The Author's Corner
Coming September 2019
Book 8 in the Wild Hunt Series
there a conscious point at which you made the decision to focus on fiction
writing instead of the non-fiction books you had written up to that point? Was
there a feeling of leaving something behind as you moved on from your other
writings or was this more of an evolutionary kind of change that was simply the
next step in what you were meant to be writing?
YG: Actually, this is an easy question. Or rather, two questions since
Iíll answer them both together. I always intended to write fiction instead of
nonfiction. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to write fantasy and
science fiction. I fell into the nonfiction by accident, actually. I hadnít
planned on writing anything nonfiction, until friends convinced me to write
about the classes I was teaching at the time.
Now, Iím glad now that I did ó writing the nonfiction taught me a
lot. It taught me how to write tight, and how to focus my thoughts. Plus, I did
feel that I had things to say on magick and tarot, and the other subjects I
As to when I decided to go back to fiction, well I had been
writing fiction since I was a teenóshort stories and eventually books. I just
wasnít able to sell it at that point, and the time period was well before
modern self-publishing. Then, in 2000, several things in my life imploded into
one of the most traumatic years Iíd had. As I sorted out the aftermath, I
realized I couldnít go back to writing nonfiction. I had no energy for it, and
no drive for it, so I turned back to fiction, my first love.
I didnítóand donítófeel like I was leaving anything behind. I had
said what I had to say about magick. I didnít feel like I needed to add
anything more, especially since I always intended my books to be guidebooks,
focusing on giving the reader a foundation from which to create their own path.
TWPT: What is the biggest difference in your approach to writing fiction as opposed to the
nonfiction you used to write?
YG: Oh, there are so many differences. For one thing, I donít outline my fiction.
I write a synopsis, and then about three chapters into the book, I begin
writing bullet lists of the highlights that need to emerge during the next few
chapters. Most of the book is filled in around the skeleton.
could never do that with nonfiction ó theyíre two totally different animals, so
write my fiction from the gut and the heart. Nonfiction has to be organized and
structured in a logical format, and of course, back in the days I was writing
it, I had to accept some changes the publishers wanted to make that I would
never accept today. They werenít thrilled about me writing about actual
mystical experiences. I still remember being told that readers wouldnít accept
some of my magical experiences. I argued that I was writing about witchcraft
and the gods and if you accept those, you need to accept magick as real. But there
were things I was pressured to leave out, though I fought for and won on a few
of the points.
that runs true for some of my fiction as well. There were changes they
requested for some of the books. On a few I argued because I really didnít want
to make them. Some, I won, some I lost. I always played by the Ďpick and choose
your battlesí motto, so when I did argue, they knew I was serious.
TWPT: Are your older nonfiction books going to stay in print at least on the Kindle
format or are they a thing of the past?
YG: Oh yes. Iíve got the rights back to all of my nonfiction, and right now two of
them are in e-format, but weíre going to reformat them again so I can also put
them out into print again.
Iíve thought of gathering all my magickal essays and articles into one volume, but to be honest, the market is so sparse for this kind of work that it will have to wait until I have the time. As to writing new work, at this point no. Iíve learned not to say never, but really, most of what Iíd have to say would be essays, rather than any Ďhow-toí work.
YG: Nonfiction was much easier than fiction. I just had to gather the research,
organizine, and write the chapters. With fiction I actually am playing goddess.
Iím creating the entire world, and it has to be a world that people will
believe and want to spend time in. Thatís not an easy task. And creating a
series, at least for me, means that the characters must grow throughout each
book, and the plots must move the world forward. One thing I cannot stand as a
reader, and I will not do as a writer, is to have a character who never grows
throughout a series. Who never evolves. I get so bored with that kind of
fiction, and I wonít write it. So with each book I have to look at the
characters involved, and ask them, in what way are you going to change in this
book? What challenges are you facing? And then make it all happen.
TWPT: After you finish a series do you immediately start thinking of the next or do you
take a break before diving back into another project?
YG: I donít take much of a break between books. Itís just not a good idea for me. I definitely
need a few days off, but if I take too much time off I get antsy and irritable.
I know Iím a workaholic, but also, itís just the way my mind works. The stories
keep coming and if I donít give them an outlet, they drive me a little crazy. I
have my planned release schedule set for the next couple years. Of course, a
number of things can derail it ó for instance I just got my Whisper Hollow
series back from Berkeley, so now I can start writing it again. I had to make
some room over the next couple years to add in those books. Which means
shifting the entire schedule around.
TWPT: When you get the rights for a series like that back from the publisher do you just pick up where you stopped, do you rewrite any of it if changes were made you didn't want to make or do you just start over?
a good question. For my Indigo Court Series, I just had the books
re-edited (there are always things that trad publishers miss), and
released them in their new formats with the new covers. Same with the
Chintz Ďn China Series. I had written a novella for each of those two
series, to tie them up, and theyíre finished. The Bath & Body
series, I had re-edited and released them as they were written.
the Whisper Hollow Series, Iím revising the books to tighten them up.
The plots will remain the same but I see a lot of hesitancy in my
writing of those books, probably relating to where my mindset was with
the publisher at that point, and Iím removing what I feel is deadwood,
to make the series stronger. Iíll be picking up with book three and will
be releasing the first two books and the new one within a few weeks in,
I hope, January.
If I ever get Otherworld back, Iíll do the Ďrun through the editorí pass, and then put them out as is, given Iím not planning to write anymore in that series. That will be one hell of a chore, given the publisher has 18 of those books. As for the brief-lived spin-off, the Fly By Night series, the same. I wonít be writing any more of that series given I had to make one major change that changed the entire feel of the books for me, and Iíd have to re-write the first two books from scratch in order to feel like I wanted to write any more, and Iím just not interested in doing that.
TWPT: It hadn't really occurred to me to ask this but I was wondering about the cover art that graces each of your books. Each one is a little work of art that simultaneously beckons readers to venture into that particular book but it also captures a small slice of the story in a single picture. Tell me about the process you go through when you are ready to put a cover to your book and how much communication there is between you and the artist to get it to express exactly what you want it to say about your book and of course market that book to readers too.
YG: Honestly, I had very littleósome but not muchóinput on my covers with trad publishing. But now, I work hand-in-hand with my cover artist. I send her the titles, my vision of the main character, and a brief idea for each one. I base those ideas (and titles) on my subconscious, which knows a whole lot more about the direction of the series than my conscious mind does. The cover artist Iím working with for most of my books at this point does mock ups, sends them to me, we discuss the background, the pose, and the model, and then sheíll send me another, more pulled together version. I ask for any last changes at that point, and she finishes them. Iím thrilled with Ravven, who is the cover artist for my Wild Hunt series, Fury Unbound series, Whisper Hollow series, and Indigo Court series. Iím also going to have her do new covers for the Bewitching Bedlam series because, while I like those, they arenít fully aligned to my brand (the cover artist who did them did a great job, but they just arenít on point enough, I think).
TWPT: Once you decide the time is right to begin something new how do you kick the process
YG: Itís a constant, ongoing process. I never take enough time between books that I have
to kickstart anything. However, at the beginning of each book, one of the first
things I do is to write the synopsis. Then, I make the playlist for the book
based on the mood that I am feeling about the story. I clean my officeóitís an
important part of the process for me because clutter clouds my mind and focusĖ
and then, I sit down and start work. The first chapter usually takes longer
than I expect, simply because it sets the tone for the book, but I write between
15 to 20,000 words a week on average. Iím a naturally prolific writer, and I
write tight after all these years in the business.
TWPT: Do you ever battle writerís block when you are busy creating all those fictional
worlds? If so what do you do to get the creativity flowing again? Where
do you seek out inspiration?
YG: No, I really donít. And if I do get stuck, itís usually because I have tried to
take the story in a direction that isnít natural for the characters or the
plot. I have to listen carefully as the story evolves because if I try to force
it into the direction of my own vision, then the writing becomes stilted and
difficult. At that point I go back to where the story was flowing and look to
see where I went astray. Once I iron it out, the story begins to flow again. As
far as inspiration, when I do recharge between books, I watch a lot of media ó
a lot of movies and TV. I do most of my reading in between books, as well. And
I read widely, I definitely donít stick to my own genre when Iím reading.
TWPT: Do you bring your knowledge of magic and your previous nonfiction writings into
your fictional worlds?
YG: Most definitely! And in a way people may not expect. Even though I include a lot of
fantasy-type magic in my work, thereís real magick behind it given my knowledge
and practice over the past almost-forty years. And, the gods in my worlds, I
work with a number of them personally, and I draw on their energy for writing
the worlds. Especially the Wild Hunt Series, that one is driven by inspiration
that I feel came directly from the gods. For me, the very act of writing is a
magickal act, and I approach it with that mindset. Itís ritual, itís the act of
creation, which magickówhen you think aboutóis all about. Creating and
manifesting new realities.
TWPT: Often people think that because someone stops writing about certain topics concerned with spirituality that they have moved away from the practice in their personal lives as well. We spoke years ago about your spiritual path in the last interview we did. How much has changed or been modified since that time and how much has stayed pretty much the same?
YG: My practice has deepened with time, and become far more focused on my
personalized path. Iíve always been a proponent of the thought that a
religion/spiritual path that does not evolve, does not thrive. To me,
the whole point of following a practice is that it moves with you
through your life. Iím not the same person I was 20 years ago, and my
practice has changed to show it. Yes, Iím still a priestess of Mielikki
and Tapio, but Iím also pledged to Ukko and Rauni (the sky god/harvest
mother of the pantheonóthe leaders, so to speak), and to Brighid (who
seems to work well with the other four, even though sheís from a
different pantheon). So I work with five primary god/desses, instead of
two. And Iíve come to know them more in-depth, and work with other sides
of them than I first did. I also work heavily with Herne and Cernunnos.
With almost forty years in the Craft, I now realize just how little any of us actually knows, and how much there is to learn. I do work with friends, we have a loosely-formed coven, and we get together for the Sabbats, and at other times to discuss our magickal work and paths. Weíre all pledged to different gods, so itís an interesting mix when we do.
TWPT: Do all of your stories take place in one huge YGU (Yasmine Galenorn Universe) like
the MCU (Marvel Creative Universe) or do you create a new universe for every
story or series that you tell?
YG: Almost every series is in a different altaverse, though I do set everything
regionally (except for the other realms that my characters travel into). Now, Ravenís
books are part of the Wild Hunt Series, and she interacts with Ember and the
Wild Hunt cast frequently, and vice versa. But Maddyís world of Bewitching
Bedlam has no crossover with, say, Furyís post apocalyptic world, which has no
crossover with Whisper Hollow, and so forth.
constantly asked if there will be crossovers between different series but itís
not a logical thoughtóeach world has differing systems for magic, the gods are
different, the political systems are different, even the Fae and other Cryptos
are different. Vampires donít have the same qualities in each world, and so
forth. So it wouldnít work.
to be honest, I have no desire to write crossovers unless Iíve deliberately
placed two series in one world. The characters belong in their own worlds, and
the progression wouldnít be true to the story if they popped up in other universes.
TWPT: Are there any fiction or nonfiction authors who really motivate you to try to reach
ever higher in your books, your writings and how you present them to your
YG: Well, my very favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Daphne du Maurier, Richard
Adams, Amy Tan, J.R.R. Tolkien, and a number of others. These were authors that
I grew up with and came to later in life that spin stories that make me fall
under their spell. Other authors I love are: Annie Dillard, Charlene Harris,
Diane Mott Davidson, Anne McCaffrey, Tanith Lee, Michael Crichton Greg Bear,
Current authors Iíve recently discovered, both fiction and nonfiction: Deanna Chase,
Kate Danley, Barbara Freethy, Marie Force, Karen Mahoney, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brenť
Brown, Donna Augustine, Jana DeLeon, and Jen Sincero, to name a few. Iím even inspired
by writers that Iíve never read ó by their business sense and work ethic.
terms of how other writers motivate meÖWell, Iíve received so much help once I
entered the indie world, in terms of learning how to successfully make the
transition, and Iím very grateful for all of it. I donít try to imitate anyoneís
voiceóthereís no need. I write the books that speak to me, and I write the
books that only I can write. After 20 some years in the business, and over 65
books on the shelves, the last thing I want to do is compromise my voice by
trying to become somebody Iím not.
YG: Oh, definitely. Thatís why I like to have several series going at once. And thatís
why Iíve finished some series, so if new readers are reluctant to start a long
series, they can read one of the shorter ones and see if they like my work
enough to tackle the others. In fact, when I uploaded Blood Bonds ó the last of
the Otherworld books ó I cautioned readers in the description that if they hadnít
read the rest of the series, donít start with this one. It would spoil the
entire series for them. Thereís NO way to recap twenty books worth of subplots
and stories in one.
TWPT: I was checking your books on Amazon and you are currently publishing your books
under Nightqueen Enterprises LLC which is your own company. Does it make it
easier for an author to control their books and the flow of profits from those
books if you publish them yourself?
YG: I absolutely love being indie. It works for me. Itís not going to work for all
writers because there are so many facets to being your own publisher that it
can be overwhelming. Without a good sense for business, or an interest in
learning the business, I canít imagine someone making a career out of it. But I
find that it works for me and I really enjoy the control and the extra money
that I make. Itís up to me what I write. Itís up to me how far I
take a series. Itís up to me when I end a series. And having had several
series dropped by my former publisher before I was ready, I have to tell you, I
was terribly crushed. I donít think Iíd be willing to go back to traditional
publishing unless I could spell out a number of the terms of the contract, and
I doubt theyíd agree to my demands.
TWPT: Does Rakuten OverDrive give your novels the extra reach that their distribution
network has? How does that work out for you as an author and a publisher?
YG: Actually, I go through Draft2Digital for Overdrive. I like Overdrive, because itís a good
lead in to libraries, and one of the things I really wanted was for libraries
to still have access to my work. I love libraries and have always been supportive
TWPT: Your fiction writings have been quite successful over the years landing you on the
NYT bestsellers list a number of times so do you feel you are right where you
need to be as an author in the here and now?
YG: Witching Houróbook 7ócomes out July 8th. Then, on September 2nd,
Witching Bones comes out, and more after that.
Iím also thrilled that I recently got the rights back to my Whisper
Hollow series, and I plan on expanding on that series now that I have control over
the backlist (there were only two books published in it). Now that I can handle
it the way I feel it deserves to be handled, promote it the way I feel it
should be promoted, Iíll begin writing more books in the series and am planning
a big re-release party in January.
A lot happened since my first interview with the Wiccan Pagan Times.
Itís been what ó almost 20 some years? My lifeís done so many 180s itís left me
dizzy, both good and bad and in between, and exhilarating and debilitating. But
thatís the nature of life,
TWPT: Well it has been wonderful talking with you again and catching up with what has been going on with you for the last 20 years. Sounds like you are settled in quite nicely with your fiction writing and we couldn't be happier for you. As to catching up in 20 years if I'm still here in 20 I'll drop you an e-mail and we can discuss a third interview. Until then we wish you the best of luck and as much success as you can handle. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to TWPT once more.
New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author Yasmine
Galenorn writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance. In the past, she has
written paranormal mysteries, and nonfiction metaphysical books. With over
sixty-five books on the shelves, she is the 2011 Career Achievement Award Winner
in Urban Fantasy, given by RT Magazine.
lives in Kirkland