1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I am a Jungian psychologist, mostly retired. As such, my specialties have included dream interpretation, shamanic journeys, and women’s spirituality. I never saw myself as an author and only accidentally found my way into writing. (However, as a young child, I used to love writing stories especially ones with fantastical themes.) Once I picked up my author’s pen again, so to speak, I felt compelled to continue and Victorian Songlight was born.
2. What inspired you to write your book?
As it says on the cover of my book, Victorian Songlight is based on a true story – my story. The story of Kate and her love affair with Grandfather, the ghost with the large golden eyes, is loosely based on my own relationship with a disembodied spirit who goes by the same name. It was a relationship that changed my entire life – just as it changed Kate’s life in the book.
3. What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I think the most important message would be to know that we are all capable of re-imagining ourselves, of stepping into lives that are much bigger and more profound than we could ever imagine, that magic is real. No matter what our human failings or humble beginnings, we are all spirit beings at our core and thus, we all carry within ourselves Divine Light.
4. What drew you into this particular genre?
Having a relationship with a spirit or ghost just automatically sets the stage for fantasy. Beyond that, I have always enjoyed an active imagination and have loved pushing the boundaries of what we call reality. I have studied shamanism extensively as well, and this spiritual practice easily lends itself to visionary fiction.
5. If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
Well, first of all, most of the characters in my book are based on people I know personally, even though I have changed details and descriptions to hide their identity. Having said that, I think I would want to ask Grandfather how he feels about the way I portrayed him. Because he has been, and always will be, the singularly most significant relationship in my life, I would never want to misrepresent him, even in a work of fiction.
6. What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Gosh, I am not sure how to answer this one. I am not very savvy with social media and I don’t really know how to determine the extent of social media’s influence on my work. I do post a lot on Facebook and just a little on Twitter.
7. What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
I think I would tell aspiring authors that the most important thing is to enjoy what you do. So if you enjoy writing, you should write, regardless of whether you publish anything. I would also say that publishing should be an act of joy, not a task.
8. What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
About the time I published Victorian Songlight, I began another fantasy novel but had to put it down in order to complete the publication process. And when the pandemic hit, I lost most of my motivation and interest in finishing it. However, just lately I have picked it up again and I’m looking forward to re-engaging with the process of writing. I continue to work on art projects as well – pictures of my velvet tapestries whose images are based on my own dreams can be seen on my artist/author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kathy-Martone-EdD-2166828393535523/The best way to view my art work on my FB page is to scroll down to “Photos” and then click “See All” in the top righthand corner.
Dr. Kathy Martone is currently an author and artist living in a small Victorian town in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. She and her husband also manage two small BnB’s in their charming turn of the century village.
Before retiring in 2015, Dr. Martone was a Jungian psychologist in private practice specializing in dream work, women’s spirituality and shamanic journeys. Prior to this, she was the director of a small mental health clinic and then she served as company psychologist for Southwestern Bell Telephone. She taught classes at Colorado Free University, The Jungian Ministries International, Naropa University, and Iliff School of Theology. For the past 35 years she has studied with Richmond K. Greene, past chair of the New York Jungian Institute.
The magical world of dreams has fascinated and intrigued Kathy for as long as she can remember. Inspired by a dream in 2005, she began making velvet tapestries imprinted with the image of one of her own dream figures and embellished with ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, glass beads, Swarovski crystals, antique jewelry and semi-precious stones. As a Jungian psychologist and shamanic practitioner, energy and depth of meaning are very important to her. So frequently she will accent the tapestries with symbolic objects, such as old pieces of jewelry, the lining from a purse that belonged to her grandmother, or a piece of ribbon she wore as a little girl. Layering these materials into a meaningful image evokes for her the multi-layered realms of dreams, myth and metaphor. Like the magical nets of ancient shamans, these colorful tapestries ensnare the features of her dream spirits as they stare back at her from their watery dimensions. Her work has been displayed in galleries in Denver, Colorado as well as in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
In 2006 Dr. Martone self published her first book titled, Sacred Wounds: A Love Story. The book chronicles the author’s relentless quest for self understanding and provides a blueprint for other seekers who are looking for spiritual enlightenment while grappling with painful life experiences. Written in easy to understand language, the book explains how various spiritual and psychological practices were brought together in an alchemical blend to produce a potion of timeless healing. Weaving its way through such healing practices as psychotherapy, shamanism, Buddhism, Jungian thought and dream work, the reader is given a clear map for psychological and spiritual change.