Contributor Interview: Brittany Warman

Brittany Warman is a PhD candidate in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University, where she is currently writing her dissertation on folklore and the Gothic aesthetic. She also co-owns and co-runs the online Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic (carterhaughschool.com). Her creative work has been published by or is forthcoming from Uncanny Magazine, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Ideomancer, Apex Magazine, Faerie Magazine, and others. You can find her online at http://www.brittanywarman.com.

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W&W: Do you consider yourself a witch? If not what would best describe who you are?

Absolutely - with a bit of faerie blood as well, as I never can quite decide which way I lean more ;). To me a witch is someone tuned in to the magic all around us, to the deep connection we have to the earth, to the universe, and to each other. 

 W&W: What does your magical practice look like? (i.e. Solitary, Coven, etc.)

I do most of what I consider my practice on my own, though I do have a group of sisters that I think of as a coven of sorts - they absolutely inspire me and remind me how to tap into my most magical self. 

W&W: What drew you to study and teach folklore?

I have always been fascinated by magical stories, especially fairy tales, and when I discovered I could research and teach about them for a living I was beside myself with joy. There are so many things that are deeply important about the stories we tell each other, especially the ones we tell over and over again in different ways, and my desire to learn more about that, and to help communicate that to others, is what drew me to the study of folklore.

W&W: What influences your creative process? 

My academic work absolutely influences my creative process - I think one would be hard pressed to study fairy tales, supernatural legends, and the like without being inspired creatively! There is just so much wonderful material out there, and I especially love retelling old stories in new ways. My spiritual practices inspire me creatively as well - in fact, I consider creative writing one of my most profound engagements with what I consider magic.   

W&W: Who is your favorite writer and why?

This is such a hard question, but I think I have to go with Catherynne M. Valente - when I read her work, I’m so inspired by her beautiful vision of the world and the exquisite, fascinating ways she weaves together folklore and the postmodern via her unique “mythpunk” style. I also study nineteenth-century literature, so I will add Emily Bronte as well… the untamed, violent beauty in her writing is always amazing to me.     
 

What do you do in the world of Muggles?

Attempt to steal people away to the world of magic every chance I get! But I’m also working on finishing my PhD in English and Folklore, so that sadly takes time away from enchanting… right now, I’m putting the finishing touches on a dissertation on fairy tales, fairy legend, and the Gothic aesthetic in nineteenth-century British literature. I also co-run, with my best friend and fellow folklore scholar and writer Sara Cleto, the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic (http://www.carterhaughschool.com), which is dedicated to bringing the study of folklore to all those who have an interest.  

Where to find you:

http://www.brittanywarman.com
http://www.carterhaughschool.com
twitter.com/britas
instagram.com/briarspell