Screen versus Book

I dropped all my current work to spend a few days working on the series outline for this – basically updating it to incorporate ‘The Seeking‘ and ‘The Metal Men‘ into the final story of Liath Luachra. Writing for the screen is a very different way of writing compared to book writing – you really… Read more »

Cultural Knowledge or Cultural Object

There’s an interesting article in the Irish Times today on attempts to have the Annals of Innisfallen transferred back from Oxford (where it’s now housed) to Killarney, where the annals were first compiled around 1092 AD. I’m of two minds with this one as there are really two ways to consider the Annals of Innisfallen.… Read more »

A Mythological Silhouette

Most striking topographical sites have mythological stories associated with them so it’s no real surprise to find so many linked to the dramatic silhouette that’s Binn Ghulbain – the peak of Gulbain (there’s still a lot of disagreement around what ‘Gulbain’ refers to, but it’s far better than the anglicized – and meaningless – ‘Benbulben’).… Read more »

The ‘Sistine’ Oratory

If you’re passing through Dún Laoghaire’s, one place you might want to check out is the Oratory of the Sacred Heart, one of best-kept local art secrets and a low-key national version of the Sistine Chapel. A tiny chapel hidden behind the main Shopping Centre, the interior is decorated in a Book of Kell style… Read more »

A Conversation with Bodhmhall

I really enjoy writing dialogue – particularly when it’s a dialogue between two strong characters with diferent motivations. This is a quick sample of a conversation between the woman warrior Liath Luachra and the bandraoi (female druid) Bodhmhall, who joined her hunt for a díbhearg (raiding party) in a slightly underhand manner. At this point… Read more »

A Short Irish Film Gem

One Irish film gem I’ve been keen to see for a while is “Abe’s Story”, a short animation produced by Snackbox Films way back in 2019 (and not to be confused with Abram Korn’s novel of the same name). The story itself is set in Victorian London, where an overworked Irish writer draws inspiration from… Read more »

Liath Luachra: The Consent

One plotline that I’d hoped to return to in more detail with ‘The Metal Men’ was Liath Luachra’s relationship with Bressal Binnbéalach – Bressal of the Sweet Tongue – her old rígfénnid and sly ex-leader of Na Cinéaltaí. The interaction between Liath Luachra and Bressal was always one of my favourite elements from the first book in the… Read more »

Night View

The night view of Wellington City from Matiu Island – a small island in the centre of the harbour which is owned by the local iwi (tribe) and protected as conservation estate. I was privileged enough to spend a night out there recently and finished the last chapter outline for Liath Luachra: The Metal Men… Read more »

Pilgrimage

I watched the movie ‘Pilgrimage’ (2017) again last night. Set in 13th century Ireland, it does a decent job of capturing the events in Ireland at the time (monks, Norman lords, Irish tribal resistance etc. etc.). It would have been nice to have a few more Irish actors in lead roles (although to be fair,… Read more »

Liath Luachra: The Metal Men is done

Liath Luachra: The Metal Men (4th book in the Irish Woman Warerior Series) is now complete. I’m currently working with the artist to get the final covers sorted but all looks good for the planned release in March (patrons will get it earlier). I’m really pleased with the final result. The new back cover blurb… Read more »

The Púca

I was intrigued by the furore around a sculpture by Aidan Harte based that was based on the mythical Púca back in Clare last year (it’s called the Púca of Ennistymon). The sculpture – paid for by Clare County Council – was originally intended to be installed in Ennistymon, but after feedback from the community, those… Read more »

The Irony of an Irish Literary Icon

You’ll see a lot of publicity around the centenary of James Joyce’s Ulysses tomorrow (it’s a hundred years since it was published) but I’m already growing a little cynical about the inevitable over-the-top lauding of its praises and self-congratulatory hoo-balloo. When Ulysses was first published in 1918 (for context, this was just two years after… Read more »