Welcome to the January 17, 2010 edition of The Fox Hole. My guest today is pagan author Durk Simmons. So pour that cup of Joe, grab that pop tart, and have a seat as I pick Durk’s brain.
Welcome to The Fox Hole, Durk, could you let the readers know a little bit about yourself?
I’m 48, a husband, and a father of 3. Our new daughter just reached her 3rd month, and is as cute as any Gerber baby. I’ve been a free spirit most of my life, so I’ve ended up in some exciting and dangerous places. Translation: I was a troublemaker as a kid. Now that I’m a bit older I’ve mellowed out a lot, but I’m still pretty obnoxious, and I still ride my Harley every day. In my life I’ve been an Army officer, an attack helicopter pilot, a skydiver, a skin-diver and a massage therapist for several movie stars. I was even written into the script of a movie I was working on with Lauren Bacall as her on screen masseur in Doris Duke: Too Rich.
Years ago I was ‘thrown off’ the cruise ship I was bartending on, because I found the cache of weapons and drugs one the Jamaicans was bringing into San Juan! It was a choice of leave or die, so I jumped ship the next morning when we ported in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. It was, ahem, exciting. My crew pass picture (and others) can be seen at my page on My Space.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If so, when did you start writing?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to, but only recently decided to publish, about 5 years ago. Just like when I decided to become a pilot, I’ve taken the do, or die-trying attitude about it. If you can see it in your mind, you’ll eventually see it with your eyes.
As a writer, what inspires you?
I love having the ability to project my thoughts and images into another persons’ imagination, and have them see things in a different way. It’s rewarding to have a reader tell me they felt like they were there, in the story. My subject inspiration comes from my love of our mother, Earth. I try to project the need for environmental ACTION as well as awareness. We all, every human on this planet, need to do everything we can as individuals, to fix what we’ve screwed up collectively. I was also inspired to explain contemporary Witches, Wicca, and Paganism to ALL those people that continue to believe we are evil or in some way bad citizens because we don’t think the same way.
Here’s a preview of a book I’m still outlining, so I’m just thumbnailing here: Two thousand years ago the Christians ‘lost’ their war against Paganism, so, instead of the ONE God winning, most people are Pagans. That would mean most people revered the earth below their feet, the planet. That’s where the human focus would be, instead of the prevailing current ‘spiritual’ focus, a superhuman being that knows all that was, is, or will be. Imagine if everyone during the industrial revolution was a ‘green thinker’, that their GOD, the planet Earth came first in their thinking? Do you think for a second that we would be in the environmental fix we are currently in? Additionally, if everyone had always considered the Earth as his or her GOD, there could never be a religious war, now or ever, yes?
Do you have any favorite writers?
I suppose my all time favorite would be Jonathan Swift. I look at that guy as the very first Sci-Fi writer. He was so far ahead of his time! My reading tastes are very eclectic, so I’d just be listing names here, but I will say I’m going to miss Robert Jordan, rest his soul. I really enjoyed the Wheel of Time series.
If you could live in any time or place–where and when would you choose?
Here and now. The U.S. has never been perfect, but I feel it’s still the best country on the planet. That’s why I proudly served eleven years in the U.S. Army. As far as living in the past, I think it’d be a nice place to visit, but I’ll admit here I like modern conveniences. Unfortunately we all do, too much, and that’s ultimately what is killing the planet. If I were to end up in the past with my current knowledge, I’d just be paranoid about the lack of medical technology, when-ever I landed. Without my current knowledge, I’d go Medieval!
Being a professional cook at one time, I have to ask this one. Do you have a favorite food?
Yes. Solid. I like ALL kinds of food, from spicy Thai and Sashimi, to hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. I worked in several fine-dining restaurants when I was younger, so I have champagne tastes (on a beer budget). I’m always encouraging my wife to explore new tastes in the kitchen. I’m one of those lucky people that can eat anything I see and not gain an ounce. Thirty years after High School, and I’m the exact same weight as the day I graduated. My wife is the same way; she was back in her jeans just 2 months after delivering our latest child!
Now that I’ve picked your brain, can you tell us about your latest work? Don’t hold back!
I’ve just re-released Strings of Connection: Book one of the Witches in America Series. http://www.amazon.com/Strings-Connection-Book-Witches-America/dp/1448699045 This edition has been illustrated, and has a lot of other visual/graphic improvements. I like to think of it as Harry Potter meets the Da Vinci code. It’s a fun fantasy story about magick and Witches, but at the same time it explains the basic tenets of contemporary Paganism to those unfamiliar. There’s time-travel, murder, mystery, magick, and mayhem! No one will tag this book erotic, but it is a cross-religious romance story just the same. The series is written for the young adult to adult reader in the fantasy genre. The second book, The Coven Calling will be available soon.
Well, it sounds like we have a great to look forward to from you in the future. Thank you so much for stopping by and I’d love to have you again in the future.
For further info on Durk Simmons and his work check out the following links: