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 far as advanced as I’d like to be in terms of my writing. Two things in particular have changed my priority:
- The popularity of the Fionn mac Cumhal series: This one took me a wee bit by surprise. The first book (Defence of Ráth Bládhma) was pretty popular – despite a complete absence of advertising or marketing on my part. Ironically, the second book seems to be even more popular (go figure!). When I originally started writing the first book, the plan was essentially to give myself a bit of a break/change before starting the next Beara book. This is because, in terms of writing technique, the Fionn series is easier. It’s a complete linear narrative (unlike Beara which intermingles historical and contemporary stories) and the plot and underlying themes are nowhere near as complex. In any case, people are now hounding me for the next in the series (which I can’t really complain about) so I feel a bit of responsibility for delivering the goods
- The lack of interest by Irish book distributors: Ireland is quite interesting in that we only have two distributors for new books in the entire country (Easons and Argosy). For commercial reasons, both of these tend to deal only with large and very established publishing companies. Easons – almost a monopoly – make it very difficult to even try and contact them for distribution purposes. Argosy were at least kind enough to rely to my query and explain why they wouldn’t be doing so. I’ll probably start working around them and sell directly to bookshops in future but for the moment, this means that my main focus has to be in digital books (ebooks).
As a result, therefore, I’ve had to amend my – ahem – ‘production schedule’. In summary, this is where things stand at present:
- Beara Two: “Cry of the Banshee” – two chapters completed. It now looks like this won’t be completed until the end of next year at the earliest.
- Fionn 3: “The Adversary” – Estimated release date May/June 2015
- Fionn 0: “The Kindly Ones” – A prequel to the Fionn series based on the earlier life of the Liath Luachra character – Estimated release date May/June 2015
- A non-fiction book on Irish folklore and practical magic – title yet to be confirmed – Estimated release date December 2015
I’m very keen to make some progress on the second Beara book so I may move this up depending on how things go. My apologies to those of you waiting for this.