Sally Dubats is a published author of a non-fiction compendium on the practice of witchcraft called Natural Magick: The Essential Witch’s Grimoire. Her current project is an 8-book fantasy series, The Grimoire Chronicles. The first two books are complete, and Veil Between Worlds and Winter Shock have received critical acclaim. She has held editorial positions for green non-profit organizations, and was the editor of a metaphysical newspaper for several years. Sally is Wiccan and continues to practice and research the Craft.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I plan with plenty of room for flow. I get an initial idea for a story, plan it, and when something is just too juicy to pass up, the story can divert or merge or flow in the direction it needs to go. When I look at my initial idea, it’s there. The flowing, to me, is where the polish comes from.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Want to? Yes. Do they? Yes. It’s like being in a passenger seat with a student driver. You know they should break sooner or wait to pull out into traffic, or turn in another direction, but you let them have their way for a bit. Then you get back in the driver's seat (back to the keyboard), and drive home. You say, “Whew. We made it.” But it’s still the experienced driver (writer) driving home.
What is your favourite food?
Oh, wow. I’m a complete, sensuous, unapologetic foodie. My favorite food is the one I’m eating! Try loving the moment, enjoying the taste, color, smell, texture, and you’ll be in love with every food too before long!
Nope, nothing could get me to love fish, LOL!
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m medium, I think. I don’t like to get up early, but seriously, sometimes my characters wake me up, and that’s when I have my most productive writing. Eeeaarrrrly. As in, I can’t believe I’m awake, early.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I want to visit all the really unusual, mystical places, like Machu Pichu, the pyramids, Stonehenge, and others. I want to feel the mystery of where we came from. I’ve been in almost every state in the United States, traveled to Mexico, Canada, the Virgin Islands, and would love to do more world traveling. I want to meet people from everywhere!
Do distant places feature in your books?
Yes! But it’s sort of a secret! There is a hint at the end of “Winter Shock”. Book 1 (“Veil Between Worlds”) takes place in Cassie’s small home town. Book 2 is a bit of a stretch for her as she travels with Trenton. The rest of the books are going to be mind-blowing adventures all over the globe. Ahhhh! I just spoiled it!
Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes. All kinds of music. During Book 1 I listened to a lot of modern Tangos because they really suited the feel of the relationship, the give and take, between Trenton and Cassie. Also, Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy”, K T Tunstell “Suddenly I See”, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears (I love her new brown hair), Pink, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keyes. I’m all over the place with my music.
“Winter Shock” was a big risk for me. I knew I had to open up and write on a bigger canvas in order to tell the story. I let Cassie really find out what she was made of, how far she could stretch. I grew as a writer, and Cassie grew as a character. It takes place during the Pagan Sabbat Yule, and I’m overlapping our world today with the ideas behind Yule: The darkest night of the year where we go deep within ourselves that also marks the beginning of longer days and light. I used this theme as a backdrop for the rest of the books. Cassie and Trenton face their darkest selves so they can move in a new direction.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
Oh, my Goddess! My first book was non-fiction, and I really enjoyed that. I think there are even more challenges to fiction, and that surprised me. A lot. With non-fiction, you have facts that you deal with. With non-fiction, the ENTIRE manuscript is a moving, alive thing. If you change one thing, like a date (which is one of the worst things you have to change because of the chronology), you have to go through and make sure it all fits together. It’s like a million-piece jigsaw puzzle. About publishing, whew... You have to learn every aspect and become an unexpected pro in a lot of areas. It’s fascinating, and I love it!
Is there anything you would do differently?
Yes. I decided to self-publish, and for those who self-publish, I would have more books ready to go to start with. If you have two or three to begin with, all of your marketing efforts can apply to more books, and you can make a little more headway, I think.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
The books I love most also have a lot of heart, courage, and spiritual undertones. Even Harry Potter has a very spiritual undertone to me when Harry has to learn valuable lessons. Some of Dumbledore’s teachings are priceless and brought tears to my eyes. That’s what I’m talking about, really seeing ourselves because of what a character has gone through. I loved 2150. I also love the Sookie Stackhouse books because of the sense of humor!
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Keep writing. Try your hardest to only hear the value behind criticism, and not the sting. Don’t let the sting keep you from the craft, and let the value be your guide. Write, write, write.
Loving. Open. Free.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
My favorite writer is Hemingway. I think my favorite book is the same as food! I love the one I’m reading. I did really like “Rebecca.”
Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your website!
You're very welcome :)
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book.
“Winter Shock” Book 2 in “The Grimoire Chronicles” Series.
“Trenton drugged and kidnapped me. I was powerless.”
Cassie’s neighbors have secrets, and she is one of them.
A Witch taken against her will to an isolated, frozen wilderness on an impossible quest, Cassie defends herself against Trenton who has gone over to the dark side. One minute he’s adorable and charming, and the next weird, uncaring, and hostile. And now, Cassie fears for her life.
Winter Solstice draws near, and Cassie performs magical spells to gain clarity. Instead she is shocked by visions and mind jumps into the lives of strangers on the brink of disaster.
Why is she in a hostile, threatening wilderness? What is causing the horrific visions? Cassie discovers there is much more at stake than her own survival. To survive, she must overcome impossible odds.
Book two in "The Grimoire Chronicles" series, “Winter Shock” is a paranormal fantasy novel that you’ll never forget! If you love paranormal romance, urban fantasy, Witches and Wicca, paranormal mystery, paranormal horror, action and survival, “The Grimoire Chronicles” series is definitely for you!
List of previous books if any
“Veil Between Worlds” Book 1 in “The Grimoire Chronicles” Series.
Natural Magick: The Essential Witch’s Grimoire (non-fiction)
Coming soon: A Paranormal Comedy
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.