Upstate, New York, that is. Sorry—didn’t mean to get you excited. You probably had a second there where you were envisioning a sophisticated woman living the glam life of the author in New York City. Nope. Not even close.
My name is Deborah Blake, and I live in a rural area of upstate New York, not too far from Cooperstown. I came here to go to college mumbly-dee mumble years ago, and fell in love with the area, which is beautiful during all four seasons. (And slightly psychotic during the winter, which lasts from the end of October some years through the middle of April.)
These days I live in a little 110 year old farmhouse with a few (okay, five) cats and a large garden out back, complete with a pond filled with goldfish and a few volunteer frogs, none of whom have as yet turned out to have princely tendencies. Darn it all.
In my “real” life, I am the manager and Executive Director of The Artisans’ Guild, a not-for-profit artists’ cooperative shop I started eleven years ago with a potter friend. I do endless reams of paperwork, try and keep 50 artists organized and playing well together, decorate the front windows every month and do the million and one things it takes to keep us going. Thankfully, I love my job, and it is mostly part-time, so I have a little time and energy left over to do the other things I love as well.
When I’m not running the shop, I make gemstone jewelry, which I sell there and elsewhere (I’ve been making jewelry for about 20 years, I guess). On the side, I also do professional tarot readings, energy healing, and perform the occasional wedding or handfasting. In case you couldn’t tell, I am much happier with an eclectic variety of jobs than I would be doing one 9-5 conventional job. Either that, or I just have a short attention span. Oooooh, shiny! I’m sorry, what was I saying?
When not doing all of the above, I write. Sometimes I write WHILE doing all of the above. What can I say; I write a lot.
I am the published author of five books from Llewellyn Worldwide on modern Witchcraft and Wicca. I have also written numerous articles for the Llewellyn Annuals and Almanacs, various Pagan publications, and have an ongoing column in WITCHES & PAGANS MAGAZINE, called “Magick on a Shoestring.”
But my real love these days is fiction. My award-winning short story, “Dead and (Mostly) Gone” was published in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction and led to my writing an urban fantasy series based on the protagonist in that tale. PENTACLES AND PENTIMENTOS, the first of those novels, got me my agent, the fabulous Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency. She is currently shopping the urban fantasies as I work on more novels. I just finished a “Foodie” romance, but also write paranormal romance, fantasy, YA fantasy, cozy mysteries, and almost anything else you can think of. See “eclectic,” above.
I really enjoy being a part of the broader writing community, which is one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to be a member of this blog. Writers (and readers) are some of the best folks in the world. I try to give back to this community whenever I can, since I have gotten so much help and support from other authors as I walked my path. So a few times a year I teach my popular online writing workshops, I run an ongoing loop for paranormal authors (both published and aspiring) called The Creativity Cauldron, and occasionally do paid editing for folks still honing their skills.
Writing is all about making a connection with other people. I hope that I, and the other bloggers here, will make a connection with you. So feel free to say hi, ask a question, or tell us what speaks to you when you look at black ink on a white page.