MonsterTalk interview on my beloved spiders

I am a recovered arachnophobe. I now adore spiders. Absolutely adore them and am endlessly fascinated by their incredibly varied lives.  I told that story in my book, Spiders: learning to love them, published by Allen & Unwin in 2009.

spiders-front-covI am still enthralled by spiders, go out and watch them and want to tell the whole world that there is nothing to fear in these incredible critters.

I got to wax lyrical about them on the American podcast, MonsterTalk. They describe it as:

ONE OF THE MOST COMMON FEARS in the world is the fear of spiders. But what does a rationalist do when gripped by an irrational fear? MonsterTalk interviews author Lynne Kelly about her transition from arachnophobia to spider enthusiast. Note: This episode deals with spider sexual reproduction which includes masturbation and cannibalism.
You can listen here. It was great fun!

Spiders is available from Amazon and other book shops.

Feminine Magic – another theme, another genre

I held out the deck of cards, a bicycle deck. I had said nothing. I had done nothing beyond holding out a deck of cards in dealers’ grip. The teenager turned to his friends and said ‘I know this one’. The girls wandered off.

A week later, the teenagers were around a table. I slowly unwrapped the leather pouch and took from it a very old deck of cards. I told how they had belonged to my great‐grandmother and have magic powers that I don’t understand. I held the precious deck out to show them, in dealers’ grip. No‐one already knew it and none of the girls wandered off.

This essay is not just about being a female magician, but about being a feminine one. I’m always dressed in long skirts, lots of jewellery and all the trappings of somebody who loves being female. This essay is about the reasons I feel there are not many feminine magicians.

magic-gypsy1

That is the opening to an article which was reprinted in The Journal of Performance Magic published by the University of Huddersfield Press. The entire article can be found here:

http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/view/journal_jpm/2014/2/1.html

It was originally commissioned for The Magiculum edited by Todd Landman.

My father had been an amateur magician, so I had always loved it as I did anything even vaguely related to him. But it was through research for my book, The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal, that I became intrigued about why and how people were convinced by false perceptions. Meeting magicians in Australia and the UK, especially Ian Rowland and Lewis Jones, sent me off on a new obsession.

My leather pouch has the old deck of cards, the handwritten book left by my great-grandmother and packages of other strange cards. It’s all an illusion. I love it!

Obsessions are great when you are a non-fiction writer. Material is simply everywhere.