Friday, January 26, 2007

Slovenian Edition

And look what arrived today. The Slovenian edition of The Light-Bearer's Daughter. These covers are quite different from the usual. (The one for The Hunter's Moon is somewhere in the Archives.) They accent the teen girl heroes instead of the faerie fantasy. It's interesting to see what is the chief element in different countries, i.e. fairies, landscape, character, magic or whatever. The Summer King is also out in Slovenia but I haven't got a copy of it yet. Will post when it arrives. I love getting these foreign editions. Quite thrilling even if I can't read them. (At least I know the story.) I've been giving my extra copies to the library as Ireland is now getting immigrants from all these countries. Oh, latest news. German is the next language up, hurrah. (Couldn't find hurrah in my English-German dictionary.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Green Man

Do pop over to www.greenmanreview.com. Wait till the green masks stop winking at you, then click on "What's New" when the Main Menu shows up. There you'll read about me serving bar in the Green Man Pub. Virtual reality is wondrous and wyrd. And it's a fabulous site if you haven't visited before!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Short Story Competition

Irish Dancing & Culture Magazine - www.irishdancing.com - are sending me the finalists in a short story competition set up with a feature they did on me in the November edition. I gave them the idea of a fairy wanting to compete in the championships. I took a line from the song "The Girl With the Buckles on Her Shoes" which goes to the air of the set dance, King of the Fairies: a fairy dancing to the fiddles as they sing. (When I was 16, I toured Ireland with the Irish-Canadian Choral Society and danced a solo of that dance as the choir sang the song. My claim to fame: I danced for the Irish President, Eamon de Valera, at his official home in Phoenix Park. ) I'll be reading the last five entries, ranking the winners, and offering comments. Normally I don't read anyone's work, because of time and legal restrictions, but I'm looking forward to this.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Czech Book

Look what arrived today! The Czech version of The Hunter's Moon by O.R. Mellingov√°. I really like this cover. I especially love the blue, the moon, the trees, and the jewellery, including the corner bits. There are also five fantastic illlustrations inside. I posted two of these ages ago - pictures of Katie with her arrows and also the battle against Crom Cruac - see archives, February 2006. They were the first postings on this blog, in fact.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Cave at the Glen of the Downs

Dana heaved a sigh, scuffed the ground with her feet. And to make matters worse, by the time the cookies reached her, the packet was empty.
Billie caught her eyeing it ruefully.
"There's more in the cave. Help yourself."
She didn't need much encouragement. Dana loved nosing around in the clapboard shack where they kept their supplies.
(from The Light-Bearer's Daughter)
Now that I have finished the re-write of the book - yes, Elvis has left the building, on her final journey to the printer, wish her good fortune! - I am taking down the visual aids with which I cover my walls as I work. Here's an old photo taken with an old camera (I will buy a digital this year!) If you squint enough, you may be able to see that the man in black has a green leaf on the brim of his hat. Who is he? Hmm.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Postscript

I should clarify that what I say below does not apply to the people working in the publishing houses, but rather their corporate owners who strive to bloat, discount, mass produce, and commercialise what to them is a "product" (once known as a book). Throughout my writing career, I have enjoyed working with publishing directors, editors, publicists, and sales people all of whom generally are also overworked and underpaid. With more and more books being produced at breakneck speed and everyone rushing to meet the next season's deadlines (there used to be two seasons, now there are four) and editors weighed down with more than double their old work load, it's sheer stress and madness. What used to be mission is now work. Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Nightmare of Publishing

Publishing has undergone a sea change since 1983 when my first book came out; and the waters are murky and polluted. All of the medium and big houses are now owned by giant corporations. With unceasing effort, they continue to come up with new ways to screw the writer out of what is already the smallest piece of the profit pie: deep discounting, special sales, dotcom sales, and now small reprints at half the royalty rate. It just doesn't stop. Writers' unions and associations appear to be powerless against this trend. Except for the blockbuster authors, the days of the full-time writer are at an end. Writing is a heart-breaking profession in which one is ground underfoot by the hobnailed boots of a heartless industry. Will they kill the golden goose? (PS Had to get that off my chest.)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Book of Dreams

With the final proofs of The Light-Bearer's Daughter completed (hurrah), I am about to enter the last phase of the massive re-writes of The Chronicles of Faerie. Yes, it's time to face The Book of Dreams. This re-write will not be as intensive as the others since this book was always the best-written of the four. Indeed it was the reason why I wanted to go back and improve the other three, i.e. bring them up to scratch. It's also, quite frankly, too goddam big to thoroughly re-work! I intend to tweak (already done for the version that appears in The Golden Book of Faerie) and there will be some changes in Gwen, Laurel, and Dana whom I developed more deeply in their respective books. But first, however, I need to rest up and recover from that dreadful Christmas flu I picked up in Espana!