Anna McKerrow’s debut novel “Crow Moon” came out in early March 2015 (My Review).
What makes this novel unique is its approach to the world of magic in a way that I have seen done before. Obviously, once I had turned the last page of the book I was intrigued and a little more curious about the lady behind the book. I feel very honored to have been indulged and thank Anna for taking the time to answer my questions below.
- Crow Moon offers a very unique Wiccan perspective to the world of fantasy and magic, how did you come up with this concept?
It just seemed obvious to me really, (though absolutely strictly speaking, the witchcraft in the book isn’t 100% Wiccan, it’s a bit more folk witchcraft. I used elements of both. I’m splitting hairs.) Paganism (which is a kind of umbrella term for a number of different practices and faiths that honour nature and the gods and goddesses of different mythologies) is a real and ever more popular culture and community, and it suited the purposes of a story with an ecological theme to have a community of pagan witches that revere the land they live on.
- How do you feel about Crow Moon resonating with readers who are not necessarily fans of the more polished world it is usually associated to?
I assume you mean the more polished world of magic in fiction? I would think that Crow Moon sits alongside fantasy, sci-fi, cli-fi and magical books of all kinds. It’s just another point of view.
- Why Danny, and not a brooding “angel like” character as the hero of the story? What made you choose him?
I think he has his brooding moments! But because it’s his first person point of view we see inside his head, and so we see and hear his insecurities and motivations even when they’re less than perfect. He’s just a kid, not a classic romantic hero. I like characters with flaws, and romantic heroes don’t exist in real life. I see no point in trying to perpetuate the myth that straight girls should fall in love with a brooding, moody, uncommunicative bloke. Newsflash: he’s not mysterious. He’s just annoying. And making Danny human meant that I could show the flaws of the apparent utopia he lives in through his eyes, which was important. As well as making sure we have well rounded female characters in fiction, I think we should have male characters that are fallible and allowed to cry, and be frustrated, and do the wrong thing too. Lots of YA authors are writing those kind of male characters.
- Are you more Brighid, Lugh or the Morrigan and why?
Ha! Morrigan, definitely. She’s dark and moody. I’m simplifying, obviously. She is a very complex goddess. Brighid, though, is the patron of poets and writers. I’ve got a lot of love for Brighid too.
- Are we likely to see the next installments in the series go beyond the UK borders and meet the magic of other lands where maybe Voodoo practice and Djinn are common occurrences?
It’s possible that the story will reach into other places. I think other cultural practices might confuse the main ethos of the magic within the books, but it might be something to explore another time!
- Has all your research of this world had on impact on your faith, and if so how?
I was going to say no then, but actually that’s wrong. I was a pagan anyway, but in the course of writing Crow Moon I became a lot more connected to the Celtic traditions, which has been lovely and very enriching.
- If you could have one active magical power, what would it be and why?
Like, a no-holds-barred fantasy magical power? Teleportation. Never be late again.
- Not that I think it would ever be possible but, what other genre do you read if you reach overload with the Wiccan world? Can you share one of your favourite books?
Oh, I’ve hundreds of non-magical favourite books! Just one? “Possession“ by AS Byatt. Though actually that has a magical theme running through it in the form of an epic poem about Melusine, the mermaid/serpent woman. It’s such a beautiful book. I love AS Byatt. No-one can write long sentences as beautifully as she can, and I love how she always brings that quite academic understanding of the arts into her books.
- Can you tell us “10 things” we don’t know about Anna McKerrow?
Blimey, 10 is a lot. Shall we do 5?
- I’m a Taurus with Gemini rising and Aries moon which means I’m super creative, passionate, bloody-minded and obstinate but most of the time I can cover it with a veneer of charm and semi-eloquence.
- I’d invite Henry Rollins, Neil Gaiman, Bill Bailey, David Lynch and Kim Gordon to my celebrity dinner party. It would be very rock n’ roll and I would be allowed to snog everyone. Then we’d all meditate and Bill, Kim and Henry could play for us.
- I play bass badly.
- Before I was a YA writer I was a poet.
- I generally dislike musicals yet my favourite song to sing myself is Rizzo’s song from Grease.
- Lastly, what is that one thing that makes you happy?
Being at home.
Thank you Anna, for telling us a little bit more about you.