Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Irish Influences

I swear to God, only in Ireland do you have moss growing around the window trim of your car and spiders camping out on your side view mirrors, with bits of leaves and everything. My niece, Tara, has a little flower thriving at the edge of her passenger window. Needless to say, that’s where I got the idea for the foxgloves (a fairy plant) growing from the ashtray of the leprechaun’s Triumph Herald in The Hunter’s Moon.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Scarr Mountain

Set out once more with my hillwalking group to check out another setting in The Light-Bearer's Daughter. Thankfully my sister Pat came along again, hence the gorgeous pics! Most of the hike found us lost in the mist. We could only see a few feet around us in any direction. It was eerie and magical and quite wonderful. We ate lunch just below the summit of Scarr but still could see nothing. Only on the way back did the mist lift and the sun come out. But I didn't mind. Dana goes wandering through the mist at one point and this gave me the experience I needed.

On the trail

The bushes are draped with cobwebs like Faerie palaces. Beautiful to see. We were just heading into the mist at this point.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Irish Dance Magazine

Here's the first piece about me and my work in Irish Dancing & Culture, a wonderful glossy magazine read by every Irish dancer in the world! See This comes out in October. In November's edition there will be a picture profile and interview about my life, my books, and my Irish dancing career. There will also be an announcement about a creative writing contest. I've given them a magical idea to inspire their readers to write a short story (sorry, can't give it away!) and I will judge and comment on the finalists. Stay tuned for further news about that in November.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jousting With Jesters

Must mention the publication of Martin Springett’s Jousting With Jesters (An ABC for the Younger Dragon). Martin is famous for his iconic jacket covers of Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar series, but this is his first illustrated book which he has also written himself. With endpapers that look like Rupert the Bear’s England, it moves through a quirky and charming alphabet, e.g. D Dance with dwarves as darkness deepens. Each illustration is exquisitely rendered with a multitude of things to look at. Finn and I went through it with ohhh’s and ahhh’s and look at this and look at that! My favourite is the double-page spread for Q, Queue quietly for queenly quests. For some sumptuous samples see below. And also and

Quintessential Queenliness

Queue quietly for queenly quests.

All the illustrations are fabulous, but this is my favourite page. ExQuisite!

More of Martin's Magic

I'm running out of rhymes. Actually, I met Martin at a MASC conference in Ottawa two years ago and we've stayed in touch and meet up whenever I am in Canada. I'm hoping that we can work together one day. I'd love him to do a Faerie alphabet based on the Chronicles and/or a calendar. Such are the dreams of a fantasy writer, along with the hopes of a boxed set!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Artwork for the Third Chronicle

Here it is, folks, the cover for the third book in The Chronicles of Faerie called The Light-Bearer's Daughter. The picture displays a scene from the book. That's a hazy morning sun and those are the Wicklow Mountains. Of the three exquisite covers, this is my favourite. He is truly an amazing artist, Cliff Nielsen. My praise and thanks to him. Tusind tak fer dat! And not only is this the best cover, I believe, but the rewrite of the book itself went beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. Expect to see it out in May 2007. (Sorry, I said 2006 in original post!) I'll blog an alert when it begins to move into our world.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Duchess

Here's a pic of my beloved vintage Triumph Herald (1969) whom I called "the Duchess." She was my very first car and I was heart-broken when I could no longer keep her; but she went to a very good home. (A very leprechaunish man, in fact.) She appears in various guises and colours in every one of the books in The Chronicles of Faerie series which is how I kept her in my life. That's me sitting on the boot, by the shore of Lough Swiligh on the western shore of Inch Island, a setting in The Hunter's Moon. If you peer through the back window you will see a baby seat and Findabhair is fast asleep inside.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Irish Tatler

Nice article on me in the September issue of the Irish Tatler, written by Sarah Binchy. She is a lovely young woman working on her first novel. The pic shows me at the Powerscourt Waterfall, where a scene is set in The Light-Bearer's Daughter. I am taking a little break from the book to organise my life (see Blog) but must soon get going on the glossary of Irish words and the list of place-names for the mountainscape map of the Wicklow Hills. Also need to write a letter to the Irish-language singer/songwriter Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin to ask her permission to use verses from two of her songs on her exquisite album Ailleacht/Beauty. She has surely been to Faerie as both her voice and her lyrics are truly beguiling. Her record label is Gael-Linn at