An Interview with Lisa Spiral Besnett

LH: Firstly, for our readers can you introduce yourself?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: This is my first book, so I’m new at this publishing and interviewing stuff.  I’ve been a student of spiritual practices for much of my life and I’ve been an active member of my local Pagan community for over 30 years.  I’ve done public speaking and chaplaincy work in interfaith environments.

LH: You mention in your book as being aware of magic at a young age, was that something that was frightening for you or was it something that was ‘encouraged’ by those around you?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I was never “frightened” by it.  Magical experiences were pretty normal in my household.  When the phone rang my Mother always told whoever it was for to answer it – back in the days of landlines.  Whenever anyone would ask how she did that my Dad would say, “She’s a witch.”  We just took it for granted that was a good thing.

LH: How do you find divine connection works within communities that perhaps have a much stronger leaning towards ‘academia’ do you see issues of connecting the divine when the divine is viewed as somewhat the ‘last’ step in the stairway so to speak?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I’m not quite sure what you mean by the “‘last’ step in the stairway” but I don’t really see an issue given how broadly I’ve defined the Divine.  Even academics acknowledge first hand experience as valid data and the book is full of primary examples of what I am addressing.  The Awe experience happens to all of us, regardless of our religious framework or lack thereof.  There is nothing in the book that demands looking for the Divine where it would be uncomfortable.  It simply offers a perspective of possibility that may be broader than many people have ever considered possible.

LH: Do you think that one of the issues in accepting Divinity is in the fact that people put gods into ‘boxes’ or label them making it impossible for them to see ‘variations’ or alternative faces of the gods they are looking to connect with?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: This is the advantage polytheists have in that they acknowledge a multiplicity of Divine forms.  I actually think putting Divinity into a form sometimes makes it easier to deal with as “real”.  The problems come in communicating with someone who’s framework of the Divine is vastly different than yours.  I hope that I emphasize that whatever personal experience the reader has with the Divine is valid, and that experience does not invalidate someone else’s different experience.  The language and variations that I offer, I hope, will make it easier to communicate those experiences when they are different.

LH: What do you think are the absolute NO NO’s for people to avoid when manifesting divinity?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I think giving up free will is a huge no no – hence an entire chapter about Choice.  Doing everything the voices in your head tell you to do without question or concern for the consequences is, to my personal, unqualified, non-medical point of view, psychopathic behavior.

LH: What importance do you think prayer plays within manifestation?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: Prayer is a form of incantation.  It is a means to call on the Divine, either for invocation or evocation.  Prayer can be an expression of Divine Inspiration.  It can be a means to Divine Alignment.  But I also think that prayer classically is different from what many people practice today.  The prayers that we hold over time are not “gimme” lists, but rather honor and glorify an expression of the Divine nature.

LH: Do you think that most people have lost the connection with divinity because of the ‘tight’ regulations often surrounding the ‘structured’ religious organization

Lisa Spiral Besnett: Any time you have a regimented form it can become rote, and practiced without feeling or meaning.  Much of spiritual practice is about what you bring to the practice.  I think that people have looked to organized religion for the evocation of the Divine and for a community connection.  When the form and regulations do not meet the experience of the people they look elsewhere.  It is the groups that have been disenfranchised by organized religion (women, GLBT) who lead the exodus into simply spiritual practice.  But with personal practice there is no community.  Again, having a language to discuss personal experience with someone else who’s personal experience may differ can help build a community within personal practice.

LH: How did you come to know Immanion Press?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I am friends with a few of your authors and they encouraged me to look at Immanion.  I wanted a publisher that had a connection to the Spiritual community.  I also wanted a publisher with credibility.  I really like that Immanion is looking to fill a niche between the basic 101 material that can be found anywhere and the dry entirely academic texts.  It was a good fit.

LH: What do you think of working with an independent and how has it benefited you so far?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from Immanion as I go through this process for the first time.  The publishing industry is so dynamic and changing so rapidly that there is no way I could keep up on my own.   In particular I appreciate the editing process Immanion offers that is missing from so many self published works.

LH: What can we expect from you in the future?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I’m working on a second book and thinking about a third on the same theme of exploring the Divine.  I’m also working on a series of Meditation CDs. 

LH: Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you or the book?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I really hope this book provides a platform to begin a conversation about spiritual experience and practices.  I certainly don’t think that what I’ve written is the “only” way to look at the Divine.  I read a blog the other day about a Catholic pilgrimage.  It was a very personal experience and the author did a great job of conveying his connection with the Divine.  We don’t see the Divine the same way.  We don’t share common views on some core political issues.  But I could easily recognize his experience as Invocation and Evocation of Alignment and Inspiration and appreciate its Awe-someness.

LH: Do you offer any workshops related to manifesting the divine?

Lisa Spiral Besnett: I do.  I have a workshop I’m giving at the Women and Spirituality Conference at Mankato State University in MN in October called “Daily Practice Sucks!”.  I encourage daily practice in the book, but it’s not easy and the workshop addresses ways to make it easier and more effective.  I also have a workshop called “The Path of the Oracle” based on the premise that Resonance plus Inspiration defines Oracular work.

LH: Finally, what strikes you as the one most important thing you wanted people to take away from the book??

Lisa Spiral Besnett: Truly I hope what people take away is the sense that we are surrounded by the Awesome Divine.  That the Awe experience is available to us if we are willing to be open to look for it.

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A List of Past/Current Reviews (Fiction)

Spending the last few weeks collecting up some reviews, we are now posting a list of all reviews ever done on books by Immanion Press and Megalitica Books! As well as links to the sites where our reviews are most likely to appear. Please note that the opinions expressed here are the opinions of the reviewers.

**PLEASE NOTE: This list is constantly under construction!! We are still in the process of collecting reviews and will be adding to this list as reviews come in.*

Fiction

A History of Storm Constantine books including some reviews and raitings

  1. Angelglass by David Barnett
  2. Burying The Shadow by Storm Constantine
  3. Curse Of The Coral Bride by Brian Stableford
  4. Crack of Doom by Liza Granville
  5. Dunraven Road by Caroline Barnard Smith
  6. Eternal Vigilance III: Bound in Blood by Gabrielle S. Faust
  7. Greyglass by Tanith Lee
  8. Hermetech by Storm Constantine
  9.  Jerry Cornell’s Comic Capers by Michael Moorcock
  10. Killing Violets by Tanith Lee
  11. Mythangelus: A Collection of Stories by Storm Constantine
  12. Mythanima by Storm Constantine
  13. Mythophidia: A Collection of Stories by Storm Constantine
  14. Owl Stretching by K.A.Laity
  15. Paradoxine-The Adventures of James Vagabond by Roberto Quaglia
  16. Paragenesis by Storm Constantine 
  17. Past Tense by Nick Marsh
  18. Sheena And Other Gothic Tales by Brian Stableford
  19. Soul Purpose by Nick Marsh
  20. Queenmagic, Kingmagic by Ian Watson
  21. The Book on Fire by Keith Miller
  22. The Crown of Silence by Storm Constantine
    1. Review by SF Crowsnest
    2. Review by Strange Horizons
  23. The Hienama: A Story Of The Sulh by Storm Constantine
  24. The Magravandias Trilogy by Storm Costantine
    1. Book One: Sea Dragon Heir (2000) by Storm Constantine:
      1. Reviewed by eRIK
    2. Book Two: The Crown of Silence (2001) by Storm Constantine
      1. Reviewed by Kabada
      2. Reviewed by eRIK
    3. Book Three: The Way of Light (2002) by Storm Constantine
      1. Reviewed by eRIK
      2. Reviewed by Kabada
  25. The Monstrous Regiment by Storm Constantine
  26. The Shades Of Time And Memory (The Wraethu Histories Book Two) by Storm Constantine
  27. The Thorn Boy & Other Dreams of Dark Desire by Storm Constantine
  28. To Indigo by Tanith Lee
  29. The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure by Storm Constantine
    1. Review by Dark Echo Horror
    2. Review by SF Crowsnest
  30. The Wraeththu Omnibus by Storm Constantine
  31. Tourniquet by Kim Lakin-Smith
  32. Wraeththu by Storm Constantine
    1. Chicago Center for Literature and Photography
    2. Goodreads
    3. SFFWorld.com
    4. The Zone (review of The Picture Book)
  33. When A Tree Falls by Nick Farrell

Thanks To:

  1. Chicago Center for Literature and Photography
  2. Dark Echo
  3. Fantasy Literature
  4. GLBT Fantasy Fiction Resources
  5. SF Crowsnest
  6. SFSite
  7. SF Mistressworks
  8. Strange Horizons
  9. The British Fantasy Society
  10. The Turned Brain
  11. www.laurahird.com

Hopefully we did not miss anything 🙂

If you find a review of our books that is not here, feel free to send it off to us via the comments section or to publicity @ immanion-press.com (no spaces) and we can post them up!

Wikipedia

Even though Wikipedia is often criticized for the fact that it is user created. It can be a powerful tool for authors.

Although Wikipedia asks that you  Don’t Write it Yourself  you can have friends write one for you thus allowing for an ‘inside’ view into the authors life, personality and history.

Wikipedia also allows individuals to edit documents giving authors at least some control over the information provided.

These are just two examples of Wikipedia pages so that you can see how they look and what information is usually provided:

To find out more or to set up a free account visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Thank Goodness for the Internet!!

I am a Google addict! I love to Google and even my three-year old knows what Google is. Searching the web to find infinite pages of information that you could view for hours while drinking coffee…who doesn’t do it.

I was amazed how much I have uncovered about our press 🙂 Thanks to the internet, no information ever ‘really’ disappears! There are even websites devoted to taking a ‘printed’ copy of websites so they don’t disappear! This is both creepy and wonderful!! Creepy in that whatever I say is preserved for all time and wonderful for the same! It’s like being part of an eternal time capsule in many ways!

Check out all these finds (and these are just a few)!!

http://www.daughterofthenight.com/tlsites.html

http://www.daughterofthenight.com/tlsecond.html

http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/?s=immanion&x=0&y=0

http://us.macmillan.com/author/stormconstantine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_Constantine

Owl Stretching by K.A Laity Available for Pre-Order

Accidental shaman Rothschild (“Ro”) Parker has a lot of problems on her hands. Her best friend Simon just woke up from a ten year coma she may have caused, her spiritual guide is a 300 year old magpie, and the planet’s just been taken over by a group of aliens who hot-rod around eating anyone who stands still long enough to be a meal. Besides, she’s got a dead cat to bury.In Owl Stretching, Ro has to juggle her guilt for Simon’s lost decade with her desire for spiritual and sexual exploration, a looming alien invasion and the growing suspicion that she’s about to re-enact the Descent of Inanna. Worse yet, her spiritual guide tells her she’s going to have to become a leader of the resistance. What resistance?! If guns and lasers prove useless against these invaders, what good will a steady drum beat do? All Ro really wants is a nice cup of tea. Combining mordant humour with mythic exploration, Owl Stretching shows that the inner worlds are every bit as mysterious—and dangerous—as the far reaches of the cosmos.

“Laity is a very remarkable sorceress indeed.”~ Elizabeth Hand

“Laity’s storytelling is magic in itself. The language is beautiful
and weaves vivid pictures for the reader’s imagination.”
~ Matrifocus Magazine on Pelzmantel

Pagan & Pen: “K. A. Laity is a wonderful storyteller. She does a great job of immersing the reader into the world that she has built. I truly enjoyed losing myself in the lives of these characters making me feel like a young child again listening to the fantastical bedtime Fairy tales of witches and castles and dreaming of being a Princess myself.”

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY: http://www.immanion-press.com/info/book.asp?id=436&referer=Hp