Strange Book Reviews is very pleased to welcome multi-talented and well known author, Mr. Gordon Strong to our website in the form of an interview. First, a few words about the man himself....
Gordon Strong has written numerous books on the Arthurian legends, Neolithic sites, The Tarot, Qabalah, Magic and magical practioners. Seven novels by him have also been published. He makes regular public appearances in the UK and the USA and is known to be a knowledgeable and amusing speaker. Gordon has made appearances on the National Geographic Channel and featured extensively in Travels in Deep England a documentary about druidry. He also described the Stanton Drew stone circles in Symbols of Transformation, one of a series of documentaries by explorer and researcher Herma Koornwinder.
SBR: What motivates or drives you to write books?
Gordon Strong: I started writing stories when I was a child, and carried on from there. Nowadays, it’s just a way of life. My first books were all non-fiction, although lately I have concentrated on novels and screenplays. Words are a handy means of communication. I draw, and play music too.
SBR: Where do you get your ideas for a book?
Gordon Strong: I’m often asked that question. I never lack ideas; the great task is to organize them so that they don’t seem like some mad, kaleidoscope of images.
SBR: How did you get started writing books and when did you realize you were hooked?
Gordon Strong: Forty years ago I wrote journalism which was published, and bad novels which thankfully weren’t. ‘Hooked’ sounds like some kind of addiction; I prefer to think of myself as sober and aware.
SBR: How important is a good book cover?
Gordon Strong: Very important, though you’re a lucky (or famous) author if you have any say in the matter.
SBR: Who do you admire most as a writer of your genre and why?
Gordon Strong: Difficult to say as I don’t see myself as attached exclusively to any one genre. Of writers on the occult, Dion Fortune is by far the most clear and informative. In literature, Joyce is the greatest writer of the C20th. Why? His craftsmanship, imagination, endless and detailed vision.
SBR: What books have you just read and why did you choose them?
Gordon Strong: I read every day and usually have two or three on the go. Currently ‘England Their England’ A.G. Macdonell, Carlos Castaneda ‘Tales of Power’, and, Richard Roud ‘Godard’. I have an eclectic taste and interest myself in all manner of subjects. Because I have written a lot of books about the esoteric and done a lot of research in the process, doesn’t mean I’ve always got my head in some dusty grimoire. I’m sure some people think I do carry on like that.
SBR: What is your background in the Occult/Metaphysics/Magic non-fiction or fiction genre?
Gordon Strong: I studied the Tarot and Astrology in the 1960s and met magicians in the early 70s. Later I researched the Qabalah and the Western Magical Tradition. As far as I am concerned magic is a practical art and I write from that standpoint. I am concerned sometimes that a lot of spurious and worthless work on the occult is published. If I describe or explain what goes on in the Otherworld that is from personal experience, qualified by the wise words of those who have authority in these matters.
SBR: What do you think the biggest threat to magic is and why?
Gordon Strong: Irresponsible, uninformed dabbling causes harm to the individual and may affect others. Because all knowledge, once secret, is now freely available there are bound to be people who abuse these things. Real magic is inviolate, it cannot be perverted. Only the foolish or egotistical practioner attempts to use it for their own ends.
SBR: How do you create your reality?
Gordon Strong: What an amazing question! If you mean the world I would construct in a novel, it is a matter of visualizing that universe and making it plausible. ‘Lord of The Rings’ works because the reader believes wholeheartedly that Middle Earth exists. If your question is from a philosophical standpoint then I would say that in metaphysics the mind is capable of creating anything, anywhere, anytime.
SBR: What’s next in terms of books for you?
Gordon Strong: As always, I’m working on several projects. Currently, I’m writing a new novel in an entirely different style in that it is written in the first person, something I’ve never attempted before. It’s also a totally different genre for me, I don’t want to say any more than that! I have a non-fiction book on magic coming out in the Autumn, and a new occult novel around Christmas, hopefully.
Here are a few places you can read more about and by Gordon Strong -
His facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/gordon.strong.583