Kerr Cuhulain – Modern Knighthood

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Modern Knighthood completes the cycle begun with my earlier books on Warrior philosophy: Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick and Magickal Self Defense. Modern Knighthood is about personal empowerment and self mastery. Modern Knighthood brings all of the philosophy of the warrior together, showing the reader the cycles of training that interlock with the cycles of the seasons that lead the student through initiatory experiences resulting in self realization and self mastery. Modern Knighthood outlines the 13 Precepts and Code of Chivalry of knighthood, including seasonal cycles and warrior rituals. Modern knights honor themselves and the world around them.

This is a book of empowerment, showing you the divine within and the magickal power that you possess. It is a book about accessing your internal energy and strength in order to protect yourself from the chaos and negative energy that surrounds you. This book will help you to access your intuition and magickal energy to become a formidable force. It shows you how to live as a Warrior, take charge of your life and make your way in this chaotic modern world. Modern Knighthood shows you your connection to the divine and to energy in the world around you and shows you how to develop and celebrate these connections.

Tell us something about yourself.

I live in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. I’ve been writing since 1997. I’m the author of the Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca, Witch Hunts, Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick and Magickal Self Defense. My latest non-fiction book, Modern Knighthood, is now a Smashwords ebook. I am the co author of a safety book for social workers and nurses: Safe Approach. I am also the author of Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens, a cookbook of ancient recipes. He is starting to write fantasy fiction now also.

I am the former Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon, an organization representing Neo-Pagan professionals in the emergency services (police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians). I retired from the Vancouver Police Department in November 2005 after serving 29 years with them. I was awarded the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal. My past job assignments within the VPD include the Emergency Response Team, Hostage Negotiator, Child Abuse Investigator, Gang Crime Unit, and the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit. I am currently working as a police dispatcher and trainer for ECOMM for Southwestern BC.
I am the Grand Master and founder of an order of Knighthood called the Order of Scáthach in Surrey, British Columbia in October 2007. The Order is now a registered society in the province of British Columbia and the sponsor of Vancouver Pagan Pride.

What inspired you to write this book?

This is a continuation of the work that I’ve done for years to help people empower themselves. I became a member of Officers of Avalon and eventually ended up leading that organization for a number of years. While serving in that leadership position, I found that I was regularly being approached by people who didn’t qualify as members of Officers of Avalon who wanted to be part of something like that. When I asked them why, they told me that they saw us as knights.
I decided that if something like that wasn’t out there, then I needed to create it myself. In October 2007 I founded the Order of Scáthach.

How did you choose the title?

That was easy, it’s about knighthood in the modern world.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

This was the first e book that I’d ever published, so I had to learn how to format it properly to get it uploaded and accepted. I published it on Smashwords.com, and they offer a free style guide and a free marketing guide that you can download in PDF format that are extremely useful.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

Actually everyone on my mother’s side of the family are artists, including my daughter. For some reason my art comes out in two forms: words and baking. My wife finally got tired of me talking about writing one day and gave me the push that got me started.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Being a Wiccan and a knight I have all kinds of rituals, but I consider my writing a discipline. I write EVERY day, setting myself a goal of 2,000 words. Once I’ve got that I can move on to other projects, but that’s a minimum expectation. I don’t have a problem with writer’s block, and I’m sure that is because I’ve disciplined myself to achieve in writing.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

For my fiction characters I look at who they are and try to find names that reflect that. For example, in a sword and sorcery fantasy novel that I’ve got in front of an editor right now, one of the characters is Ruarí, which means “red” (he’s got red hair and a fiery character). The principle character’s name is Druce, which means “courageous” (which is precisely what he turns out to be).

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learn every time I write. I think that you have to if you want to succeed in writing and publishing. This book and recent classes I took at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference helped me figure out how to network properly on line to promote my books. This knighthood book helped me get started in e publishing, and that’s already helped me get my second e book out there: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I’d have listened to my muse and started writing sooner. I had to develop enough confidence to start. I recently attended Surrey International Writer’s Conference as a published author and it was interesting looking back with 9 books published in 4 languages: I remember how I was 12 years earlier when I’d attended the same conference as a nervous novice author hoping to be published by anyone. You have to trust in your ability. Who dares, wins.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

My favourite author is Charles Dickens, because of the characters. I’m a major fan of fantasy, and my favourite fantasy authors are Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Pratchett, Jack Whyte, R. Scott Bakker, David Gemmell and Tanith Lee. I also read a lot of romance, and my favourite authors are Diana Gabaldon and Nora Roberts.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Right now I’ve got Fionúir’s Mural, the first book in a sword and sorcery fantasy trilogy, in front of an acquisitions editor and an agent. I’ve also just completed the first book of a paranormal romance trilogy called the Dark Man trilogy: I’m just waiting for my daughter the artist to finish the cover art and I’ll be publishing that as an e book on Smashwords.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Never stop studying your craft. Commit yourself to writing and work on it every day. Run straight at whatever you fear the most. Be glorious!

If you need information on police characters or occult subjects for your fiction, check out my free resources on my C.A. Ennis blog: http://caennis.wordpress.com/

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

My wife Laurel, who is also an author. She’s a good editor. You can check her out on her blog: http://laurelicious.wordpress.com/

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Kerr Cuhulain’s blog: http://kerrcuhulain.blogspot.com/
Kerr’s latest Smashwords book: Modern Knighthood: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34975
Check out Kerr’s daily affirmations:
Twitter: @warriorwitch
Facebook: Kerr Cuhulain