I have always loved Rosemary Sutcliffe for bringing mythology to life for me, likewise Susan Cooper and Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Who else? You might not think it, but I have always loved the classics from as far back as my GCE English Lit, (a loooong time ago!). I’m thinking Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy.
Finally, being an Indie author myself, I find that I am really getting into the writing of other Indie authors; they bring something new and exciting to the mix, I think. Check out Jay Howard, Allie Creswell and KA Krisko, and you’ll see what I mean!
But just to show off a bit, in senior school, I won the school prize for English Language and Literature every year for the whole five years I was there.
I have a lovely shiny red desk at which I write, and my laptop is called FoxyRoxy, she’s glossy and red too. At the moment, my desk is littered with scraps of paper covered in scrawl from my research, and notes and reminders that have occurred to me when I have been away from my laptop. It’s organised chaos…well, just chaos, actually!
I can actually remember when I first realised I could read. I was aged about four, and was looking at a comic of the Disney version of Robin Hood, and suddenly the letters all seemed to just ‘swim’ together in a way that made sense. I was amazed!
Having said that, there’s nothing quite like, the look, feel and smell of holding an actual book in your hands for a fully immersive reading experience. Book shelves can look rather bare when all your books are owned digitally. If I really love a book, I like to own an actual physical copy, too.
Anyhow, I think I inherited a bit of their impulsive, adventurous spirit which has had an impact on my life, and my writing. I became interested in ancient history and mythology while living in Cyprus, and toured endless archaeological sites with my dad. Living in a Muslim country was quite restrictive for western women and girls, so I read a lot and so fired up my active imagination.
In Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean, Conor discovers he is descended from an ancient God-like race of people from Ireland, known as the Tuatha de Denann. He becomes involved in a quest to find their lost talismans of power, the mythological Four Treasures of Eirean.
Conor is not your average hero. For a start, he can’t walk or talk, and lives life in a wheelchair.
My latest book is called Conor Kelly and The Fenian King. It’s a year later, and Conor is called upon by the Sidhe to help them yet again. Despite the return of the Four Treasures, there is political unrest, war and murder in the magical realm. There is a legend of a man who sleeps in a cave beneath a hill, awaiting the call which will wake him in order to come to the aid of his people. This man is known as Fionn mac Cumhall, and Conor is tasked with finding him.
Although my stories are fantasies based on Irish mythology, they also contain current themes. I was inspired to write them by my daughter, who has a rare syndrome. She can’t walk, talk or communicate, yet I’m sure she can understand more than she can indicate to us. I wanted an unusual hero, a flawed, imperfect character whom others would overlook and underestimate, and Conor gives me the opportunity to explore what it is like to be disabled in our modern world, in a subtle way without lecturing, I hope.
There is also the underlying question of Conor’s identity. All is not as it seems…I can say no more!
You can find out more at Smashwords.