—– Ailsa Abraham’s Dagda Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

England in the near future. Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again. Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive. Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust? Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga’s Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths. It’s a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ailsa, we’ve got to quit meeting like this.  It hasn’t been long enough, my friend.  Who do you have with you today?

Dagda, is there a particular name you’d like to be called?

  • Drum Captain Dagda of the Black Shaman’s Guild. I had another name a long time ago but I haven’t used it in decades.

Drum Captain Dagda, it is.  (Mind if I shorten it to Dagda, though?)

  • [If you must]

Thank you.  And, one other nosy personal question before we get started.  Since we have a variety of individuals being escorted through: Are you a species with any unique gifts?

  • I am human, born Native American of the Plains Indian tribes and I am a Shaman. I can shape shift (I am a skinwalker) and move between worlds to commune with spirits. I can also curse and use my spirit-contacts to visit retribution.

 

I do hope I remain off of your list of people needing retribution!  Do you have many on that list, or your list of enemies?

  • Principally I have been fighting demons who want to take over human souls. Non-magical humans are like children, totally vulnerable and so it is despicable to victimise them.

Agreed.  Victimizing the weak is always in bad taste.  Do you have any allies helping you?

  • My only real allies are the brotherhood of the Black Shamans. They and their power animals have come to my aid many times.

Sounds like you have a strong support base then.  What happens if one of your enemies insults you, or one of your allies?

  • That is a normal part of the demons’ weaponry. They attack the mind. If they cannot make you fear them , they flatter and praise you. I am immune to both from friends or enemies alike.

Sounds like it makes for a lonely life.  Do you have any siblings to comfort you?

  • I don’t know. I did have but I left all my family  behind in a series of events that led me to the Guild. Scribe Ailsa is taking notes from me to write about it one day.

What about a lover or constant companion?  Maybe a spouse?

  • In my life I have loved only three people. One is part of my deeply buried past, the other two appear in the Alchemy series. My pupil, Riga had a teenaged crush on me and nearly had to break her heart because at that time I was in love with someone else. It was good for her education. It made her tough and resilient.

Do you have any deep secrets or fears you feel comfortable enough to share with us?

  • ::Deep laugh.:: [If I shared,] then it would be a secret no more.

What about accomplishments you can brag about, then?

  • I am very proud of Riga, she learned well and has achieved things that most of our Guild would never have considered. I am happy for her that she has found a new path in life but touched by a little sadness that I know I will never see her again. I was not made to be a Grandfather substitute.

Isn’t that the way it is will all of life?  You meet and touch many, but in the end they have to walk their own way.

Drum Captain Dagda of the Black Shaman’s Guild, thank you for letting Ailsa bring you here today to visit.

Ailsa, thank you for coming back again.  As always, it has been fun having you over to visit.

  • Thank you, Sister, for your kind questions.

 

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish to read more about Dagda and his guild, you can find the books on Amazon here:

Alchemy

 A world without war?

Professor Sawhele Fielding stumbles across an invention that would change the world; something so monumental, it could spell the end of environmental disaster and conflict. With the help of her father, a shadowy figure in the world of international banking, she begins to set into motion the biggest upheaval the planet has seen.

But in a changed world, dark forces are threatening the fragile peace. Where modern technology is proving useless, old magic from a bygone era might just save the day. Adrian Oliver, expert in ancient religions is skeptical until faced with incontrovertible proof that ancient evil is abroad once again.

How could a Utopian dream of free fuel and peaceful co-existence turn into a nightmare?

Iamo, a priest of the Mother Goddess and Riga, a Black Shaman assassin captain, are thrown together – reluctantly at first – to face a threat that nobody could have imagined before “The Changes”.

ALCHEMY is the prequel to Shaman’s Drum which features the adventures of Iamo and Riga through their world in the near future, where the established religions of our own days had been banned.

Shaman’s Drum

England in the near future.

Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again.

Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive.

Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust?

Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga’s Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths.

It’s a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.

 

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please stop by my Offered Services page, and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get with you soonest to discuss details.

 

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—– Ailsa Abraham’s Nanny Ab Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

 

When Nanny Ab and The Ancient Mariner (not forgetting the faithful hounds) decide to look for a peaceful spot for her to write in the sun, they head for their usual hide-away in Spain. It’s June, they know the place and the only thing Nanny knows she’s forgotten is her hairdryer. So what can possibly go wrong?

 

 

 

 

Welcome everyone.  Today, Ailsa has returned, and has brought Nanny Ab with her, from “Four Go Mad in Catalonia“.  Nanny Ab, is this your name, or do you have something else you prefer to be called?

  • Nanny Ab [is fine]. It’s what everyone calls me so there’s no point knowing if I had another one.

Nanny Ab it is then.  And, I’ll be nosy as we have quite a few interesting folks come through here:  What species are you, and do you have any unique gifts?

  • I’m human but a witch. I spose that is normal in your world too , isn’t it?

Not around these parts.  Where were you born, that witches are common place?

  • I wasn’t born, I was hatched… out of the fertile imagination of Ailsa Abraham to take the blame for all her less-admirable traits.

Shame on you Ailsa!  Nanny Ab, do you define yourself in terms of “good” or “bad”?

  • I am very moral but I don’t suffer fools at all, never mind gladly. Got great patience with the afflicted or elderly but not “normal” people who are just being stupid.

My kind of gal!  Does that make it hard to get along with others, though?

  • [No] – I am the world’s greatest “get-chatting merchant”. I can’t go anywhere without being on the receiving end of other people’s life stories. Get ’em all laughing and leave ’em like that!

Makes sense to me.  Since you know you’re a hatchling from someone’s imagination, what does that do for your personality?

  • [I’m] split!

Does that split affect who you consider to be your friends or enemies?

  • [No.  My enemies will always be] anyone who is cruel to animals.

What would you do if one of your enemies complemented you?

  • Pick up my two-ton handbag and whack ’em with it.

Sounds about like what I like to call my Bakka Hammer.  Do you have anything you’d like to change about yourself?

  • I wish I weren’t such a soft touch and so wishy-washy (giggle)

I’d say that whacking your enemies isn’t wishy-washy!  Do you ever feel the knee-jerk reaction affects your chances of dating anyone?

  • At my age?????

You’re not that old!  There’s gentlemen out there who are looking, and they aren’t that much younger (or older) than you.  Or is it your occupation that prevents you from finding someone?

  • I’m full-time travelling companion to the famous author Ailsa Abraham and yes, I love it.

Maybe that’s the barrier?  They see you with her, and think you two are a couple already.

Do you have any deep secrets or dark fears you can share with us?  (Ones Ailsa may not know about?)

  • [My secret is that] I hate gravy.
  • [My fear is] people taking me seriously

Oh, dear.  That is a hard one to respond to.  Do you have any achievements to help counter that fear?

  • I stop Ailsa going out of her mind when we are on the road. I keep nudging her and saying “Think how good this is going to read in the book”.

::Chuckles::  That is a wonderful counter all right.  Nanny Ab, thank you for coming by today.  Ailsa, thank you for coming back on such short notice.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish to connect with Ailsa, you can find her home over on the  Bingergread Cottage, or on Amazon here writing as Cameron Lawton.  She also haunts Facebook Here, and makes appearances on Twitter Here.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please head over to my Offered Services page, and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get back with you soonest to discuss details.

Ailsa Abraham Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Welcome, welcome!  Before much longer you’ll see my reviews of this fabulous author’s books:  AlchemyShaman’s Drum.  Today, you get a chance to meet the lady behind the stories.  Ailsa, can you get us started with a little about yourself, and where you are from while I bring in the tea tray and refreshments?

  • Born on a train nowhere near my parents lived so stateless from birth.
  • Went to University to study drama with an English teaching degree in London. Had more jobs than I can remember, most of them fun. On marriage number 3. Now French national and living in France since 1990. No children but always masses of animals

What about with your writing?  What got you started?

  • From a tiny age I was given Beatrix Potter books which had gorgeous illustrations and fascinating stories. I wanted to make more of them.
  • I must have been about 4. My school reading book was unsatisfactory so I sat down and re-wrote the end. That was how it began- never stopped since

Was that the inspiration for your first book?

  • First book never published – my boyfriend at that time’s looks. It was a Scarlet Pimpernel/Pirate dual personality story.

I’ve read two of your books.  Do you have any new projects or news you can share with us about what’s coming?

  • Just got back from a road-trip to Slovenia from which we had to run away as the frontiers were closing all around us. Did the return journey to France in 24 hours with hardly any sleep. Glad to be home but will make a good story.
  • Book 3 of the Alchemy series, a memoir book by my alter ego Nanny Ab and a work on Healing which my publishers asked me to write. Yes! Asked ME!
  • Yes of course – this is from Book Three of the Alchemy series. “This was a conundrum for Riga. Since her acceptance into the Guild of Black Shaman at the age of seven, she had been a magic-user. All but the most basic of modern equipment was completely alien because her magical energies caused them to stop functioning or, in the worst case with electrical goods, blow up. She had never driven a car, had no idea how they worked and yet here she was, being called by the spirit of one. It had reached across the yard to touch her.Had it been an animal there would have been no hesitation but as a shaman she believed that everything had a spirit. Rocks, trees, water, forests…so why not a car? Especially one that had obviously had such a close relationship with the Duke. They must have been a team. Like a horse. If it had been a horse, would she have hesitated for a moment?Deciding that if the thing had enough spirit to call to her then it was her duty to respond, she lifted the tarpaulin and caught her breath at the gleaming chrome and shining paintwork revealed. A deep green body with the Scottish Saltire flag painted on the roof and, bending down she saw a face. The front most definitely looked like a face with big eyes.She sat down cross legged in front of the car and opened her spirit to it. The sadness and longing flooded into her and it felt almost like pain. So, these machines of the Once-Born did have spirits after all!”

I’m drooling!  And, waiting patiently… sort of.  Do you have an event you can point to and say, “this!  This is when I became a real writer!”?

  • When people on line started wanting more of my creative work. Shortly after I was given a contract by a publisher so felt vindicated in saying “Me awfur”

How do you feel about writing as a career?

  • Erm – it is all I do now I am retired due to ill health so I suppose – yes, if that doesn’t sound pretentious.

I don’t see that as pretentious at all.  You’ve taken the cards life dealt you, and made it a winning hand.  Has that influenced your choice of writing styles?

  • Not at all. I love playing around with all styles. I write comedy, memoirs, fiction, romance… will try my hand at anything.

Is that reflected in your cover creation as well, or did you work with someone else?

  • In both trad published series it was my two publishers but in my one self pubbed I did it – and it shows. Won’t be doing that again. Get professional help is the only answer.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Sounds like you have your hands full.  With the range of styles you write in, do you weave the stories out of whole cloth, or do you draw from your own experiences and knowledge?

  • My Alchemy series is based on my own life-long experience of pagan religions of all sorts. The rituals quoted are genuine.
  • How much of the book is realistic? All of them? All of it. I draw on my own experience in the Royal Air Force for YTC gay romance, writing as Cameron Lawton.

With such a wide array of genres, and interests, do you have a specific method for selecting your titles?

  • Which one? First one ever published was military so “Yours to Command” became inevitable and the sequel “Cancel Christmas” has happened to both me and current husband in the services.

Have you had any books that influenced your life, and later your writing?

  • Myths and Legends of all sorts, Alan Garner, Tolkien and Sir Terry Pratchett. Surprisingly also the Bible which is a collection of great stories.

What about favorite books or authors?  Any come to mind as a mentor figure?

  • None. I write in my own style which probably is probably a mish-mash of influences by all my favourites.

That definitely can make things interesting.  With so many favorites, have you found any new authors to add to the list?

  • Plenty but the one thing I don’t have is time. I have the books on my TBR list but still cannot read for long without migraine.

Sorry to hear that.  I’ve seen you on Facebook, and you do so much for your fellow authors.  Can I be nosy, and ask who you’re reading now (time permitting)?

  • Yours!

::Blush, gulp!::  Thanks?  I was not expecting that one!  ::clears throat::

Who would you say has been your biggest support on your author’s journey?

  • All my friends on line have been very supportive. I don’t have much in the way of family but they have stepped into the breech and cheered me on.

Were there many challenges you encountered and learned from with the support of your friends?

  • Stickability is more important than inspiration or creativity.
  • [One of the biggest challenges was] time! I am chaotic and find it very difficult to organise my work so end up writing three MS at one time . I am also recovering from a stroke and coma so tend to fall asleep.
  • [Also, writing] the blurbs!

I think every author alive could agree with you on the last point.

What about personal growth?  If you could start over on a book with what you’ve learned now, is there anything you’d change along the way?

  • Of course! I don’t do perfection and I can always see “tweaks” in everyone’s work

Ugh!  Don’t remind me!  (That’s a story for another day, however.)

Going back to a previous comment – that you draw from your own experiences and knowledge – have you used that information before to weave in messages into your books for readers to find?

  • Several. Gay people do their jobs and are People, just like you. Religion  and belief systems should unite people not make them unhappy. If we learn more about each others’ beliefs we will understand and be less condemnatory.

And, the big question that all of his has been leading up to:  What advice would you pass onto your fellow writing travelers?

  • Don’t rush it. Never publish or submit something until you have polished it to death. Just because you CAN self-publish is no excuse for putting out crap. It does all of us no good at all.

Ailsa, it has been an absolute grand time having you over.  Thank you for coming.  As we wrap up, any last words for your readers?

  • Yes, a very big THANK YOU for encouraging me when I am on my knees and for leaving me such lovely reviews. Without you gang, I would have given up.

And, another huge thank you for coming.  May you have a safe trip home, and better health find you soon.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish to connect with Ailsa, you can find her home over on the  Bingergread Cottage, or on Amazon here writing as Cameron Lawton.  She also haunts Facebook Here, and makes appearances on Twitter Here.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please head over to my Offered Services page, and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get back with you soonest to discuss details.