A Journey Begins With…

by Shirley Damsgaard

Do you ever look at your life and wonder how you wound up here? I do…frequently. I’m a small town girl, born and raised in Iowa. I had a career outside of my home for thirty years, raised four kids, and am now involved in the lives of my six grandchildren.

I also write about witches, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night…not your usual career choice for someone with my background.

So how did I get here? I’ve always been interested in the paranormal. As a kid, while my contemporaries were reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, I was reading about Ruth Montgomery and Edgar Cayce. More than once, I scared myself silly by reading books about vampires, ghosts, or werewolves late at night. Later on in my life, those interests in the “other worldly” expanded to include folk remedies.  It was only natural, at least in my mind, that when I started writing, I would combine those interests and create a series whose characters practiced folk magick.

And here’s the funny part, once I made the decision to pursue this career, write about this subject matter, the right people have appeared in my life to push me along. (Need to know about magick as practiced in Appalachia? Not a problem—here’s an invitation to attend an event in Tennessee whose organizers are more than happy to introduce you to some local practitioners. Want to include Native American mysticism in one of the books? Here’s a Native American shaman to interview. )

Because of the above, I’ve come to the conclusion that regardless of my background and regardless of the “how”, right now, I’m where I’m supposed to be. And  it’s been a great journey getting here! I’ve heard amazing stories as related to me by those who’ve experienced them, and I’ve come to realize there’s more to the world than what we see.

With any luck, the trip’s not over yet!

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