Interview with Beth Kery, author of FIRE ANGEL

As some of you may know, I'm not a big fan of historical novels... But leave it to the fabulous Beth Kery to win me over with her new release!

Below, you'll find an interview with Beth led by Fiona Jayde. Thanks to both these wonderful authors for letting me publish the interview here.

Fi: I am really intrigued by this blend of historical and paranormal elements – and I know I read "chakras" somewhere. What a terrific blend of ideas! What made you decide to set this specifically in London over a hundred years ago?

Beth: Thank you. Yes, FIRE ANGEL was a real labor of love for me. As some of my readers know already, if I do a historical, it's usually set in Victorian England. I have this weird fascination--okay, lech--in regard to how strict they were morally and their racy sex life. Makes it so hot, that contrast. lol. I also am very fascinated by magic AND the tarot. So when I read about the spiritualist movement I became enraptured.

My anti-hero, Samael Grovenor, is partially based off the magician Aleister Crowley. He tries to steal the show from Vincent, but I don't know. Vincent's a gentlemen, kick-ass boxer, doctor. If it came to a showdown between the two, I know who I'd pick!

Fi: Is there a relation to The Page of Wands and the themes of the story? (I’m clueless about Tarot, so forgive me if it’s a stupid question.

Beth: It's not stupid at all! The Torrid Tarot endeavor by EC has been fascinating and diverse. Different authors have involved the concept of the tarot to different degrees in the story, but EVERYONE had to include a prelude about their card. And yes, my card places heavily in the story (the card itself.) Despite the cover, my HEROINE is the Page of Wands. Here is my prelude:

Page of Wands - The virgin priestess of the fires of spring; the Secret Flame into which all things Return

—Pamela Eakins, from Tarot of the Spirit

The cards of the tarot deck incorporate multiple symbols and archetypes, making them powerful, concise tools for bringing that which is unconscious, and therefore unknown, into conscious awareness.

The character of the heroine of Fire Angel, Serafina Grovenor, is based on the tarot card of the Page of Wands. This card represents a balance with the natural flow of the universe as it incorporates all of the diverse energies of fire, earth, water and wind.

Wands are the suit of fire in the Tarot. Think of the image of the magician with his wand which focuses fiery energy. Fire is the suit of spirit, creativity, dynamism and discovery. When out of balance the energy of fire and spirit can be uncontrollable, burning everything in its path. However the Page of Wands is also a powerful earth symbol. The volatile passions of fire are grounded by earth, making the Page of Wands balanced and harmonious, a symbol of right, just action.

In many esoteric systems the Page in the card deck is represented as a young, bare-breasted woman and is called the Princess of Wands. It might be helpful to think of the “face” cards in the terms of a family. So for instance the King of a suit is the father, the Queen of a suit the mother, the Prince of a suit the brother and the Princess of a suit the sister. As an example, the Queen of Fire combines the masculine elements of fire with the receptive, intuitive energies of the feminine element of water. The Princess of Wands is the perfect combination of the elements of her powerful father’s fire, mother’s water and brother’s air—the final, balanced manifestation of their energies on the earthly plane.

Like Serafina Grovenor, who can channel spirits, the Princess of Wands is a divine priestess who brings tidings from strange, unknown worlds. She is both calm and tranquil and naturally aggressive. Serafina can manipulate fire and controls it perfectly to suit her will.

Serafina, like the Princess of Wands, is a fierce warrior when those whom she loves are threatened. As Robert Wang wrote in The Golden Dawn Tarot, “Woe unto whomever shall make war upon her…”

Fi: What intimidates me most about writing historical is the research that goes into it – and yet I’ve heard you say numerous times how you often research before delving into a story. Any tips or tools you would suggest? Did you find that as you uncovered more about this time period it gave you more ideas and plot elements that you wanted to incorporate?

Beth: There is no doubt the more research you do, the more ideas you get. As I've said, I'm semi-familiar already with this time period. For me, I already knew a lot about magic, hypnotism, the chakra system and the tarot. It was the spiritualist movement that set my mind a turning. Serafina Grovernor is also based off a real life (amazing) medium during that time period. She also, performed on the stage wearing a veil. There are also some hints that she was abused by the men who tried to take advantage of her amazing demonstrations. If you guys want to hear about her, let me know!

Fi: How will you know when you've "made it" as a writer?

Beth: I know I'm a throwback, but it would be if Sandra Brown walked up to me and told me she loved my books. I'm too racy for her, I think, but she's the goddess of sexual tension and the alpha male. I learned so much from her. She's MY Nora Roberts :)


If you haven't picked up a copy of FIRE ANGEL, what are you waiting for? It's available now at Ellora's Cave.

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Blogger beth kery said...

Thanks for posting the interview, Lacey!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

How could I not? Great interview! :-)


1:01 PM  

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