Give us a little bit of background on your writing career.
I’ve been writing seriously for around six years. Before that, I did a fair bit of what I guess you could call copywriting: creating content for websites, tourist brochures, stuff like that (all work-related). I’ve had some non-fiction published, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun submitting fiction.
What appealed to you about the Astrologica project?
It was actually a friend of mine, Alex Davis, who put me on to it. He thought my writing was strong enough that I should try submitting to anthologies and recommended I take a look at your website. I remember about five minutes of utter panic while I wondered whether I really could write a story to order, then this grim determination to at least try. So there was that, but I’ve always been intrigued by the occult and this was a chance to look into the topic.
Why did you choose this particular star sign for your story?
Honestly? It was as random as: “Which star signs don’t seem to get mentioned very often?” So, once the thought “Hmm, maybe Virgo?” popped into my head, I trawled through astrology websites and books on the occult until something clicked — which happened to be the fact that the Golden Dawn associated tarot cards with astrological symbols. Virgo is The Hermit and the image of someone isolated and in search of answers got the story rolling.
Which star sign are you and what qualities of that sign do you display?
Well, the star sign’s Sagittarius, but as for the rest I haven’t a clue. I still know practically nothing about astrology. Besides, (adopts Cockney accent) I’m a (sniff) Rational ’Umanist, meself, squire…
What is the most accurate/least accurate horoscope you have ever read?
Let’s see, about two years ago my mother (she was a Leo, I think) read that she was in for a testing week but, at the end of it, she would definitely be coming into money and could look forward to a quieter time ahead. Well, the week passed without incident, although she did get three numbers come up on the National Lottery that Friday… But, the following week, the kettle sprung a leak, the iron burned out and, I can’t remember, something else, like the vacuum cleaner, went wrong, and her lottery win evaporated as quickly as manifesto pledges the day after an election.
Where do you go from here?
Right now I’m about halfway through a novel. This’ll be my third, so I’m still feeling my way through the form, but it seems to be going well. Aside from that, I’m applying to a couple of literary development programs which, if I get on them, should help me dig a lot more deeply, see what I’m really capable of. All that and I’ve accidentally found myself acting as an unofficial mentor to a couple of writers, who are even less experienced than I am(!). It’s actually genuinely satisfying — simply having someone say, “Thanks, you you’ve really helped.”