Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Booklist Editors' Choice 2005

It's official. My editor sent me the magazine with the announcement. The American edition of The Hunter's Moon has made it to the ALA's Booklist Editors' Choice list for 2005. Yahoo.

Nope, I didn't get to the top of the list, but there are three more books to go in this series, so who knows.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Summer King Proofs

They finally arrived, hurrah! And Fedex didn't send them to Iceland this time. That's my weekend gone as they must be checked by Monday. Will be up all night again tonight. (Don't let anyone tell you that writing is a cushy job. Well, maybe for JK.) The good news is that I am off to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig for a glorious week where I can work away on The Light-Bearer's Daughter while being cooked for and looked after in a beautiful old mansion overlooking a lake. Yes, it is an artist's heaven on earth: www.tyroneguthrie.ie. Can't wait. Now back to the galleys. Nose meet grindstone. Ouch!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

God Save Ireland

I’m reading Chaos at the Crossroads, a heartbreaking book by Frank McDonald, Environment Editor of The Irish Times, and James Nix. (http://www.chaosatthecrossroads.com/) Basically it is a catalogue of the murder of Ireland by uncontrolled development, insane motorway building, unchecked pollution, and the destruction of heritage sites, all linked to political corruption and incompetence. I’m reading the book as research for the new version of The Light-Bearer’s Daughter. The original version covered the eco-warriors’ battle to protect the Glen of the Downs; a battle lost, and which soon proved to be only part of a bigger war. For even as they fought for the glen, the picturesque village of Kilmacanogue was destroyed. And now the royal demesne of Tara itself is threatened, as the gombeen government plans to run a motorway through it. (See http://www.taraskryne.org/.) Whenever readers abroad write to tell me that they hope to visit Ireland one day because of my descriptions of it, I die a little. For I wonder just how much of its beauty will be left when they get here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Podcast Posted

Yes, my first ever podcast is up and running. (Janey, blogspots and podcasts. What are we like?) Here's the link if you want to hear me chatting away about love and romance in my fairy tales and in the great mythic stories of humanity: http://www.mythicjourneys.org/newsletter_current.html. It's not easy trying to sound intelligent spontaneously (as opposed to combusting) but there is one line I am happy with: "love is one of the magical things that can happen to you on the road of life." They've also published my talk "Ancient Dreams: Myth and History in Fantasy Literature" in the same newsletter and there's a wonderful article by Brenda Sutton on the Tam Lin tale for all you fairy lovers, plus many other treats. Do have a gander.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bray Head

Here's a pic of the intrepid author taking notes on Bray Head to describe Laurel's search for the "roly-poly man," later understood to be a cluricaun, in The Summer King. My sister Pat took the shot.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Here's one of those little bits of magic that can happen. (There's no such thing as coincidence.) When I was at the All-Ireland Oireachtas Irish Dancing Championships last weekend, I was watching the young men's competition - incredible dancers! - and somehow ended up chatting to the mother of an American dancer. They had come all the way from California. Then I discovered that her daughter, who was also there, works at Hicklebee's (www.hicklebees.com) in San Jose, one of the finest children's bookstores in the United States. If things work out, I may end up there on my tour. So far the cities scheduled are: Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Atlanta. I'll post the specific dates as soon as they are confirmed, but it's happening June 4 to June 25, 2006.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Toil and Trouble

I am so far behind in the rewriting of my next book, that I am practically back at the last one. In fact, I guess that is kind of true as I am still anxiously waiting to check the galley proofs of the "new and improved" American edition of The Summer King. It is due out in May and still hasn't gone to the printer yet! Meanwhile, I am foostering around with research for the new version of The Light-Bearer's Daughter. I'm reading and re-reading old fairy tales for inspiration because I want to create two of my own within the larger story. One will be The Mountain King and His Sky Bride. The other will be The Fairy Queen and Her Mortal Lover. And somehow I have to twist all three tales together like a plait. Sigh. (But I've done that before for my experimental novel, Falling Out of Time, so I should be able to do it.) The books I am reading are: Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens (with gorgeous illustrations by Arthur Rackham), Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland, edited by WB Yeats, Myths and Folk Tales of Ireland by Jeremiah Curtin, Síscealta ó Thír Chonaill by Seán óhEochaidh, Máire ní Néill, agus Séamas ó Catháin (as gaeilge agus bearla), A History of Irish Fairies by Carolyn White, and K.M. Briggs's The Faeries in Tradition and Literature. Got them all in the Bray library, mostly from that musty little room under the stairs and the stacks on the top floor where the old books are kept.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mythic Podcast

Did a podcast interview on Sunday for the Mythic Journeys Conference which I will be speaking at in Atlanta, Georgia, June 7-11 during my three week tour of the USA (more about that anon as the schedule appears). As well as reading from The Hunter's Moon and The Summer King, I talked about the high romance of love stories in fantasy fiction; the hero's journey and my girl-heroes; myth as sacred truth and soul-story; how the month of May in Ireland belongs to both the Faerie Queen and the Roman Catholic Mary "Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May"; also the early legends of St Patrick which showed him as a Chief Druid; and lots more. Blathered away at some length, in fact. It was great fun. The podcast will be posted in instalments over February, March, April, and May running up to the conference itself. Check out the fabulous website where it will appear www.mythicjourneys.org. The guest list for the conference is truly amazing, with so many of my favourite writers and artists - Charles de Lint, Terri Windling, Brian and Wendy Froud, Holly Black, Robert Bly (just to name a few) - and so many others I don't know but can't wait to meet and hear such as The Weird Sisters and Tom Blue Wolf. It is going to be one incredible magic-fest!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Hunter's Moon

Finvarra and Findabhair fighting Crom Cruac, also known as the Worm or the Hunter.

(Credit: Ales Kalensky, Signus Studio, Czech edition of The Hunter's Moon published by Lenka Velínská - ELA, 2006.)
These illustrations are from the Czech edition of The Hunter's Moon coming out this year (see Bibliography on my website for cover) with Lenka Velínská - ELA, publisher. The illustrations are done by Ales Kalensky who lived in Seattle for 15 years and loves Celtic fantasy and folklore. I think he's brilliant! You can see other work he has done on www.studiosignus.cz. The illustrations were kindly sent to me "from snowy Hradec Králové, Czech Republic" by Marcel Hrdy of Signus Studio. Thanks Marcel!

And, yes, this is our Katie letting loose her arrows in the battle against Crom Cruac.