Rebecca Buchanan: A Talk with a Pagan Fairy Tale Author

Rebecca Buchanan: A Talk with a Pagan Fairy Tale Author March 9, 2021

[Here, we sit down for an interview with Rebecca Buchanan. A Pagan Fairy Tale, Fantasy and Romance Author, Rebecca Buchanan here discusses her passion for Fairy Tales, writing, and what upcoming projects to watch out for.]

TFTW: Thank you for sitting down with me Rebecca. You are one of my favorite “Fairy Tale” People to follow and I have for many, many years now but for those that are not as familiar with you or what you do, how would you describe yourself and your many hats?

Rebecca Buchanan: Thank you for having me. And that is flattering and humbling to hear. I love (re)writing fairy tales, and it is very rewarding to know that others enjoy my stories, too.

I wear a lot of hats.  I’m the founder and editor of the Pagan literary ezine, Eternal Haunted Summer. I’m a regular contributor to ev0ke: witchcraft*paganism*lifestyle. And I write — a lot. My favorite genres are fairy tales, fantasy, romance, and science fiction, and I’ve tried my hand at a few mysteries and horror tales, as well. I tend to stick with short stories, as I don’t really have the time for longer projects (I have four incomplete novels sitting on my computer). And I write poetry as the muse strikes, which seems to be randomly.

TFTW: You have an e-magazine called “Eternal Haunted Summer” that is dedicated to Pagan songs and tales. Can you tell us a little bit about starting this? What highlights should we know about?

RB: I launched Eternal Haunted Summer in 2009. I was frustrated by the lack of Pagan-specific fiction venues. There were a number of nonfiction venues available (most notably the magazines being published by BBI Media); and there were quite a few mainstream fantasy/science fiction/horror venues where Pagans and polytheists could sneak in their work. But little that was out and proud and loudly Pagan. So, I created EHS. It’s been a lot of work, but very satisfying, and I have met a lot of wonderful writers as a result.

TFTW:  Another one of your projects is “ev0ke.” Would you call this another e-magazine? What are some of the highlights there?

RB: ev0ke is not quite the same as Eternal Haunted Summer. It was started in the Autumn of 2019 by Ashley Nicole Hunter, who wanted to create a Pagan-specific zine that featured everything from fiction to essays to brief articles on living a magical/Pagan life. She asked if I was interested in signing on and, after I thought about it, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to feature the fiction that was languishing on my computer. (I noted above that there are plenty of mainstream sf/f/h venues; that doesn’t mean that they are easy to get into.)

So, whereas Eternal Haunted Summer has open submissions and is free to read, ev0ke has set contributors whose work appears in every issue, and some of those pieces are behind a paywall. (And, yes, if anyone is interested, we are always looking for more regular contributors. We’re looking for fiction, essays, reviews, and short pop articles.)

TFTW: You wrote a book called “The Fox and the Rose, and other Pagan Faerie Tales.” Where did you find your inspiration?

RB: My bookshelf! I hoard books. I have a very large collection of mythology and fairy tale texts. I had already written several Pagan faerie tales (that spelling is deliberate) and the idea suddenly came to me to release a collection. I needed more stories, though, so I started looking through my shelves for classic tales that could be tweaked. I wanted to write stories that were obviously in the fairy tale mold (once upon a time, quests, noble heroes, obstacles to be overcome, et cetera), but that were explicitly polytheistic; a mash-up for fairy tales and mythology, if you will. So, there are not fairies in my stories, but Gods and Goddesses, and all of the characters live in polytheistic societies.

TFTW: Do you have another book in the works? Can you give us some hints about it? When should we look for it?

RB: I suppose that depends on how you define “book.”  I am currently serializing an urban fantasy/romance on ev0ke. “The Necromancer’s Guide to Not Dying While Saving the World (And Falling in Love)” is up to six parts as of this writing, and it will be novel length by the time it’s complete; at that point, I plan to publish it in print and digital format.

I am also working on another shot story collection, “Sidewalk Sorcery, and Other Pagan Fantasy Tales.” I have enough pieces for it. I just need to find the time to put it all together and polish it up.

And I’m working on a second poetry collection. I hope to release “Not a Princess, But (Yes) There Was a Pea, and Other Fairy Tales to Foment Revolution” in late summer or early autumn 2021. It’s about half done. I’m writing the poems for it as quickly as they come to me.

And, of course, those four incomplete novels sitting on my computer need to be finished.

TFTW: What is your favorite fairy tale? Why?

RB: Tough question. Looking at my bookshelf, the answer would be Cinderella. I have more copies of that story than any other. I just love the illustrations.

But if I *really* think about it, the answer is probably The Twelve Dancing Princesses. There are just *so* many ways to interpret and re-interpret that story. There is a lot going on in that tale. Why are the princesses dancing in an underground palace? Who are they princes they dance with? Where does the soldier come from? Why does he opt to help the princesses? Who is the old woman who aids the soldier? And so much more.

(My hands down favorite retelling is by Robin McKinley, which can be found in The Door in the Hedge. I highly recommend it.)

TFTW: What are some of your other projects that you are currently working on?

RB: In addition to writing installments of “The Necromancer’s Guide” and putting together my next short story and poetry collections, I also write an original story every month for ev0ke. These are rarely planned in advance. I just start writing. One month I wrote a fantasy featuring a Vestal Virgin. Another month I wrote a lesbian slipstream romance. This month, I’m writing an alternate history/fantasy story called “The Lost Alchemage.”

TFTW: Where should we follow you and look for new inspirations from you?

A: When it comes to social media, I stick to FaceBook. I tried doing multiple platforms, and it was just too distracting and confusing.

I can always be found through Eternal Haunted Summer, where I keep a running list (with links) of all of my publications. And, for course, ev0ke, where new work appears every month.

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