I have author Tinnekke Bebout with me today! She's here talking about her story The Dance of the Mystai. Let's get to her a little better.
Tinnekke, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. I grew up in Indiana and moved to Utah for college. I’ve lived in several different parts of the country, but returned to the Midwest when I was in my late 20s to be closer to my family. I’ve been married for almost 18 years and we have a wonderful son who is getting ready for 7th grade. We also have three spoiled furbabies – all rescue cats – Boojie, Bitlet, and Popkin.
I love to garden, and spend what free time I have puttering in my yard tending the various herbs, veggies, fruits, and flowers growing there. I also practice some xeriscaping by leaving areas of the yard for native plants to just grow as they wish and see what pops up. Last summer we had some endangered marsh lilies in our backyard courtesy of this practice. I am hoping they will return as the weather gets warmer.
I am also a huge IndyCar fan. I grew up with the Indianapolis 500 as part of the landscape of my life, and that tradition continues with my family. We have attended that last couple Indy500 races. The atmosphere and culture of the Race is truly unique.
Did you always want to be an author?
Actually growing up I wanted to be an astronaut. I’ve always had a talent for writing, and as I got older, I started realizing how much I enjoyed it. My first real writing gig was for a local newsletter where I had a monthly column. After having some pieces accepted for publication in anthologies, I decided that pursuing writing as an actual career was where I truly wished to go with my life.
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
A few people really encouraged me to write. My husband has been a great supporter of me as a writer, from the very beginning of our relationship. Z Budapest was another who really encouraged me to take what I was sending to her email list and turn it into something more cohesive. I would write these long essays on whatever was on my mind and submit them for the women to read, and Z told me I needed to do something with it. Angelique Mroczka, my publisher, was the first person other than my husband to show me that my fiction work was also something that I should pursue.
What is your writing atmosphere like?
Oh I write everywhere. I have literally had ideas come to me when driving where I had to talk out loud to myself over and over whatever was coming to me so I wouldn’t forget before I got to where I could jot it down. I keep notebooks and pads of paper with me all the time for this purpose. Once I get settled in and am ready to take my notes and get them into a more formal format, I have a nook in my den where I can focus and tune out the world. This is more necessary for my fiction than my non-fiction since I try to stay in my characters’ heads as I am writing.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Least Favorite?
My favorite aspect of writing is the creative flow that I tap into as I am doing it. I love getting in the zone and just letting words flow. My least favorite aspect would have to be the rare instances where I have been working on something, and I realize that I am getting nowhere with it. I had a story I was writing for a supernatural fiction anthology where it just sputtered out, and nothing I did could rescue it. 7000words went piffle in an instant.
What book are you currently promoting?
The Dance of the Mystai is my newest release from Pagan Writers Press.
How did you come up with the story line?
The Dance of the Mystai is non-fiction. It is a collection of poetry, essays, and other bits that are an experiential exploration of a mystical spiritual Path.
Is this book part of a series?
Probably not, but you never know. I may realize I have more to say.
Tell me something about you that may shock your readers?
I don’t know that anything about me is shocking really. Before I met my husband, I had three people I was in romantic relationships with all die in various traumatic ways: one was killed in a car accident; the second died in the first Gulf War; and the third was in a plane crash. Needless to say I have told my husband that I get to die first. I’ve had it with being the survivor.
Now let’s have some fun!
Do you prefer Milk Chocolate or Dark? Dark chocolate
Coffee or Tea? Depends on my mood
Vodka or Tequila? Scotch
Coke or Pepsi? Ginger Ale
Almond Joy or Mounds?A Mounds
Romance or Thriller? Science Fiction
Mystery or Horror? Mystery
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
A cat – I am very feline in my own nature, and I love cats. Next life I truly hope I get to be one.
If you could have lunch or drinks with any three famous people (living or dead) who would they be and why?
Neil Armstrong – I would love to have been able to ask him about walking on the moon. The Apollo astronauts were an inspiration to me growing up.
Marie Curie – I would love to have discussed her life in Poland as a girl as well as the thrill of sharing scientific discovery with her husband and love, Pierre.
Sappho – I love her poetry, and to speak with her about the joy of writing poetry and to actually get more than just the fragments of her works that have survived the ages would be a dream come true.
~The Dance of the Mystai~
The Dance of the Mystai is an experiential and magickal journey for those wishing to discover the Lunar Mysteries and the ways of Hekate. The book is an organic outgrowth of the work of the author and her Sisters as they have grown and rediscovered the ancient goddess and her rites. Within these pages are a collection of essays, poetry, goddess lore, and practical ideas for growing and living a personal Path based on the Lunar Mysteries.
Human life starts with a simple cry, a cry that is universal: the cry for Mother. It means warmth and love and security. It calls for food. It brings a scent indelible in our memories and primeval in our response. It brings the scent of Mother. It’s inexplicable, we just know the smell when we’re around it and barring childhood trauma that disconnected us at an early age, it’s a smell that relaxes us and makes us happy. So the journey begins before we have words for it.
Just as the child longs for Mother before there are words, so we women on our Goddess paths long for Her before we have words for what we seek. There is a sense of not belonging in the world of Father-identified Godhood, a vague unease with the male-only terms for creation, an inner tug that tells us that something more is out there. Someone more is out there. That someone loves us and waits for us. We sing a chant that flows from our lips before we realize it’s a heart-felt cry, “Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” We call for our Mother in baby words, soul words. We are answered as we were as infants, with a feeling of warmth and love as Mother hears us and holds us and reminds us that She was always there waiting for us. And just that quickly, we know—we know why our longing filled us and caused us to journey in a spiritual wilderness away from the known world of FatherGod, through dark places where we questioned our journeys and doubted our inner needs—because out there waiting in the still soft warmth was Goddess just longing for Her daughters to hear the call and call to Her in return. We are suddenly home.
I cannot say with any truthfulness that the journey is always easy. For most women I know, myself included, it was hard. It was a journey fraught with a million temptations and obstacles all designed by the paradigm of the FatherGod to bring us back, either by luring us with treats if we are “Good Girls” or by threatening us with punishment as “Bad Girls”. Many times, these obstacles and lures are all within us; we drank in their existence with our first milk and they were taught to us as simple truths by our parents before we were old enough to think and question. They can make even the most dedicated doubt the journey, even after Goddess has been found.
I remember hearing with great surprise a woman who was an early voice of Goddess Spirituality and deeply respected in the community express the fear and doubt she had when one of her children died suddenly that the FatherGod was punishing her for following the Goddess Path and spreading the word of it to other women. It was a surprise but also a relief. I have had those feelings myself at times for other reasons. The feeling that the FatherGod can always reach out with His long arm and strike us down or the feeling during times of struggle that maybe life would be better and easier if we just returned to the FatherGod is one that hits many women during our journey and even after we have found Goddess.
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About the Author:
Born and raised in the midwest, Tinnekke Bebout grew up slowly finding her voice as a writer. Her first non-academic assays into the art involved poetry she created while still in high school as well as her first attempt at a novel. Since leaving academia as a young woman, she has found her creative outlets mostly through the genres of poetry and essays. Recently Tinnekke has begun stretching herself into the realm of short fiction as a contributor to the recent anthologies Taboo, Love Down Under, and For Love of the Gods. She is planning a novel-length piece at this time based on the story of Thetis, mother of Akhilles.
Tinnekke is the author of The Dance of the Mystai (Pagan Writers Press 2013). She also contributed toHekate Her Sacred Fires and the soon-to-be-released second part of Memento Mori from Avalonia Press as well as Pagan Writers Presents Samhain. She is also working on The Hekate Tarot , a devotional project in honor of Hekate, with Hope Ezerins, a sister Priestess in the Mystai of the Moon tradition. She has also been published in such periodicals as Goddess, Circle, PanGaia, The Loom, Askei Kataskei, andThe Goat and Candle. She also is editor and publisher of The Torch Bearer.
Tinnekke is one of the founders of the Mystai of the Moon Tradition, and carries the title of Priestess of the Flames within their Rites. She also founded the Lyceum Magissai, which is the school of the Mystai tradition, and creatrix of its Priestessing Path. As a Mentor Sister of the Mystai, she teaches women a Mystery Tradition that has at its heart recreating the ancient mysteries of Hekate and revisioning them for the modern era.
Author Links: Author Site Mystai of the Moon Site Facebook Twitter Goodreads