Author Ali Isaac – My Writing Process

The love of my life, affectionately known as FoxyRoxy

The love of my life, affectionately known as FoxyRoxy

Thank you to Karen at My Train of Thoughts for inviting me to join ‘My Writing Process’. Karen is a wonderful writer, book reviewer, Indie author supporter, and self-confessed book addict. She also publishes some great short stories and flash fiction at ‘In a Small Compass‘, so why not pop over there and take a look?

What am I working on?

I am just putting the finishing touches to the second book of my Tir na Nog Trilogy, Conor Kelly and The Fenian King.

In the first book, Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean, Conor discovered he was descended from the Tuatha de Denann, an ancient race of semi-divine beings who once ruled Ireland over 4000 years ago. With this knowledge he inherited great powers, which came as a bit of a surprise, as in the mortal world, Conor suffers from a rare illness which means he can’t walk or talk… hardly your average hero! Nevertheless, he finds himself on a quest to recover the lost Four Treasures of Eirean, accompanied by the enigmatic Sidhe-Princess, Annalee.

Second time around, and it’s all kicked off in Tir na Nog! For the first time in history, the Sidhe are at war amongst themselves, whilst beset with natural disaster. Awakening the fabled Fenian King will be their only hope of salvation, and guess who gets lumbered with the task? Along the way, Conor unearths an unpleasant secret about himself which threatens disaster…

Besides working on my books, you will find me writing for my blog. I post articles mainly on content I’ve unearthed during my research about Ireland’s distant past. I also write about my special little daughter, Carys, who was born with a rare syndrome called Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome. Look under ‘Life with a Special Needs Child‘, if you’re interested.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There are quite simply very few novels out there based on Irish Mythology. Not only that, but my books take into account the daily lives of the early peoples of Ireland, and so much of what takes place is based on archaeological and historical fact. I link all these characters to the archaeological sites where they lived, and take you there, as they exist in the present. In fact, you could make a tour of Ireland based on the sites visited in my books! I find it quite difficult to accurately define my genre; I have to settle for Contemporary Fantasy, as book retailers give authors little choice, but its also mythology, history, archaeology, fairy-tale and magic.

In addition, Conor is the ultimate flawed hero; not only does he have his personal demons and insecurities to face, but he has the obstacles provided by his disabilities to get over, too. Without preaching, I hope I have shown that anyone can be a hero, not just the perfect, and the able-bodied.

My first book-baby...yaaaaay!

My first book-baby…yaaaaay!

Book-baby 2... due in a matter of weeks!

Book-baby 2… due in a matter of weeks!

Why do I write what I do?

I love Ireland! And I love archaeology, history, mythology. I’m fascinated by the legends of the Tuatha de Denann, and Fionn mac Cumhall and the Fianna. And I was inspired by my daughter to create a hero unlike any other I have encountered. What else would I write?

How does my writing process work?

Well…I am the most disorganised, illogical person you could ever hope to meet, so ‘process’ might be too kind a word, lol! I sit at my shiny red desk, and tap away at my shiny red laptop, start at the beginning, and keep on going till I arrive at the end. That’s basically it! Are you disappointed? I know some people work in Scrivenor and such like, creating complex story arcs and files for this that and the other, writing scene by scene, following a complicated flow chart annotating what happened when to whom and how, with accompanying files on character development, plot and world-building.

Not me. I want to have fun! And writing is fun, and escapism for me. I write manual notes for my research, which I keep by my side as I’m writing. I also have a VERY BASIC outline on one side of an A4 sheet clipped to the top of it, as a guide…this changes all the time. I edit as I go along, always reviewing  the previous days writing before starting a new chapter, which gets me into the right frame of mind. At the end, I have a couple of big edits, then my beta readers make me do it all again. And that’s it, ready to format as each retailer requires.

You can find Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean at just about any retailer, but here are the links for Amazon and Smashwords. Conor Kelly and The Fenian King is due out very VERY soon…I promise! In the meantime, you can view the trailers for both books in the sidebar of this website.

And now I would like to introduce you to some new writing talent…

The Sound of What Happens‘ – Éilis found me by quite by accident when trawling the web one night. We were drawn together by our mutual love of all things Denann and Fianna. In her poetry, Éilis creates tiny snatches of intense, vividly detailed imagery within broader all-encompassing themes, which I find quite compelling. I’d love to give you examples, but I won’t withhold the pleasure of discovering her work for yourself, when you hop over to her blog to take a look.

CL Deards | Living in Alternate Realities‘ – When I read the very first line of Chris’s ‘About’ page, I just KNEW I was going to like him. Here was someone who just came right out and said exactly how I had felt all my life! He has gone to extraordinary lengths in visualising and then creating the world-building which underpins his novel, The Tome of Worlds, something I can only stand back and observe with awe and wonder, as I never had to do this; it was already waiting for me in mythology. You will get a really good sense of what goes on in Chris’s head by visiting his Pinterest pages.

Both of these writers have been particularly supportive of me…thanks, guys! Make sure not to miss their Writing Process posts next weekend!


11 Comments on “Author Ali Isaac – My Writing Process

  1. Great answers to the hop 😀

    You have a good point, I don’t think I’ve seen any books really based on Irish mythology, I think that’s why I’m so excited to read your stuff (which is on my to-read list!). It sounds incredibly original 🙂


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