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The Lure of Long Ago and Faraway
One of the most important decisions you make as an author is when and where your story will take place. While some of us prefer to write about the here and now, others, like me, dream of stories set long ago and far away. For me, the past evokes a certain kind of longing and magic that I find more difficult to realize in the present.
When I thought of the story To Dance in Liradon I knew it would take place in medieval Ireland. Although I’ve never been to Ireland (a terrible wrong I hope to remedy in the near future) I’ve always been drawn to Irish mythology. Steeped in legend, rich with beautiful heroines, fierce warriors, heroic battles, and of course, Faeries, few cultures can compete with Ireland’s gift for storytelling. What captivated me most about Irish mythology were tales about the Tuatha de Danaan, also known as the ‘Shining Ones,’ or as I refer to them in my book, the ‘Fair Folk.’
Far from the tiny, winged creatures popular in British culture, Irish Faeries are tall, beautiful, extremely proud and amoral. The more I read about the Tuatha de Danaan, the more I wanted to write about them.
A recurring theme in Irish mythology about the Tuatha de Danaan is the idea of paradise; the land of promise as it is spoken of in some sources. In Faerie land there is no suffering, no disease, and no one ever grows old or inform. Those who enter its enchanted borders are young and beautiful forever.
Of course, nothing is ever quite what it seems. What does it mean to live in this kind of eternal paradise? And how does perfect happiness affect our bonds to one another? In To Dance in Liradon, my heroine, Brigid, must ask these very questions when she lifts the veil that separates human from Faerie. I love naming heroines, and I chose Brigid as a nod to the Celtic Goddess of Fire.
To Dance in Liradon takes place in two distinct but intimately intertwined worlds, Faerie and human. The juxtaposition of these worlds intrigued me, different as light and dark, but like light and dark they define one another. Both have the power to lure and enchant, but in very different ways. The Irish poet W.B Yeats imagined interactions between Faeries and humans as a magnetic pushing-pulling attraction, one for the other.
My story unfolds when Brigid finds herself torn between two worlds and two men as she struggles to understand who she is and where she belongs. It takes courage for a young woman to walk among the Fair Folk, who think themselves the noblest race on earth, and even more courage to find out what to dance in Liradon really means.
Fantasy writers spend many hours creating new and exciting worlds for their readers, and many of them draw on mythological sources. I’ll never forget my visits to Narnia, Middle Earth and Prydain. These books, among others, inspired me to create my own fantasy worlds. But the human world is beautiful too, in all its flawed, imperfect mortality. My hope is that To Dance in Liradon gives readers a glimpse into both Faerie and human worlds, and that they are in some way moved by what they find there.
To Dance in Liradon is available at:
To Dance in Liradon is now available from Soul Mate Publishing!
When Brigid suddenly finds herself torn between two men and two worlds, her struggle leads her into the glittering, ruthless world of Faerie where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever.
Cover Blurb for To Dance in Liradon
Seventeen-year old Brigid O'Flynn is an outcast. A chance encounter with the Faerie Queen left her tainted in the eyes of the villagers, who blame the Faerie for the village’s missing women and children. Desperate to win the village’s acceptance Brigid agrees to marry her childhood friend: Serious, hardworking, Connell Mackenna. But when Connell disappears before their wedding Brigid's hopes are shattered. Blamed for her fiancé’s death, Brigid fears she will suffer the same fate as the other village outcasts, the mysterious Willow Women. Lured into Liradon by their inhuman lovers, and cast out weak and broken, the Willow Women spend their lives searching for the way back into Faerie. When Connell suddenly reappears Brigid is overjoyed, but everything is not as it seems. Consumed by his desire for beauty and celebration, Connell abandons his responsibilities, and Brigid soon finds herself drawn into a passionate, dangerous world of two.
When Brigid discovers the truth behind Connell's transformation she’s forced to choose between two men and two worlds. Brigid’s struggle leads her into glittering, ruthless Liradon where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever.