Please welcome Visionary Fiction writer Jodine Turner, the mother of the genre!
I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pen. However, my first career was in healthcare, as a nurse, then a Ph.D. therapist. I focused on alternative healing, holistic healing, and also did energy body work. When I became ill in my thirties, I needed to stop working. My own healing journey brought me back to my real passion – writing.
How did you become interested in Visionary Fiction? How do you define it?
I became interested in Visionary Fiction when I couldn’t find a suitable category for the fiction I was writing. While researching genres, I discovered Visionary Fiction and found it to be the ideal fit for my novels. There wasn’t much written about VF, and very few books were labeled as VF. So I decided I’d do some more research and write an article describing the genre. I wanted to promote this fabulous genre to readers and publishers, and create a place where other VF authors could find resources, information, and networking.
My article exploring VF was published in Writer’s Journal, May 2009 issue. In November 2011, I posted that same article at Goodreads. That drew together other VF authors enthused about the genre. We started a web-ring, which grew into the present day Visionary Fiction Alliance. The Alliance is now thriving and growing, proving to the world that VF is a genre today’s readers yearn for. My original article is now called ‘the article that started it all’ (for the VFA), and can be found on our VFA website. http://visionaryfictionalliance.com/the-article-that-started-it-all/
Defining VF was a complex process. I came up with a definition in my article. Then a group of us at the VFA developed and expanded a working definition that can be found on our site http://visionaryfictionalliance.com/what-is-visionary-fiction/ I still often refer to a description from my article that perfectly sums it up for me: “Visionary Fiction speaks the language of the soul. It offers a vision of humanity as we dream it could be.”
Please tell us about your latest book?
I published these last two novels with a small press that wanted to jump on the Young Adult genre bandwagon and market the novels as YA, since the protagonist was 17 years old. This was a lesson learned for me, because the books are definitely VF, not YA. I recently got my publishing rights back, had an incredible artist redo the covers, and republished the novels myself.
In these novels, Sharay is chosen by the Goddess to help humankind move through the fear and dark times of today’s world. Born into a lineage of priestesses in modern-day Glastonbury, England, Sharay’s way is blocked by her jealous Aunt Phoebe, who uses black magic against her to steal her fortune and magical power. When Phoebe commits Sharay to a psychiatric ward and accuses her of murder, Sharay struggles with the temptation to fight Phoebe’s vengeance with her own. It’s the elder, eccentric wizard Dillon who sets Sharay on the Celtic ‘Imram,’ a quest designed to awaken her magical abilities as a priestess. And it’s Dillon’s grandson Guethyn who shows Sharay how to open her heart in the Beltaine Ritual, the ancient Celtic ceremony of sacred union.
Hunted by the police, stalked by a demonic Tracker conjured by her aunt, and torn from everyone she loves, Sharay must learn to transform her hatred for her aunt in order to continue her Imram on her own, and fulfill her destiny to prove that the power of love, both human and divine, is the ultimate magic.
If your book were chocolate, what kind would it be?
Rich dark chocolate. Delicious and satisfying, containing the whole complexity of the cocao bean!
Does this book fit into a series? What is the focus of that series?
Yes it fits into a series but all of the novels are a stand-alone read as well. The focus of the series is the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea – the evolutionary force of embodied love – and Her priestesses down through the ages. The essence is about what’s demanded of our hearts and souls when we finally choose to embrace our personal destiny and have to come face to face with our authentic truth, our deepest pain, and our darkest secrets.
How did you prepare to write about the book’s specific area or field of study?
Most of my novels take place in Glastonbury, England, aka the legendary Isle of Avalon. I lived in Glastonbury for 13 months (also met my husband there!) and experienced its mystery and magic firsthand. Immersing myself in Glastonbury catalyzed many mystical experiences and meditations which inspired the content of my novels. I also traveled to Scotland, particularly the Orkney Islands, which features heavily in my fourth novel.
But most of all, my training as a consecrated priestess informed my writing. For 25 years I studied and practiced in the Western Mystery Tradition, an earth based spiritual system of living consciousness encompassing Kabballah, Paganism, and esoteric Christianity. Many of the visions and meditations I experienced influenced the development of plot, characters, and story scenes in my novels.
How does this book fit into your real-life interests?
My novels are a natural extension of my passions: embodied love; the craft of writing; the mysteries of magic and spirituality; the deeper meanings of life on earth and of the unseen realms in between so-called reality. I express these passions in the art form of words and story. I flesh out my stories based upon my experiences as a priestess and a Ph.D therapist, mixed with the imagination of my creative Muse. And I endeavor to embed my stories with gems of esoteric wisdom in an engaging, entertaining, but never proselytizing way.
I also discovered a practical way to teach the more spiritual things that I write about in my VF adventure stories. I found this practicality through a spirituality of embodied love called Adorata, which is a path of sacred union of the feminine and masculine principles within us. I am now an Adorata Practitioner and teacher, which complements my novels, in a pragmatic, down to earth way.
What are you working on right now? OR What’s next for you?
I am excited about my work in progress, The Hidden Abbey. I just finished my first draft and am in the revision stage. I write first drafts with heart and abandon, then go back and apply the craft of writing to sculpture my words into the art form of a novel.
The Hidden Abbey is set in both the 16th and the 21st centuries, tracing the story of a young headstrong priestess, Marissa, from the mystical land of Avalon, and her secret lover Michael, a monk at the Glastonbury Abbey. As King Henry VIII sets out to destroy the Churches and Monasteries of England in 1539, the two lovers become embroiled in a grand plan to save the most sacred talisman of the Divine Feminine at the roots of mystical Christianity. When their grand plan is thwarted and their love is star-crossed, they are reborn in the 21st century and given one more chance to fulfill their shared destiny.
Jodine Turner is an author of Visionary Fiction and magical realism. She is also a therapist and a consecrated priestess. While living in Glastonbury, England, the ancient Isle of Avalon, Jodine began writing The Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series, about priestesses who had lived in Avalon throughout the ages and today.
Jodine’s series is a dark and edgy saga of a young priestess who’s reborn during three different critical junctions in history in order to help humankind move through fearful and bleak times – the demise of Atlantis, the Dark Age’s suppression of the feminine, and today’s turbulent world.