Sorcerers and Magi showcases the fantasy fiction series by the same name and also thought-provoking ideas on magic and mysticism. The content is for adult readers drawn to fantasy fiction, magic, mysticism, Eastern spirituality and the Western Mystery Tradition. Excerpts, updates, and wisdom and insight from author, Dionesia Rapposelli aka Soror ZSD23.
Interview about the Sorcerers and Magi ebook series Occult fiction Fantasy fiction
What motivated you to begin writing the sorcerers and magi series?
I started to write the series in 2003 which was the time that the Harry potter movies and the books were gaining a lot of momentum. I knew very many 30-60 year-olds who were very enthusiastic about the book series. Honestly I never read the books but I’ve really enjoyed watching the movies and started to make up episodes in my head so I could be entertained in between movies. In any case, I realized that I had built up a completely unique story, with adult themes and complex characters, such as the antihero Leo de Lux. He starts out as a caustic and villainous but an becomes an ambiguous hero and maintains that role throughout the series.
My aim was to reach adults who otherwise have an interest in classic children’s magical fantasy literature but want more than mere escape. The series offers thought-provoking ideas about self and finding oneself and one’s true purpose and is geared to adult fiction readers drawn to magic, mysticism, and spirituality.
How did you come up with the geography of the magical world?
My story takes place in a parallel universe called the Inner Plane that has a look and feel like our own. The structure of government is loosely based on the classical roman paradigm. The same sort of power-mongering and dog-eat-dog kind of stuff that goes on in our world also happens in this Inner Plane world, with the idea that Inner Plane strongly influences how things roll in the Outer plane.
I picked up the term “Inner Plane” from the writings of an occultist in the Dion Fortune tradition named Gareth Knight. The Inner Plane is basically the world within the mind—a place of archetypal forms, dreams, and ideas in general. In a sense, it is in incubation place where thoughts become Reality.
Specific ideas spirituality, magic and mysticism permeate your work. How much research do you do in relation to this?
I’m using fiction as a creative and playful way to express my long-time interests in spirituality, magic, and mysticism. The work is a product of a lifetime of research, practice, and hands on experience in Eastern spirituality and the Western Mystery Tradition. The first book in the series, La Maga, is probably most influenced by my background in Buddhism and especially Vedanta, which is the philosophy about the “Oneness” of all things. It underlies Vedic Hinduism. By the time I got to writing the second book, The Fallen Fairy, I had become interested in philosophical alchemy and medieval magic and so you will find underlying themes about alchemy, spiritual transformation as well as reincarnation, fairy lore, and sex magic in that book. When I wrote the third book, The Savior at the End of Time, I had become an enthusiast of a current in postmodern occultism called Chaos Magick and a related counterculture scene called Discordianism. Those interests became interjected into that novel.
Given the subject matter, who exactly is your audience in relation to subcategory of fantasy fiction? You say it is for adults. Does this mean that content is inappropriate for children?
It is occult fantasy fiction but it is not dark. It has elements of paranormal romance in it but there are no vampires in the Gothic sense although the books have a running theme about psychic vampirism. That is, some of my characters have the ability to absorb life energy out of people—and this basically what the magic of the evil eye is. It philosophical and a little literary, so it is not always light reading although humor is definitely interjected into it. If you have an interest in spiritual philosophy, world religion, and alternative spirituality and spiritual development, including magical spiritual systems and –like fantasy fiction you’ll probably appreciate the books. They do have sexual content —especially in the second, which addresses polyamory and bisexuality, but it is not erotica. It is not graphic or voyeuristic. I am addressing sexuality on a more substantive level when I write about it. There’s political metaphor that brushes on themes related to anarchy, especially in the third novel—so all these things are probably not appropriate for younger people. That said, I was reading The Exorcist, The Stepford Wives, and the Biography of Lenny Bruce when I was 16 years old, so could a precocious kid with a high reading level get into it if it was OK with mom and dad. Yeah sure.
How long do you spend writing a book? What is your process regarding plot progression and character development?
I often “see” the whole story at once in a condensed form in my head. I role it around in my head for a while until a substantive narrative forms and characters emerge. Then I write it down. Once I dream up the main characters, they take on lives their own and then they sort of tell me their story or I feel like I’m watching a movie about them in my mind. If a lapse in the project occurs and too many days go by w/o writing, I run the risk of losing the momentum. So, when I am writing a story, I am fully immersed it in, always seeing it unfold in my mind’s eye. and always with a notepad of laptop to capture the action.
Why did you decide to go the self-publishing route? Any advice for others following this trend?
When the story La Maga came to me, I, frankly, hesitated about writing it because I knew I would be dedicating every free moment to writing a story and then beat my head against a brick wall trying to get noticed by an agent or small book publisher. Finding an agent is a Catch 22, you have to be published to get published and if someone comes forward to represent you or small book publisher shows interest, you have to be very careful about who and what you are getting involved with because you could end up with a bad deal. Self publishing has become respectable and perhaps is proving ground where an author that sells well will be noticed by agents and topline publishers. That is not to say it is at all easy. To do it successfully, you need a very large circle of contacts that are willing to promote you by buying and reviewing your books. You need to have mastered social media, and you have to have PR savvy.
Have you published nonfiction on magical or mystical themes?
I published a nonfiction book on my experiences working with a 16th century magical book called the Arbatel. My book is called The Seal of Secrets of the World Adventures in Astral Magic, and I self-published it under the magical pen name Soror ZSD23. The Seal of Secrets of the World is actually a diagram described the Arbatel. The Arbatel is a treatise on how to live in harmony, ease, and intimacy with the energies of the Multiverse. Behind the Christian piety is a more ancient spiritual paradigm that views the world as a multilayered place full of spiritual beings. In the spring and summer of 2010, I explored the content of the Arbatel and, in the context of solitary and group workings, evoked the “Olympic Spirits” described in the text. These are spiritual intelligences associated with the planets and named after Roman deities. The book expresses my experiences and insights in working with the Arbatel, provides guidance on practicing and simplifying evocation magic, and links to important related texts. It also includes auxiliary essays related to my studies in magic and mysticism.
What are you working on next?
I am an artist as well, and so I have been working on an illustrated version of La Maga. Some characters studies can be viewed on my sorcerersandmagi.com web site and my artist web site, deerapposelli.com. I am now also busy working on an illustrated nonfiction booklet called All about the Magic Wand, which I am going to offer for free along with a limited promo of original art. I am hoping to use it as a “thank you” for folks interested in my Sorcerers and Magi series. I have two more books in the series that are both in early stages. One is a prequel that tells the story of a Led-Zeppelin-like sorcerous rock band called Homunculus Tongue that gets mentioned throughout the currently published books in the series. The other book in progress picks up where the third book in the series leaves off—in a post-apocalyptic world where the Outer and Inner Plane are thrown together and a brother and sister realize their true magical selves. --reprinted from Smashwords.com