How much of your writing is inspired by your actual life? Does your life entwine with the worlds you create?
Almost everything is at least partly autobiographical. Even if the characters and situations are different I try to find and apply the emotional truth inside of myself to the story.
What is your writing process like? Do you need to be in a specific headspace or place?
I have two teenagers, teach four classes and am starting a business so I have very limited time and write whenever I can. I don’t have the luxury of being in a certain headspace.
In most (if not all) of your books, love is the main focus or obsession--many of the characters are on a journey to discover love (within themselves and others), and often tend to manifest it, whether successfully or not, through sex and food. Why those focuses? Does the way you interact with these focuses change over your career?
I’ve never heard anyone put it that way! That’s very interesting as I’m about to publish a Weetzie cookbook written by/with Carmen Staton and Rough Magick, an anthology of romantic and often erotic stories co-edited by Jessa Marie Mendez.
I think that for me love is not only expressed/manifested through sex and food but also through other things like magic, spirituality, poetry, music, visual art and fashion. Love is the thing I think about most often and what I live for. It’s a theme in all my books.
A lot of people have said your work reminds them of David Lynch and Lana Del Rey. What do you think of those comparisons?
Well I love them both, so that’s awesome. My work has been getting darker lately so it makes sense. I like the tension of combining magic and reality, dark and light.
If you could pick one character in all of literature that you most identify with, who would it be?
Anne Frank. And Jane Eyre. i.e.: creative, romantic, strong, sensitive females. Can I pick Emily Dickinson?
(Yes, you can pick Emily Dickinson).
When I read Weetzie Bat, I thought about how hard it is to balance goodness and darkness. How do you balance light and dark as a person, a writer?
They are both part of us. You have to embrace both of them, give voice to both of them. You can’t have one without the other. I rely on the healing guides in my life and the creative process to help me process the darkness so I can stand more fully in the light. But you can’t repress the darkness or pretend it isn’t there.
How hard is it to be a woman? Does it get easier?
This is also an interesting question. I haven’t really thought about it. I love being a woman. I love being a mother. I love being an artist. I think it’s hard to be a person, in general. in some ways it gets harder (aging, disease, death) and in some ways it gets easier (self-awareness, self-confidence, caring less about what others think, finding your soul circle, finding your voice).
How does the occult influence your life? I know you did an amazing, magical workshop with Amanda Yates Garcia.
I used to read tarot but now I go to Amanda for readings. She and I see magic and writing/art as being the same things, really. They are both about having a vision and manifesting it, expressing it out into the world.
Tell us all about Rough Magick. We can't wait to read it.
Thank you! It’s a collection of stories and poetry by my co-editor Jessa Marie Mendez, Amanda Yates Garcia, Denise Hamilton, Laura Lee Bahr, Mary Pauline Lowry, me and a group of other amazing writers, all dealing with the darker aspects of love and sex. There is magical realism, lyrical realism, romanticism and even horror. It gives me chills when I read it!
Photos by Nicholas Sage.