It went on to become a bestseller, Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook (With Lucky Mojo) came about through a strange set of circumstances...
So how did my Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook (with Lucky Mojo) come about? Well, the gods of the ancient lands work in mysterious ways, particularly those of the ancient shires of Angleland, and those of old Albion. The archetypes of antiquity cannot be denied. They will manifest in whatever way works. In the modern world, their voices, though thunderous, are mere whispers today. But those whispers will be heard.
And so it was that my path was set since being a boy. The old hooded man who walks the lonely byways and leads the tempestuous spectral hunt cast his shimmering runes and the destiny was set.
But the harsh metallic world of today demands that a tricky path is walked, with the hooded man and his ravens weaving the web to bring back the voices of the old gods.
Thus it was that I was writing for a popular paranormal part-work magazine in the 1990s called The X Factor, covering everything from UFOs and Bigfoot, to hauntings and ley lines. One of the editors at The X Factor was involved with a British book packager called Eddison Sadd (which sold finely produced books to publishers around the world). He told them they should have a book by me, and somewhat astoundingly they said okay – bear in mind I’d never had a book published before and wasn’t an established author, just a jobbing writer.
So I gave Eddison Sadd various book ideas. None really took. A lot of it is about filling a gap in the book buying market. So if there’s already one book on a given subject, then you wouldn’t cover that subject (unless there was a compelling reason to do so). One of their bestselling titles at the time was The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum. Not perhaps the last word on runes and the Northern Tradition, but one that brought the subject to more popular regard. Nevertheless you wouldn’t have done a book on runes as Ralph Blum had got there first.
Therefore I looked into my own personal experiences and I had spent a good deal of time with a London voodoo man called Earl Marlowe, working with him, in fact, to help his clients with voodoo and magick to improve their lives. So I figured that that was the best subject to go for as it was a genuine personal story and there weren’t really any competing books, and thus I came up with Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook (with Lucky Mojo). And Eddison Sadd jumped on the idea. That was the one for them.
So I created an outline with a breakdown of what would be in each chapter. And we decided that the book would be a fairly lavish edition with top-notch illustrations, striking cover, and have a voodoo doll on the cover, which we would call a “lucky mojo.”
So we set about designing the lucky mojo doll. The first versions were pretty wild and impressive. Problem was they’d have cost a fortune to mass produce as a free gift on the book. So we had to go back to the drawing board to come up with something similar, but still impressive.
Once we’d done that, it was a question of sending the design to a factory in China who specialized in creating such things. They came up with an even more streamlined design that fitted the necessary budget, but still looked excellent, and in many ways, the simpler the better.
After that it was a question of writing the book, which I did through the summer of 1999. It was a hot, glorious summer and many strange coincidences occurred as I wrote the book. One memorable incident was when I was writing the section on the legendary voodoo man Dr Buzzard. Just as I wrote his name a buzzard slammed into my window, stunning itself. It made a huge thud… After a few minutes the bird of prey revived itself and flew away. I was living in the suburbs of the city of Norwich in eastern England at the time; and you just wouldn’t normally get a buzzard that far into town. As to it flying headlong into a window, well that was unprecedented.
Once the book was written and had been edited and designed, and the excellent illustrations completed by Chris Daunt, Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook (With Lucky Mojo) hit the streets. And without any real promotion it became the bestselling book on voodoo. The rest, as they say, is history.