As a freelance researcher for the past ten years, I have a passion for all things Egyptian and have amassed quite an extensive library on the subject.
And as a pagan, it seemed only natural to write what I knew, which led to my first book, Egyptian Love Spells and Rituals (Foulsham Publishing, 2005). I tried to reconcile Egyptian magic with Wicca and, trust me, it does not work. Although Egyptian magic is similar to Wicca, the ancients followed their own way.
My second book, Egyptian Revenge Spells (Ten Speed Press, 2009), came from my need to explore the darker side of magic, which was not abhorrent to the ancients. Dark magic, designed to curse and overpower an enemy, was just as popular as temple requests for love amulets.
But, while researching my second book, I realised I had more than enough material for several books, each dealing with a different aspect of Egyptian magic. Thus, my third book was born, Egyptian Prosperity Magic (forthcoming from Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011).
So, my genre appeared to be a small, niche market (New Age), but to limit oneself to one type of writing, limits your possibilities to experiment and grow as an author. Why couldn’t I use my knowledge of ancient civilisations to write something else?
I took the challenge and last month completed my first novel, The Wrath of Amun, which I am currently submitting to publishers. Fiction opened up a whole new world to me. Non-fiction was partly research, partly based upon my own magical practises. But fiction, this was something totally foreign. My characters would wake me in the middle of the night, to finish a scene, or grant me snippets of dialogue.
If you are a beginning writer, take my advice. Start in a genre you are comfortable with, but don’t limit yourself. With the right motivation and good ideas, you can write in any genre.