Are Irish Clans and Tribes Gone Forever: Part One?

In European countries, when people talk of ‘clan’ (from the medieval Gaelic word ‘clann’) they’re basically using a more localised word for ‘tribe’. Both relate to a community or social grouping established from a common kinship or family tie although, over time, as the grouping grows larger, that definition can change. Most people believe the concept… Read more »

Locations for Beara: Dark Legends

When I write, I find it useful to have a pre-existing model for where various events or actions in the story take place. I don’t think I’m particularly lazy in this respect, I just find that having a clear mental image of a location allows me to focus more on plot and character dialogue. Obviously, with Beara: Dark Legends, I used… Read more »

Speaking Irish

The most common question that pops up in my website correspondence (and yes, apologies, I know the contact form is down at the moment), concerns my use of Irish (language) in the books I write. A few people have quizzed me specifically on (a) why I do it and (b) is it really necessary. I suppose, for… Read more »

The Secret Life of Irish Fairies

The nice thing about fairies is that anyone can be one. No, seriously! If you actually look at the modern day interpretation of the ‘fairy’ you’ll find it incorporates not only elements of ‘Ye Olde English folklore’ but Germanic elves, Scandinavian leshyi, classical Romano-Greek nymphs and satyrs, a mish-mash of Tolkien and of course Disney’s… Read more »

Come Taste the Flowers

Whenever I feel homesick – as I did last night – I have this habit of poring through photos of the last trip home, extracting the memories associated with each particular image. Going through this process last night, I was a bit surprised to discover the number of photographs of fuchsia hedgerows clogging up my photo library. To… Read more »

Update on Writing Projects

The above road sign is from the Gaeltacht (area in Ireland where Irish is still the first language). Essentially it’s a ‘Yield right of Way’ sign which kind of outlines how I feel at the moment. It’s been a pretty exhausting year with various work, writing and family projects on the go.  Needless to say, I’m nowhere as… Read more »

Excerpt from Fionn: Traitor of Dún Baoiscne

This is an excerpt from the soon to be released Fionn: Traitor of Dún Baoiscne. In this piece, the woman warrior Liath Luachra is making her way back to Ráth Bládhma (the ringfort Bládhma) after an encounter with the youth Fintán mac Gleor when she finds some disturbing sign. People occasionally ask why I write… Read more »