest compliment I could pay was to ask Wendy to be a first-reader for the next two books also, as I couldn’t wait to see how Lizzie’s story continued to unfold. Now that all three are out in paperback form, I’ll soon be putting in an order for the trilogy so I can easily dip into Lizzie’s world whenever I like!

http://www.ystiwdiobrint.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/yStiwdioBrint/

Sarah is easy to work with and delivers useful feedback and honest critique. She’s an amazing, young, creative inspirational woman and a stunning dancer. She plays an active part in her local community looking to revive Lampeter high street, as well as nurturing three children, dancing with her tribe and administering in the shop. I’m blessed to have her as a friend.

Do check out her website and facebook page for all things print.

Join me tomorrow to meet another member of the team.

 

 

 

 

Pagan Tribal Gathering – The power of women

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Last weekend I was invited to teach American Tribal Style® Bellydance at a brand new Pagan Tribal Gathering in Upton, Nuneaton. I spent three nights in a field with a brand new tribe.

Organised by Pia Morgan and a team of fabulous, dedicated helpers, I enjoyed a relaxed, friendly weekend in tune with the Earth Mother, taking part in ceremonies and rituals and learning new skills. There was no pressure to join in, only respect requested for those who wished to. There were crafters, traders, artists and wise folk, sharing their work and beliefs, and selling their wares. Together, three hundred people birthed a new tribe and laughed, danced, drummed and danced some more.

New enterprises are never easy to get right, yet one woman’s dream was brought to fruition by the belief and endeavours of others and the blessings bestowed by the Goddess.

And that’s why I write Witchlit. Women are awesome and, guided by the Goddess, unstoppable. Who doesn’t want to read about strong women? If Witchlit is a new reading genre to you, think Helen Fielding, Sophie Kinsella and Candace Bushnell stories with witches.

Witch Lit is contemporary, magical realism, where the magical and the mundane co-exist. The stories are gritty and believable while magic is sprinkled through the stories, offering the reader a new perspective on reality.

You can find all my books on my author pages https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

and for FREE Witchlit short stories and extracts, subscribe to my YouTube channel Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

Join the Witchlit revolution and demand more fiction about real witches. Follow on Twitter @WitchLit1 !

New moon blessings to you all xx

 

Listen with Woo

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I’ve always loved having a story read for me, have you? I’d curl up with Rosy rabbit in front of the radiogram, running my fingers across the metal grid on the front until Listen with Mother began.

And now I’m reading my own stories for others to listen to.

This week on Phoenix and the Dragon, I’m talking about WitchLit and reading a magical extract from my first Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel, The Naked Witch. Happy listening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBjmFeYMgLM

 

 

 

SUPER SPRING SALE!

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THIS SALE IS NOW OVER! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PURCHASED A PAPERBACK. BE LOVELY TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS IN A FEW LINES OF REVIEW. YOU CAN FIND ALL MY BOOKS VIA MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGES. BRIGHT BLESSINGS XX

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

 

 

Buy these paperbacks direct from me at sale prices while stocks last!

FREE postage to UK

 

£6.50 each with FREE postage

£5.50 each with FREE postage

£4.00 each with FREE postage

 

Use Stay in Touch (Contact me) and let me know which books you would like and your address. I’ll reply with Paypal details and once monies are received, I’ll parcel up and post books to you FREE of charge. SALE ENDS 15TH FEBRUARY 2018 while stocks last.

Bright Imbolc Blessings! Welcome to Spring!

The first signs of Spring

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While taking part in an online interview last week, talking about the progress of my Witchlit books and my writing life, I realised that now, the end of January, is the end of the calendar year for me this year  and this fills me with hope.

While there are good things to carry forward to a new exciting year, Awakened Bellydance™ , dancing with Tribal Unity Wales and the publication of two novels ‘The Naked Witch’ and ‘The Orphan Witch’, there has been one sadness I would have done anything to change.

The loss of my beautiful friend, Anna… I , the writer, have no words

But instead, today, on the eve of Imbolc, the beckoner of Spring, I begin a new year in memory of my friend. I carry her spirit, her passion, laughter, humour, song and dance, all of it. After the pain, sorrow and heartache, I am changed, renewed, refreshed.

I stopped smoking ten days ago. I am a non-smoker.

I will publish two more Lizzie Martin Witchlit novels this year.

Somehow, someway, I’ll share Awakened Bellydance™ , guiding women to their inner goddess and to the strength within themselves.

I will teach the dance I love, ATS® Bellydance, to my Tribal Unity Wales ladies and wherever we share the dance with the local community, we will be awesome.

I will be part of the Wheel of the Year, celebrating the seasons and tides.

 

Full moon blessings to you all.

Do subscribe to my YouTube channel for short stories and extracts from my novels, read to you from my Welsh riverbank

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

 

 

 

Awakened Bellydance™ – 7 months on

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At the end of April this year, I embarked on a personal journey with eleven other women in Bulgaria, guided and supported by Katie Holland, dancing and learning to facilitate Awakened Bellydance™. I wrote this a few days after returning home…

‘We breathed, we feared but we trusted and within the safe, protected space of our room, we danced, allowing the music to shake up our bodies and free our minds. We let go and the layers began to peel away.

Every day, we learned, shared, discussed and laughed and then we danced again, fear, judgement, disempowerment and pain, relinquished from our bodies and minds, into the earth to be transmuted to the love we craved.

Together, we healed, allowing our minds to be free to think, to create and to manifest and to step closer to our bodies, to feel the emotions and energy rising through us.

Deeper we delved into the closed off parts of ourselves, removing all obstacles and reinstating the power of the goddess, the women we truly are.

We reached up, beyond ourselves, out into the universe, to the stars from whence we came.’

Awakened Bellydance™ changed my life… I was no longer afraid. Without fear, I chose music for Tribal Unity Wales to dance to, confident that I had chosen well and in every lesson I taught, I allowed my heart to guide me.

I published my second Witchlit novel ‘The Orphan Witch’, knowing it was the perfect magical sequel to The Naked Witch’ as Lizzie Martin, my main character, followed her heart. The third novel, ‘The Flowerpot Witch’, flowed from my pen.

I grew a few vegetables in a bath tub and a tractor tyre and cooked plant based food, gathering new recipes and sharing time cooking with my partner.

I sang in the car…and in a hot tub in Essex in front of other people!

And so much more! Everything I did was different…I was different. I shone with a sense of ‘me’ I’d never felt before. There was no ego, just a deep connection to myself, who and where I was and an understanding of where I fitted into the universe.

Life hasn’t been easy. I’ve had a lot to deal with but trusting from the heart, I could cope with anything.

One morning, a few weeks ago, I awoked to depression, anxiety and fear. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stay in bed and hide from the world forever. Why had the fear returned? How had the depression manifested when I was so much more in tune with my mind and body? What had I done to bring this on? What had I done wrong?

But I refused to revert back to the old stories. The past is gone, no longer my story to tell so, I chose to see this time as a different kind of chaos and Awakened Bellydance ™ had equipped me with tools I could use to live in it. If I cared one iota about myself, now was the time to use them. I grounded and protected myself every day, sometimes outside in my wellies and dressing gown in the frosty morning air, sometimes indoors. I danced every day to my favourite song at the moment, ‘Wild Things’ by Alessia Cara and allowed myself to laugh or cry, however the music moved me. I continued to write, sometimes choosing to research or write a short story rather than my novel. I taught my dance classes from the heart, allowing myself to be swept up in the music but always focussed on creating the best lesson possible for my ladies.

I facilitated Awakened Bellydance™ solar plexus chakra, guiding and supporting women to clear away the old stories where they lacked confidence and self esteem and where they sought impossible perfection. We opened our hearts to new opportunities, stories we could create of focus, achievement, perseverence and resilience. We stoked the fires, burned away the obstacles and rose like the phoenix from the ashes.

I’ve focussed on strengthening the connections to the things I care about. On my riverbank, beneath the magnificent full moon, I blessed my physical sacred tools and sang to the goddess of the moon with my singing bowl.

 

I’ve lived with depression since my teenage years and learned to cope in many ways but Awakened Bellydance™ provides the dancer with the ability to reconnect with herself and the universe. It’s not about coping but living in confidence and love. Not only are the old stories confronted but they’re dealt with and binned and new stories are created, ready to manifest and be the story of the life you want to live.

For more information about Awakened Bellydance™ and its creator, Katie Holland, visit https://www.awakenedbellydance.com/awakened-bellydance

Lift the veil and live your life as the person you really are.