Tuesday, August 21, 2007


For those of you have read The Light-Bearer's Daughter, here are some pics of one of the main settings in the book. Lugnaquillia is the highest peak in the Wicklow Mountain range at 925 metres (no idea what that is in feet, sorry) and a fairly easy climb if the weather is clear, which it was, buíochas le Dia. Headed up there with the Second Sunday group on a third Sunday (hey we're Irish, easy on the rules). Stopped about three-quarters of the way up and sheltered in a stony patch for lunch. I had Swiss cheese sambos, baklava from the farmer's market (yum), a green apple, rice crackers, and a thermos of hot tea. Oh, and chocolate that my sister Pat gave me. It was a great climb. I love getting out in the open. PS Check out the sign. It's a warning against the Irish Army's use of the Glen of Imaal as a bombing range. Just shows the risks a writer is ready to take for their work, eh?.

The Summit

Here is the summit where so many scenes were set: Dana and Ivy running to wake the King, Murta attacking them (new version), Lugh's palace of crystal which turns to face the sun (new version), Dana and Lugh meeting, the final huge celebratory party et al. You can see all of Ireland spreading out below. It's beautiful up there but very windy.

Saddle of Bog

The first pic shows the place where King Lugh lay face down, a great stone on his back. See those patches of eroded bog? With her fairy sight, Dana could detect his limbs outlined in their patterns. The second view shows the purple heather on one side of the summit.

Heart of Stone

Found this on the way back down the mountain and, being the rosemantic that I am, I had to take a picture of it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Book Divas Interview

Forgot to mention this! On August 8, Book Divas - an American YA site - posted an interview with me on their blog. Go to www.bookdivas.com and click on Book Divas Blog on the left hand side of the page. A few pleasant questions. My favourite bit - if you keep scrolling down - is Adrian McKinty's interview where he says he looks better than his photo, which is a real scream as he looks like someone on the FBI most-wanted list (as he says himself). His pic is almost as bad as my Canadian passport photo in which I look like a prison guard. When I brought it to my solicitor to sign I warned him, "it's bad." "Oh come on," he said, "everyone says that." Then I gave it to him and he went, "whoa!" I mean, it really is bad. Maybe I should post it for a laugh. Whereas, I look quite nice in my Irish passport, real colleeny. I know, I'll post both of them on my regular blog. But it could be illegal to post your passport photo these days.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beavering Away

Thought I'd use a good Canadian verb to describe the fact I am working away day and night on The Book of Dreams. Not yet halfway when I'll feel better. We're with Grandfather, Roy, and Jean up in northern Quebec. This is the final draft. (Well, then there's another final draft after the editor gets it.) While I always felt BOD was the best of the four books, I am now trimming and revising to bring it up to scratch with the others! Meanwhile, here's a pic of me and Bette on Anishinabe lands in northern Ontario. We've known each other on and off for nearly 25 years. She makes the best muffins I have ever tasted. Oh, and the new YA book is coming along slowly (on the weekends) while today, I confess, I jotted down some notes for the adult shamanic book. That was cheating, as it is not on schedule till September, but there you are.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Japanese Endpapers

I promised to post more of the gorgeous endpapers from the Japanese editions. The Book of Dreams just arrived today, so here is a sample. It has been published in two volumes (you'll find the covers in the archives). Each volume has the same green secondary cover with soul-birds flying from the tree. The first volume has this lovely illustration of two sleeping soul-birds and The Book of Dreams itself. The second volume has a darling picture of my two favourite characters - guess who!
And here are Dana's madcap Canadian aunties, Dee and Yvonne. They look so cute!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Good News

So far so good, I am trundling along on schedule and feeling quite pleased with myself. At two chapters a day during the week, The Book of Dreams will be finished by the beginning of September. The weekends I have given over to the new book (first of a multi-book Young Adult Celtic mythological series) which is shaping up nicely. Now, as soon as The Book of Dreams is shipped off to Abrams, I will move the new book to the weekday slot and then ... yes ... I will begin the second new book, an adult work based on my shamanic studies, on the weekends. No doubt about it, my Muse is alive and whirring, spinning a stack of ideas into gold.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Creemore Craftsman

Since I am reworking the chapter that features Creemore, Ontario where Dana's grandmother lives (note: Creemore comes from the Irish croí mór, meaning "big heart") I am going to direct you to a fabulous blog of a local sculptor and signmaker who is also a brilliant bagpiper: www.shanedurnford.com/blog. There you'll see photos of Shane's magical carvings. I first met Shane and his family when I was visiting a friend who has a cottage in the Purple Hills. On discovering Creemore, I decided it was the perfect place for Dana's family. Then, of course, things spiralled and before I knew it the huge climactic scene of the book was taking place there on Hallowe'en! If you go to Shane's website www.shanedurnford.com you'll see loads of his handcrafted signs found around Creemore and outlying towns.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Endicott

Got a wonderful review from Midori Snyder on the Endicott Studio blog. Have a look at it here: www.endicottstudio.typepad.com. First you get a look at performance artist Carolyn Ryder Cooley's fabulous (in the true sense of the word) photographs and read all about her; then you reach yesterday's post which is about The Light-Bearer's Daughter. Delighted to see in the comments that The Book of Dreams is already being mentioned a year before it comes out in America! Meanwhile I am working madly on said book to make my September deadline. The villain has changed substantially - new name and everything - as I came to understand him more in the revised versions. Definitely less of a vague thing and bit of a surprise at the end, let me tell you.