Thursday, June 13, 2013

Magical interview with Teri Harman

Teri Harman plays with magic
Teri Harman, author of Blood Moon drops by the Blog Mansion just before summer solstice to talk about witches.
Johnny: That K’Apta Cremp. He’s a homunculus and he bites. Be careful.

Teri: Where did you get it?

J: I’m a practicing Magician. He’s on loan.

T: From whom?

J: I’d tell you but it could get dicey. It’s part of the contract, “must not be named” and all that.” Don’t step out of the salt circle, by the way. The room is charged.

T: I’m afraid to ask.

J: Oh, look out K’Apta Cremp is on fire again. He does that all the time to get attention. Ignore him.

T: Shouldn’t we put him out?

J: I honestly don’t know how. You’ve got to be excited. Your book’s to be released in just a couple of days. Tell us about Blood Moon?

T: Us?
(is this a great cover or what?)

J: There are others watching.

T: Well, hello Others! Blood Moon is a witch fantasy for teens and adults. It’s the story of Willa and Simon, a young couple, who’ve had strange abilities all their lives, but never known why. Willa sees real events in her dreams and her best friend is a ghost. Simon can sense others’ emotions, intentions and heal with a touch. One night, prompted by one of Willa’s bizarre dreams they rescue a woman held prisoner in the basement of an old Victorian home. This catapults them into the alluring, but dangerous world of witchcraft. Answers to all their questions are in reach, but there’s a seriously evil Dark witch eager to destroy the Light witches.

J: Magic and Witches, huh? Do you use the Agrippa, Waite, Crowley or Dr. John Dee Enochian system’s as source material? Or are you influenced by Gerald Garnder’s post-modern paganism?

T: The magic in the Moonlight Trilogy is based on Wicca and Natural Magic, specifically the techniques and lore found in Scott Cunningham’s books.

J: Where did you get your training in witchcraft?

T: I was born a witch ;) Oh, and I read a whole bunch of books.

J: Are you worried about upsetting real witches?

T: I hope not. I hope they appreciate the history and references to their culture in the book.

J: What’s your background? Where’d you go to school?

T: I have a BS degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Utah. Yeah, I know – that has nothing to do with writing books or witches. What can I say – I thought I was being more practical. Turns out being practical can’t squash a dream. However, my first published articles, how I started in my writing career, were about fitness. So it all worked out.

J: What’s the setting of Blood Moon?

T: Blood Moon is set in the fictional town of Twelve Acres, Colorado. A small town in the mountains, not far from Denver.

J: How does the Magic system you invented work? What are the Six Gifts, or is that too many spoilers?

T: Most of what I read in my research referred to the roots of magic being in the earth, in the elements. All trees, flowers, plants, stones, everything in the earth, have specific magical properties. I used that as my jumping off point and created The Six Gifts: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Dreams and Mind. Each witch is born with one dominate talent or Gift. They can work magic of all kinds, but are always the strongest in their Gift. A True Coven, or a powerful coven, is created by having one of each of these gifts all the same sex. Binding two True Covens, one male, one female, creates what I call a Covenant. The Covenant is the most powerful of witch circles and the battle in Blood Moon is over whether the Light witches or the Dark will be able to Bind these powers.


J: What do you think makes a book “Young Adult,” how does Blood Moon fit into that definition?

T: Traditionally, it’s the age of the main character. Blood Moon kind of hangs out in-between categories, a little too old for standard young adult, but too young for adult. It fits in a new category called New Adult. Willa and Simon are 18 and 19, struggling to make the transition from teenager to adult while discovering the magic. So the book can be enjoyed by teenagers AND adults.

J: This is the first book of a trilogy. How goes the work on the next ones?

T: Great! I’m almost done with book 2, Black Moon. The story has taken some exciting turns and I can’t wait to hear what readers think.

J: What’s your writing process? Do you light a candle, burn incense to your muse?

T: Ha, ha! No. I have three young children, so there are no open flames allowed. My kids are 7, 5, and 3. I write in constant chaos, interrupted every few minutes. But I’ve learned to work in the craziness and still be productive. Somehow everything gets done.

J: I met you once before at a book signing do you remember?

T: Of course. Adrienne Monson’s launch for Dissension. You showed me your cool little writing notebook and wore a tie-dye shirt.

J: You clipped your fingernails in the back do you remember? I wonder what ever happened to those fingernails?

T: I properly disposed of them so that no Dark witch could use them to cast a spell against me.

J: You know it’s possible for an industrious Sympathetic Magician not afraid to dumpster dive to use fingernails in a spell. That’s the basis if the Voodoo doll you know.

K’Apta Cremp
T: Well, obviously. That’s what I just said.

J: So how are you feeling?

T: Tired – things are super crazy right now. But it’s also because I’m super excited. This has been a long, hard journey and I can’t wait take the next step. I think I’ll do a few energy spells.

J: You have promotional advantages most authors don’t have. Tell me about your connections to the media.

T: I started writing articles and doing book reviews for KSL and Deseret News, two big news outlets here in Utah, a little over two years ago. I was given a bi-weekly book column for shortly after I started and I also do regular book segments on Studio 5, Utah’s #1 lifestyle show. Both of these opportunities I asked for, proposed to the editors and producers, and was fortunate that both said yes. Never be afraid to ask.
J: Tell me your journey from writer to author, how you hooked up with a publisher.

T: It took me six years, three books and enduring over 100 rejections. Blood Moon was the third book I wrote and the one that got me a literary agent and a publisher. In the spring of 2012, my brother attended a publishing fair at BYU. Afterward, he told me about Jolly Fish Press, a brand new publisher, eagerly accepting submissions. I passed the contact info onto my agent and she submitted my manuscript. A few weeks later I finally had a publishing deal – and a trilogy at that. It was fate.

J: Where can people find out more about you?



TWITTER @TeriHarman



J: So with so much fame and publicity power, I’m sure your book will be a hit.

T: Thanks. I don’t know about ‘so much fame and publicity power’. But I sure hope it helps.

J: Here take this.

T: What is it?

J: It’s an amulet. It’ll ward off the evil eye.

T: Thanks.

J: Or it’ll attract demons to you.

T: Which is it?

J: Witch indeed. Can I count on your help when my books come out?

T: Absolutely. A true witch shares the magic.

J: Here sign this contract. K’Apta Cremp has a pen for you.

T: There’s no ink in the pen.

J: Use your imagination.

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