A typical Florida gulf coast scene with its white sand that's so different from the sand on the Atlantic coast. Florida Memory photo.
My eight novels and numerous short stories fit into the genres of contemporary fantasy, magical realism, paranormal, and satire. Other than the satirical Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire (audiobook) and related short stories, my storytelling focuses on magic.
I see the world as a magical place even though--as my characters in The Sun Singer and Sarabande say--we live in a science and technology era. As contemporary fantasies, those two novels focus on the magic of a nearby, alternative universe that is mysteriously linked to our universe.
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In previous lives, or so it seems, I worked as a navy journalist (written about in At Sea), a bellman at Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park (written about in Mountain Song), a college journalism instructor, a technical writer for a variety of computer companies, and a grant writer.
All of that was expedient since there's no career track that leads one from college into the workforce as a novelist. In fact, being a novelist is a money-losing career for most people, and that is why gurus tell them to go out and get real jobs at colleges or in corporate America.
My boss at one very corporate job kept a book about witchcraft on his desk until a VP walked by and said such a thing was inappropriate. That is to say, it didn't look good. I had to smile. I was always more devious, hiding my interest in "new age" (as we used to call them) philosophies from almost everyone.
I've always kept my Tarot cards at home!
Nobody in my "neck of the woods" (rural Georgia) has any idea that I like magic. If they suspected, they would laugh, call me crazy, or say I'd had a little too much moonshine.
Moonshine is fairly tasty, by the way.
Novels and Stories
Blog: Malcolm's Round Table
More recently, I've focused on folk magic. Folk magic is variously linked to traditional witchcraft, conjure, and other practices which one might say are off the grid. Conjure Woman's Cat, Eulalie and Washerwoman and Lena are hoodoo novels set in Florida, and this gives them a very Southern focus that combines African religious beliefs with spiritual practices that began developing in the United States during the days of slavery and continued through the Jim Crow period. Along with my Kindle "Tate's Hell Stories," these two novels are considered magical realism because the magic is a very real part of the characters' lives.
My personal story is that I grew up in the Florida Panhandle and found secret worlds between the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee Rivers where panthers, limpkins and cottonmouth moccasins called the gods and devils by their names.
Years ago, my author's photo showed me wearing a suit and tie as though I still worked in a cubicle for a computer company. I gave all that up.
This photo was taken on a paddle trip on the French Broad River at the Biltmore Estate at Asheville, NC, and better represents "the real me."