Interview, Marina E Partridge


* Interview #79, with Darkstar astrologer Marina E Partridge!

* Note from Jess: Marina is the fabulous UK astrologer at Darkstar Astrology. I am a big fan of her website, readings and blog posts — so I decided to send her a quick Q&A on career and life vision!

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Hi Marina! Describe yourself in 5 words:


Hermit, Studious, Outside-the-box, Fascinated, Paradoxical.

How did you get into studying astrology?

I have been fascinated by astrology all my life but only became a full time Astrologer in 2009. Before that I was an illustrator. I loved surrealism and reading symbols and always had a set of tarot cards on my kitchen table. In 2009 the triple conduction of Jupiter, Neptune & Chiron (The astrologer) on my natal Mars/Lilith conjunction turned me into an Astrologer full time. My approach is very eclectic, just like the Illustration I used to do, which was digital collage. I found astrology was a way of blending of the old and the new.

I am a huge fan of your very unique (and precise) Dark Moon Reading—I can only imagine the research involved for your future book on the Lilith archetype and Eris! Was there something about the asteroids that you were initially drawn towards?


“Black Moon Lilith” | Darkstar

That they show us how we are part of such great cycles. Our souls are infinite. Just when you think there is a limit, it is broken and we are into another dimension. The discovery of Eris has allowed archetypes that are relevant to our modern life to be added to the pantheon of gods. The TNO’s are a symptom of our expanding consciousness. The exiled, divine female has been yearned for, for such a long time. Eris is the missing archetype Persephone. In our charts we had no female outer planet until 2005. Transpersonal energy is enlightening and alchemic. The fact that the transpersonal has been in the hands of the male Gods until now is simply a reflection of humanity in the last 3000 or so years. Then Pluto was demoted and Ceres promoted. The rebalancing has started and in turn that has called for an planetary body to describe that process working in our everyday lives, hence Lilith.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

My technique for reading charts uses the tropical zodiac divided into decans. The fixed stars within those decans determine how the archetype of the zodiac sign is filtered out through the persona while the aspect patterns in one’s birth chart represent the geometry of the soul. I like to blend the ancient with the ultra – modern, like Chiron, the bridge between Saturn and Uranus. My stellium in Aquarius is futuristic like Uranus, but its ancient ruler is Saturn. I have Chiron opposite Uranus exact and it squares my AC by a degree.  The name of the site Darkstar itself an oxymoron. It describes my approach to astrology and life in general.

Share a few of your favorite quotes (10-100 words):

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” ~ Og Mandino

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
~ Carl Jung
“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” ~ Isaac Newton
“Those who appear the most sanctified are the worst.” ~ Elizabeth I 

How would you describe the essential purpose of astrology?


[Image from Vedic Astrology]

Know thyself, Accept yourself, love yourself. Astrology gives you all the tools you need to be the sovereign of your own life.

Please share your #1 tip for aspiring students of astrology:

Stand on the shoulders of giants. Then test out the techniques out for yourself.

Please share your #1 tip for aspiring astrologers:

Same as the above. Empirical research is essential. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. You must have a clear reason why you have done so however, and be able to prove your alternative system works through rigorous testing and examples.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

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Much thanks to the insightful and elegant/sassy Marina E Partridge for taking the time to share her thoughts and advice.

Be sure to check out her full bio and audio readings on Darkstar Astrology!

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Katherine Mayfield, Interview


Interview #78, with author of BULLIED: Katherine Mayfield!

Katherine was first interviewed on this blog in 2012. She has written a new, very important and socially-minded book titled BULLIED — so read on for more details on the project!

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Hi Katherine! Describe your latest book in 5 words:


Guide to recovery from bullying.

What inspired the book?

Two things: one is that I feel very sad when I hear about another teen who has committed suicide in response to bullying, and the other is that I was bullied as a child, and when I was in my thirties, I thought seriously about committing suicide because I was still so full of pain. It took me a long time to recover from the bad experiences I had as a kid.

With this book, I wanted to reach out to young people who are in distress and pain, and show them that there is a way out of the darkness, that bullying does end, and that by letting go of their bad feelings and focusing on what they enjoy and do well, they can move forward and create a much better life. I wish there had been a book like this when I was growing up.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

“If someone is bullying you based on what you look like—if you’re taller or shorter than other people, or if you have braces or glasses, or anything else—they are using one single characteristic about your physical appearance to judge the entirety of who you are. One trait does not define your real self. You are not a nose, or a pair of glasses, or the clothes you wear. Everyone has talents and gifts, and no matter what you look like, when you focus on your gifts, you can live up to your potential and ultimately become a much happier person.”

BULLIED: A guide to recovery from bullying, by Katherine Mayfield

Share some of your favorite quotations (10-100 words):

These are some quotes included in Bullied:

“Imagine the choices you’d make if you had no fear—of falling, of losing, of being alone, of disapproval.”
~ Martha Beck

“One must still have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.””
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.”
~ Samuel Butler

“Instinct is the nose of the mind.”
~ Madame De Girardin (French author)

In the introduction, you mention that you were bullied during school days. Did you ever want to retaliate against the people who bullied you at the time?

Great question, Jess! Yes, I did, but I was way too afraid. The feeling of violence was in my nerves and wanted to get out, and so one day I started petting the cat a little too hard, and my mother said, “Gently! Gently!” I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but I spanked my dolls when I was a kid to try to get rid of some of those bad feelings.

I think that a lot of bullies have been bullied themselves, or violated in some way, so they take their anger out on people who seem quiet or weaker or less able to defend themselves. Sometimes the smartest, most creative and innovative people are the ones who are bullied, because others are jealous and want to cut them down to “normal” size. But I believe that people are meant to grow and explore and invent and create, and become the very best and biggest that they possibly can. I wish our society encouraged that more than it does.

Well-said! What were some of the challenges involved with writing BULLIED?

Another great question! There’s a part of me that really does not want to look at these issues, at the pain in my past, and at the continuing stories about young people who end their lives because they can’t stand the bullying anymore. So I had some resistance to finishing the project, even though I believe it will be helpful to others.

In my family, a huge value was placed on helping others and relieving pain, and that’s what keeps me writing books on these subjects even though sometimes it’s difficult for me. If I can help people heal the way I have healed, then the work is absolutely worth it.

What are some of your plans for the rest of the year?

Resting! Relaxing! Having fun! And I have two other memoirs in process, along with a workbook for people who have been emotionally abused that my muse is encouraging me to work on. And then there’s the novel I’ve been writing for about ten years…

I’m also going to be teaching a couple of writing workshops, and several workshops on writing and publishing memoir. I always think, “When winter gets here, I really want to hibernate for awhile,” but so far it hasn’t happened.

It’s good to be busy ;) Please share with us your websites/blogs/etc:

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Much thanks to Katherine for stopping by — be sure to check out the above links for more info on BULLIED!

Katherine Mayfield

KATHERINE’S BIO: Katherine Mayfield is the award-winning author of Bullied:  Why You Feel Bad Inside and What to Do About It, The Box of Daughter;  Healing the Authentic Self, and Dysfunctional Families:  The Truth Behind the Happy Family Façade.  She blogs on dysfunctional families on her website,

P.S. Here’s Katherine’s Q&A with JCS (2012) and her guest post on Recovering From Being Bullied.

You can also preorder a copy of BULLIED on Katherine’s website.

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Author Interview, Marie-Jo Fortis


Interview #77, with satirical thriller French writer, Marie-Jo Fortis!

Hi Marie-Jo! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Hi Jess! Okay, here goes: Determined, with sense of humor.

Cool! Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):


“Fortis has a marvelous character in Chainsaw Jane…”
~ Kirkus Reviews

Now, for the excerpt, just a little sentence that describes Chainsaw Jane: “With her staccato gestures, mud-covered baggy jeans and clodhoppers, she looked like a barrel drunk with its own wine.”

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

From Balzac’s Le Père Goriot: “Holding this book in your hand, sinking back in your soft armchair, you will say to yourself: perhaps it will amuse me. And after you have read this story of great misfortunes, you will no doubt dine well, blaming the author for your own insensitivity, accusing him of wild exaggeration and flights of fancy. But rest assured: this tragedy is not a fiction. All is true.”

I chose this because I do think that great fiction, the one that gets to the core of things, is truer than what we call reality.

I agree! Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

The writing is just plain fun while the publication process is woooork! Kidding! It’s all fun and sooo easy! Okay, kidding again. Non-writers believe that writing is a simple, amusing activity, an entertaining choice. To these people I want to say, don’t choose writing if writing does not choose you. Writing is as much an addiction, a dependence, as it is a passion. Of course, you can argue that passion is a dependence. You write because you cannot imagine life without it. There are moments when you want to free yourself from it, but as soon as you take some distance from it, it calls you back. It is a love made of pain and pleasure, a mental sadomasochistic adventure. It is also work, work, work. Hitting your head against the wall every time you get a rejection slip. That’s why so many take matters into their own hands and self-publish. But that alone belongs to another discussion. This said, nothing compares to the heights of creativity, when you have found that beautiful sentence, that expression that just clicks, this “mot juste.” Nothing compares to that.

As for publishing, you have to wear a different hat, don’t you? I was the publisher of a litmag years ago, so I have a little experience, even if the publishing world has changed tremendously since. The publication process is about image and marketing. This means that today’s writer needs to double as a business person. Produce a brand. You have to act as a humble peacock. If this sounds like an oxymoron, it probably is. Let me explain to the best of my abilities. You have to show off as much as possible (that’s the peacock part) while thinking of yourself as simply a product. I don’t know many fiction writers who like to see themselves as products, so that’s the humbling part. But to market a book in today’s world, one must market oneself. The left side of my brain gets it; the right one is still pissed off. So there is still training to do on that side.

Very eloquently expressed. I’m a fan of Tarot cards, so the mention of them in the product description for Chainsaw Jane certainly caught my attention. How did you develop an interest in Tarot?:

During one of the trips my husband and I took to Lily Dale, the famous mediums village in New York State, the psychic who gave us a reading recommended Tarot as a way to develop psychic abilities. Since I am a native of France and raised to rely on rational thinking, I thought…mm…okay…whatever. But I am also very curious. Not to mention a Basque; and the Basque Country still has a number of operating “witches.” So I ordered a Tarot set and started studying it. It became a habit to the point where I started reading Tarot to family and friends. Now they come to me and ask for readings. It has basically become a reflex these days. When I am confused about a problem, I use both Tarot and reasoning. I don’t feel the right and left side of the brain are, nor should be, mutually exclusive.

You list some very interesting and eclectic influences on your Goodreads bio (Balzac when it comes to psychology; Voltaire for the bite and satire; Agatha Christie for the structure of the novel). Which of their works would you recommend to readers who would like to try reading them for the first time, and why?

For Balzac, it’s difficult to recommend just one novel from the Human Comedy, as he created one masterpiece after another. I fell in love with him when I fell in love with reading, when I was twelve and when my older sister handed me Le Père Goriot. It’s a poignant story about a man victimized by his daughters. It’s a novel about cruelty, rapacity, as many of his novels are. Balzac depicts his predators like dehumanized machines or marionettes; his victims are poetry. Cousin Pons’ main character is one example of this poetry, and the novel has powerful moments about art collecting, the love of art, the love of beauty. And then there is The Magic Skin, one of his philosophical novels and a dramatic reflection on the meaning (or lack thereof) and brevity of life. In general, the way Balzac portrays, say, the greed of bankers and 19th Century nascent capitalism, pretty much shows that society in its core has not changed.

I love most of Voltaire’ satiric tales, but Micromegas is my favorite. It announces sci-fi, as it is an interplanetary story. There, Voltaire makes fun of human arrogance. A very good lesson told with the philosopher’s customary bite and wit.

For Agatha Christie, I have grown to prefer her Hercule Poirot novels over her Miss Marple ones. To the point that one of the main characters in Chainsaw Jane is actually a parody of Hercule Poirot. Poirot is both an absurd and brilliant character, and I believe the simultaneously absurd, vain and brilliant side of him translates a little better into our world than Miss Marple, although she can be a comforting grandmother. Okay, grandma a bit on the sly side. But still, only when she’s detecting. This said, once I started with one Agatha Christie novel, I had to get another one—Miss Marple or no Miss Marple. She became an addiction. But if you only want to read just one Agatha Christie novel, read what I consider her masterpiece, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

I have a short story collection by Ms. Christie that I like a lot ;) Please share your #1 tip for writers:

I’ll repeat what Gwendolyn Brooks once told me: “Revise, revise, revise.” At the time, I was very young and thought this was the end of the day, the poet was tired or had fallen on her head somewhere, and therefore she didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. But years went by and I know now that “revise, revise, revise” is one of the best pieces of advice any kind of writer can receive.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

and of course, you can find me at Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook; Book Country on occasion. There are others, but I won’t mention them until I start visiting them more often myself.

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Much thanks to Marie-Jo for stopping by — do visit Marie-Jo’s Website for more info on her projects!

MARIE-JO’S SHORT BIO (in his own words):


Marie-Jo Fortis had to fight many odds, make many sacrifices, in order to leave France and cross the Atlantic with the man she loved. She could hardly speak English when she reached the US, but that did not stop her. She attained a Master’s in English literature after studying at l’Ecole du Louvre and La Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Her work has been published nationally and internationally in Freedom International, Poésie Première, Talus & Scree, and other periodicals. She also founded Collages & Bricolages, a literary magazine she edited for fifteen years, which received accolades from the US and abroad.

Website | Chainsaw Jane on Amazon

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Author Interview, Jason Pendergrass


Interview #76, with “serial entrepreneur,” Jason Pendergrass!

Hi Jason! Describe yourself in 5 words:

I am a serial entrepreneur.

Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):


This book is a roadmap for business success teaching entrepreneurs how to start and run their own business while not being “Nickel & Dimed” to death. This book teaches such skills as product development, performing effective market research, driving sales using social media, protecting your intellectual property, developing and implementing an effective business strategy, and developing a sales strategy, among many other skills and lessons. This book teaches from my personal experiences with my own businesses. Some lessons came easy and some came the hard way, but this book breaks it down in an easy to understand, simple format.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

One of my favorite books, besides my own, is Managing written by Harold Geneen, former CEO of ITT from 1959 to 1977. One of the key quotes form this book is “Performance is reality. Forget everything else.” I completely agree. Performance is the only measure that matters. It will define success and it will define failure. To be successful, you must produce positive results. At the bottom line, that is what matters.

Well-said! Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

In my experience, writing a book is extremely time-consuming. Just when you think it is perfect, you proofread again and find a chapter you want to expand upon, a grammatical mistake, etc. You also get tunnel vision and that hinders you as well. You’re then forced to clear your head and take a break before continuing on with the quest of writing the book.

As for publishing a book, the only hassle I found was that it was costly. Luckily, my book has been selling successfully, but if the book was not in demand, I could have been stuck with a huge inventory of books I could not sell. There was risk involved. On the other hand, I also sell my book on as an e-book, and that eliminates the capital investment needed to publish an actual physical book.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

My definition of good writing is exceeding the readers’ expectations. My book is a business self-help book, so I want to ensure my book helps these entrepreneurs become successful and learn from my experiences while providing an easy to read format. Basically, since my readers are successful because of the lessons taught in this book, Business Lessons of a Rookie Entrepreneur is well written.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

My number one lesson is to not rush the process. Writing a book is a long journey and everyone wants to finish before their book is perfect. Be patient and remember, quality over speed. You have got to stay focused and keep this lesson in mind. Quality over speed!!

Your websites/blogs/etc: or message me on Facebook. My book can also be found as an E-book on by searching my name (Jason Pendergrass) or the book title (Business Lessons of a Rookie Entrepreneur).

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Much thanks to Jason for stopping by — do visit Jason’s Website for more info on his projects!

JASON’S SHORT BIO (in his own words):

Started three small businesses, learned a lot, had a mixture of successes and failures. I am here to help you become successful in business.


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Author Interview, K.C. Finn


Interview #75, with “compulsive, convoluted, and complex” writer, Kimberley Finn!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Compulsive, Convoluted, Complex, Consistent and Complicated!

Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):

kimberley finn

The Atomic Circus: A Futuristic Mystery

A story is never a good story unless it starts with a murder. The more unusual the murder, the better the story, generally speaking. Meet Caecilius (KAI-KILL-EE-USS) Rex, a young detective in the not-too-distant future, a smog-filled post apocalyptic world riddled with crime and conspiracy.

When a new case quite literally falls at Rex’s feet, he teams up with his neighbour and associate Kendra Nai, an ex-army sergeant recently dismissed, to investigate. Little do they know that the events of The Atomic Circus will be the first step to solving the case of a lifetime.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

– Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

The writing process is easily the more enjoyable of the two for me. Words flow like blood when I cut open the proverbial vein of imagination, and there’s nothing better than seeing the page fill up with your newly crafted ideas, even if they don’t all get used.

As a self-published author the publication process is a double-edged sword, because it’s very easy to put your work out there and be excited by seeing your books in print, but you can often feel swallowed up in the sea with the thousands of other people worldwide trying to get their work noticed. I believe that perseverance and networking are the true keys to success here, just as they would be if I was trying to secure a big time publisher, but I would rather be connecting directly to my audience and keeping my artistic freedom to write exactly as I wish.

Nicely said! What is your definition of “good writing”?

It keeps you reading, it gives you an emotional reaction (be it good or bad!), and most importantly it never inhibits your ability to understand or enjoy the story being told, because to me the story is far more important than the writing.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

As a teacher of writing I have five top tips that I give to my
classes, so I’ll share them all here:

* Keep going, even if you don’t think anyone cares.

* If you like what you’re writing, then there’ll be at least one other
person out there who will too, so write for them if not yourself.

* Write every day. And that’s not every day that you feel like it. I
mean every single day.

* Don’t be afraid to big yourself up and make a big deal of your work.

* Take every opportunity that comes at you to show off your work and
your personality.

Cool tips! Your websites/blogs/etc:

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Much thanks to K.C. Finn for stopping by — do visit Kimberley’s Website for more info on her projects!

K.C.’S BIO (in her own words):


Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it’d be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first two novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga.

As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.

Her website is The Proverbial Raven.

NOTE: K.C. is launching a new magazine in August called Indie Book Buffet. Keep a lookout for it as there’s a cool giveaway with the debut issue!

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Interview with Joe Perrone Jr.


* Interview #74, with mystery writer, Joe Perrone Jr.!

* Note from Jess: Joe was AUTHOR #1 to be featured on this blog in Jan 2010. He’s back with another book in his “Matt Davis” mystery series! One of the books in the series was recently awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion — you know you’d like to find out which one…

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Describe your latest book in 5 words:

Victim, no suspects, no motives.

What inspired the plot?

For years, as a guide on the Beaverkill River in Upstate New York, I passed what appeared to be an old abandoned hotel. Finally, I got the idea for the plot from the thoughts of that old hotel.

Ooh, exciting! Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

* Joe’s Comments: In my new book, Broken Promises: A Matt Davis Mystery, an 86-year old woman is found shot to death on the grounds of an abandoned, burned-out old hotel. There are no witnesses, no suspects, and no apparent motive. Here’s an excerpt from when it happens:


“I’m here!” she shouts at last, a broad smile spreading across her face. “I’m so sorry I’m la–”

The man turns and starts toward her, but Maggie doesn’t recognize him. As he moves forward, he trips, and suddenly there is a flash of light and a loud crack like a tree being struck by lightning. Maggie feels a dull thud, then a burning pain in the center of her chest; and in just seconds, nothing.

Share some of your favorite quotations (10-100 words): 

“It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”

“It was beauty that killed the beast.”
—Carl Denham, from the movie King Kong

“The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.”
—Carla Jean Moss, from the movie No Country for Old Men

“Shut the f**k up, Donny.”
—Walter Sobchak, from the movie The Big Lebowski

“Leave the gun, take the canoli.”
—Clemenza, from the movie The Godfather

What is your definition of “good characterization”?

Good characterization is when an author creates a character that is so three-dimensional and real that the reader actually cries when that character is killed in the book. Really great characterization is when you, the author, cry, too!

What is it about mystery that you find most appealing?

I guess I find writing mysteries appealing because they permit me to use my imagination to the fullest, and they genuinely challenge my inventiveness.

Neat :) What are some of your plans for the rest of the year?

I am putting the finishing touches on the print and Ebook versions of Broken Promises, so I can publish it as soon as possible (hopefully by the end of July). Then, I will be listening to auditions for the narration of the audio book version. Then, my wife, Becky, and I are going to take a two-week vacation through New England and out to Lake Ontario. Rest. More rest. Then I will resume work on a literary novel I began seven years ago while I was in Charlottesville, Virginia. Of course, I am constantly working with other authors, assisting them with editing, formatting, and book cover designs.

Jeez, I’m tired already!

Your websites/blogs/etc:

My website is:

My author email address is:

My Facebook pages are: Author Joe Perrone Jr. and The Matt Davis Mystery Series.

On Twitter, I am @catsklgd1

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Much thanks to Joe Perrone Jr. for stopping by — do visit Joe’s Website for more info on him and his projects!

JOE’S BIO (short bio):

Opening Day was recently awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion, and in 2011, As The Twig Is Bent was translated into Portuguese as Pau que nasce torto by Rafa Lombardino of Word Awareness, Inc. of Santee, CA. Plans are underway to translate Opening Day and Twice Bitten into Portuguese in the very near future.

All of Joe’s books are available in paperback or in Kindle editions on

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Interview, James Braha


* Interview #73, with Hindu/Vedic and Modern Western Astrologer, James Braha!

* Note from Jess: James Braha is one of the most respected astrologers in America and is the recipient of the Jyotish Kovida award from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences. I greatly enjoyed a number of his astrology books — so I decided to send a quick Q&A on career and life vision!

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Hi James! Describe yourself in 5 words:


Four planets in Tropical Libra.

How did you get into studying astrology?

In 1978, I went for my first astrology reading and was astonished by her accuracy. One of the things she said was that I would have a “retesting of my marriage” in a certain month. When that month arrived, my marriage exploded like a volcano. I then went to Isabel Hickey, a very famous older Boston astrologer, who said my wife would be unhappy with whoever she was with and that I should get her out of my house. Isabel said my wife would return to me in 3 months – all of which happened exactly on schedule. I was so stunned by how someone could my life and my future that I began buying and studying astrology books.

The full story can be found in my autobiographical text ASTRO-LOGOS, REVELATIONS OF A HINDU ASTROLOGER. It is about my early days of learning astrology, and going to India to learn the Hindu system. A rather fun read.

You have written a bunch of informative, insightful, in-depth books on astrology—what a wealth of knowledge! Was there one particular book that was more difficult to complete than the others?


Actually, no. They all required about the same intensity. But having been an uninterested student in school (other than Drama – I was an actor), I had to learn how to write on my own after the need arose. The first book (ANCIENT HINDU ASTROLOGY FOR THE MODERN WESTERN ASTROLOGER) felt like a gift from god, in that I was able to write clearly and effectively. My second book, ASTRO-LOGOS, is where I began to realize I had some innate writing talent.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

These days I’m mainly doing horoscope readings for seekers. I took a break from astrology for 4 or 5 years and focused on investments with gold and silver stocks. Also, was teaching non duality (Hindu philosophy of Advaita). Now I am doing 4 or 5 Hindu astrology readings a week and enjoying it. Giving the most thorough and detailed readings I can, trying to help people live their lives in the healthiest, most successful way possible.

Share a few of your favorite quotes (10-100 words):

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but I do know that the only ones among you who will be happy are those who have sought and found a way to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

“Although all dualities come from the one, do not be attached even to this one.” ~ Seng T’san – Hsin Hsin Ming

“After the final no, there comes a yes. And on that yes, the future of the world depends.” ~ Wallace Stevens

“Let a man live so that at the closing of each day he may say I have not wasted this day.” ~ The Zohar

How would you describe the essential purpose of astrology?


[Image from Vedic Astrology]

It is a blueprint of a person’s life. It’s not absolute, but it reveals the essential nature, abilities, flaws, challenges and so on. It’s the most wonderful and helpful tool I’ve ever come across to help a person realize the highest potential and point out areas of difficulty.

Please share your #1 tip for aspiring students of astrology:

Only use what works, throw out what doesn’t. Don’t accept anything a book or astrology teacher says without verifying its accuracy. Ignore whatever so called authority say if it doesn’t prove effective in your practice.

Please share your #1 tip for aspiring astrologers:

Once you work professionally, don’t work 50 weeks each year. Leave enough leisure time for yourself — astrology is a very intense and demanding profession. It can be draining without if you’re not careful.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

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Much thanks to the gracious and very cool James Braha for taking the time to share his thoughts and insightful advice!

Check out his full bio on his website, along with his catalog of books on

* UPDATE (Aug 2013): 17,000 live viewers tuned into this interview with Mr. Braha!

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