Books & Authors

Laura Perry An Interview With A Pagan, Writer and Artist

Her name is Laura Perry and she is a Pagan (European polytheist), writer and artist. She has been fascinated by the ancient world her whole life and Laura Perry weave that into her writing and art. Laura Perry is especially interested in the Minoans of ancient Crete and the Maya of Central America. But ancient societies from around the world have left such a legacy of spirituality, art, and culture that she thinks they’re all valuable subjects of study. If she had to describe herself in a single word, she would say Laura Perry is a mystic.

Laura Perry An Interview With A Pagan, Writer and Artist

Welcome, Laura Perry onboard

Your real name and pen name? 

I publish all my works under my legal name, Laura Perry.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

I spent much of my childhood on my grandparents’ farm. Here I learned about animals and nature and the spirit of cooperation and honest hard work. In fact, I remember feeling very proud. It was when my grandmother announced that I was old enough to gather the eggs from the chicken yard all by myself. Moreover, I loved getting to see the baby animals—the chicks, little pigs, and calves—and helping my grandparents in the garden and the fields. As a matter of fact, I feel sad that small family farms are becoming very rare here in the U.S. That’s a valuable way of life that’s dying out. And I feel blessed to have experienced it myself.

Laura Perry An Interview With A Pagan, Writer and Artist
Laura Perry as a child in the Smoky Mountains National Park on a family vacation

Laura Perry on education

About your education?

I always loved school, a fact that set me apart from many of my friends. I was lucky to have many good teachers who encouraged and supported me, so much that I continued on to college and graduate school. My life has taken many twists and turns, so I ended up studying languages (B.A. in Russian language and literature) and linguistics (graduate work in historical and comparative linguistics). When the economy crashed, I lost my teaching position and could no longer afford to continue with my education, so I took office work until my daughter was born. She had severe disabilities, a challenge that inspired me to study natural health (M.S. in natural health) and naturopathy (N.D.) in order to help her. I ended up

practicing as a herbalist and naturopath for a long time before turning to writing.  I try very hard to put all my education into practice in my life and not just be a “perpetual student,” though I do think I’ll never stop learning as long as I live.

What career did you plan during your education days?

Since I was a young child I’ve wanted to be an artist, but it’s hard to make a living at that, so as I got older I began making plans to become a teacher and writer.

Laura Perry An Interview With A Pagan, Writer and Artist
Laura Perry at Castlerigg Stone Circle, an ancient sacred site in Britain where many of my ancestors are from.

Laura Perry on languages

What languages you can speak and write?

I can speak and write English (my native language) and French. Unfortunately, it has been so long since I’ve practiced Russian that I’m pretty rusty at it these days.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

Children. They are the hope for the future. They arrive in this world free of prejudice, free of hate, ready to love and enjoy life.

What hurts you most in this world?

The lack of caring that I see for other people and for the environment. Sometimes this lack of caring deteriorates into hate, which is truly awful.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

My first child was born with severe orthopedic disabilities. In addition to adjusting to the demands of being a new mother, I had to learn how to take care of her special concerns and get her the medical and therapy care she needed. My love for her motivated me, and I discovered strength and patience I didn’t know I had. Being her mother changed me for the better. I’m not the same person I was before she was born.

Laura Perry’s Interview

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

That’s a hard one. One of my great heroes is still alive: Vandana Shiva. I would love to spend a day as her (or simply walking alongside her, in her company) so I could find out where she gets such drive and determination to make great changes in the world, focusing on the most basic aspect of all human life: our food. This goes back to my childhood on my grandparents’ farm, and the realization that if we don’t pay proper attention and respect to the way our food is raised, we are doing ourselves great harm. I think my second and third choices would be Wangaari Mathai, the late Kenyan environmentalist and activist, and Rigoberta Menchu, the Guatemalan indigenous rights activist.

What is your favorite genre and why?

I can’t say that I have a single favorite genre. Rather I love reading all kinds of books, both fiction, and non-fiction. In addition, I like writing that has a sense of humor and that isn’t formulaic. Some of my recent favorites include the Dresden Files fiction series by Jim Butcher and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

Laura Perry on writing

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I first started writing fiction in high school. But it took me quite a few years to become good enough at it to be ready to share my writing with the world. In fact, wrote my first non-fiction book in my early 20s. Moreover, I write as a way to share information and ideas, as a way to communicate with the world at large and (I hope) to inspire others as well. As a matter of fact, I know some people write to pay the bills, but for me. Tthe real “payoff” is when someone tells me that something I wrote has made a difference in their life.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

These are my current published books:

Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism. 2016. A detailed overview of the solitary practice of Modern Minoan Paganism, with information about deities, rituals, and daily devotionals.

Ariadne’s Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern Lives. 2013. An exploration of the Minoan culture and religion of ancient Crete as well as modern Minoan-themed seasonal rituals and rites of passage.

Jaguar Sky. 2013. A novel about an archaeology student’s encounters with the ancient and modern Maya in Central America.

The Wiccan Wellness Book: Natural Healthcare for Mind, Body, and Spirit. 2002. Now out of print but I’m preparing a revised edition to be published in 2017.

Ancient Spellcraft: From the Hymns of the Hittites to the Carvings of the Celts. 2001. Now out of print but I’m preparing a revised edition to be published in 2017.

I have also contributed essays to a number of Pagan and goddess-themed anthologies.

Laura Perry An Interview With A Pagan, Writer and Artist
Laura Perry with her husband Ray at Conventry Cathedral in Britain

Laura Perry on forthcoming work

What are your forthcoming writings?

My Minoan Coloring Book will be available 1 October 2016; it’s an adult coloring book full of the art of ancient Crete—the frescoes, carvings, jewelry, and more.

I also have a Minoan Tarot deck coming out in January 2017. It’s a full-size Tarot deck plus a 176-page companion book, all based on the fresco-style art of ancient Crete.

As I mentioned above, I’ll also be releasing revised and updated editions of two of my older works, Ancient Spellcraft and The Wiccan Wellness Book, in 2017.

What genres you write in and why?

My non-fiction writing shares information about ancient cultures and modern Pagan practice and natural health, subjects that I find valuable in my life and I hope other people find them helpful as well . My fiction explores the concept of magical realism, which fascinates me. I write stories about real people encountering magic in their lives—how they react to it and how it changes them. Fiction is a great tool for pushing the boundaries of what exists and what might be possible.

What keeps you motivating towards writing?

My readers. If I thought I wasn’t making a difference, wasn’t producing anything that people were interested in, I would probably give up writing. But I get the most wonderful messages from readers who have found my books helpful, entertaining, and inspirational. That’s what keeps me going.

How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?

I’m a big believer in Google Calendar and to-do lists. I take deadlines very seriously and I always build in extra time, more than I think I’ll need to complete a project, in case emergencies arise.

Laura Perry An Interview With  A Pagan, Writer and Artist
Laura Perry at Santa Rita in Belize: She visited a number of ancient Mayan sacred sites in Belize. This trip inspired her novel Jaguar Sky.

Laura Perry on future plans

What are your future plans?

I intend to keep on writing! I have a couple more novels in the works, and I’m busy revising those two non-fiction titles I mentioned above.

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?

I happily read both paper books and e-books, but I really prefer paper because it’s easier on my eyes. I develop eyestrain a lot faster reading on an electronic strain than I do reading the printed page.

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

For me, it’s important to have a believable setting for fiction, so my novels are in real-world places that I describe in great detail. But characters are different. You can’t really base a fictional character on a real person (unless you’re writing historical fiction about someone famous) because, in order to write a story, your characters have to act in ways that move your story forward. Real people don’t always have the characteristics you need for them to behave properly in the story. So for me, while I might be inspired by a particular act or personality trait on a real-life person, my characters have to be truly fictional in order for the story to work.

Is a high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

Absolutely. Even if you’re writing non-fiction, you have to be able to envision the completed book as a whole in order to figure out how to write it. And for fiction, you have to create an entire world in your head before you put it down on paper.

Laura Perry on dream destination

Your dream destination on Earth?

I don’t know that I have a single dream destination. I love to travel, and I think I haven’t discovered yet what my dream destination is. The next place I want to go is Crete.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I would like. In fact, I was born in the southeastern U.S. and have traveled all over the country as well as Canada and Central America. Rather, I was also lucky enough to travel to Britain a while back. What I enjoy most about traveling is the people. Going different places reminds me that we’re all human, no matter where we come from and that we ultimately all have the same concerns, hopes, and dreams.

Favorite time of the day?

Sunrise and sunset.

Your zodiac/ sun sign?

Sagittarius.

Your favorite color and why?

That has changed over the years. When I was a child I would like bright red, but by the time I was an adult I was preferring royal blue. In recent years my preference has shifted to indigo, that bluish-purple color that’s between blue and violet in the rainbow.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you’re reading?

I recently finished The Madness and the Magic, a fun “Witch Lit” novel by Sheena Cundy. I’m currently reading The Five Roles of a Master Herder by Linda Kohanov.

Laura Perry on fav book

Your favorite book and why?

I love The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea. It combines adventure, the innocence of childhood, and the delight of Irish mythology into a lovely story. I’ve read it many times.

What is the force that drives you?

My ancestors. I am the result of thousands upon thousands of generations of people who have struggled and worked hard to make it through life. I would like my life to be something that honors them.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Variety, great variety, and a long and exciting history. I’ve cooked Indian food for a long time, inspired by a friend who married an Indian man and another who worked in India for several years. But lately, I’ve become more interested in India since I had my ancestry DNA analyzed. It turns out, I have a small percentage of ancestry from India, something I didn’t know before and that doesn’t show up in any of the genealogy research my family has done. So my new “mystery project” is finding out where that Indian ancestry comes from exactly, who those people were and how they became a part of my family. Exciting times!

Laura Perry’s interview

The first thing you do in the morning after waking up?

Quietly review the dreams I’ve had the night before, in case they might be important.

The last thing to do before sleep?

I do several yoga poses to help with knee, hip, and foot problems due to old injuries. If I don’t do the yoga poses, the pain will keep me from sleeping.

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to the opposite, what will be your first reaction?

Oh heavens, I’d probably be annoyed that my clothes wouldn’t fit anymore and I would have to go buy new ones! LOL

The best role of a woman is a Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, or an independent woman away from all these roles? (or any other role that comes to your mind).

I don’t think anyone, male or female, should limit to a single role in life. I watched my grandparents fulfill multiple roles all day long. They were both farmers, spouses, parents, members of the local farming community. We’re all complex beings who are part of multiple webs of relationship. I think limiting anyone to a single role does a disservice to them.

Links & other relevant details:

Twitter handle: @MsLauraPerry

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LauraPerryAuthor/

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7374013.Laura_Perry

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Perry/e/B001K8LSQ6/

Any other links:

My website http://www.lauraperryauthor.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-perry-51713a89

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