3 QQ is an ongoing blog feature in which we ask authors joining Nora for an upcoming Turn the Page Bookstore signing some questions about their current release, upcoming books and anything else that strikes our fancy
The next Turn the Page signing will be magical indeed! Nora is signing Dark Witch, the first book in her brand new Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy. And she’ll be surrounded by magickal authors, including — for the third time — Ellen Dugan, the Garden Witch. Ellen is a woman of many dimensions: she’s a Master Gardener, a psychic-clairvoyant and a practicing Witch for over three decades. It’s always fun when she visits TTP!
Q: You updated one of your best loved books, Garden Witchery, for it’s 10th anniversary publication. What was the most striking thing that’s changed since it was released in 2003 (for you or for the gardening world)?
Gardening and green living is so popular and trendy these days. Also folks are so much more open to the idea of a little witchery, and the folklore and the mystery of herbs and flowers. What has changed for me is that when I wrote Garden Witchery my kids were all in middle school and high school. Now they are grown and out of the nest! I realized last year that Garden Witchery was coming up on it’s 10th anniversary and I thought about how my gardens and life had changed over the past ten years. Honestly, that sparked the idea to pitch a 10th anniversary edition to Llewellyn with a brand new chapter and a “In the Garden a Decade Later” epilogue. It was a way to honor where I began as an author.
Q: This is your third signing at Turn the Page. What’s the most fun about visiting western Maryland?
Well the first time I was here I carpooled with a couple of other authors and we got seriously lost after leaving the event. As in at one point I made the driver pull over and called the hotel to talk us in. What should have been a hour trip ended up being almost three. The second time I came to Maryland my driver knew exactly where he was going and I got to sit back and enjoy the scenery, which was spectacular. That time I only asked them to pull over so I could get out and take photos of the trees, mountains and a few historic houses. LOL! I am really looking forward to seeing Maryland with it’s autumn colors in full swing.
Q:What are your essential tools for celebrating Samhain?
For me Samhain, pronounced (Sow-wen), is celebrated late in the evening of the 31of October. This is the Witches’ New Year and I always perform a quiet and solitary ritual to honor my ancestors. Typically I gather photos of my ancestors, (my grandparents and great grandparents) who have all passed over. I set up an altar and decorate it with supplies from my magickal gardens.
I use chrysanthemums for protection and to ward off the wandering ghosts that Samhain is famous for, fresh rosemary for remembrance, roses for love, and sprigs of oak leaves and acorns for wisdom and knowledge. I light white and black votive candles and of course a jack o’lantern. Then I sit and take time to acknowledge the people who I am descended from, and to remember sweet memories of my grandparents. I offer my thanks for another magickal year and get ready to start a new year when the sun rises the next morning. Sometimes the most profound rituals are quiet and simple. The best “tools” are actually your own magickal intention.
Bonus Q: what’s your favorite Halloween candy?
Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate. (Dark Chocolate anything honestly)
Even if you can’t make it to the signing, you can take advantage of Turn the Page’s Virtual Signing feature by ordering a book and having your favorite author personalize it for you before the event is finished.
And where else can you find Ellen besides the signing? Well she’s on Facebook and Pinterest (it’s a gorgeous page). Enjoy!