Sue Vincent is a constant inspiration to me and I suspect to many, many, others. She writes and blogs probably more than anyone I know and I am always amazed by her insights and encouraged by her positive attitude to life no matter what happens - and trust me - Sue has not had an easy time of things along the way - as a quick read of her bio (below) will reveal.
I have had the honor of co-authoring a book with her in the form of the Mystical Hexagram. These days, she has partnered with Stuart France, to write many charming, revealing and magical books about the land of Albion - the land that she lives in and connects with. If you haven't had a chance to read any of these, do me a favor and try them..... or visit her blog at www.scvincent.com.
SBR: What motivates or drives you to write books?
SCV: There is a sense of wonder that comes from walking the land, getting to know its myths, stories and history. There is so much to learn and so many mysteries waiting to be unraveled, particularly where the ancient and sacred sites are concerned. Finding the answers matters less, I believe, than asking the questions and being open to possibilities. It may be that such answers as we find reveal as much, or more about ourselves than about the landscape, but in seeking to understand, and in sharing what we find, the hope is that others, too, will find their own stories.
SBR: Where do you get your ideas for a book?
SCV: Most of the books I have been involved in writing take their inspiration from the land and its stories, from the myths of ancient Egypt retold in The Osiriad, to the legendary beings featured in Swords of Destiny. In the books written with Stuart France, many of the adventures of ‘Don’ and ‘Wen’ mirror our own journey through the ancient landscape of Albion and the mysteries and revelations that we have stumbled across on our quest.
Then there is the inimitable Ani, the Small Dog, who is a constant source of laughter and inspiration, and whose outlook on life and the vagaries of her ‘two-legs’ sheds as much light as hair on the human condition.
SBR: How did you get started writing books and when did you realize you were hooked?
SCV: I started writing Swords of Destiny many years ago, to preserve some of the old stories attached to a stretch of Yorkshire moorland that I had loved since childhood. Later, it was the esoteric work associated with the birth of the Silent Eye, a modern Mystery school, that was the main reason for writing.
Most people come to the Mysteries through books and the new school needed a body of work to point to its teachings. We began with The Initiate, which tells the story of how the land and its history began to lead us on a magical journey of discovery. Caught up in the ongoing adventure and led by the birds and the clues in the landscape, the books just seem to keep on coming…
SBR: How important is a good book cover?
SCV: With most people now buying books online, the cover is the first and often, the only chance you have to attract a reader. If the cover does not grab the attention, a book is likely to be passed over. It has to reflect the content of the book, capturing its mood and giving an instant clue as to what might be found within its pages. Some of our early covers are now under review for this reason.
SBR: Who do you admire most as a writer of your genre and why?
SCV: Most of my work cannot be neatly shoehorned into a specific genre as it is neither fact, fiction, nor the usual form of esoteric writing, but an alchemical blend of all three. Without in any way claiming comparison, I would have to cite Dion Fortune, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and Alan Richardson, all of whom have written apparently fictional works that expound magical principles and explore the esoteric path in a way that appeals to the imagination, while planting seeds in the mind.
SBR: What books have you just read and why did you choose them?
SCV: The last two books I have read have been The Templar Door and The Sea Priest, both by Alan Richardson. They were chosen as the accounts of the inner journeys, outer sites and histories they contain have intersected with our own recent travels and discoveries.
SBR: What is your background in the Occult/Metaphysics/Magic non-fiction or fiction genre?
SCV: One grandfather was a Qabalist, the other a Spiritualist Minister: it was almost inevitable that I began to read books on magic and the spiritual journey at a very early age, both fictional and non-fiction. I devoured everything I could, until I realized that reading about magic is not the same as living it.
SBR: What do you think is the biggest threat to magic and why?
SCV: One of the biggest threats to magic today is the double-edged sword of the internet. Books that were once incredibly hard to find are now widely available. Knowledge, interpretation and opinion are to be explored at the touch of a keyboard. Any aspect of magic can be searched for and read about effortlessly; anyone can become an expert in any of the magical systems. But in magic, as in many other areas, knowledge alone is no substitute for the personal engagement and experience that leads to understanding.
SBR: How do you create your reality?
SCV: The reality of reality itself is up for debate. I create my own experience of reality through reactions to perceptions… and shape it, as it shapes me, accordingly.
SBR: What’s next in terms of books for you?
SCV: Stuart France and I recently published Beck’n’ Call and the ninth volume of the books featuring ‘Don’ and ‘Wen’ is underway. Meanwhile, we are preparing a newly edited version of the earlier books, illustrated in black and white rather than colour, to lower the sale price.
There are a few other projects under consideration, including one taking an esoteric perspective on some of the ancient and sacred sites of the British Isles.
After that? Who knows? It all depends on where we are led...
About Sue Vincent
I was raised in a spiritually eclectic family in a landscape where myths and legends were woven into the stones, and have always had an intimate relationship with the inner worlds and the understanding that all paths are but spokes on a wheel, leading ultimately to the same centre. It is not the path that one walks that matters, but how one chooses to walk it.
I have been a student of the Mysteries for most of my life, studying alone for many years before joining the Servants of the Light. In 2012 I joined Steve Tanham as Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a modern Mystery School that seeks to strip back many of the layers in which esoteric thought has become shrouded and teach students a way to find the inherent magic in living and being.
The School is not a business and is run simply and ethically to cover its own costs, not make a profit. The Silent Eye website has a blog, news and events section. We hold regular workshops and events and an annual weekend residential workshop in Derbyshire… details on the Silent Eye home page.
As a painter, I play in most media and have painted everything from wedding cakes to huge murals. I spent a long time chasing realism, until I found the confidence to paint what I saw in the colours that sing to me.
As a writer, I have always scribbled. Poetry came first, I think, and I was fortunate enough to win the David Burland International Poetry Prize in 2008. In that year also I began writing a column for The Spirit Guides. It was a busy year, as I was teaching online with various esoteric forums and made the acquaintance of Dr G. Michael Vasey. The friendship grew and we released The Mystical Hexagram, recently republished as an extended and updated edition.
In 2013 a writing partnership was born that has proved a joy. Stuart France, now the third in the triad of Directors of the Silent Eye, and I embarked, all unknowing, on an adventure that would take us across the sacred landscape of Albion and which has resulted in the publication of a number of books together, with more to come. We have an enormous amount of fun in our wanderings and wonderings, which may reflect somewhat in the way we write.
In 2009 my eldest son, Nick, was left for dead, stabbed through the brain in an unprovoked attack. Many of the earlier entries here chart his remarkable and near miraculous journey and the fallout the attack had on the family. An event like this changes everything, including one’s outlook. Luckily, for us it changed it for the better and love and laughter thrive.
Apart from that, I have two adult sons, too many books (or not enough….) and a mad dog who also blogs when I let her near the keyboard…