All my writing is mythic; that is, my stories' settings and/or their events contain elements beyond the natural. I find no need to write "naturalistic" fiction, as myth can say everything naturalistic fiction can say and more.
My writing tends to make extensive use of symbols, sometimes consciously, but sometimes only apparent to me long after the writing is complete. I prefer literature that can be understood on more than one level, that speaks to the reader both literally and figuratively. Religious symbolism is most prominent in my work. Erotic imagery runs a close second.
All my life I have had a love affair with words -- not only the meaning, but the mere sound of them. Spoken language, with its varied tone qualities and rhythms, acts on my ears like music. I aim to write prose whose virtues are only fully experienced when read aloud.
I grew up loving books of all sorts, but was most enraptured by fairy tales. My favourite writer, discovered when I was nineteen, is C. S. Lewis; he has had a tremendous influence on the content, if perhaps less on the style, of my writing. Other major influences include G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, George MacDonald, Lord Dunsany, William Morris, Dante, Shakespeare, and the King James Bible. For more about my literary favourites, visit From Tallis to Aranjuez.
This is the tentative title of a chapbook (small book) of my stories to be published by Pyx Press. Many Waters is a triptych of stories that are independent but thematically related -- The Fairies' Pavane, Wedding Song, and Of No Device. The chapbook will also include the stories One Burning Wing and Prince of Thieves.
Other (adult) short stories I have written include Vagrancy, Dog Tags, Bawdy Chemistry, Backstage, The Magnetism of Love, Robin's Graft, "Son of God, Daughter of Man", Long as the Rivers Run, The Accuser, and First Time Over. Humano-Arboreal Transmogrification, published in The Mythic Circle Issue 6, was co-written by my husband and me and is reprinted in full on our web site.
In this my second novel -- the opening sentence of which ("Everywhere there were morning glories.") provides the title for this page -- a deserter ship from a late 18th century navy lands on a mythical Polynesian Island. The ship's remaining crew consists of its captain, its chaplain, and a nineteen year old midshipman; the Island's inhabitants consist of three women, who have lived since before the millennia-ago Deluge by virtue of the island's Fountain of Life. The story centres around the loves and conflicts between these six characters, and entangled in the plot are the pre-Deluge history of the Island and the curse that led to the "long rain," the curse's deepening by the ship's captain and its ultimate overturning, and the mysteries of the Island's Goddess, Kaia Lare.
In my first novel, a dispossessed chieftain and an exiled sorcerer, both gifted with supernatural powers, vie for the heart of a reclusive dancer. A horribly stained sword, a twenty-nine stringed instrument, a deathly Metropolis, a mystic Tower of Dancing, and red and white roses figure prominently in the story.
My three stories to date written inclusively of though not exclusively for children are Ye Cinnamon Beare, The Journey to Next Door, and On the Back of the White Hart.
I have had two literary essays published. One is on the subject of Charles Williams' All Hallows' Eve (The Nature of the City: Visions of the Kingdom and its Saints in Charles Williams' All Hallows' Eve, published in Mythlore Issue 57). The other is on Lord Dunsany's The Sword Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth (Lord Dunsany: The Potency of Words and the Wonder of Things, published in Mythlore Issue 55). The full text of these essays is available for your perusal.
Most of my non-prose writing has taken the form of approximately one hundred song lyrics, though in recent years I have developed a passion for the sonnet form.
Novels which I have thought much about but which I have not yet written include Ashes to Easter, In the Year of Our Lord, The Bands of Orion, and Bluecrest. I also hope at some time to write a non-fiction autobiographical book, tentatively titled A Trinity of Sons, about my experience of losing two baby boys and adopting a third.