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LON PRATER-THE MAGICIAN INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

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Get to know Lon Prater, one of the 22 contributors to the recently-released Allegories of the Tarot Anthology (which is already trailblazing its way up the fantasy anthology charts on Amazon!). Lon wrote his tale, The Intern’s Story, based on The Magician card. You can read an excerpt of his story below. 

Get the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology in on AmazonSmashwords,Kobo, and everywhere else e-books are sold. Add the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

About Lon

lon-praterLon Prater has worked in the Reactor Compartments of USS Enterprise, edited the military’s textbook on arms deals, and kept things safe in the produce and laundry industries. He lives, writes, and plays a lot of board games in Pensacola, Florida. Visit lonprater.com to find out more.

Just a few questions…

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card? I like the idea of transformative knowledge. That having gone through certain stages, the Magician has learned a thing or two about both the divine and the mundane, and he’s been changed by it. Empowered by knowledge, the Magician is equipped to deal with what comes next.

Why did you decide to get roped into this project?  Annetta and I used to be part of a smallish online writers group. I know her talent, her obsession with quality, and her drive. There is no way I would pass up the chance to be a part of a project she believes so strongly in.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before? I have had rune readings done several times by a skilled friend, but I am foggy on whether I’ve had any honest-to-gosh Tarot readings.

What other projects do you have planned? A novel I co-wrote with Josh Rountree, ALAMO RISING, is due to debut at Worldcon San Antonio this year. Having a lot of fun with promotional plans that I’ll be able to talk more about later in the year.

How did you decide what to write about? As I considered the list of cards which were still available, and reviewed their meanings, I got a flash of insight about a story I had been working on a few weeks earlier. The story didn’t work for me at the time because I didn’t know what it was about. But seeing The Magician’s element of connecting the spiritual and material worlds in order to create a new life, I instantly realized what my story was really about, and then set to redrafting it.

How literal did you want to get with your card? I didn’t really want to go for literal. The card itself is a metaphor, and taking metaphor too literally seems to cause enough problems in the world as it is, without me adding to it.

Is your story a part of something you’ve written about previously? I have actually written one other story about photographing fairies, a long time past. It wasn’t very good and I should never have let the publisher have it, but I was desperate for the feeling of having sold a story, so… Now the little zine it appeared in is long-defunct, and that story will never ever (ever ever) see the light of day again.

Would you like to have written about any other card? Which card? Why? No. Once I read the descriptions of the Magician and had that flash of insight about “The Intern’s Story” there was no chance of wanting to go with another card. It was a tense little wait when I requested it from Annetta, hoping no one else had beat me to it!

If you could have the power to divine the future, would you or would you not and why? I would love to. But with my luck it would be some terribly limited and useless divination, like I’d only be able to tell whether Hart of Dixie would get better again, or how long before men wearing jeggings becomes a capital offense.

An excerpt from The Intern’s Story

Hansom Haddix nudged the antique pickup’s three-on-the-tree column shifter back into third. The transmission shrieked like a circular saw cutting through knotty wood. The big truck shuddered, but somehow kept right on zooming down the red clay Georgia road. We were on a mission, the infamous white-haired photographer and I.

I just didn’t know what it was.

Read the rest of The Intern’s Story in the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology!

About Allegories of the Tarot

allegoriestarotcoverOnce upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and were fashioned into an anthology?”

The idea would not leave her alone.

And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born.

Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe.

Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.

Get the book!

Allegories of the Tarot is available in e-book and paperback format on AmazonKobo, and in multiple e-book formats on Smashwords.

Don’t forget to add Allegories of the Tarot to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Connect with the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on its websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

 

WHAT’S KEEPING ME BUSY

Where to start? I feel like I’m stuffing my double-digit body in a size two pair of spandex shorts. There’s stuff bubbling out everywhere.

You’re welcome for the image. Heh.

1. WORK. Lots and lots of work. I knew September would be busy, but I didn’t figure on being this busy. I’m not complaining because I love my job, but holy batballs. October is beginning to look mighty busy as well, so the keyword here is PACING.Note to self: Purchasing additional day planners or calendars does NOT add days to the month.

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This is a bat. I have no idea if it has balls or not, and I’m not close enough to find out.

2. We are fast approaching the final stages of ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT and I am beside myself with JOY. This project has been a dream come true, and to finally see it come to fruition is nothing short of amazing. As we gear up, plans are underway for prizes, surprises, and much merriment. If you’re interested in joining in the fun, Badass Marketing is looking for participants in a month-long blog tour. You can sign up HERE. Come and cavort with us!

3. In more ALLEGORIES news, we are THRILLED to announce a story from the awesome MeiLin Miranda will appear. I’m so stoked this worked out! It means all the pieces are in place and I have my “A” team. COLOR ME HAPPY!

4. Something that helps me keep less busy is a website I found some time ago. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, because I realized immediately how valuable it was. It’sAbout Me, and if you don’t have a presence there yet, I highly recommend you get your hiney over there and take ten precious minutes to set it up. The interface is easy-peasy to navigate, and once you set it, you can forget it. It updates changes immediately; lists all your pertinent links where people can find you, and provides a peek into your personality. I love it because it is easy, it’s another way to network, and you can include the link anywhere without having to dig for all your links when needed. It’s like a business card for the Interwebz, and best of all…IT COSTS NOTHING.

You’re welcome. Feel free to hook up with me there.

5. New fiction: yeah, yeah. Both CHAINS and the next adventure of Sally Mae are at the halfway point, and I’m also working on a new project which may or may not fly. What can I say? There are only so many hours in the day.

On that note, I have to bounce, because daylight’s burning and I gots stuff to do.

Tell me what kind of trouble you’re stirring up!

<3

 

BACK IN THE SADDLE

While Monday will never be my favorite day just on general principles, I will say I almost caught myself looking forward to this one. I blame the beautiful magic of Prince Edward Island, in which I spent an amazing week with a perfect combination of work, play, and the best company ever.

Please. Just look at this:

I was forced to stare at this for a WHOLE WEEK!

I was forced to stare at this for a WHOLE WEEK!

As difficult as it was to endure the breathtaking gorgeousness of the island (*snicker*) I did manage to teach a self-editing workshop for PEI Writes, and then later in the week, sit on a panel sponsored by Fierce Ink Press on independent publishing. The turn-out was great and I met so many lovely people! BONUS: I did not puke, pass out, or have a seizure. Trust me, as a hardcore introvert, all three were distinct possibilities.

It was a wonderful week of creativity, connections, and relaxation. I returned home with my batteries charged and ready to romp.

I will be working on a number of projects, juggling quite a few balls. There’s my regular work, with several new and returning clients scheduled. I LOVE MY JOB! This is the push before the holiday season, so if you’re interested in a content edit, now’s the time to book services. I’ll also be working on Allegories of the Tarot to get it ready for a Halloween release. I’m so excited about this, I can’t even tell you.

Then, I’ll be working on finishing Athena’s Chains, the sequel to Athena’s Promise plus a new project that’s still in the baby stages. I’m shooting for an end of year release forChains, with the other project due out early in the new year if all goes well. Those are the goals.

So the plate is full, but I like it that way. 🙂

In the meantime, keep an eye on the Editing Work page for new releases of some fabulous fiction.

And of course, updates as they happen and time allows.

Woohoo! Back in the saddle and loving every minute of it!

What are YOU up to? Sound off in the comments and tell me all about it.

Busy Netta Is Busy

But it’s been a fun busy. If there is such a thing.

Of course, I’ve been rolling full steam on Allegories of the Tarot (you can find the official website here), and I have to say it has been one hell of an experience. I’m learning a lot, but the best part of the whole thing is this group of writers are just…well, FABULOUS. They’re funny, and supportive, and seem to want to see this anthology come to light almost as much as I do. It’s a great group, and I love seeing how some of these writers who have never met before are forging new connections and friendships. It’s been a totally team effort, for which I’m really grateful and touched. SO. Much. Fun. You’ll see a taste of what I mean Monday, May 13th when I post a very interesting story about the Tarot cards which have taken over my house on the official website. Too hilarious.

I’ve never put an anthology together before, so I didn’t know what to expect. All I can say from what I see this is what being an indie is all about. Supporting each other, helping out, reaching out. It’s been a blast.

Red Tash graciously gave me some Internet love, and I also appeared on the blog of Pushcart Prize nominee Loren Kleinman. In the meantime, the lovely Eden Baylee interviewed me on her blog. She asked some interesting questions and it was an honor to appear. Then today, the incorrigible Laura Eno invited me to Tuesday Tea With Mistress Snark. I’m still hearing orange yammering in my ear (you’ll have to read the article to understand…) and I earned this beautiful badge, which I display with a big BOOYAH:

 

Except for the orange thing. Heh.
Except for the orange thing. Heh.

We’re working on the cover concept, thanks to the brilliance of Kris Austen Radcliffe, who has also contributed some other stunning images to the campaign. Like my very own Chariot teaser card:

 

How cool is this?
How cool is this?

There are a lot more things in the works, and everything will be updated on the on the official website as they happen. I can say I’ve received six stories so far, and every single one of them has blown off my socks. So happy!

In the meantime, I’m trying to get Sally Mae to cooperate (lawd, that girl is a handful!) and get Pallas out of the sticky wicket in which she now resides. All while keeping up with the editing, which is going really well. I love my job :) I know not many people can say that, and I feel pretty blessed.

Check out the Allegories campaign (widget in the sidebar) because there are some amazing perks up for grabs for donating, including signed pendants/magnets of the cards. Limited run. Oh, and books, mysterious swag, editing services…something for everyone. If you can’t donate, please consider sharing. The more the word gets out, the closer we get to achieving our goal. A huge thanks to the supporters, the shouters, and the writers for getting behind this and all their help. You people rock and I heart you.

 

You guys ROCK!
You guys ROCK!

Changes and Updates

HOLY MOLY WHAT A WEEK.

And it’s only Wednesday.

The biggest change is the Allegories of the Tarot project now has its very own website. O/

You can find it right here, and from this day forward you will find all information and updates on this site. This means I can hopefully get back to posting here on a regular basis and keep on with the editing series which usually appears on Thursdays (which will resume next week). Many thanks to the mysterious Mr. Twinkles who donated his Mad Skillz to help me put this together.

In addition, you will find the project has a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter all its own. You can even find us onG+.

Yes, people, I am serious about this project. As serious as a heart attack. Please share, donate, share, and maybe you can share. I would really appreciate it! Such epicness has GOT TO HAPPEN.

Right now, I feel like THIS.

I’m sure all I need is a good night’s sleep. Or maybe a lobotomy of some kind. Possibly chocolate would help. I’ll have to experiment.

In the meantime, I am working on outlining the rest of the adventures of Sally Mae; finishing up Athena’s Chainswhile I have a hot minute, and working on some editing projects.

AND…watch here because a couple of my authors are getting ready to release some new work…and I’m always excited about that.

Right now, though, I need a nap, a shower, and food. Not necessarily in that order. Maybe I can accomplish all three at the same time. I’ll let you know how that works out.

:)

Kris Austen Radcliffe — The Emperor

Today we’re going to meet the writer behind the next card in the deck of the Allegories of the Tarot project, Kris Austen Radcliffe. So far you’ve been introduced to The FoolThe Magician, and The High Priestess.

Kris is not only a talented writer, she’s an amazing photographer and the genius behind the photographs of the Tarot cards featured here. She is focused, driven, and I love working with her on her projects. Kris’s stories are quite unusual and unlike any I’ve read, which is what drew me into her world of Fates, Fire, Shifters, and Dragons. What really sealed the deal for me is how much she loves Dragonriders of Pern. My own original copy of that particular trilogy I still own, held together with packing tape. I’ve had it for almost thirty years. When I found out she took down a pack of hungry wolves with hers, I knew this relationship was a match made in heaven.

Her photos are STUNNING.

Kris’s card is The Emperor, and it is quite fitting if you know Kris and her work.

From Wikipedia: “The Emperor symbolizes the desire to rule over one’s surroundings, and its appearance in a reading often suggests that the subject needs to accept that some things may not be controllable, and others may not benefit from being controlled.

“As with all Tarot cards, multiple meanings are possible. Where the Empress is the Feminine principle, the Emperor is the Masculine. Most individuals will relate to this card in the same way they relate to their own father. The Emperor is Key Four of the Major Arcana. Fours are stable numbers; four walls, four seasons, four corners. It takes a massive amount of energy, comparatively, to move them. The strength of The Emperor is the stability he brings. The weakness is the risk of stagnation.”

Major-Arcana-4
Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card? Emperor is the ultimate Alpha Male. He’s a jerk, often a total bastard, but he gets it done. No one messes with the Emperor.

Why did you decide to get roped into this project? I used to read tarot for a talent agency. And Annetta asked. I can’t say no to Annetta. She’s the Emperor.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before? Like I said, I used to read for a talent agency. I also ran a special on my Facebook page last Halloween where I did readings for people. I’m quite good at it.

What other projects do you have planned? “Conpulsio”, a new Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon novella, is slated for release at the end of April. “Flux of Skin”, the second book in the FFSD series, is on track for a September release.

I’ll also have fine art photographs available for purchase by the end of May, including several of my Irish landscapes—and a tarot print or two.

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She means business.

Bio: As a child, Kris took down a pack of hungry wolves with only a hardcover copy of The Dragonriders of Pern and a sharpened toothbrush. That fateful day set her on a path traversing many storytelling worlds—dabbles in film and comic books, time as a talent agent and a textbook photo coordinator, and a foray into nonfiction. After co-authoring Mind Shapes: Understanding the Differences in Thinking and Communication, Kris returned to academia. But she craved narrative and a richly-textured world of Fates, Shifters, and Dragons—and unexpected, true love.

Kris lives in Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, Handsome Cat, and an entire menagerie of suburban wildlife bent on destroying her house. That battered-but-true copy of “Dragonriders”? She found it yesterday. It’s time to pay a visit to the woodpeckers.

Have questions? Drop me a line:
Email: krisradcliffe@sixtalonsign.com
Six Talon Sign Website
Facebook Fan Page
Facebook Profile page
Flickr Photostream
Pinterest Boards
Goodreads
My Amazon Profile
Twitter: @KrisRadcliffe
(Twitter’s the least reliable way to contact me.)

Kris has generously donated not only her time to this project, but copies of her Most Excellent books in the Fate~Fire~Shifter~Dragon universe, and five signed photo prints. Check out the Allegories of the Tarot Campaign and a listing of the perks currently available on the Perks Page. Donate if you can, and share if you would. Your support is much appreciated!

Come back tomorrow for an introduction to The Hierophant!

Spike Marlowe – The Empress

Today we’re going to meet the writer behind the next card in the deck of the Allegories of the Tarot project, Spike Marlowe. So far you’ve been introduced to The FoolThe Magician, and The High Priestess.

I’ve known Spike for a long time, and she is one of those special people who walk the paths of my heart. She tends to have that effect on people. Her work is haunting, weird, and bizarre, and once you read one of her stories, you’re hooked. Spike can take the most unusual elements and weave them into a story you never forget. Just check out the sample of Placenta of Love and you’ll see what I mean.

The card she’s chosen is The Empress–a perfect fit, in my opinion. I can’t wait to see her story.

From Wikipedia: “The Empress is mother, a creator and nurturer. In many decks she can be shown as pregnant. She can represent the creation of life, of romance, of art or business. The Empress can represent the germination of an idea before it is ready to be fully born. The Empress is often associated with Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love, and indeed the Rider-Waite deck brandishes her symbol upon a heart-shaped bolster. The Empress is also often interpreted to be Demeter, goddess of abundance. She is the giver of earthly gifts, although at the same time, she can be overprotective and possessive. In anger she can withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped: Due to her fury and grief, Demeter keeps the Earth cold and barren until Spring when her child is returned to her.”

Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe
Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card?

Amongst other themes, the Empress represents feminine energy and creativity. My fiction tends to be filled with this feminine energy and elements the Empress represents. And, of course, as a writer, how could I not be interested in a card that represents creativity and the act of creation?

Why did you decide to get roped into this project?

There are four reasons why I decided to do this project:

1) It’s different than the other fiction projects I’ve been working on.
2) An amazing group of people are involved.
3) The tarot is a fascinating topic, and a ripe resource for artists.
4) I adore working with Annetta Ribken.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before?

I have. I’ve had friends who read Tarot, some professionally. Having them read my Tarot has always been a fascinating and illuminating experience.

What other projects do you have planned?

I just turned a draft of a new book titled Little Miss Battle Queen to my editor at Eraserhead Press. It’s basically Battle Royale with pint-sized beauty queens. I’m also looking forward to reworking a book I wrote last fall calledHowl. It’s a fantastical YA that’s part Watership Down, The Shining, Donnie Darko and Allen Ginsberg.

So much beauty, inside and out.

So much beauty, inside and out!

Bio:

Spike Marlowe is a San Francisco writer who has been known to make busking appearances wherever she travels. Though she has held a variety of odd jobs, including performer in a Wild West show, detective, Bigfoot researcher and writer for an internet content farm, she now focuses on writing bizarro and weird fiction. Her first book, Placenta of Love, is now available.

You can find Spike at her websiteBizzaro Central, on Amazon, on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @spikemarlowe.

Check out the Allegories of the Tarot Campaign and a listing of the perks currently available on the Perks Page. Donate if you can, and share if you would. Your support is much appreciated!

Billie Sue Mosiman – The High Priestess

So, you have met The Fool and you’ve met The Magician, so now it’s time to meet The High Priestess. This is the third card and will be the third story in the Allegories of the Tarot anthology.

I know Billie Sue through Facebook, and have come to know her as a generous, supportive person. She is a gem–as busy as she is writing and converting her impressive backlist to accommodate the e-book revolution, she always has time for her fans and fellow writers. I’m so happy she decided to join this project!

Her chosen card–The High Priestess.

From Wikipedia: “Commonly this card is associated with the card reader or the querant, because it is also focused on ‘secrets’. It also interpreted when a secret is kept or revealed, when you are holding on to the truth or revealing it. The card is associated with mystery, when powerful feminine influences and support are currently in force for the querant. It can also represent the perfect woman in a man’s life, and to a woman it can represent being independently solo, perhaps without a man.”

Beauty and mystery, which suits Billie Sue to a ‘T’. Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card?

The High Priestess is involved with intuition, higher powers, mystery, and subconscious mind. I’ve always thought the card was very intriguing with the priestess sitting before an elegant veil and she sits between darkness and light, represented by the pillars of Solomon’s temple. It made me wonder—did she advise Solomon? Did he listen?

Why did you decide to get roped into this project?

I trust the editor and although I’ve written one short story years ago for an anthology on the Tarot, I wanted another crack at it.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before?

I have a few decks and have played with them before because they’re beautiful works of art and they’re mysterious.

What other projects do you have planned?

I have a few short stories that have been bought for other anthologies and I’m always writing new stories while trying to finish a new novel.

Mysterious her own self. :)

Bio: Billie Sue Mosiman sold her first novel in 1983 and since then has published more than a dozen novels and hundreds of short stories. She was nominated for the Edgar and was a finalist for the Stoker.

You can find Billie Sue on her blogon Facebook, at her YouTube Channel, her Amazon Author page, or follow her on Twitter @billiemosiman.

Billie Sue has generously donated a copy of her book, BANISHED for the Allegories of the Tarot Campaign, along with other cool swag which you can find on the Perks Page.

Lon Prater – The Magician

Yesterday we met The Fool and Peter Giglio, the writer behind the card. Today we meet another of the authors included in the Allegories of the Tarot anthology, Lon Prater. I had the pleasure of working with Lon in a small critique group many moons ago at the beginning of my fiction career. He was kind and supportive to a fledgling wordslinger, and whether he realizes it or not, taught me a lot.

He chose The Magician–the first numbered card in the Tarot deck. And that surprised me not one bit.

From Wikipedia: “In the Magician’s right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries, symbolizing divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. On the table in front of the Magician the symbols of the four Tarot suits signify the Classical elements of earth, air, fire and water. Beneath are roses and lilies, changed into garden flowers, to show the culture of aspiration.

“When the Magician appears in a spread, it points to the talents, capabilities and resources at the querent’s disposal. Depending on the card’s placement in relation to other cards, the message is to tap into one’s full potential rather than holding back, especially when there is a need to transform something. There are choices and directions to take. Guidance can arrive through one’s own intuition or in the form of someone who brings about change or transformation.

“The card can mean that a manipulator is floating around, usually if it’s reversed. He may be a beneficent guide, but he does not necessarily have our best interests in mind. He may also represent the querent’s ego or self-awareness. He can also represent the intoxication of power, both good and bad.”

Behold! The Magician! Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

Behold! The Magician!

Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card? I like the idea of transformative knowledge. That having gone through certain stages, the Magician has learned a thing or two about both the divine and the mundane, and he’s been changed by it. Empowered by knowledge, the Magician is equipped to deal with what comes next.

Why did you decide to get roped into this project? Annetta and I used to be part of a smallish online writers group. I know her talent, her obsession with quality, and her drive. There is no way I would pass up the chance to be a part of a project she believes so strongly in.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before? I have had rune readings done several times by a skilled friend, but I am foggy on whether I’ve had any honest-to-gosh Tarot readings.

What other projects do you have planned? A novel I co-wrote with Josh Rountree, ALAMO RISING, is due to debut at Worldcon San Antonio this year. Having a lot of fun with promotional plans that I’ll be able to talk more about later in the year.

That smile is nothing but magic.

Bio: Lon Prater has worked in the Reactor Compartments of USS Enterprise, edited the military’s textbook on arms deals, and kept things safe in the produce and laundry industries. He lives, writes, and plays a lot of boardgames in Pensacola, Florida.

You can find Lon at his website.

He has generously donated his Mad Critiquing Skillz plus some of his fabulous fiction as perks for the Allegories of the Tarot Campaign, so make sure to check that out as well as the Perks page.

Behind the Scenes of Allegories of the Tarot Anthology

Once upon a time, there was an editor who became obsessed with an idea…
Portrait of an obsessed editor.

Portrait of an obsessed editor.

That would be me.

The Tarot has always been a fascination of mine. As a writer, the images of the Rider-Waite deck contain much inspiration for fantastical stories; the meaning behind each and every one of them equally as interesting. While most people equate the Tarot with the occult, possibly imagining a mysterious gypsy telling fortunes, in reality the Tarot is less related to the “otherworld” and actually deeply rooted in the human experience.

From the forward of “The Key to the Tarot”, written by Liz Greene:
“Yet the images of the Tarot cards are neither inaccessible nor occult, however much any particular spiritual or esoteric school might seek to mystify them. These images are archetypal, which means that they describe essential human situations and patterns which all of us experience in life at one time or another.”

To me, this means a talented Tarot reader can bridge the inherent mysteries of being human with the archetypes depicted in the cards. That is not to say Fate, or Destiny, or whatever you want to call the forces of the Universe do not have a role in the cards which are revealed or their position in a reading—depending on your beliefs, this could very well be the case. Rather, a reading of the Tarot is less of an occult experience and more of an exploration of the human experience. Perhaps even a guide to understanding your current state of mind and a pointer in the direction you wish to travel.

With all that in mind, I have long had the desire to put together an anthology of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. I thought of how fascinating it would be to corral an author for each of the cards, and see what kind of story they’d write. Because although there are many universal human experiences, the truth is they are as diverse as the perspective of the individual.

I, myself, own two decks of Rider-Waite cards. I read them on occasion. I am fairly accurate in the readings, but I don’t do it often and only for special occasions. I know several people who are scary-good. Sometimes I just take out the deck and study the images, and I’ve read many, many books about the Tarot. And the idea of an anthology of stories about these images which fascinated me kept cropping up. But I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, scared people would say, “No, that’s a stupid idea,” you know. Just…scared.

But then I had a very vivid dream about jumping from one ledge to another. In the dream, it took me forever to decide, because I have a definite fear of heights. I mean, my palms were sweating, and I about wet my pants, but I finally did jump and I made it. The next day, I realized if I let fear stop me, I would never know if I could make that ledge or not. And the answer is always “No,” if you don’t ask.

And behold, the Allegories of the Tarot project was born.

Twenty-two cards. Twenty-two writers. Twenty-two amazing stories. WIN!

Twenty-two cards. Twenty-two writers. Twenty-two amazing stories. WIN!

The first step was to outline the project and decide how to raise the funds necessary. I knew I needed to pay the writers professional rates and cover the publishing costs. With a budget and a firm plan, I then constructed a list of writers covering a wide range of genres. I have the Most Enviable position in knowing a slew of mega-talented writers. As a matter of fact, I had too many writers on my list and not enough cards, but I figured some would have other obligations and others no interest. Plus, if this project goes well, I have a brain full of ideas for a second anthology. Maybe a third.

Evidently, I’m not the only one fascinated by the Tarot. Within 24 hours I had 21 writers on board—I round out the 22. Much to my surprise, there was no fighting over which card went to which writer. They all seemed to fall into place as if they were…fated. *cue spooky music*

The plan was to line up the writers and then with a firm TOC (Table of Contents) move on to launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. All the writers involved in the project have thrown their considerable weight behind this effort, for which I am eternally grateful and honored. Many have donated services and products to tempt both readers and writers for the perk packages; all have been extremely supportive and generous, and quick to get back to me when I’m demanding photos, bios, and feedback.

You will meet this group of talented and fabulous people in the days to come on my blog and on the campaign. I will introduce each and every one of them and the card they’ve chosen to write about. You will get to know award-winners, new and outstanding talent, and established authors who run the gamut from fantasy to mystery to romance and everything in between.

Please donate if you can—every dollar helps. And if you can’t donate, I’d appreciate a shout-out on your favorite social media platform. Help me get the word out because this is a whole lot of epic just waiting to happen, and with the perks offered, you’ll get good value for your dollar.

It’s been a lot of work, and I’m loving every minute of it. I jumped, and I’m so glad I did.

Tomorrow you will meet The Fool and the writer associated with the card. Stay tuned for an introduction to all the writers involved with the project. I’M SO EXCITED!